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7 Useful Tips when Buying a Condo Unit


Here’s a list of things you should consider before buying your first condo unit. For most condominium unit buyers, price is definitely a major issue, but trust us when we say it should NOT be the only issue!

We’ve lived in several condos before — in Makati, Ortigas, Quezon City, and at The Fort BGC — and based on our experience, here are several factors you must consider before purchasing a condo unit.

Feel free to add your inputs to the list!

Seven (7) Things to Consider when Buying a Condo Unit

Tips when buying condo in the Philippines

1. Location, location, location

When buying real estate, condo units included, a major factor a potential buyer should consider is location, location, location. The location of the condo greatly affects, one, the potential of price appreciation and, two, access to conveniences.

The Makati area, for instance, being the business center of the Philippines, has always proven to be a good investment area. At The Fort BGC, meanwhile, prices of real estate have skyrocketed in the last few years.

Here’s an actual example. A friend paid P2.5 million for a condo located at McKinley Street inside The Fort BGC back in 2007. Just one year later, the going rate for the same unit is P3.5 million — a huge 40% price appreciation. Now, in 2017, similar units are being sold for P5 million. That’s a whopping 100% price increase!

The location also determines accessibility to needed comforts and conveniences. If you value convenience, get a condo unit that has easy access to restaurants, schools, banks, or hospitals.

Our previous condo in Buendia, Makati is strategically located with access to two restaurants, three fastfood chains, and four convenience stores. “Access” here means ability to go to those places by foot in under 10 minutes from the unit. Most of these establishments are open 24/7 which meant I had no problem if I needed to grab a bite at 2 a.m. The downside, however, is the traffic and noise because, during the day, the area is busy with cars and people.

Our new place at Bonifacio Global City (BGC), however, is quiet but away from all the conveniences. The nearest McDonald’s outlet is six blocks away and if I need to buy groceries, I’ll have to go to Market! Market! or SM Aura which is a 5-10-minute drive. But the good thing is, we’re far away from the annoying sounds of passing vehicles and the chaos of traffic.

2. Track Record and Reputation of the Developer

Tips when buying condominium in the PhilippinesFor condos that are still in pre-selling stage, the reputation of the developer matters a lot because it ultimately determines whether the condo will actually be completed. There have been cases of condo projects in the past that halted construction because the developer ran out of money. In such a case, it might be difficult to get your money back.

For condos that are already ready for occupancy (RFO), the reputation of the developer can tell you if they are committed to work with the condominium homeowners’ association to help manage the condo. Condo management means adoption of effective security measures, strict implementation of condo rules, and proper maintenance of the building.

This is not an endorsement but Ayala Land, Robinsons Land, Megaworld, Federal Land, Century Properties and DMCI, among others, have proven themselves to be reliable real estate developers in the Philippines based on their ability to turn over condo projects to homeowners within predetermined dates.

3. Parking

If you think condo units are expensive, wait till you hear how much parking spaces cost.

In our Makati condo, a 9-square-meter of parking slot costs P400,000 to P500,000. Yup, around half a million pesos for a tight parking space. In BGC, some parking slots sell for P600,000 to P1.5 million each. 

If you can afford it and if you really need to have one, get it. It could appreciate in value or provide additional income in the future if you lease it out, assuming you will no longer use it. But if you think the price is too much, renting a parking slot may be the next best thing. Rental rates for a parking slot normally range between P3,000 and P10,000 per month.

Inquire with your condo’s property office how to rent one or ask other condo residents if they are renting out their unused parking slot.

4. Noise

In a condo, you share everything with the residents — elevators, swimming pool, playground, garden, etc. That includes the noise as well.

When our new neighbors upstairs moved in, I could hear their footsteps almost everyday during the first week. One time I opened the windows, I was greeted by the screaming blast of karaoke from the residents below us. One Sunday morning, I was woken by the sound of the drilling machine in the unit next door.

The good thing is you can call the guards on duty to complain about these concerns but, honestly, it gets tiring if you’ll have to do it every time. If they will stubbornly continue despite repeated complaints, you’ll either have to live with the noise or file an official complaint against the unit owners with the homeowners association or the building administrator.

It only goes to show that living in a condo does not necessarily mean you can get away from the noise and bustle of the city.

5. Amenities and Population Density

A condo may be expensive because of the amenities it offers. Normal amenities include swimming pool, gym, children’s playground, function room, and the like. Assess whether the price you are paying corresponds to the value of the amenities available to you.

Tips when buying condominium in the Philippines

Be concerned about the population density of the condo. “Population density” refers to the number of people per available unit area. In a condo, this translates to the number of residents sharing amenities.

Of course, the more residents a condo has, the less space is available to you. For example, the swimming pool at our BGC condo can comfortably accommodate only eight people. Put some more and the pool will start to look like a can of sardines.

It also has four elevators and normally I wait 1-2 minutes before I can get on one. Two of the elevators broke down one day, and I had to wait more than 10 minutes because the working elevators stopped at every floor. 

Our gym only has two treadmills, so if I want to use one but both are not available, I’ll have to wait a few minutes until the other residents are done or choose to use other gym equipment instead.

