Thinking of investing in property? A condominium is a great option, especially when you’re starting out on your own. Here are a few things you need to think about before taking the plunge:
1. The right place
Considering the horrible traffic we've been dealing with, it’s important that you find a flat in a location near your place of work, but remember that it’s also more than just accessibility: If you’re investing on something this huge, better get the best that your money can buy. Check what your preferred condo can offer you in terms of aesthetics and amenities. Take note of the amount of space you’ll be needing as well. A quick unit walk-through with your developer’s agent can help you with this.
Pro-Tip: Choose a developer that has the sincere intention of helping you create your new home. Observe how they deal with you as well as with others – even those who choose not to get a property with them. This will reflect the concern they have for people, and this culture will trickle down to how your future building administrators will treat you in case you need their assistance.
2. Your financial state
Monthly rates may seem cheap on ads, but you may want to buffer up financially if you are planning to get your own condo, because there will more to pay for than what's advertised.
The first thing you need to do is to see if you can actually afford paying for a condo. You don’t have to do everything on your own, though: You can approach banks and financial institutions and apply for a home loan. Pick one that can offer you the best deal within a reasonable time frame.
Aside from your initial purchase, you’ll also have to manage your monthly dues, which include parking (if applicable), association and membership fees, realty tax, and the like. These are paid over and above your utilities, which include your electricity, water, and phone, Internet, and cable connections. Make sure that you have a stable cash flow that will ensure timely payments, as some condos charge late penalties.
3. Your safety
You’ve probably heard horror stories about criminals managing to break in condo units despite the building having a security personnel. Although a lot of condominiums have good security measures, it wouldn’t hurt to put up a few of your own. Installing surveillance cameras that can be monitored remotely are a good option, especially if you leave your unit empty for long periods. Video intercoms can let you know who exactly is on the other side of the door, while door and window alarms can silently go off and inform the nearest police department about a break-in.
TRY: PLDT Home introduces Smart Home, which provides not only a well-rounded entertainment set-up, but also a practical home security system. Feel safe and secure with the home monitoring system Fam Cam, the kid-friendly gadget Smart Watch, and the cyber safety solution Family Zone. All these can be used with the Telpad powered by PLDT Home Fibr.
4. Your rights and priviledges
The Philippines has RA 4726, or what is known as “The Condominium Act.” It keeps safe both the rights of the condominium owner as well as the unit owner (you). As a unit owner, you become a co-owner of the building, and as such you have the right to renovate your space as you deem fit, provided that you inform the building management of the changes you plan to make. According to the law, you are granted ownership of “interior surfaces of the perimeter walls floors, ceilings, windows and doors thereof,” as well as a part of the condominium’s common areas. You also have the right to mortgage or sell your unit.
For more information, you can read the entirety of the republic act here. You can check out this video from the WomenCan talks about questions to ask before investing in your own space.