Everything You Need to Know About Buying an Affordable Condo in Cebu
Buying a condominium unit can be an overwhelming experience for the uninitiated. Realize, however, that if this is you, you are already one step ahead of the process. Why? It’s because you already know where you want to buy a condo unit.
When buying a condo or any property, it is crucial to determine where to buy first. This aligns with the mantra is location, location, location.
And indeed, an affordable condo in Cebu can provide you with the best of both worlds. This is more so in a highly competitive and urbanized city such as Mandaue City–it won’t be the “little rich city” for nothing. The city where Amaia Steps Mandaue is located is only about 10 minutes away from various growth points in Metro Cebu.
Before jumping into a buying frenzy, certain things can guide you when buying a condo unit in Cebu.
1) Know your needs and preferences
You want to find a condo unit that 1) meets your needs and 2) is worth every centavo that you’ll spend on it. Every condo buyer has a list of non-negotiables. You surely have those. But to keep your focus on what you really want in a condo unit, you might want to list down the things you can live without. Having a little room for flexibility can also help. So prepare to deal with compromises when buying a condo. If you live alone, a studio or 1BR condo unit will do. If you prioritize your health, choose a residential building with a gym and swimming pool where you can do cardio exercises. If you prefer a vibrant, dynamic neighborhood, check the residential options in downtown Cebu. Finally, if you want to live within or near the city center and yet a few hours of drive away from the pristine beaches of Cebu, then live near Mandaue or Cebu cities.
2) Decide the type of property you want to purchase
When buying a condo, you have two options: 1) pre-selling and 2) ready for occupancy (RFO). An RFO condo unit is already built and completed–buyers only need to accomplish the forms, pay the downpayment and other fees, and move in. On the contrary, a pre-selling condo is yet to be built. Payment terms are different, though pre-selling condo units tend to be cheaper and with more flexible payment terms than RFO condos. For instance, RFO condos require an upfront payment of up to 20% of the selling price. However, the risks are higher in the former than the latter because there is no guarantee that the residential building will be completed or completed in time. On the upside, you get to enjoy newer amenities and facilities. However, as the buyer, you can minimize risks like this by buying a pre-selling condo unit from a reputable developer such as Amaia Land.
Thus, if you are interested in relocating to Cebu in two to three years and enjoy the near-the-island lifestyle, buy a pre-selling condo. However, if you need to move in quickly, buy an RFO condo unit. The process is as simple as that.
3) Know your financing options
Buying a condo is one of the major financial decisions you will make. So naturally, you will realize the highest savings if you buy the unit in cash. However, this may not always be possible.
You have three options: Pag-IBIG, in-house financing, and bank loan. Pag-IBIG housing loan is a government facility and is open to eligible employees. Borrowers can loan up to Php6 million pesos. However, the actual amount will depend on the type of unit (lot or structure), the financial capacity of the borrower, and the amount of monthly contributions. The loan term is up to 30 years, whereas the interest rate is up to 10%. In-house financing means borrowing directly from the real estate developer. Developers are lenient in paperwork, but interest rates are higher. It is because of the convenience of the transaction wherein you can readily move in as little as 5 to 15 days. In addition, the interest rates are fixed so that you would be paying the same monthly mortgage throughout the housing loan term. Nonetheless, learning and scrutinizing the terms is best before signing the acceptance form.
Finally, banks offer housing loans at low interest rates. These financial institutions require cumbersome eligibility requirements and paperwork. Nevertheless, the three primary requirements are: You are the principal borrower, You have a stable income source, and You have a good credit history.
Borrowers may be entitled to up to 80% of the contract price with 5 to 8% fixed interest rates. Bank housing loans are payable for up to 25 years. Once you determine how to acquire the condo unit, inspection and reservation are the following things to look at.
Property viewing and inspection are crucial steps in buying a condo. However, it is not enough to go through the list of deliverables - you also need to ensure the quality of the condo unit you will be accepting in a few days. For example, do not accept the unit if there are structural issues that you want to be addressed or corrected first. You need not worry because scheduling an inspection is more accessible now that condo buyers can do every transaction online. For instance, you may email your agent about prospective dates and times for viewing.
Some condo developers do not require a reservation–they typically went ahead with requiring a down payment. However, if the condo units are selling fast yet you are not fully determined to buy this or that unit, then reserving the unit is a wise decision. In some instances, you may want to reserve the unit first for up to 90 days while coming up with the down payment, so the management will not offer it to other buyers.
Anyhow, the reservation is usually from Php10,000. If the transaction pushes through, some developers deduct the reservation fee from the required down payment. Nonetheless, some developers do not refund the reservation fee if the transaction is not started or completed.