In short, the more people living in a condo, the more inconvenient it gets because you’ll have to share the same amenities with more people.

6. Association Dues

Living in a condo means paying an additional expense every month: the association dues.

This represents your contribution to the shared costs incurred by all condo owners, such as electricity in common areas, water used in swimming pools and to water the plants, wages of security guards, janitors, and maintenance workers, among others.

The association dues are usually a fixed amount multiplied by the total floor area of your unit AND your parking slot, if you have one.

Our monthly dues at our Makati condo was P50.00 per floor area while at BGC, it is P80.00 per floor area. So for our 40-square meter Makati condo, association dues were P2,000 per month (that’s P50 x 40 sq.m.), while for our 40-square meter BGC condo, the association dues were P3,200 per month.

Make sure you pay these dues on time because like credit cards, the penalty interest rate for late payment ranges from 1-4% per month. That is a hefty price to pay for late payments.

7. Rules and Regulations

As a resident, you are bound by rules and regulations applicable to all residents and tenants of the condo building.

Some condominiums, for example, totally disallow pets and animals of all kinds. There are condos that forbid tearing down a part of your unit or changing the color of your wall. Some condos allow residents to use the swimming pool or the common area up to a certain time only. Parties inside residents’ units are allowed but normally have to end before 10 or 11 p.m. Know your condo rules prior to buying so you won’t be surprised by the regulations once you have moved in.

Again we reiterate, if you’re looking to buy a condo unit, don’t be concerned with price alone. Several things must be considered so you won’t feel shortchanged or disappointed with your purchase. The list above may not be exhaustive but we hope this gave you an idea on what to look for before buying a condo.

Happy condo living!

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96 thoughts on “7 Useful Tips when Buying a Condo Unit”

  1. kouji says:

    great tips. :) i hear though that it’s harder to sell a condo if it doesn’t come with a parking space. is this true?

  2. Mcloud says:

    Would you consider the structure of the building and safety?
    Like what happen to an actor who fall of a parking lot (not sure about the info)and strength of it in case a minor earthquake occur. And of course the fire exits.

  3. James | PinoyMoneyTalk.com says:

    @kouji, it depends. Some buyers look for a parking space but there are some who don’t want to buy it, especially since it adds around half a million pesos more to the purchase price. Our Buendia condo did not include any parking slot but 7 of the 10 prospective buyers we talked to weren’t really looking for parking space. If you have a parking space and the buyer don’t want to buy it, you can sell it separately. If your buyer wants parking and you don’t have it, help him find a slot by asking the property office or some other resident selling his parking space.

    @Mcloud, yup, that’s a priority too. However, it’s difficult to tell if the building is well built unless you are a construction person. Fire exits are also important but condos (actually, all buildings) are required to have this under the law so the assumption is that they have it. In all of the condos I’ve been to, I’ve seen fire exits and fire exit plan in every floor. In our Fort condo too, we were provided a fire extinguisher in the unit. Dunno though if it’s working hehe.

  4. TommyC says:

    For those of us who bounce back and forth to the Philippines and our home country, a condo is a perfect antidote to staying in hotels and hoping for weekly or monthly discounts in the long run. I’m currently looking at, DMCI, a highly-rated developer and builder that is affiliated with the work that is going on the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Makati Shangrila Hotel., Ayala Tower One. Great post about condos.

  5. David B Katague says:

    Are the condos still selling in Makati during this time of economic crisis? Have the prices gone down. If so this is a good time to buy. Do you agree?

  6. James | PinoyMoneyTalk.com says:

    Hi David, as I see it, prices of Makati condos are not going down. That’s because condos are still selling due to a number of OFWs. However, there’s a growing trend of payment defaults. So if you want to buy condos at discounted prices, don’t go for brand-new ones or units being sold by developers, look for so-called distressed or motivated sellers who will sell their units at lower prices.

  7. Mike says:

    Nice tips..Does anyone heard of Woodland properties and Ridgewood towers in the Fort? We bought one condo unit from them but i haven’t check yet the progress of construction.

  8. Rich Daddy says:

    Nice tips! You can even use these to buy foreclosed assets which are very cheap.

  9. Jay says:

    Great tips, you can even apply these when buying foreclosed or bank acquired assets.

  10. junior says:

    Tip number 1 – The location is very important to consider before buying a new unit. The location of a housing or condo unit must be accessible. Accessibility of the area will help you save in the long run :)

  11. Ingrid says:

    Hi, I bought a condo at The Columns Legaspi. Im trying to refinance it by Jan 2009. Do you think the condo, though not yet completed, holds it’s value or at least appreciated in value (acquired Feb 2006)?
    Your comment is greatly appreciated.

