Finally owning a home is a huge feat for anyone. This is especially true for soon-to-be-owners of an affordable rent-to-own condo near the cityscape. Go give yourself a pat on the back! You deserve it.

It’s also a brand new experience for most people, especially those living far away from home. You start off with a bare unit, and you want to feel more comfortable in it by adding a little bit of personal touch. Unfortunately, doing this on a budget seems difficult. Fortunately, it’s not impossible.

Since the space is limited, you can consider bringing in different multipurpose and timeless home design pieces to make your new home feel like home. Having durable furniture can go a long way to keeping your condo unit looking stylish and comfortable. Alternatively, you can also use simple home improvement hacks without having to break the bank.

Here are a few tips to work magic into your living space, courtesy of DMCI Homes Leasing.

Is it good to get a rent-to-own condo?

The Manors at Celebrity Place - Featured ImagePhoto courtesy of DMCI Homes

While you would ideally like to instantly own a property, there are obstacles that might hinder or even prevent you from doing so. For example, you aren’t able to secure a housing loan with a bank so you can’t buy the condo that you want. There is an alternative solution in this case: renting a condo unit with an option to buy.

That is what a rent-to-own condo looks like. Such a contract has two parts: the lease agreement, and the purchase agreement. The purchase agreement may either be optional or obligatory, but in either case you still have to pay the rent for the condo unit. More often than not, tenants who enter into this type of agreement have the intention to purchase the unit anyway. Should you ultimately decide to buy the unit, a portion of your rent counts towards the down payment.

Many home ownership guides agree that a rent-to-own agreement is a great way to acquire property if you’re working on a budget or are unable to secure a home loan. Having a rent-to-own agreement is also a good financial move because you’re able to build your financial situation while “locking in” a place to call home. Additionally, a rent-to-own agreement is helpful for when you want to experience life in the condo unit itself while still debating whether to purchase it or not.

The next section helps you better understand how much a condo costs in Manila.

How much does it cost to own a condo in Metro Manila?

money on Black SurfacePhoto courtesy of Angie Reyes via Pexels

Metro Manila is often considered as the Philippines’ most urbanized area. Naturally, prices for all commodities are sky-high at least as far as Filipinos are concerned. Still, investing in properties in Metro Manila is a good idea if you plan on staying there for the long term.

Statista reports the latest average selling price of a condo unit in Metro Manila amounted to Php 225.29 thousand per square meter. The selling price also includes previously occupied units, or units that are flipped by their original owners. You can still find cheaper condo units whenever property developers like DMCI Homes offer them during pre-sale.

Condo units can come in different sizes, with the average condo unit in Metro Manila about 50 square meters in floor area. This is perfect for single occupants, but there are also bigger condo units that allow even larger families to live in them. The number of occupants should definitely be a factor to help you pick out the perfect condo unit for you, so take note of that important detail.

While condo units aren’t as spacious as a house, they are still more conveniently located to transport terminals, business centers, and leisure spots. You won’t have to worry about having to travel large distances to and from your destination.

That being said, condo units offer you convenience despite their limited space. You save up a lot especially in terms of transportation costs. Should you decide to own a condo unit rather than rent one, you could even make a comfortable home in the city.

The following tips will help in making that budget-friendly home a reality.

Budget-friendly interior design tips

Kitchen-GreenPhoto courtesy of DMCI Homes

Simply setting up shop in a condo unit isn’t what makes it a home. Decorating it and making all the necessary changes to create a comfortable environment is. There are many ways you can make a condo unit more homely, and these 13 tips will help you work on things while on a budget.

Plan and prepare

Before you make any changes to your condo unit, make sure you know what you want to do. Assess whether any changes fit your personal style, and whether you have the budget to make all of these changes as soon as possible.

Consider consulting an interior designer if it fits your budget. They may even suggest budget-friendly and space-saving items for your small space. In any case, make sure you understand what kind of home you want to make. It helps minimize the costs since you won’t have to tear things down, put them back up, and do it all over again.

See if you can make something out of the walls

Unless you get permission from the management, repainting the wall or hanging things up with nails are no-nos. However, it does not mean that you cannot spruce up the drab walls of your flat. The secret - wallpaper. This is especially useful for small spaces. There are available wallpapers of different designs that come with adhesive, but these can be a bit expensive. You can reuse fabric with interesting patterns and liquid starch to create your temporary "wallpaper". Check this simple tutorial to start.

White and Black Desk Beside Bed and WindowPhoto courtesy of Medhat Ayad via Pexels

If you are not keen on covering the whole wall with paper, hang things that reflect your personality. Drape posters and designs that inspire you. A budding musician? Reuse old vinyl records. A K-Pop fan? Fill your walls with photos of your idols. You can even consider putting up LED lights to line up your walls.

You can also fill your wall with photos of your works, memories, or just snapshots of random things. Cork boards are also easy to mount on walls using adhesives. You can also post photos of the same color palette for consistency.

Let the outdoors in

One way to make a room alive is to bring the outdoors in. Cheap indoor pot plants are available in any gardening shop for cheap. You can place them on your desks, such as these Yucca house plants, or fully decorate your space with these Moth Orchids.

