Although an exciting decision, learning how to buy a condo in the Philippines can be pretty daunting, especially when it’s your first time. Let this list be your guide.
There are simply too many considerations in buying a condo, from legal paperwork to financial matters down to unit inspections, not to mention the anxiety of making a costly mistake along the way. By being deeply familiar with the process though, you can overcome the jitters and come out of it confident and without regrets.
Hearing from condo owners who have meaningful experiences in their condo-buying journey can also extensively help you! Whether you’re a young or seasoned professional exploring the property market, these real-life stories will enlighten you on things to consider when buying a condo in the Philippines.
If you’re planning to buy a DMCI Homes condo, follow these steps straight from condo owners for a worry-free, smooth-sailing purchase experience:
1. Determine your condo buying budget
Since homebuying is primarily a financial transaction, the first step you need to take is to find out how much of a home you can afford. This tip is especially important for new couples and young professionals who are still trying to establish financial stability.
It is also important to consider the state of inflation being experienced by the entire country. As of September 2022, this has already been at 6.9%, previously 6.1% in June, and just 3.7% in July of 2021. Given these numbers, we could be having the worst financial setback the country has experienced in four years. This makes investing in real estate – one of the industries that remain stable despite financial risks – even more valuable.
This has been easily realized by Maila Rose Tacdoro, a Quality Assurance lead at a software solutions company who invested in DMCI Homes’ The Oriana pre-selling condominium along Aurora Boulevard, Quezon City.
Proud and certain of her decision, she recalled, “During the pandemic, I have seen the advantage of investing my money in real estate as I know that the market value of the real estate is increasing as time goes by.”
Like Maila, you can also be an owner of a premier condominium in Manila, but be sure to consider your finances just like she did.
The basic rule in buying a condo in the Philippines is that your monthly loan payments must not exceed 25% of your post-tax income. Otherwise, you’ll be short on paying for other important expenses, such as food, transportation, medical emergencies, and more. Once you determine your condominium buying budget, you can then check out sample computations of monthly loan payments of different
The next big expense you should prepare for when buying a condo in DMCI Homes is the downpayment. Usually, this is 10 to 15% of the total contract price. This means if you’re eyeing a P3M condo, you must save at least P300K for the down payment. The good thing about DMCI Homes projects though is that you can stretch out the payments for a number of months, making it less overwhelming. The payment period can last from 24 to 56 months.
2. Decide on the location
After sorting out your finances and knowing the price range of condos you can afford, you can now move to find the home that matches your budget as the next step in buying a condo in the Philippines.
Start with the location since this factor influences the prices of real estate that Philippines-based developers offer. You would also want to consider the condo unit’s proximity to places and roads that you frequently visit.
Generally speaking, condos located within central business districts (CBDs) are more expensive than those in the fringes. In provincial areas, those in tourist destinations are costlier than in less busy areas. But more than the price, consider your lifestyle as you choose a location.
If your daily routine involves reporting to the office, then it’s best to have a condo near your workplace, perhaps within the CBDs. Meanwhile, a home in a tourist destination may work if you have remote work set up. Fortunately, you can find plenty of condo choices in DMCI Homes developments. Know your options by using our online search tool and keying in your desired location.
For example, Maila has decided to invest in The Oriana because of its advantage of being near major transit stations – LRT-2 (Anonas Station), MRT-3 (Cubao Station), Araneta Center Bus Terminal.
The Oriana is also near the Anonas Station of the proposed Metro Manila Subway Project. This condo is projected to have 17 stations from Quezon City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City. This 33-kilometer development gained the title as “Project of the Century” from the Department of Transportation.
Strategic location is one of the main things to consider when buying a condo in the Philippines for Maila. “Upon consultation with my property advisor, the perks of the upcoming Metro Manila subway were discussed. That’s why I considered buying a unit in The Oriana,” she shares.
3. Discover different condo types
You’ll be able to maximize your budget and find the best-suited home when you explore different types of condominiums in Manila. Choose among these popular types:
- By property availability. You can choose between ready-for-occupancy and pre-selling condos. The former, as the name suggests, is already a built home. It’s often more expensive than the latter, as the price has already increased from the time it was built. Meanwhile, pre-selling condos aren’t built yet, and therefore, carry low introductory prices.
- By development design. You can choose between mid-rise and high-rise. The former has a much warmer community feel than the latter. If you prefer this, you can opt for DMCI Homes’ Calathea Place in Parañaque, Rhapsody Residences in Muntinlupa, or Levina Place in Pasig, among other options. But if you want the luxurious vertical lifestyle, the high-rise DMCI Homes condo The Crestmont in Quezon City may be the better choice.
