11 Tips in buying a Condominium Unit
Here are 11 Tips in buying a Condominium Unit
1. consider the location of the project.
Analyze your lifestyle as well as your family members. How far is the travel everyday to work or school? How convenient are shopping, leisure, and religious activities from your dwelling place? Also, find out if the project is next to a gasoline station, crowded market, squatters area or worse, a cemetery because people avoid to be too close to these places for their own reasons.
Condominiums are alternatives to the problems of scarcity of houses and lots in most cities. You have a choice of a mid-rise condominium or a high-rise depending on your taste.
- Choose a goodlocation of your unit in the building.
Aside from considering the location of the project, you also have to consider the exact location of your unit. There are those who have height phobia and so mid-rise would be suitable for them while there are those who marvel on the views from the balcony and so they prefer the high rise type. If you prefer to be on the lower level, check how the some buildings or structures affect your comfort in living. Noise from the outside, closeness to rusted rooftops of the surrounding houses, problems affecting security, If you prefer to be on the higher level on a high-rise tower, check the views. Will you get city view? Sea view? Mountain views? This may be difficult to find out if you are buying a pre-selling condominium project where the building is yet to be built. Even if the building is under construction, oftentimes, it’s restricted to go up for safety reasons leaving it to your imagination as to how the view would be like. This is where your realtor or agent can be of help to envision what the view would be like
- Check the Density of the condo project
The density or number of occupants/units per floor play an important role in buying a condo unit. In Cebu for example, there are high end condo units that offer low density as convenient as 6 units per floor while there are those that are designed 20 or more units per floor. The model units may look great, and the condo project may be so modernly majestic and world-class, but when you get stock into long waiting time for the elevator, it can be disgusting and certainly can spoil what could have been a comfortable living. Chek the floor plan closely to find out the project’s density.
- Check the Masterplan especially the Deed of Restrictions
|Find out if the project has good masterplan A good masterplan shall envision several factors like zoning of the area which means there are specific areas that are designated for commercial, office and residential use, strict implementation of the Floor Area Ratios, security and traffic management, designation of areas for open spaces, parks and landscaping, and basic facilities such as telecommunication facilities, drainage systems, reliable water supply. Very important is the 24-hour back up generator 100% capacity in case of brown-outs. There are projects who have limited generators during brown-out that the air-con in every unit may not be turned on but only the lights and electric fans. It must be 100% capacity. Check how many elevators and how big are they? Will they fit the furniture that you need to put up to your unit? How wide are the hallways where your furniture could pass thru? Check also the availability of exits and stairs as alternative route in case of emergency. They must be provided for safety in case of emergency. What about the availability of parking areas? Will they be enough for the anticipated number of occupants who would need them? Ask, How will the amenities, facilities and surrounding area look like several years from now? This will only be answered through a good masterplan.||Some deed of restrictions do not allow pets inside the units. Check on this and if so, would you agree?|
- Check the materials used to furnish or build each unit:
Model units could be so well designed to entice prospect buyers. There are upgrades and furnishings like mirrors, cabinets and other add ons that are not included in the delivery. It is a must to check what are to be delivered and what are not. Watch out even minor details like door knobs, tiles in the bathroom, kitchen and floorings, the kitchen cabinets as this will red flag that the developer may be using sub standard materials in other parts of the entire project. Do not be enticed by a very low price offer. You would even doubt as to why they can offer that low? Something must have been compromised along the way that may not be obvious to buyers.
Check the Turn over date
Find out if the turn-over date is within your time table for moving in. It is common that pre-selling condominium units (sold while not yet built) are priced much cheaper than ready for occupancy units. It is simply because the buyer is treated as a partner investor of the project and that the initial down payment and monthly installments could certainly help finance the entire project. Ask yourself “how long can I wait?” and how low the price compared with ready to move-in units? Will the over-all features and advantages of the condo worth your wait?
By experience, many buyers are enticed by developers on low down payments and low monthly installments in exchange of a much longer turn over date, so it’s best that you know the turnover date before making a reservation.
8) Type of Condominium Unit
Condominiums are classified generally in its unit types: the flat unit or loft units. Flat units are the typical condo unit wherein all bedrooms, the living room, dining room, toilet and baths are all located in one level. Loft units are those condos which has a staircase leading to the second level where the bedrooms and the toilet & bath are located. The flat units may have lesser cost of electricity as it only has to cool one level as compared to loft units, but the loft units will also provide better privacy as visitors can be entertained at the living area while the bedrooms are privately upstairs. The choice will really depend on the taste of every condo buyer but the most important factor is the cost. Most units with loft are far more costly than the the flat units (one level).
|9) Property Management
Property management is very important in owning a condo unit. Make sure that the developer is committed to the appreciation of property values of the condo through good property management. Good property management will be reflected through efficient maintenance and security of the common areas (like the lobby, hallways), efficient garbage collection, and proper maintenance of the amenities like the swimming pool, gym, function rooms, etc.
It is also very important to know the estimated condominium dues. In general, condos with more open spaces and more amenities have higher condominium dues due to the cost of maintaining all these amenities and facilities but of course it’s also value for money due to the comfort, pleasure and prestige which these facilities could bring. The condo dues is usually computed by a fixed amount times the size of your unit per square meter.
|10) Find out other costs to be incurred in the purchase of the unit.
When you buy a condominium unit, there are other costs to be considered as follows:
a) The estimated condominium dues to be paid. These dues are charged when the unit has been turned over to the buyer.
b) Value Added Tax (VAT) – Double check if the price that is being quoted to you includes the 12% VAT or to be added separately to the price quoted.
c) The closing cost — The closing cost usually covers the registration fees, transfer taxes, documentary stamps tax. Some developers require you to pay this 30 days after reservation while others require payment on the turnover date. Mostly however, require you to pay this by installment together with the monthly amortizations of your unit.