Living an active lifestyle might even be a good thing for your home. You can mount a bicycle or a motorized scooter on your walls and treat it like a design feature. That is, you can do this after you secure permission from your landlord or property manager.

Letting fresh air in your home might also be a good idea. But take care not to breathe too much pollution while you’re in the city. Consider investing in an air purifier or some scented candles to help mitigate the effects of bad air quality in your home. A vacuum cleaner or a Roomba might also be a good idea if you’re someone dealing with allergies all the time.

If you collect things such as books or paper weights, they can also be used to personalize your condominium unit.

Photography of Furniture and Appliances at HomePhoto courtesy of Alina Vilchenko via Pexels

Make small replacements

No, you aren’t allowed to tear down an entire wall to install a fireplace. However, there are things in a flat that you can replace without getting on the wrong side of the building management. One incredible way to improve your space is to replace your ceiling shades. Usually, they are there for years and have accumulated enough grime to grow plants and other unwanted creepy-crawlies. Purchasing new ceiling shades can also fix the lighting in your apartment.

Shelves can also be made without damaging the walls. You can use pipes and wood panels to add storage while styling the flat. You can also change door knobs, light covers, and outlet covers to reflect your style. These can easily be changed once you move out.

Update the furniture

Lounge chairs, dining tables, beds. Furniture is always a good way to make rooms feel comfortable. They also help determine which areas of your condo are for work, eating, or rest. You can find affordable furniture in many chain stores nationwide. You can even visit your local flea market to find steals that can add that extra bit of personal touch to your home.

Of course, most small spaces would definitely appreciate furniture that helps you save space. Consider maximizing your vertical space by decorating your home with shelves. Maybe your bed can have built-in drawers underneath it to help you store things like clothes.

Couple giving high fivePhoto courtesy of Ketut Subiyanto via Pexels

Bring in some decorations

The right decor can make any room feel brighter. For instance, you can level up any room with the right piece of lighting decor. Not only will you have a fully-functional light source, you will also impress your guests with how nice your interior looks.

You can even opt to hang polaroid and printed photos on a strip of LED lights somewhere in your condo to make it more personal. Maybe add a corkboard to your bedroom and attach some memorable shots there!

Finally, a bit of green could help your mind settle in a calming space within your home. Consider investing in some indoor plants to help set your own routine. Potted and ornamental plants are among the best space-saving options for a small home. Hopefully, taking care of them will be a good way for you to relax and detach from your stressors at work.

Maximize storage and organization

Because you are in a smaller space than most, you need to maximize your storage options very well. Consider adding wall shelves to make the most of your vertical space. A tall bookshelf can even make any room feel larger if set correctly. Aluminum bookshelves are good options, too, since they are flexible and can fit into many room designs.

Organizing your home might seem like a chore, but it really does make a difference. For the most part, you get to free large sections of your condo unit to help you move around and to make it seem more spacious despite your limited space. Sit yourself down, plan which items and furniture you no longer want, and declutter. Before you throw anything away, ask yourself if you can repurpose these items or sell them as secondhand goods.

Utilize textiles and soft furnishings

Unless you like the idea of having a hard interior, your condo unit should have pillows and throw pillows for a comfortable vibe. Choose beddings that accentuate your color scheme. Sometimes, even the type of fabric adds to your design scheme. One simple tip to choosing fabrics: your personal fashion sense defines your home style.

That applies to beddings, curtains, and even rugs and carpets. You can find affordable textile options in shopping malls or your local flea market. Don’t forget to forage online marketplaces to find the perfect rug for you!

Gray Fabric Sofa Placed IndoorPhoto courtesy of Vecislavas Popa via Pexels

Have fun with DIY projects

Arts and crafts aren’t a simple activity for little children. You can personalize your house with things borne out of your own creativity. You can hang your own artworks (or your children’s artworks), paint over wooden furniture like drawers and cabinets, or even make your own furniture with a bit of woodworking skills.

Repurposing old chairs and other old furniture into new ones is also a good alternative to buying brand new fixtures for your home. It is affordable, and can sometimes help you develop a deeper sense of ownership and sentimental value to your home.

If you haven’t yet, consider taking up some DIY classes to help you build furniture for your home. You could also maintain your own furniture, and patch it up should any repairs be required. This will save you a lot of money in the long run, since you’ll be doing the work yourself. If you have children, this could be a great life skill to teach them and a good opportunity to bond with them.

Play with lighting

Natural lighting has many benefits for every home. It helps maximize your condo’s small space, and makes you feel like you have a bit more room to work with. Good lighting also gives a sense of comfort to any room, allowing you to see things clearer and move around efficiently. Light sources also come in many shapes and sizes to allow you to set the mood for any room.

While DMCI Homes makes natural lighting among its top priorities when building a property, some tenants desire something else to fit their personalities. Some residents would prefer DIY lighting options to set the mood at home. Others find lamps, bulbs, or other light sources from malls or online shops.