- By interior layout. You can choose between a studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and loft. Decide based on your need for space. For single professionals, the studio and one-bedroom units are enough. If you’re moving in with your family (or planning to start one), choose the two-bedroom or one-bedroom condo DMCI Homes sells.
- By amenities. There are amenities that are common to almost all condominium developments, like elevators and parking spaces. But, there are also world-class amenities that set others apart from the rest. You would want to know what facilities you are looking for in a condo and not settle for less.
Discover how to buy a condo in the Philippines by starting your property search online. Try this to help you save money and time.
Save in your internet browser the DMCI Homes projects that interest you, and then narrow down your options. With this process, you won’t be overwhelmed by having to visit too many properties.
A testament to how important it is to choose the condo unit type that fits your preferences are Kenneth and Princess Olesco. This couple got married in May 2020 and moved to Infina Towers in Quezon City in October of the same year.
One of the main condo qualities that attracted this couple to the Infina Towers is its Lumiventt® Technology. This advanced feature makes their condo unit the type that makes them feel comfortable and at ease.
Kenneth feels content as he explains, “Nakapaganda palang feature kasi napakalamig sa loob ng unit. Pag lumabas ka ng pinto, nakapahangin niya. Di tulad sa iba na napuntahan namin na paglabas mo, pinto agad. Napakainit sa loob.”
To add, they are also fond of the co-working space. This was one of their considerations, especially since the work-from-home set up was inevitable during the pandemic.
“Kung work-from-home ka, very relaxing and professional the environment,” Kenneth adds.
4. Deal with a real estate professional
The process of choosing among condo types can be less overwhelming when you partner with a real estate broker. They’re experts in the local market and therefore could recommend the best locations for your next home. That said, before you go to unit viewings and see the actually affordable condominiums in Manila, talk to a professional first.
Candelaria Herrera, a former Overseas Filipino Worker in the United Arab Emirates is a testament to how important it is. Spending most of her time outside the Philippines, it was important to have someone she can trust when it comes to real estate investing.
Thankfully, she was able to find one, and it made a lot of difference. “He didn’t give us a hard time, and he’s very proactive”, she recalls.
If you want to also find the right real estate professional, do make sure that they are licensed. Beware of real estate scammers who claim they are affiliated with a certain developer when in truth, they are not. Do a background check on the individuals you’re planning to work with. Look them up online. Talk to previous clients, if possible. You may also confirm with DMCI Homes management about partner brokers.
5. Dedicate a schedule for a property tour.
Since you already have a property list and a professional broker with you, it’s time to schedule a condo viewing or an open house, or a property tour. Your search shouldn’t be limited to online. You should make sure that the unit you’re eyeing is real and purchase-worthy.
Mr. Tsubasa Shiina, a Japanese investor can’t stress enough how important it is to consider the potential of the unit, its price point, design, and overall quality when buying a condo in the Philippines.
According to him, the attractiveness of a property to investors can be measured through the developers and its development projects, strategic location and neighboring establishments, top security measures, and world-class amenities.
It is also important to see that the properties are well-maintained even after years of use. This is a testament to the quality of the development – something that you can only see through condo viewing.
For Tsubasa, “DMCI Homes properties’ price point is always excellent compared to others. The building structure is also very different and unique from other developers. Sunlight and wind can easily enter the building that helps reduce costs.”
As you inspect different DMCI Homes condos, take note of two things:
- Imagine yourself living there. Can the size of the unit accommodate your lifestyle? Will you enjoy work-from-home in this space? Are you excited to move in and host gatherings for friends here? If you decide to move into this condo, would you love the cityscape views you wake up to? If you can imagine yourself living comfortably and happily in a DMCI Homes condo, that‘s a strong indication that it can be “the one.”
- Jot down improvements you would want to make. Do you need to get the walls repainted? Knock down some walls? Remodel the kitchen? See if you have the budget and the time to make these improvements. If not, it may be worth skipping to the next DMCI Homes project that has the features you’re looking for.
6. Drop by the amenities.
Step outside the actual DMCI Homes condo unit and go on a tour around your future neighborhood. Visit the leisure spaces and see if they can accommodate your lifestyle. For instance, if you’re a fitness enthusiast, a gym within the community is the main thing to consider when buying a condo in the Philippines.
If you’re the type who likes to unwind and de-stress outdoors after work, make sure that the community you’re planning to live in has green spaces or swimming pools. If you’re moving in with kids, a basic amenity to look for is the playground.
In DMCI Homes projects, you can expect lots of recreational amenities that elevate the modern lifestyle. Most of them, in fact, are resort-inspired facilities, which would allow you to experience a vacation atmosphere all throughout your residence.
