Home-buying trends have changed over the last decade, with vertical living growing increasingly popular among young adults.
In terms of investments, the Philippine Real Estate market is showing massive potential as it’s been ranked 4th in the City Investment Prospects for 2014 by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PwC. This survey, titled Emerging Trends in Real Estate Asia Pacific, has brought the industry to new heights, attracting people of all ages and professions to shift towards the condo living lifestyle.
It’s not hard to see the benefits of living in small condo units, and this is the reason why it appeals even to first time buyers, yuppies, and the majority of the younger workforce who are looking to relocate closer to their workplaces.
Living in tall buildings in the heart of the city is attractive to young, single men and women because they often want to be nearer to where the bustle is—leisure establishments, nightlife, sporting events, etc. And who could blame them? In this fast-paced era where work demands so much of our time and energy, the convenience of living in a condo is often the key to attaining work-life balance.
Now if you are part of this generation and have decided to transition into vertical living, here are a few pointers to aid you in jumping in to this new life:
Be honest with what you can afford.
Purchasing your first condo is a big commitment, and will generally affect your financial future. This is why you need to be very particular with the amount you are capable of spending on the property you want. It’s easy to get lured into buying a luxurious condo unit that is offered at a meager down payment, but you must be able to do the math on how you can hold up with monthly dues in the long run.
While on your own, be careful not to overextend. Assess approximately how much you can afford to pay throughout the course of your condo purchase—be it 3 years, 5 years, or 10 years from now. Take into consideration that your income might fluctuate, so be very realistic with your computations. Also, since you’re going to be living alone for a reasonable amount of time, purchase a property that is well within your needs even if you encounter a major blip in your financial profile, such as losing your job, going through business bankruptcy, etc.
Have a detailed set of goals.
Before embarking on a condo hunt, make sure to create a list of your priorities and deal-breakers. This way, you are focused on the things you really need, and won’t get distracted by fancy add-ons that would also add on to your expenses. Jot down important things such as your preferred floor area, the number of bedrooms you need, kitchen space, on-site amenities, etc. It’s like making a wish list that is tailored to your needs.
Do your homework.
After making a list of your condo priorities, you’re ready to look for options. Your condo search pool should include properties that are within your preferred neighborhood—near your workplace or school, safe, and with easy access to public transportation. Even if you do have a car, it is always practical to be near MRT stations, bus terminals, or taxi stops. Also scout for condos that are near basic needs stores, especially if you will be living alone. This is to make sure that you have quick access to basic needs should any emergency or calamity occur while you’re alone in your condo.
Be sure that you are ready for the nitty-gritties of living alone.
Living alone is indeed a liberating move for most young adults. But more than the financial obligations, you are now also given the inevitable task of looking out for yourself. Being the only person you can rely on to tend to your needs, it is very important to be aware of the responsibilities that will fall on you once you become your own landlord. Remember that a responsible condo dweller is capable of doing home maintenance, has discipline in interior upkeep, and this includes all the dirty work.
Look out for your safety and security. Remember that being a single homeowner doesn’t allow for someone to be home majority of the time. So you will need to consider safety and security issues. You want to be able to lock the door on your way out, and not have to think twice about it. So make sure you are in a low-crime neighborhood and the house or condo feels safe and secure.
Always look well into the future.
Purchasing a new home for yourself is a truly rewarding long term investment. However, being a young adult working in the city, it is not uncommon for you to go through sudden lifestyle changes due to relocation opportunities and other unexpected circumstances. Therefore, it’s important to always take into consideration the resale value of prospective properties during your condo hunt. Be aware of properties that have considerably high general appeal and would be easy to resell should the need arises.
Hire a Broker/Realtor.
Of course, this one is optional. However, in most cases, it’s a lot better if you have an experienced professional to guide you during the course of looking for, and eventually purchasing a property. These people can easily provide you with a list of options depending on your standards, and help you make wise investment decisions.
Purchasing a new home for yourself is a pretty exciting phase of adulthood, and you should be proud of yourself for having the courage to make this decision. It’s also a little scary, since most young people have little to no experience with investing in real estate – but with thorough planning, research, and consultation, purchasing the ideal condo shouldn’t cause you any panic and regret.