10 Tips for Buying a Condo - M

So you have decided to get your own condo! GREAT! Condo is the acronym for condominium. A condominium refers to the type of ownership where you own the unit itself and have a share in the ownership in the common areas. Note that typically when people say condo they usually mean residential but in fact condo can also refer to an office building or even a mixed use building. For purposes of this article, I refer to the residential type of condo.

Here are Great tips or things to consider when looking for a condo! Note I purposely didn't include payment options and budget here since it will be for another article.

  1. Location and accessibility to things - I don't like driving much and want to save time getting things on a regular basis so I need my supermarket, hospital, shopping center, movies, access to public transport, family nearby. Well at most 1 ride away is good. Depending on your priorities like you need to be close to work or so some of these considerations may not be taken into consideration =)

  2. Facing direction - the afternoon sun, windows facing west, is hot. So unless you like watching the sunset and don't mind the heat facing west is ok =) If you want a unit that's cool all day get one that's facing north or south. Or if you want the morning sun at least, get a unit facing East.

  3. Floor - depending on where you are with your life you may choose a floor that is suitable for you. Higher floors for those who care about a great view, away from the hustle and bustle and noise from the streets. Lower floors for easy access to amenities unless they are at the higher floors, quick access to exit the building. Usually the price of the unit increases the higher you go. Parking wise, good to get parking near elevators, exits. Pricing for parking increases the more you get to ground level be it basement parking or podium parking

  4. Density and who lives in the area - Good to consider how many units per floor there are and the type of community the project is attracting cause those are the people you will bump into daily. Too many people and few elevators, then it's a long wait. Too many people also could lead to security risks.
  5. Security - as mentioned earlier density of the number of units/people. In addition, good to note if the condo has access keys for elevators, floors, units, amenities.

  6. Weather and impact on the surrounding area - so some areas can flood, others no flood, interview the people selling you property or better yet the street vendor, jeepney driver or establishments nearby.

  7. Feng shui - if you are into this and hard core so be it. Although there are remedies, typically hard core clients don't like weird cuts of units e.g. non-square cut, tumbok, particular facing direction and much more.

  8. Amenities / inclusions - so what are the extras that come with the unit? ask if any furnishings / fixtures are included and the condition it is turned over. In addition the exciting part are the amenities be it a swimming pool, a gym, a spa, a jogging track, meeting rooms, theaters and the list can go on and on.

  9. Total cost of ownership - it's good to be aware after buying the property you will be responsible to pay your real property tax (RPT) on a periodic basis, monthly dues usually charged per sqm to the condominium corporation which covers the insurance, RPT and use and maintenance and upkeep of the common area in the condominium. Utilities for water and electricity are billed monthly as well as any other additional utilities that you will get like cable TV and/or internet.

  10. Developer - Each developer is pretty much known for something. You may ask your broker feedback about the developers you are considering. Also ask your friends or people who have purchased already from the developer. They are most likely not going to give you a sales pitch. Agents working for the developer will definitely give you a sales pitch =)

Above is by all means not an all inclusive list. Will share more in another article.