Former UAE OFW Candelaria sought the help of a real estate professional, but this was not the only thing she did. After settling on which condo to check online, they checked the whole property. They invested in Satori Residences and haven’t looked back since.
Candelaria says, “Siyempre I want to see the view outside, I want to relax. Kung may chance na lalagyan ng table, maliit na chair, puwede, just to see what’s outside, kahit na nasa bahay ka.”
Caress Wong, Candelaria’s daughter, shares her mother’s thoughts. She was almost in disbelief with DMCI Homes condominiums’ amenities.
“’Yong structure mismo, its open. You wouldn’t find that in other condominiums. ’Yong pagpasok mo, ’yong hallways its open, di ba? It’s open air, alam mong may hanging pumapasok. Typically, sa ibang condo, closed, parang nasa loob ka, parang hotel. This one, when you get out of your main door, parang may balcony ka rin,” Caress adds.
Other than wide hallways, other amenities of DMCI Homes condo units are the swimming pools, fitness gym, entertainment room, lounge area, play area, landscaped gardens, sky lounge, sky deck pool, sky promenade, and more.
7. Discuss the reservation process with your agent
After the property viewing, the next step in buying a condo in the Philippines is deciding which is the best for your budget and lifestyle. Once you’ve chosen a particular home, talk to your agent about how you can start the reservation process. Here in DMCI Homes, we deliberately made it easy to follow. Here are the steps:
- Fill out the client registration form and the reservation agreement form.
- Pay the condo reservation fee, which typically amounts to P20K. An additional fee of P10K will be required for parking.
- Submit the following requirements within 7 days from reservation:
- Valid IDs with signature
- Signed computation sheet
- Proof of billing
- Photocopy of Tax Identification Number (TIN) or BIR Form 1904
- Notarized Special Power of Attorney (SPA), for local accounts and Consularized SPA for international accounts
- Deed of Undertaking for international accounts (if applicable)
- Birth Certificate for Minors / Marriage Contract for Newlyweds without Updated IDs
The real estate agent may ask you for more documents, which should be submitted within 30 days. Otherwise, your reservation fee for the DMCI condo you chose will be forfeited.
8. Do due diligence.
Your real estate broker will forward the documents to the Documents and Inventory Control Department of DMCI Homes. Once they verify all the information you provided, they will issue the Notice of Approval. After one to two working days, they will then prepare the Contract to Sell (CTS).
Read the fine print before signing anything. Then, once everything’s in order, sign the CTS and submit it to your broker. You should be able to prepare the post-dated checks as well, which should cover the entire downpayment period. The notarized CTS will be arranged 30 days from the date of closing with complete documents. Refer to this buyer’s guide to know more about the financing payment terms.
Knowing flexible payment options is crucial to choosing which setup will be best for you. For Renz and Irene Yamyamin, their starting family best benefits from DMCI Homes’ HomeReady™ program.
DMCI Homes’ HomeReady™ allows tenants to purchase the units they are leasing after two years. This can be enjoyed by those renting DMCI Homes condominiums in Manila, Baguio, and Davao City.
What makes this promo a steal is that a significant portion of the tenants’ total lease payments will already be credited as a down payment, should they wish to purchase the condo unit.
Renz was quick to explain why this was perfect for their starting family. He says, “We felt that the rent-to-own program is good for us, especially for a family (like us) that’s just starting. This program is very beneficial for us because we are not just renting the unit, it’s also going to be part of your equity in the long run. This is better compared to just renting the property that is not going to be yours in the end.”
Learning how to buy a condo in the Philippines is one of the best decisions you’ll make as you build your career or start a family. This has been long proven by testimonials from different homeowners.
But all the same, we recognize that the process can be a little overwhelming for first-time buyers like you. To wrap up all the steps mentioned above, here are some takeaways to remember:
- Start your search online. With a few taps and clicks on your digital device, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what the ideal location, condo type, and neighborhood feel is for you. You’ll be able to narrow down options and dedicate your energy and time to open houses on units that really interest you.
- Sort out the finances and paperwork. Buying a home is a financial-legal matter. From the very start, you should be able to set a budget. Otherwise, you may end up stretching your finances and your home becomes a burden in the long run. Along the homebuying journey, whenever there are documents to sign, make sure that you understand everything clearly. Talk to your broker if you have questions.
- Share the journey with a professional. You don’t have to do this alone. Let professionals help you in searching for the right DMCI Homes condo and sorting out finances and paperwork.
Have you decided to dive into the homebuying journey yet? If you’re ready, go explore the different DMCI Homes projects available here and get in touch with us for a tour.