For example, you can attach LED strips along a bookshelf (like an aluminum one) and make it as bright or as colorful as you want it to be. Dimmable lights are also good moodmakers for your home. If you like dark areas with a bit of color, neon lights can also be purchased online or by demand from specialty stores.

Empty Bedroom SetPhoto courtesy of Victoria Rain via Pexels

Design your kitchen and dining space

You can even choose to line your kitchen and dining room with simple decorations. Large wooden utensils are a timeless Filipino classic, and you can hang them on your kitchen walls or place them somewhere visible.

A bit of color won’t hurt, as you can even hang paintings or photographs to allow your mind to wander as you eat, clean, or cook. A small potted plant on your kitchen counters could also do the trick.

You can also be creative with your kitchen utensils. You can store spices in unique containers, or have colorful mugs, plates, and cups to match your own style. Consult with your property manager if you want to redesign your kitchen’s cabinets and drawers to really drive that homely feeling to your condo’s kitchen.

Spruce up the bathroom

A bathroom should be one of the most relaxing areas of your home. Naturally, making a small bathroom space feel large and relaxing could prove to be a challenge.

Consider buying space saving bathroom essentials for your condo. This breathes new life into your bathroom, and more storage space to store your knick-knacks. Speaking of bathroom trinkets, adding plants or some small DIY projects (like a mirror made out of a chair), could also make your bathroom feel comfortable.

Bathroom interior with sink on counter near toilet and bathPhoto courtesy of Max Vakhtbovych via Pexels

If you truly don’t like the layout of your bathroom, don’t jump the gun on a complete overhaul. Sometimes, you can achieve the bathroom of your dreams by making simple adjustments or adding simple fixtures such as affixing a floating vanity. A renovation must be your last resort, but do make sure to consult a guide before you inform your property manager of any intention to redesign your bathroom.

Maximize the outdoor space

Most condo units aren’t really afforded any outdoor space of their own. If you do have one, consider yourself fortunate that you have a spot to sit back and enjoy the cityscape. Make your outdoor area an oasis by keeping plants on your patio.

If you have a lot of room to work with, maybe have a spot to add some furniture in, like a lounge chair and a coffee table. This should be the perfect place to enjoy a breath of fresh air or some drinks in the evening light.

Use energy-efficient appliances

Of course, saving energy is also the best way to manage your budget. For example, your choice of light sources should be both bright and energy efficient.

That same philosophy should permeate through your choice in appliances. Green appliances such as energy-efficient refrigerators and air conditioning systems can help drive your own carbon footprint down. These types of appliances are also among the top picks to help attract tenants if you want to rent out your condo unit later on. In any case, turning your appliances off or not using them too much is also a good way to drive costs down.

Weatherproofing your home is also one of the best things you can do to prevent additional costs. Like houses, condo units are also affected by ordinary wear and tear. Unfortunately, letting the rainy weather affect your home could make that process even faster. Take note of traditional rainy weather tips to avoid letting your unit deteriorate faster. If you’ve made any renovations, take note of any leaks in your ceiling or near your windows and have them addressed as soon as possible.

There are thousands of ways to upgrade and personalize your condominium unit. It is best to talk to the management first before doing anything major with the space. Regardless, the key is to have a style in mind before you purchase things to avoid wasting money. After all, your rent-to-own condominium unit is a long-term project that you should be proud of.

DMCI Homes’ Rent to Own Program: Home Ready

dansalan-gardens-condominiums-Main Entrance GatePhoto courtesy of DMCI Homes

DMCI Homes’ Home Ready Program offers aspiring property owners the option to purchase a property directly from usI. Because this is a rent-to-own program with participating properties, tenants can experience the condo life in full before they own the unit itself.

Plus, there is no increase to the agreed upon price upon the signing of the contract. The terms are fixed until the contract agreement has ended or the property has been fully paid for by the lessee. The Home Ready Program is also budget-friendly, with at least 60% of your lease amount being credited to your down payment for the property.

Afterwards, you are given the option to purchase the property if you’ve paid for at least 10% of the contract price. The remaining balance may be paid through cash or through DMCI Home’ financial partners.

If you’re interested in purchasing a unit in the participating DMCI Homes properties, call the property manager or fill out the contact form to schedule a conversation with us and be among the first to avail of any future promos by DMCI Homes..

Key takeaways

Rent-to-own condos are an easy way to secure a property without having a previously approved housing loan. This type of lease agreement helps you build your financial portfolio while securing a property at the same time. Of course, personalizing a condo unit before you call it your own could be a risk, but take note of the following takeaways before you sign any agreement:

  • Ready your finances before you purchase a property. Buying a property is clearly a pricey task. Thus, consider a property within your own budget and don’t force yourself into paying a more expensive unit.
  • Personalize your rent-to-own space so that you become more attached to it. This helps you prepare yourself and your family into finally calling the unit your own.
  • Live sustainably and responsibly. Regardless of your financial situation, always take care to avoid any unnecessary expenses. Go green, take care of the environment, and take care of your neighbors. It is kindness and sense of community that drives us forward.


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