  12. aisse says:

    additional for tip no.2. Do not always associate reputation of the developer on the quality of their work. Big companies who is and may be associated with other bigger companies also use substandard materials. It is best not to only check the showroom but also check actual unfurnished units. Check the treads of the stairs (if the surface is straight and even), the walls (ask if they are waterproofed), the ceilings specially if you’re planning to get the top floor (ask how the ceiling is attached on the ribs of the roofs and if ever there will be problems on the roof will they be able to repair it without passing through your ceiling), the windows (“kung lapat” to prevent rain water coming it) and lastly the plumbings. These may be unusual but practical check lists that one should consider before buying a certain condominium (specially if you’re planning to interior design your place) or else someday you’ll end up regretting buying unit from that condominium. Remember that a developer is building multiple units pressured under a certain span of time so do not be so sure of their quality of their work. It is much better if you’ll buy an uncompleted condo unit so you can supervise the construction.

  13. Bangkok '97 says:

    Do you remember what triggered the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997? Overbuilding of condominium and office towers in Bangkok, Thailand. Too much supply, too few demand.

    This may happen again. This time, Metro Manila will be the trigger. All you need to do is drive around Fort Bonifacio Global City, Araneta Center in Cubao, Ortigas Center, Pioneer area in Mandaluyong and Eastwood in Libis. You will notice so many condo and office towers being constructed. So many. Are there really that many takers?

    Go to Fort Bonifacio Global at around 7 or 8 in the evening and look at all the condo towers. Very, very few occupants in each building. Even the ‘older’ buildings. An easy way to know is to just look at the open lights. Very, very few. Now this is very, very scary.

    Just like those mortgage-backed securities being sold that caused the present financial crisis, no one is talking about the severe overbuilding in Metro Manila. No one is raising any reg flags. Within three years, I’ll bet my year’s salary there will be a huge crisis coming.

    No one ever learns.

    I hope you can print a feature story in your blog about this one in the hopes of raising alarm bells. Everyone will be badly affected by this looming financial storm.

    Regards,
    (Financial Risk Consultant

    1. Neko Oken says:

      you are correct. 4 years ago, u left your reply here. Now when u go to Eastwood, there is now Parkview and now underconstruction which is Legrand (3 towers). As well as in The Fort. When we drove to the airport, we saw constructions for their new condos. here in Parkview, most owners dont live here, they just have their unit rented. in my case the owner is in the US so he left his unit to a broker and have it rented. there was another one who posted in his blog selling his condo. from 2010, until now 2013 his unit is not yet sold.

  14. Real Estate Philipines Blogger says:

    Hopefully, even with the current global financial crises, the Philippines will still be a good place to invest in terms of real estate. I’ve done some research about it, and I believe we’re still in good shape.. not like the Americans

    Also, I think aisse’s comment about using substandard materials is very very true. You should look at the actual finished unit, if possible (not applicable to pre-selling projects yet)

    Anyone here with comments about Megaworld?

    1. Neko Oken says:

      Megaworld uses substandard materials.

  15. Terence Ong says:

    From Ingrid: “Hi, I bought a condo at The Columns Legaspi. Im trying to refinance it by Jan 2009. Do you think the condo, though not yet completed, holds it’s value or at least appreciated in value (acquired Feb 2006)?”

    If you check with your agent in Alveo (Community Innovations), the price of your unit should have appreciated in value according to their current price lists. With regards to market prices, that would be a different story if you’re trying to sell it to the secondary market.

    Usually though, you can always use the current value with Ayala as a good benchmark for your selling price to the secondary market :-) That would be the fair price, and hopefully there would be a demand for your unit there. If it’s a hot property, of course you can command higher prices, and vice-versa

  16. erick says:

    Hi! Thanks for writing this blog. This is really helpful. I’m planning on purchasing a DMCI property in QC. I love the place because of the location and the facilities it offers. I have a question though on interior designing a condo unit. Did you hire someone to design the interior of your condo? How much does it typically cost to have someone (a professional) design and construct the interior of your dream space. Thanks in advance!

  17. Mediaspot says:

    when buying a condo.. which is more preferable? getting the one’s on the top floor for better view or the one’s on the lower floor for better access out of the building. Does prices differ on which level of the building the units are located?

    1. Conrad says:

      Preference can be subjective whether a top floor or lower floor is more ideal. But for the majority it’s the top floor for a better view. Yes, prices go up as the levels go up.

  18. Productive Pinoy says:

    I agree that location is one of the most important things to consider. In addition to that, don’t only look at the location as it is, but it is also important to envision the place, 5 to 10 years ahead from purchase date.

    I bought one right across Greenbelt 5 –less than 10 years ago. It was facing the park and small establishments wherein San Mig and Latasca was located. Only Greenbelt 1 was there at the time. Then came Greenbelt 2,3,4 & 5.

    Not only there was appreciation in value but also in cashflow (monthly rentals).

  19. marie antoinette says:

    Beware of Century Properties Inc. (CPI) and Meridien Developement Group. This developer uses cheap gypsum boards as walls in between units. They also use substandard materials and employ cost cutting methods such as cheap furnitures and fixtures in their condos.

    There is a planned class suit action against this developer from buyers of their SOMA and SOHO projects.

    They are now marketing Knightsbridge and GCentury City, GRand Soho Makati. Just be careful because they spend a lot of $$$ on marketing and promotions but leaves their buyers very disappinted.

