Have you ever tried to look for someone in a crowd of rowdy, wild concert goers? Or tried finding the last pair of pants your size in a pile of pants during a mall sale? The emotional stages that you go through — optimism, eagerness, desperation, anger — are practically the same when looking for that one, elusive parking space.
Condo dwellers understand the struggle. Too many units but not enough parking slots. In most condo developments, parking spaces are sold separately from the unit or bundled with the unit. And it is true that a two-meter slot can cost as much as a brand new car. If you opt for a condo for rent in the Philippines, rarely does it come with a parking space or if it does, it would naturally cost you more. That small slot is an investment on its own, a rather profitable one in fact. A parking space for rent cost around Php2,000 to Php5,000 per month on the average or even higher.
Is it worth it? That small property is a big investment especially at a time when even side streets are overflowing with double-parked vehicles. It is a luxury, if you think about it. While owning a parking space can cost you a few hundred thousands, the benefits of keeping your car safe and not having to stress about it are priceless. On the other hand, there are many disadvantages of not having your own parking space, from the monthly fees to the hassle.
Wasted time, missed opportunities
Some condos in Metro Manila often have a limited, first-come-first-served parking spaces for tenants and guests. Some days you’re lucky, some days you’re not. On some days, car owners spend half an hour going around in circles trying to find a spot. What does this mean? For some people, the lost hours could mean missed opportunities. It could mean missing an important call, being late for a meeting or missing a meal with the family, even a TV show. Imagine the time you should be spending with your children but instead spent on finding a parking space.
Costly parking fees
One of the most profitable businesses today is putting up a parking lot for rent. In a city sprawling with offices, condos, and professionals, expect parking spaces to run short. Pay parking areas charge on an hourly basis and you would end up spending more on parking than you’ll ever spend on food. If you’re lucky, you can find parking spaces that will charge you monthly for a secured spot. But still, costs are high.
Worrying about car safety
So you found a parking slot in the side of the street. You go to bed at night thinking, or hoping, that it would still be there in the morning, safe and unharmed. But you can’t control that, can you?
Worrying about your car is that kind of paranoia that you should not be subjected to. You can’t win it. You could lose a side mirror one night or have the car towed entirely the next. No one deserves to be paranoid over their belongings.
Parking nightmares are real. Never mind the loud music or mishandled garbage, the primary cause of neighborly disputes are car parks. It is a battlefield out there.
A survey by the Automobile Association in the UK found that parking is the main cause of friction between neighbors, with 32% of respondents saying they have argued or had a falling out with neighbors because of a parking space. Blocking access to the driveway, parking in front of a neighbor’s house or using a neighbor’s space are just among the reasons. There are also instances when two drivers claim right over one free slot at the same time.
Arguing with a neighbor is a lot of hassle. It does not feel good having to avoid bumping into a certain neighbor at the hallway. And it is definitely not keeping in tune with keeping the peace in the community.
It’s too early, but the other car owner has to leave
Have you ever experienced being jolted awake by a knock or a ring of the doorbell at 4:00 in the morning because your car is parked in front of another car and that the owner of the other car has to leave early? If you don’t have your own parking space and just parking where you can, you should expect this. The hard part: getting back to sleep.
Park at your own risk
One of the major disadvantages of not having your own parking space is that you have no choice but to park your car wherever possible. If another vehicle sideswipes it, who knows? If a neighbor you had an argument with scratches it, how can you prove it? This means you are parking at your own risk every single day. And worse, if a car is damaged while parked, insurance companies won’t pay for them.
Decreased value for property
If you own a condo unit but not a parking slot, the re-sale value of your property may not be as high as those units with parking spaces. Of course, properties such as condos would double their value over time but those with parking spaces are naturally more valuable.
Having your own parking space, or at least renting a secured one, may be costly. But the costs of not owning one could be higher. A parking space is a good investment not just for resale of property or potential income but for your sanity.