Condominiums in the Philippines tend to become significantly high on price, but the cost can be associated with city living and additional perks and privileges that stand-alone houses cannot quite provide.
If you are decided to buy a condo—may it be in Avenida, Manila where the center of the action is or in Altaraza Estate in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan for a more laidback, probinsya vibe, you might as well consider making it more affordable. You read that right. It is 100% possible.
The term affordability is contextual: what is affordable to me may not necessarily be so for another person, but who doesn’t appreciate additional savings here and there, right?
Property developers such as Ayala Land Inc. market their products to distinct target markets such as luxury, high-end, mid-range, affordable, and low-cost. Amaia, which is one of Ayala Land Inc.’s property segment, targets the affordable condos segment.
Several factors figure into the categories, including the architecture of the building, the materials used in building them, and the in-built facilities and amenities. For one, more unique amenities could mean higher prices. This is also the reason why real estate experts suggest you write down your non-negotiables and compromises before looking for a condo to buy. Not all residential buildings may include your non-negotiables, but at least you have substitutes.
Another important consideration here is to set a realistic budget. About Php1 to 2 million is too broad a range, while Php3 million may be inflexible. Between Php2 and 2.5 million will give you enough leeway to choose the right condo for you.
When setting a budget, look at your list of non-negotiables and determine if these are affordable or not and what prices make them affordable.
When searching for the right condo for you, check with the right condo developer first. This works better if you already have a developer in mind. Most of the time, pricing information among other details is readily available online.
Apart from such, you may also check property aggregators or websites that pool condo listings for you to review and compare. You may apply several filters such as location, property type, subcategories of the property, floor area, number of bedrooms and toilet and bathroom (T&B), etc. Other websites allow you to filter either in descending (low to high) or ascending prices (high to low). Meanwhile, some other sites enable you to indicate the price range. All the condo listings that appear are within your price range after applying the filters, taking the guesswork out of the process.
The next best thing is to check each listing to determine if it suits your taste and needs or not. You may create a shortlist of the condos that you can actually afford before visiting them. Due to the situation, site tripping is now usually done online. There are sites that allow you to access and explore the properties at your fingertips through their immersive virtual tours. Just like in Amaia, you can easily navigate through the properties, amenities, landmarks, 3D model units, and more through virtual tours.
Suggest to include up to four affordable condos options on your shortlist.
Buying a condo in the pre-selling stage is your best option if you don’t need to use or live in the condominium unit just yet. Pre-selling condos are always cheaper than the ready-for-occupancy (RFO) ones. They are usually at a lower introductory price compared with those that are already built.
The reason being, there is no physical building yet—it is yet to be constructed. It is the risk that you are going to take somehow, which can be compensated by other processes such as finding a reputable developer.
Pre-selling condos are offered in flexible payment schemes. You may either save from the down payment, the interest rate, or the total contract cost. The bottom-line is the savings are definitely significant when you buy a pre-selling condo unit.
For instance, the down payment is only 10%, and it is spread out for 24 to 36 months.
Again, it all boils down to choosing a reputable property developer that won’t exhaust your money for no good, but instead deliver on its promised specifications and turnover date.
Bare finish condos are definitely cheaper than fully-furnished condo units. This strategy will incur fitting and furnishing costs. But these are the things that you will need and save in the process. This is the complete opposite of buying a fully-furnished unit that you need to redesign after because some fixtures are not to your liking.
When you can fill in the details that suit your taste, you’ll appreciate living there more. You can surely create your dream condo, unlike the inflexibility inherent to buying a fully-furnished condo.
There is also more to buying a bare condo. You can dress up your condo to suit your lifestyle like green living or resort-like, for instance. Only you would know what elements to put in there to achieve the look and feel of the condo that you have always wanted.
One caveat, though. Make sure that you seek the approval of the condo management first before you introduce any major change to your unit. This applies particularly to those changes that may impact the overall appeal of the residential building.
So, the takeaway is there’s still a lot more affordable condos out there. And, you can make it more affordable according to your needs, specifications, liking, and tradeoffs you are willing to accept.