What You Need To Consider Before Buying A Condo
The perception of owning a condominium is only for the rich is not the norm nowadays. It is actually a practical investment anyone can own. Especially those condominiums are sprouting all over the country like mushrooms. People see the practicality in owning a unit where it is convenient, affordable, less maintenance cost and enjoy better amenities. With this, more and more people—both foreigners and locals opt to live in condominiums. The Philippines is metamorphosing to be one of the best in Asia where real estate is the fastest growing business. Property prices in the country are also one of the lowest in Asia and property value continues to rise, therefore ROI (Return of Investment) is very lucrative. In the Philippines, there is such a law that allows foreigners to own a condominium. You may refer to “The Philippine Condominium Act or RA No. 4726”. Wherein the law allows people the right to co-own a piece of property or land aside from the absolute ownership of his/her unit. The law also serves to protect buyers to ensure that they are not being misled by property owners and property developers. One of the provisions of the law allows foreigners to purchase condominium units in the Philippines, given that they do not own the land. Let us help you by giving tips you should consider when buying a condominium.
- Restrictions. Scrutinize the rules and regulations of the developer you are considering. Some may allow pets considering the size and number of pets you have. Also, consider the unit occupancy rules, as well as visiting rules – time and days wherein visitors, are allowed. Are the visitors also allowed to use the facilities you have, if not, what are the restrictions and fees.
- Insurance Policy. Study the condo warranty. What it covers and how much it covers. It is important to understand what the insurance covers to make sure you are protected. It is advisable to have an insurance which includes unit content and unit improvements.
- Funds. For RFO units — Check on the reserve fund of the association if it is enough to cover ongoing and emergency expenses. You would want to mind this as this will also determine an increase in the fees you need to pay.
- Ask. If there are clauses in the contract not clear to you, seek advice from a lawyer to explain the terms and statements stated. You may also ask your realtor or real estate agent. It is better to be clear and sure before purchasing or signing any document. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be bound with contracts wherein you don’t agree or understand its contents.
- Credibility. Do your research on the developer of the condo you are purchasing. Do your research and make sure there are no pending lawsuits against the condo and its developer. Check their track record when it comes to turnover and the number of finished projects. Also, inspect other projects the developer completed and the quality of buildings and projects they have delivered.
- Rental. As a condominium owner, you have the choice to make it your home or make a profit from it. Before you can even decide on what to do, make sure to study the condo rental policy. Remember, if a condo has a high renter rate vs primary residence of homeowners, there may be adverse effects on the property. It can affect the unit and amenities maintenance. Not only that, you might also get reluctance from lenders if there is a high renter rate.
- Parking. This is very important for vehicle owners. You can opt to purchase parking from the condominium developer of your choice, or rent a parking within the building if there is any or within the vicinity. Renting may be a little cheaper but the convenience of parking where you live is replaced by a long walk if you choose to park outside the building where you live. But I guess that it’s ok if you consider this as a part of your daily exercise. If you decide to purchase a parking space, know the rules and regulations and do the math on the price you will have to shell out. Look-see on the parking for visitors so you can inform those who will attend your future parties. Remember, if you purchase a parking space, price differs from levels and location you choose. Better choose wisely.
- Maintenance & Repairs. Verify the rules and regulations on who fixes who, and in what instances. There may be gray areas in the contract about this so better clarify. Ask what areas is the condo property management covering and what areas and instances are the unit owner responsible for damages or repairs. This should be clear to you and in the contract. The balcony and the window may be attached to your unit but do you really own it?! So, you better ask who covers the windows, the door, and balconies, etc.
- Value. Learn about property price in different locations. Prices may vary per location; if it is near the business district or in a developing or developed area expect the price to skyrocket as well as its value. Also, consider the cost of living as this varies from the city you choose to live in.
- Scheme. Know and understand the payment scheme. Developers offer different ways and promos to pay your chosen unit. Make sure you watch your income with the scheme the developer is offering. Will you have enough to cover everything? If it would help, ask your broker to break down your installment scheme and give you a list of the amounts you will be paying monthly.
- Other Fees and Dues. Other fees Hidden cost? Is there really an amount, developers are not disclosing upfront? Upon deciding to purchase, you will find the total contract price to be the value of the unit you are purchasing. The buyer also normally shoulders paying taxes and registering the title under his/her name. This is around 4% to 5% of the total purchase price. Association dues are also paid on a monthly basis to cover building upkeep and maintenance. Sometimes there is a joining fee (only paid once) aside from the monthly fee you have to pay. Aside from those mentioned, Insurance and real property tax are also paid on a yearly basis. You need to probe with your realtor regarding the amount (different cities charge differently).
- Location. It is the key to your new home. There are a couple types of locations you have to consider. The location of the condo and the location of your unit. The location of your condo will identify the value of your purchased home. Those located near the business district has a higher value compared to those located along main streets or those within developing communities. This location will also help you identify the type of traffic you have to go thru on a daily basis. Traffic varies during weekdays, weekends, holidays and rush hour. Remember, The Philippines is still on the stage of fixing traffic issues. Traffic nowadays is really horrible. Being in a tropical country, there are 2 seasons you should look out for. The wet (rainy) and dry (summer) season. With this, you need to identify the commonly flooded areas and routes you should take during this season. You need to do your research and ask around if the area you chose is flood free or will you be passing by flooded streets on your commute to and from work. Find the best places to pass by during rush hour and when there is a flood. Know your route and alternatives. Did you also know that for some developers, prices are also cheaper for units located near the elevator or garbage chute. You know why because you will have to deal with the noise coming from the chute and or from the elevator. If you are the type of sleeper who wants total silence, you need to opt for higher floors where the noise from the street has not heard any noise from the amenity deck will not bother you.