    To be sure, avoid this developer at all costs!

    1. auroraborealis says:

      why? am here in europe and CPI is really marketing their Azure Urban Residences here. I almost took the bait, but decided to wait and do my ‘homework’ first. i just get disappointed and ‘scared’ the more i read posts about them.

    2. Neko Oken says:

      also, avoid Megaworld! substandard materials. even having a broadband connection sucks! bec of their one way line or whatever u call it. I end up disconnecting my broadband and select in their preferred providers.

  20. condo in philippines says:

    Hi james..

    Thanks a lot for sharing! Helped me a lot… I have now my guidelines in buying a condo..

  21. Edsil says:

    great guidelines!

  22. aleks says:

    thanks for sharing the article..

  23. Jamiena says:

    Hi, thanks for this article! Now I am sure that I should buy the AVIDA condo (in its preselling stage) in west makati.

    1. michcruz says:

      hi just want to ask or may i know if wat location po ang hanap nila we have a lots of promo right now baka matulungan po kita regarding location marami nman kaming available just let me know para makapgtulungan po tau sa incoming investment po nila mam

  24. Makati Condominiums says:

    Yes location is very important. It should be the first thing to be considered in investing a condo.

    Very informative article! Thanks a lot!

  25. Eva says:

    Most important tip when buying a condo unit: Don’t.

    It’s easier to get rid of AIDS than a condo.

  26. nix says:

    I’m wondering about SM development Corporation and the Grass Residences. any feedback?

    1. Mariz says:

      It’s a condo near SM North EDSA. Good investment-high rental potential.

  27. Marian Torres says:

    Hi, we recently purchased a unit near C-5 taguig by DMCI, my question is: is the electric bills on the common area included on the monthly dues? Or should it be payed seperately? We are first time condo owners and we’re not very familiar on how things are when it comes to condo living. Thank you.

    1. Atilanoiv says:

      Utilities are always separate from your monthly assoc dues.

  28. Robert says:

    I’m thinking of buying a 1BR condo in the Trion Towers by Robinson’s Land in the Fort. This is a 3-tower development in one triangular block. I’m also considering a studio in the ICON Plaza which is within the same area. The ICON seems to be more of a high-end, classy condo with retail and office spaces in the building. Both of them are in the same price range, and have almost the same floor area. Do you have any negative feedback about these two condo developments? I’m just wondering why the Trion still has some units available when it’s turnover is already end 2012. Is this a negative sign? What would be a good investment for rental, the studio at the ICON Plaza which is close to the business offices around 5th avenue or a 1BR in the Trion? Appreciate any feedback. Thanks

  29. Chris says:

    My mom just bought a 3br unit here in pasig. Definitely its in the location, ours is minutes away from ortigas and makati.  it’s midrise so it”’s not so crowded, though they don’t allow more than 6 dogs and  its too early to tell because we’ve just moved in a couple of weeks ago. but so far its been great, when we moved in, the units are upgraded and as good as the model. the Developer is filinvest. the agent was really nice.

  30. Beloitbomber says:

    thanks one thing that never crossed my mind was parking.

  31. Rob says:

    I agree with all the TIPS above! Very helpful for condo unit hunters.

  32. Allan Condino says:

    better search and read also reviews and complaints from actual home owners for a certain developer.  we considered all of what was mentioned in the article but failed to pay attention to the fact that even household names can have a poor system and post sales support/warranties.  and thus, there goes our hard-earned money.

  33. Maruel Liporada says:

    Hi Madam Lee im Mau Liporada of Filinvest Land. you can contact me through email my add is mau.thelinearmakati@yahoo.com. i will find you a great investment for you. Godbless

  34. Maruel Liporada says:

    Just Pm Me if your interested. thank you

  35. Jane says:

    hello.. i am jane one of the ICSS of Anthilla Land Corp., we sell units here in makati along Gil puyat ave.. are you interested? just contact me at +63 9055853725.. i will discuss to you every thing..

  36. Jei Min Lee says:

    I am also finding a good condo for investment in the near future but not totally in makati and ortigas places because those areas are over crowded. I want a place where i can really relax at the end of my long working day. and also be a good investment whenever i’m out of the country. Someone recommend me to invest along roxas boulevard Admiral Bay suites, i think its nice and the condominium has a 6star boutique hotel. I just need some advice because it’s quite expensive. But i saw the quality of materials they’re using its really high quality like has an international standard. i want to avail a 2bedroom unit and it costs around 9million on its pre-selling stage. I really want to have one there because its really really nice though the turn over would be on 2014. I can sense that it will be good to invest there. i’m just wondering if it’s really a reasonable price.

    1. Nicole says:

      I suggest .. Bonifacio Global City. The place is not over crowded unlike Makati. At the Fort, the value of real estates are skyrocketing and have not peaked yet (source: pinoymoneytalk). Since your purpose is for investment, I suggest those pre-selling units.The great advantage of buying pre-selling units is that .. the down payment is spread in several equal payments thus its value of money remains the same no matter how long the payment period is while your property value increases.

