Considering if buying a condo in the Philippines is the right investment for you?
Condos may seem like a luxury reserved only for the affluent. In reality, it’s considered a more practical and versatile choice, especially if you’re a young professional searching for that feeling of independence.
We’ve crafted a list of things to consider as you search for the right condo to match your needs. Learn what questions to ask property managers, and real estate agents, as well as the requirements for buying your next investment.
Condos offer the many conveniences of modern living thanks to the independence and freedom it offers. Buying a condo in the Philippines allows you to enjoy luxurious amenities and close proximity to entertainment complexes and business centers.
Buying your own condo to start that life you dream of, however, is a complex process, especially for first-time condo buyers. This article will help you to take that first step in achieving your dream by answering fundamental questions such as what are the steps in buying your condo and what are the things you need to consider when choosing a place to live.
Reasons why condos are a great Investment in the Philippines
Having your own condo is like having a haven in the middle of a bustling city in the Philippines. If you’re still deciding if a condo is a great investment for you, here are some reasons why purchasing your own condo can be one of the wisest steps you can take in your life.
1. A place you can call home
There is a misconception that owning a condo is for those who want to live a luxurious and extravagant lifestyle. A condo is a home – and isn’t a home a necessity in every person’s life?
A condo is not just an unnecessary luxury. While it may look excessive and extravagant thanks to all the perks that come with owning a condo such as access to amenities such as the gym and swimming pools, it’s just an added benefit when investing in a condo in the heart of the city.
The bottom line is that condos are self-sufficient spaces where you can start a life on your own. Amidst the sometimes dizzying rush in Manila, it’s great to have your own personal sanctuary that you can truly call your own.
2. Condos are cheaper than owning traditional houses
Condos aren’t just for anyone who wants to live alone and feel the independence that it offers. There are also a wide variety of condos available for anyone who wants to start a new life with their family and children.
While the idea of owning traditional houses with open lawns is something that has been embedded in most people as a necessary part of starting a family, in today’s climate, that is not the case. Urbanization is on the rise and economic inflation is affecting the prices of land and materials in building your dream house.
Condos are not just for those looking for a convenient place to live that is close to their workplace. It is also a perfect place to raise your kids and spend your life with your significant other.
3. Owning a condo is an upgrade from just renting a place to live in
Renting a place such as an apartment to live in the city is not a good long-term plan. You are essentially living in a borrowed place that you will never feel like you own.
Rented apartments limit you in a way where you can’t truly invent yourself and create meaningful spaces since you aren’t generally allowed to decorate the room you’re paying for. A condo offers long-term peace of mind as you no longer have to worry about rising inflation rates in the Philippines affecting rent increase compared to apartments.
There are accessible rent-to-own condo schemes that you may check out that can accommodate your financial capability. Start looking forward to the future and invest in a place you can truly call yours.
Choosing to own your own condo is a necessary step to making a long-term investment. True, it might demand a huge sum, but the reward you get is invaluable.
4. Close to modern conveniences
There is a wide selection of condos located around the National Capital Region.
If you’re a young professional looking for the best condo located in central business districts such as Makati, then the Fortis Residence is for you. Fortis’ strategic location allows you to never worry about running late again as you enjoy a resort-like living experience thanks to its facilities.
Students who will be away from their families and are about to study along Manila’s University Belt could check out available condos in Manila so they can feel safe at home even when they are away from their loved ones.
Condos offer versatility which stems from the philosophy of convenience and flexibility that is intrinsic to their design principle. All of the units listed here are strategically built with the resident’s quality of life in mind.
12 Things to Consider When Shopping for the Right Condo
Now that you are informed why investing in a condo is a great decision, it’s time to think about the best condo that would fit your needs.
Below are what you should consider when looking for the right condo to match your lifestyle.
1. Your financial capacity
It can be easy to get swept away by the excitement of condo shopping. However, it’s important that you thoroughly assess your financial capacity, as the costs of buying a condo go beyond just the mortgage. There are other expenses to consider, such as association dues, utilities, and realty taxes. Make sure you are financially ready before jumping in.
2. The property’s location
Once you have your finances all sorted out, it’s time to determine the location that would best match your lifestyle.
Some of the things to consider are traffic in the area, the neighborhood’s security, and the condominium’s proximity to your workplace or school, relatives, and friends. Condos are a long-term investment, so make sure the conditions will work in your favor. Unlike renting where you could easily move to a new place if the location does not work for you, being a condo owner means committing to a permanent living space.
Be wary of simply aiming for a prime location. Take into consideration your purpose for buying the condo. A great location that is a long distance from, say, your place of work can end up costing you more in transportation expenses as well as travel time.
3. The size of the condo
When looking for a condo, you should also consider how many people will be living in the condo. This can help you figure out the size of the condo you need. The perfect condo is one that allows every occupant to experience the feeling of independence while not being overwhelmed by the crowded feeling that you might get when you choose an inappropriate unit size.
4. Consider the type of condo
There are different variations to consider when choosing a condo. There are high-rise or low-rise options, along with ready-for-occupancy (RFO) or pre-selling units.
