Beyond the Sales Brochure: Real Tips for Condo Shopping


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The Philippine economy is booming, interest rates are low, and the cost of property is one of the lowest in the Asian region – especially if you compare it to countries like Thailand and Hong Kong. All these show that there is no better time for young professionals to invest in a condo. As long as you have a stable job, good credit history, and adequate savings to cover the downpayment, you can already buy that dream home at a very young age, and take full advantage of property value appreciation over the next several years. Here are some tips to help you shop around for the best condo that will fit your budget.

The Philippine economy is booming, interest rates are low, and the cost of property is one of the lowest in the Asian region

 

First, consider how the location of the condo fits into your career plans. Where will you be most likely to work? Most professionals will gravitate towards areas near the metropolis’ business districts. The Bonifacio Global City (BGC) area is the ideal location since both Makati City and Ortigas are both just a short drive away. In fact, BGC is becoming a formidable business center in itself, attracting several multinationals and even embassies.

The Bonifacio Global City (BGC) area is the ideal location since both Makati City and Ortigas are both just a short drive away. 

 

Given this, it’s counterproductive to buy a “cheaper” condo outside of Metro Manila. While property values are lower, you will also be spending more every day on gas and toll fees. The discomfort of the commute may even prompt you to get another place closer to your office, which will take a toll on your monthly budget — instead of living in the condo you already own, you’ll have to think about rent.

Condos in Makati also tend to be smarter investments. For example, Megaworld at the Fort is developing a new township in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Considering the premium location and Megaworld’s reputation, the units that are being pre-sold today will skyrocket in value within the next decade.

Second, get a very clear picture of the costs. Schedule a meeting with the sales agent or real estate broker, and get a breakdown of the down payment, monthly payments, and other expenses such as the property tax or bank processing fees. Online mortgage calculators can also help you do initial computations while you’re comparing properties.

Schedule a meeting with the sales agent, and get a breakdown of the down payment, monthly payments, and other expenses.

 

Aside from knowing the cost of the property, you need to honestly look at your capacity to pay. Online loan calculators can also give you an idea of how much you can borrow from a bank based on your salary, though it’s best to go to a bank and discuss this with the bank officers.

Don’t forget to look for other payment options as well, such as government programs like Pag-IBIG and the Philippine Social Security System rel=”nofollow” (SSS). Visit those websites or talk to your company human resources officer to get an idea about how to take a loan through these organizations. While the HR cannot help you get the loan, they may have brochures or guidelines that can get you started on your inquiry process.

Look for other payment options as well, such as government programs like Pag-IBIG and SSS.

Once you speak to the lending institutions, get loan pre-approval. This will give you a very definite picture of what you can afford, and will quicken the process when you finally sit down with the property sales agent or broker. Loan pre-approval also shows that you have a serious intent to buy, and this will help on your negotiations. For example, while most will require a down payment of 30 percent, you may be able to ask for a 20 percent down payment.

But before you sign the contract, check the general location of the unit and ask for a tour of the building and unit itself. Write down questions to ask the agent regarding maintenance or community policies, restrictions on design, or even something as simple as, “Do you allow pets?” Bring a tape measure so you can take measurements of the area, such as the corridor and doorway space. Take pictures with your camera phone as well, not just of the unit but the facilities, lobby, and surrounding areas. You may also want to see the area during a rainy day, to see how it’s affected by flooding.

Before you sign the contract, check the general location of the unit and ask for a tour of the building and unit itself. 

 

You can even go to the unit area during rush hour and time how long it takes to drive from there to your office when traffic is at its peak. You may also want to schedule a visit at night, to see how well-lit or safe the neighborhood is, and check surrounding establishments and conveniences. Are there restaurants you can go to if you don’t feel like cooking dinner? How far is public transportation, in case you can’t take your car? Is there a gym nearby? These are the small comforts that can really make life easier! Of course, developments owned by Megaworld already have these conveniences, since the residential developments are clustered with recreational, dining, and shopping centers (much like what Megaworld did for Eastwood or McKinley).

These are just some things you can do to make a very well informed decision about what condo unit is best for you. To find out more, visit megaworldatthefort.com.

Author: Megaworld at The Fort

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