  37. ziggy says:

    I bought a condo, I loan it thru bank financing, the release of the loan was delayed, I was charged of 3% of the outstanding amount per month, I wrote a letter asking them for the reversal but they don’t like. The contract states that they will charge 3% for delay payment, but is it lawful considering they are not financial institution. Please enlightened me on this issue. Thanks

    1. Angie says:

      Avida Land also does this scheme. I was charged 3% for every month delayed on my payment.

  38. Emma says:

    Hi I live here in mezza condo… It’s a dmci property… Is it really normal that I pay p4500 for the meralco bill if I only have 5 appliances but I’m not using them the whole day especially the aircon…is 4500 normal? Help pls

    1. Neko Oken says:

      no. there is something wrong there. Same with my experience in Olympic Heights. Their 1 bedroom is very nice since it was rennovated.however my problem is the light. i always have high electricity even if i only use the lights minimally like less than 8hours a day. I only have the ref running 24hrs a day and the electric fan,the rest are off and I even turned off from the main switch when i noticed that the lights are blinking even if i switch it off. so i decided to turn off the lights directly from the breaker.

  39. Abraham says:

    Hi! You might want to add “hidden charges” to the list. A lot of buyers are having a problem on the hidden charges that goes uncovered after they have purchased a condo unit. Most of the time when the unit is already being turned-over to the buyer.

  40. George DeCarlo says:

    Buying a condominium in the Philippines is quite complex with many details never explained. On the backend of the purchase you will find getting a Title is quite a ceremony. Unlike nations such as the US, getting the title is very important due to use of it for loans by others without your knowledge. This is against the law in the US but legal in the Philippines. At the time of turnover you may also find that what was promised and advertised is not delivered but the pressure to sign is there.

    Place “soho central decarlo” in google for the skyscrapercity.com link to a forum which has many links to other resources. Please read the many pages and ask questions. There are links to other forums to give you an idea on the serious situations that may develop.

    Please seriously consider a book I should have gotten long ago. The Guide to Homeownership by Armando Ang is a blunt writing into the truth of the real estate market in the Philippines with a wonderful chapter on condos. Remember to demand copies of the Master Deed, Bylaws and Rules & Regulations before signing. These docs are kept hidden by most developers.

    An important question for existing condominiums is whether or not the Board of the building is developer or Unit Owner controlled. Boards are developer controlled in the beginning seated in the capacity under the corporation that all condominiums must be formed. Unit Owner boards increase value as opposed to developer control.

    Some quick hints: examine 5-9 units before making purchase; if there is any flooding around the building no matter how wonderful, say nice but no thanks; and since there is a glut from what we see, do not buy prebuilt at this time only existing units.

  41. Neko Oken says:

    currently renting in EASTWOOD PARKVIEW TOWER 2. All I can say is, this building sucks. when I moved in I always meet with the roaches esp at night! and worst a mice!!! aside from that my neighbor is fricken noisy with his very loud sound system that is way toooooooooooooo loud for a studio unit or even a 1 bedroom unit. another thing is the unit above me is doing the renovation I always wake up in the morning with the hammering and drilling. they even drill as early as 3am or even at 10pm!!! and to make the situation worst, there is also another one doing the repair just beside the unit infront of me,same floor. and to make the situation a nightmare, i was about to swim in their very nice looking pool when the glass window at 39th floor broke and worst it is near the pool!!! so the broken glasses fell into the pool. everything was scattered in the pool area and garden. one got a 10cm cut bec of the glass. aside from that the wood flanks in every unit sucks! u have to be careful not to drop water on it or else u will end up seeing bubbled floor.the window glasses are fiber glass, that’s why it broke easily esp with the strong wind!39th floor!!! a high rise building but is low quality. this building is on top of eastwood mall. they said parkview tower 2 is better than in tower 1 and other condo above the mall. why? bec in other condos the worst prob is the elevator!!!! imagine staying in 27th floor and walk through the fire exit bec all elevators are not working.MEGAWORLD uses substandard materials. SO, before buying in any megaworld condos, think first! better rent the unit first before buying it. PARKVIEW is too good to be true. what i mean is, it looks too good to live comfortably. well, it is not nice in parkview! those who are buying in pre-selling are just risking their money but maybe fine because they can have their unit rented and make the situation of their tenant worst bec of how it sucks here in parkview!

  42. Michael Byron Quevada says:

    Hello, we have condominium unit in Ortigas, 25,000 reservation fee, and 6,000 to 8,000 monthly, payable in 30mos. (mike.quevada@gmail.com – +639157971537)

  43. Mary Grace Albino says:

    Hi Pinoymoney talk! Thanks for this wonderful tips you provide our customers! Looking forward for a healthier linkage with your team!

  44. G. style says:

    very helpful tips, thanks very much for sharing

  45. jenna says:

    El Pueblo condo in Sta. Mesa is the worst condo ever!!! the admin staff are not accommodating, they don’t give full and proper information in terms of maintenance and other things. this is the only condo that gives no access in cable TV and internet. There is no maintenance staff on duty 24/7 so in case you got concerns at the night time well sorry to say you’re gonna suffer until the next day or the worse is during the weekends all maintenance are out of duty NO ANY ONE!!!!!! there is no cleanliness, the trash are not regularly collected so the trash are messing on the hallway and on the exit stairs..there are streetdogs and cats on the lobby and hallway.one night a streetcat peed on my door.The elevator is not functioning!!!!!!!!! the residents must use the stairs!!!!!!!!! this is the only condo i have ever experience this nightmare!!! i guess this is not worth buying for….