High-rise towers are known for having more amenities, while low-rise structures provide more privacy. RFOs are available for immediate purchase and use, while pre-selling condos are offered to the market before the construction has been completed. Each condo type has its own advantages and pitfalls. Understanding your own specific needs will help you choose the right one for you.
5. Work with the right real estate agent
When shopping for a condo, make sure you only work with licensed agents. The real estate industry in the Philippines is riddled with unauthorized brokers. During your initial consultation, make sure you ask your agent for a license. It’s also best to do a background check before making any negotiations.
A good real estate agent will walk you through the process of selecting the best condo for you. They should consider your lifestyle to refer you to the best location and unit that will fit your needs. Their responses to your questions should also be clear and direct.
6. The property developer
Find out as much as you can about the developer behind the condominium. Information from your real estate broker may not always be available or reliable, so we encourage you to do your own research. Visiting groups and message boards online will be especially helpful. Find out what residents have to say about the property.
If you are buying a condo in the Philippines at its preselling stage, be sure to check the developer’s track record of meeting launching schedules. There are past cases of condo projects being halted because of a lack of funds. It can be difficult to get your money back in cases like this.
For RFO condos, the developer’s reputation will be revealed by the performance of their property management. Check for proper adoption of security measures, effective maintenance of the building, and implementation of condo rules.
You may also check for the industry category the developer belongs to. Case in point, DMCI Homes has been awarded a quadruple A status, the highest category thus far. This is in recognition of their building experience, financial capacity, and technical experience. This lets you have more peace of mind when you choose a DMCI Homes condo.
7. The unit
While photos and descriptions can help you with your online shopping, they are not the best basis for choosing a unit. Make sure you go onsite and check the unit personally. If you are living abroad, asking someone you trust to do the inspection will be helpful.
When viewing the unit, look at it as if your furniture is already in it. This is the best way you can assess if the space will work for you. You must also take the time to inquire about possible improvements in the future. Check beyond just the unit, and evaluate the common areas and amenities. If there are already existing occupants, take the time to talk to them so you can learn about possible hidden problems.
8. Association dues and other fees
Association dues are monthly fees condo owners pay to the homeowners’ association (HOA) for the upkeep of the condo complex and repair of fixtures and amenities. Many first-time buyers fail to ask how much the fee will be and if it is likely to increase. Note that you will also be paying realty tax for the unit, the land, and the common areas. If you opt to have a parking space, you will be shelling out around half a million pesos and additional monthly dues for it. Make sure you can afford all the extra expenses before sealing the deal.
9. The amenities
One of the best parts of having a condo is getting the chance to enjoy state-of-the-art amenities and services. Developers these days compete for the best-themed projects, offering resort-like living, meditation centers, zen pools, and many others.
Learn about possible restrictions to these amenities. Will your guests be welcome to use them? Would you need to make reservations before using them? While amenities are a great bonus, you must remember that they are common property and you may have to compete with many other residents.
10. House rules and regulations
Asking about rules and regulations is often neglected by first-time buyers. To avoid making the same mistake, inquire about the maximum number of tenants allowed for each unit, possible curfew for parties, whether you can sublet the unit, and if pets are allowed.
Buying a condo in the Philippines means investing in a shared property, so you must expect restrictions. Rules and regulations must be strictly followed. This is to maintain security, peace, and privacy for everyone. Make sure you understand all the restrictions before signing a contract, and that you are willing to comply with them.
11. The property’s life span
It is important that you ask your broker about the lifespan of the property.
Condominiums often have a lifespan of fifty years. This means you may end up outliving your home or the property may already have been replaced by a new structure or completely demolished by the time you’d want to offer it as an inheritance.
12. Your refinancing options
Unless you intend to pay for the unit in full, you will have to apply for a housing loan. Three of the most common housing loans in the Philippines are Pag-IBIG housing loans, bank financing, and in-house financing.
The Pag-IBIG housing loan program allows its members to pay for the unit via a series of installments. Banks have strict eligibility requirements, but provide lower interest rates and flexible loan options. In-house financing lets you get a loan directly from the developer. Consider your unique financial situation when choosing a lending source.
Considering these factors will help you become a smart condo buyer and avoid common pitfalls. The comforts of condo living will make the sometimes complex process all worth it. Go get your dream home!
Questions to ask your real estate agent
Real estate agents are individuals who assist you in finding the perfect home for you. This is why it’s important to communicate with them about your concerns so they can find the best unit to suit your situation. Asking them key questions that will not only clarify your concerns but also help them to offer the best properties is essential for your upcoming real estate investment.
With the recommendations made above on what to consider when you buy a condo in the Philippines, here is a checklist of questions that are important to ask your sales agent on how to buy your own condo.
1. Ask if you could see the Real Estate Agent’s license
First things first, you need to know if the sales agent is legitimate and qualified to assist you in finding the perfect home for you. While you can ask for a friend’s referral or even trust an agent you’re closely related to, it’s vital to make sure they’re appropriately licensed. Buying a condo is a lifetime commitment and you need to be with a professionally recognized agent.
