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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Living in a Philippines condo

Having lived in a Philippines condo, there are several positive and negative comments I can make about the experience. On the positive side:
1. They are cheap – in Manila you will generally pay P50,000-100,000 per m2 (USD1200-2400/m2) for a condo, plus another P0.4-0.6mil for a car space, sold separately.
2. Self contained – You live in a bubble, and the walls are generally thick enough that you will hear little of the neighbours

The problem with condos is:
1. Pollution: They are generally located in polluted cities. The exception is regional cities like Tagaytay and Baguio.
2. Shopping: You might think you are well serviced by a nearby shopping centre, but I have come to view Filipino shopping centres as really boring places. They are so generic, always the same franchises. Boring!!!

Planning to acquire the condo you want is important. You might think that the developers have international consultants. Maybe so, buy often the designs are so tight the space is not functional, and you might need to buy special mini-furniture to live in the space. Most condos are designed for a non-educated market. Some suggestions to make:
1. Living space: Its not nice living in a box. If that’s all its for, just a few odd nights, then fine, a studio is all you need. But for living, you really need higher ceilings or a loft style, at least 40m2. Preferably you want an outside area, like a podium. Eg. Oriental Gardens in Makati has an appealing one. Of course you want natural light.
2. Air conditioning: Most apartments come with aircon, or provision for it. Make sure there is also aircon in the public spaces, otherwise those spaces will get hot, particularly if there are inner condos venting waste air into the corridors. Other condos have an atrium, but no inner condos is good too.
3. Car parking: I think you definitely want to own a carspace, if not immediately, buy it later because it will add value to the condo. Why? There are not so many cars in the Philippines. But there will be more in future, so expect demand for those fixed spaces to rise.
4. Elevators: Make sure there are enough elevators, and determine which levels they service. Some condo buildings have elevators servicing different levels, say 2 running B,1,2, 17-35 and 2 running B, 1, 2, 3-16. Try to buy a condo in the middle. You don’t get street noise and you can use all 4 levels in peak usage periods. Understand that Filipinos often stack extra family in these condos, whether to pay for them, or as a gratuity, but the result is greater pressure on the condos than they were designed for.
5. Security: Ensure you live in a condo with security. They should be at the door, and patrol all levels occasionally. If someone breaks in, there should be cameras, and the neighbours should know to call security.
6. Fit out: Note that most condos are sold off the plan. If there is a model display you will note that the developers use mirrors and small furniture to make the condo look more specious than it actually is. When you visit, consider whether your furniture will fit. Also its preferable to buy without fittings because rest assured the fittings they provide will be poor quality.

6 comments:

Healthylivingover40 said...

Great points! I'm currently looking into property investment --- one with an air conditioner. :) (http://www.profriends.com) Will keep watching your blog for more like this. Thanks! :)

jomie said...

There are so many nice condo here in Philippines. We also selling a condo, houses, land and properties. if you guys are interested you can visit our site. thanks!

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nehv_12 said...

Thanks for sharing your experience by putting it on your blog. I agree on you that we before we live in a condo the important factor are to plan it. I also appreciate your suggestion made and I think this is what we consider before buying condo.

Nehv | condominium makati

Ashnia Vicente said...

You are definitely right. First thing to do is to plan in where would be the suitable place for your families that could stay for a long time. It is good to stay that the place is near from your work and schools of your children.Anyway,thanks for sharing this blog to us.


Ashnia | dmci condo for sale

Carlos Miguel De Villa said...

I totally agree with your blog!But I beg disagree that living in a condo is like living in a box. It still depends on your budget. For great value condos, visit this: fortglobalcondo.com.

Sandara Parker said...

I agree with your post. Most of the condos are located in the cities where there are lots of noise and pollution. But there are some condos located in the cities but away from the noises and pollution- the Florence condo in Mckinley Hill, have a visit and evaluate it.

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