    This is just to warn the people just in case they want to invest in a medium rise condominum.the strategic location of this condo is very unpleasant and not so safe due to the illegal settlers residing there.

  46. Prince Zeus says:

    NICE ARTICLE

  47. Michmanick says:

    We hope someone could give us pieces of advice or suggest a reliable lawyer for consultancy regarding what we are experiencing now for this company. At first we paid a reservation fee of 30,000 pesos for two units, one unit reservation fee costs 20,000pesos and another unit from another project of the same company costs 10,000pesos for the reservation. It is a Leasing agreement of 20% DP and 80%Balance/Loan for 5 year contract for both units. After we settled the reservation payment of the two units,we asked for contracts but our agent keeps on promising that it will be sent to us as we are not in the Philippines. after the issuance of 12 PDC’s for each unit and we have done as what he said. Every month we keep on sending e mails and making calls to ask for the contracts, since then we cannot avoid to have doubts and worries of issuing 24 PDC’s and paying monthly amortization without a proof that we are purchasing these two condo units.We don’t know anything what is written in the contract. A verbal agreement isn’t a proof. We sent e mails but no answers from our agent so we keep on calling just to follow up what’s going on until such time that the agent got disturbed/angry and aggressively answered us to just wait when will they send the papers we need from them. he asked payment for FedEx so he could send to us the papers needed to be signed. This argument made us realize to cancel the units. We contacted the customer service of the company and ask information for the cancellation or could we refund anything from what we have paid while it costs us thousands of euros too for paying these 5 months but it was under Maceda Law. For the reason not to just throw our money for nothing we just decided to continue paying the small one which is the condotel unit and we cancelled the other one. Now we are paying the condotel project of this company in the Philippines for 2 years and 6 months this coming March 2014. For this unit we paid now almost 12,000 euro. We have paid the 20% Down Payment as well as the Turn Over payment but the said unit was never been turned over as well as the contract was never been sent to us. They keep on promising to work for the papers etc.and we cannot do anything but to follow what they like or we lose all the money that we have invested for this small unit. They reasoned out that the slow processing held while our agent resigned and move to SMDC.We are spending so much for this we even paid for Translations/Special Power of Attorney here just to cover up our absence and consider my SPA to process the papers.But they always look for reasons. I hope someone there could advice us what to do. We plan with my husband to invest in my own homeland so we could go home for good and leave his own homeland considering the fact that leaving and working in a foreign country is not easy. This company should not take advantage of the situation that we are not in the Philippines we are here in abroad,i’m married with a foreigner but we are not rich. My husband works in a Telecommunication company and I work as Room maid in one of the hotels here. We are working hard and invest so fast we can and leave but at this case I think I have done the wrong decision or should I say I trusted the wrong company to invest. Please HELP!!!

    1. conrad says:

      may we know the company? 2 years and 6 months to get your contracts is too long and unreasonable whatever the reason may be. first off. you do have at least a reservation agreement with you? this are the first set of documents that you sign and submit to the company. plus.. copies of the official receipts? if you may please post your email so we may contact you directly.

    2. Michmanick says:

      Thank you so much. Here is my email ad. michmanick01@gmail.com.

  48. Rob Luat says:

    I agree with everything stated above but maybe if we may add, PURPOSE for the condominium unit is viable. Personal preferred locations may not be ideal if let say your purpose is Rental Income Wise.

  49. Yvette says:

    Any feedback on SMDC wind residences in tagaytay?

  50. Lan Stank says:

    As a seller of different condo for sale in the Philippines, I believe that this article say all the concerns that clients would prefer or consider in buying condominiums.

  51. Ray says:

    Always consider the yield or cash flow of a condo. Philippine real estate market is kind of crazy. For low yields, the prices for units are skyhigh. Meaning you are buying purely for appreciation potential, which is far from guaranteed and in fact doubtful in a Third World country.

  52. JR says:

    Great article. I’ve always wanted to buy a condo for myself as well. :D

  53. themactannewtown says:

    This is very useful article and I believe this widens investors mind. This boils down on how you value your time, convenience and security of the place where your living.

  54. Angie says:

    Thanks for this useful article, and to the comments of other here. I just wonder, why people still buy condos; pay that installment for 20 yrs when condo life in the Philippines is good for only 50yrs., and soon after that the whole property will be owned back by the landowner at no cost?
    Well, I bought one ‘tho for myself at Avida, Taft. Already finished its DP. The bank loan is getting too long, and I am now charged penalty for every month delayed, although the tower where my unit is, is still under construction, 5th floor now (Dec 2014), yes 5th floor after more than 3 yrs.