2. Does the unit qualify and meet your financial situation?
Communicating your financial situation with your real estate agent may be the most important step, so they can find a unit that is within your budget. There are affordable condos that do not sacrifice the quality of life that may better suit your financial needs, so you can avoid the unfortunate event of losing your condo due to failure to pay monthly fees.
Your financial status is nothing to be ashamed of, so make sure to be transparent about it with your real estate agent.
3. Ask about the condominium’s owner-to-renter ratio
Your sales agent must be knowledgeable about the demographics of the condominium that they are trying to sell. Information about the current people in the building indicates if your agent really does care about their clients as this shows that they have done their research to help you choose the right unit for you.
For instance, if you’re an expat planning to own units in development in the Philippines, then you must ask your agent about the limitations of purchasing properties in the Philippines.
Additionally, this specific question allows you to learn if there are more owners and renters in the condominium where you are looking to buy a unit. Generally, the more owners in the building may indicate that the condominium is a pleasing environment for many people which is why they decided to stay in the building and not simply rent which avoids permanency.
Many owners in the building also indicate that the condo unit is a good investment because the value of the property is less likely to depreciate, as many people desire to live in the condominium of their choice.
4. Am I responsible for the repair and maintenance of the condo?
It’s inevitable that your condo unit’s appliances or utilities may need to be repaired or replaced after ownership is turned over to you. This is why it’s important to ask your sales agent how much of the repair and maintenance is covered by the property management or the resident.
5. What exactly am I getting when owning a unit?
While the answer to this question might be obvious, there might be amenities and perks that you are getting besides the unit you pay for. It’s important to ask your agent what the benefits and inclusions are after buying a condo from them.
Requirements to buying your own condo
Once you’ve chosen a condo to buy, it’s time to learn the requirements you need to prepare along with the steps to buying a condo in the Philippines.
Here are four things to remember when you are ready to begin your new life in your new home.
1. Read the condo’s buyer’s guide
Buying a condo with DMCI Homes is easy thanks to the accessible buyer’s guide detailing the step-by-step process. Below are the documents you need to prepare when applying for your new home:
- Signed Reservation Agreement and Reservation Fee Receipt Signed Client Registration Form
- Signed Computation Sheet
- Photocopy of either Tax Identification No. (TIN) or BIR Form 1904 Photocopy of any valid
- Government issued ID/s with signature.
- Notarized Special Power of Attorney (SPA), for local accounts and Consularized SPA for international accounts (if applicable)
- Deed of Undertaking for international accounts (if applicable) Proof of Billing Address (must be the latest billing statement)
Submit the documents to your Sales Agent so they can help you with processing the documents and requirements.
2. Opt to secure your condo online
Several other people are also looking to begin their new life independently, similar to you. While it is important to take your time when making life-changing decisions such as this, keep in mind that the condo you find perfect for you may be getting other offers and reserved by another buyer.
Luckily, there are more convenient ways to reserve a condo you are interested in by doing it online. DMCI Homes’ Online Condo Reservation Form allows you to reserve the condo unit you’re interested in buying without the fear of being taken by another person.
When reserving online, you may also be asked to submit the following requirements within three days after your application is submitted:
- Proof of Billing
- Proof of Account (BDO or BPI), if applicable
- Certificate of Marriage, if applicable
3. Read about the different condo pricing schemes
A stable job is a typical requirement for owning your own condo unit. If you want to learn about the average price of each unit, room types, and even location, this information is also available online. Simply go to DMCI Homes Pre-Selling Price List Comparison Sheet so you can see the diverse offerings that would best suit you.
This price list also allows you to strategically select the best offer that will suit your financial capability or situation. Condos require a big financial investment. Knowing the benefits to own a condo unit will ensure your long-term commitment.
4. Learn the homeowner’s manual before committing to a purchase
The previous requirements are documents and steps that you need to prepare and follow as you buy a condo. However, it’s important to remember that while condos offer that desired independence and freedom many people are looking for, there are rules, regulations, and homeowner’s requirements to follow once you move into your unit.
Review the DMCI Homes Homeowner’s Manual when preparing to move into your new condo. Condominiums are also a community where different people live so it’s everyone’s responsibility to make each other’s life affable and pleasing. This manual also informs about requirements and policies, such as owning pets, limitations when designing your room, noise restrictions, and guest restrictions .
We’ve covered the fundamental considerations to keep in mind as you search for the right condo. While it may seem daunting, choosing the right unit is easy once you know what to look out for when selecting the right unit for you. Working with an experienced real estate agent can also be a big help.
Some key takeaways from this article include the following:
- Condos are a great investment. They are modern and affordable homes that fit the rise and trend of urbanization. It offers flexibility for different types of living situations, such as those who want to live independently or those who want to start a family.
- Partner with a competent real estate agent when browsing units. Communicating and asking your real estate agent the right questions allows them to find the right unit for you.
- Prepare for condo unit ownership early. Buying a condo requires financial stability, a considerable budget, along with several documents to successfully close the deal. There are also in-house policies, such as the homeowner’s rules and regulations to consider and learn about before deciding on a unit.
Take the first step to buying a condo in the Philippines. Inquire about available condo units from DMCI Homes. Stay up-to-date on the newest properties and announcements at DMCI Homes’ Facebook Page and check out our Instagram.