  55. Manny says:

    In my opinion, condos only have about 50+ years in them. After that time, the cost of maintaining the condo will be more than just constructing a new one. There are articles out there saying condo owners still have a say in that, but even if they do, they will have to shell out the maintenance cost of an arguably unsafe building. I would stay away from pre-selling condos.

    There are a lot of house and lot for sale in the Philippines. It is a better investment, since you can pass it to your children, unlike condos (technically you just own the space in X-floor).

    I am also scouting the housing market in the Philippines.

  56. GingerdVera says:

    Either condos or single detached house, these tips are needs to consider. A buyer must be aware of these issues.

  57. james says:

    For a buyer, you should be aware about the pros and cons of condominium. Know all the details about the condo you will be buying, there are lots of condo for sale in Manila available, but how would you know if you choose the right one. Follow the list above, and it will guide you to the right one.

  58. George DeCarlo says:

    Rules for Buying Condo Units in the Philippines
    These are just some of the rules when buying condo units in the Philippines. Please add more in the comments to this post. The recent land title scheme not being turned over to the condominium corporation with a lien placed on a property causing the building to be worthless in Makati from what I was told is just another lesson learned.

    * Buy and read Armando Ang’s book, “Guide to Homeownership.” It was revised in 2009 but is still valuable giving important information and critical opinion.

    ** Do not buy if immediate streets around the building flood.

    *** Do not buy prebuilt.

    **** See seven to nine units in different buildings before deciding.

    ***** Get a copy of the By-Laws.

    ****** Get a copy of the Master Deed.

    ******* Who is on the condominium corporation board and who controls the board? Have there been elections and read Valle Verde vs Africa (Philippines Supreme Court), a decision made after Ang’s book was revised? How did board members obtain each seat?

    ******** Get copies of the architectural/engineering plans at the city engineer’s office of your unit and the floor the unit is on.

    ********* Check for columns in the unit and shared balconies.

    ********** Measure the unit for square meters.

    *********** Get a certified true copy of the land title and check for liens on the property from Registry of Deeds.

    ************ Have all ads signed by the broker and company officials printing the name and title under the signatures.

    ************* Here is a story to make everyone think very carefully about all the potential problems. A good friend was told about his friends’ purchase in a well-known area that many see as an oasis in Makati. When they walked into the duplex (2-floor) unit for inspection it was lacking one critical element. They were told the critical element was optional. This story was told to others who buy and care for condo units around Metro Manila and they did not believe the story. I asked him again and he explained in detail what his friends experienced and the gathering they were at with others who almost coughed up their food during dinner being told the story while laughing.

    The optional critical element in the highly regarded oasis development with an upscale mall were the stairs. Yes, you just cannot make this stuff up. They had to hire someone to put the stairs in afterward.

    1. norstad gimenez says:

      LOL! maybe it’s optional in the first place if the buyer wants a stair to be installed or a pole to have some thrill on climbing to the second floor. hahaha! :D

  59. Geraldine Del Rosario says:

    One more thing to consider when buying a condo: Management and Quality of Materials.

    My personal experience with SMDC Jazz in Makati is a nightmare. I own a condo in Tower D which was turned over April 18. Within a month, there are already cracks on my wall and floor tiles. The drainage in my shower is very small causing it to flood during use. Turns out there is clogged drainage causing seepage and cracks in my walls. What’s worse is that management do not care about it at all. It’s been more than a month and they have not attended to the repair of my unit. My request to be transferred to another unit while they are repairing mine was disapproved. They do not seem to understand that I will be exposed to hazardous chemicals and dust if I stay there during repair works.

    More over, they really “find ways” to get more money out from you once you purchase your unit.

    1) They make you pay Php 1500 for installing your own aircon (even if you will do the installation yourself) and they make you post a bond for repair works in your unit.
    2) SMDC also requires its tenants to pay “working capital” upon turnover, which is 3 months worth of monthly dues (in my case I paid Php 8k+ before I can move in)
    3) SMDC required its tenants to pay association dues even if amenities are not yet available, to the horror of Tower A tenants. (luckily I was spared of this horror since amenities became available a month after Tower D was turned over)

    I am convinced there are better developers out there. SMDC’s just after raking in the profits and don’t really care about its tenants once they have sold the units to them.

    1. ??????? ????? says:

      No, it is typical with all developers, it is maybe a bit easier in Binondo, not sure.

      Check master deed, I think the developer owns the common areas, in principle the developer should disappear from the picture, but e.g. in Megaplaza in Ortigas (I checked an unit there two or three years ago), which was built in early 2000s, the developer still controls everything, so somehow it should be possible through master deed.

  60. JoHn' Ravida says:

    Great tips! :)

  61. Rachelle Gonsalez says:

    This is awesome!! These tips really helps.
    And also,in buying a condo unit,we must pay particular attention to the details of the contract and discuss some important points you want to clarify. You can also make some suggestions or propose changes to your contract. For example, you are not certain about paying for a gym membership since you don’t work out that much or you want to upgrade the pre-installed appliances in your unit. You can discuss these with your broker or the owner of the building. By voicing out your opinion, you will save yourself from regret and complications later on. :)

  62. Victoria Dela Cruz says:

    Very well said. I was also thinking of buying on a property for investment somewhere in BGC.

  63. Victoria Dela Cruz says:

    Very well said! One reason to consider when buying a real estate is the LOCATION. That’s why I choose Taguig because it has everything that I need. It has SM Aura and being a foodie, the restaurant choices are vast and just what I need for my midnight cravings! My dilemma now is where do I find a condo in Taguig? Can anyone point me in the right direction? TIA.

  64. Derek Gonzales says:

    One more thing to consider in buying a condo is the durability during fortuitous event. For me security is my top priority.

  65. James Gomez says:

    For me in buying a condo you should consider the security,location and the affordability of the condo you are planning to buy.

  66. Jade Pacific says:

    Right, if you are decided to buy a condo, find the right location for you.

  67. ??????? ????? says:

    The monthly dues since the article was written increased twice, now around 80 pesos per sq m., in part 12% tax is charged.

    Developer still controls the building after units were sold out.

    Also try to visit older condominium projects, e.g. in Ortigas or Gilmore, just take a look at the exterior of the buildings. The current projects are not necessarily built better and the higher is the building the more stress on elements of construction, the more as time goes all kinds of problems will pop up and the unit owners will be those who will pay for poor quality of the construction.

    It appears there is no secondary market as well, but with new projects the prices are now flattened, I think downturn is coming.

  68. Anne says:

    if budget is not an issue, i would go for “community” and forget about the amenities. most Filipinos are attracted to amenities, but really, you wouldn’t use amenities all the time.

  69. Jessica Magnus says:

    Beware nthough most condos have hidden defects. I own one built by Federal Land and after just a few years I need to shell out cash to repair things that are not personnally used by me like the wirings of intercom and electrical which will have to be repaired for 4kThey’ll inisist that these broke due to wear and tear which is impossible considering that there are other units with the same issue. Further elevators usually broke after 3 yrs, ours already repaired by shelling out almost 1M using association dues to pay off. Same issue though with other developers. DMCI and SMDC have issues too with water leaking from ceilings.

  70. Banjo Suarez says:

    You should also consider the credibility of the Developer with regards to its willingness to turnover the control of the Board of Directors of the unit owners into the home owners. This is important because if the Developers will not turn over the control of the association of the condo, it will be suceptible to abuses particularly in the handling of the association dues, procurement, maintenance, implementation of the policies and security. Most of these abuses are being done by controling the Administration Office.

  71. Ashley Turns says:

    I like your suggestion to make sure the price you are paying for your condo matches up with the amenities you are offered. My husband and I have decided to start looking at condos for sale since we think it will be a perfect home for us while our kids are growing up a little bit. I’ll make sure that the property we find has all the amenities we want (pool, playground, etc.) but also has a price that matches them.

    1. Daryll Pua says:

      Hi Ashley! I’m a Property Specialist. So if you’re looking for condo in the Philippines, you may refer to me. We also have a project yet to be launched with more than 200 units sold, located at Fort Bonifacio. With this best investment choice, I can offer you the best deal! Please message me or call me at 0906 370 7486 or send me an email at darylljpua@gmail.com. Thank you.

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    1. Daryll Pua says:

      Hello! I’m a Property Specialist. So if you’re looking for condo investment in the Philippines, you may refer to me. We have a project yet to be launched with more than 200 units sold, located at Fort Bonifacio. With this best investment choice, I can offer you the best deal! Please message me or call me at 0906 370 7486 or send me an email at darylljpua@gmail.com. Thank you.

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    1. Daryll Pua says:

      Hello Sir! I’m a Property Specialist. So if you’re looking for condo investment in the Philippines, you may refer to me. We have a project yet to be launched with more than 200 units sold, located at Fort Bonifacio. With this best investment choice, I can offer you the best deal! Please message me or call me at 0906 370 7486 or send me an email at darylljpua@gmail.com. Thank you.

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  75. nick says:

    hi, would like to know if buying a condo in year 2018, is it have to pay the VAT as well?

    1. Daryll Pua says:

      Hi Nick! I’m a Property Specialist. So if you’re looking for condo investment in the Philippines, you may refer to me. We have a project yet to be launched with more than 200 units sold, located at Fort Bonifacio. With this best investment choice, I can offer you the best deal! Please message me or call me at 0906 370 7486 or send me an email at darylljpua@gmail.com. Thank you.

  76. Daryll Pua says:

    Hello Everyone! I’m a Property Specialist. So if you’re looking for condo investment in the Philippines, you may refer to me. We have a project yet to be launched with more than 200 units sold, located at Fort Bonifacio. With this best investment choice, I can offer you the best deal! Please message me or call me at 0906 370 7486 or send me an email at darylljpua@gmail.com. Thank you.

  77. Roger Middleton says:

    My son is wanting to move out with his girlfriend and we’re wanting to find a condominium for him. I liked that you had mentioned that it can be important to pay attention to the location to make sure it’s very accessible. We’ll have to keep this in mind as we start looking around at condominiums for sale in the area.

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