If you’re looking for a place to stay in the area of your choice and you don’t have the time or the patience to wait for a condo building to be finished, consider checking out the numerous ready for occupancy condo units available in the city. These are units that are already ready for turnover and you can easily move in once you have signed the contract and made the necessary payments. Developers have capitalized on the high demand for convenient and affordable homes, which explains the seemingly non-stop construction of condo buildings all around the metro.

Why Choose a Ready for Occupancy Unit?

Although pre-selling units has its own pros and cons (they are cheaper than RFO units), it does not suit those buyers who would rather see the finished product before investing a considerable amount of money. This is an understandable concern since there are developers who fell short of the expectations. There are also real estate agents who tend to overpromise just to close a deal. This results to buyers ending up disappointed because the units that they got do not look exactly like the renditions shown to them during negotiations. Thus the conflict of what’s best — preselling vs. RFO unit. If you want to see exactly what you’re going to get before making commitments, an RFO unit is the best option for you.

With so many condos for sale in Manila, it can be difficult to select the one that will fit your needs and preferences. Here are some of the factors you have to consider when looking for the perfect RFO condo.

1. General appearance and condition of the unit

Checking out an RFO condo lets you see the actual unit which will help greatly in your decision to make that down payment. You will see the condo's design, architecture, electrical wiring and other factors that contribute to the unit's appearance and condition. This sure beats looking at architect’s renditions for pre-selling units.

Just because you’re getting the unit brand new doesn’t mean there’s no need to check if everything is in working condition. During viewing, you should examine the RFO unit from top to bottom to ensure that there’s little or no need for costly repairs and additions.

Check the lights, faucets, bathroom flush, and locks if they’re all working. If you plan to bring in old furniture, check the dimensions of the unit to see if it can accommodate your non-negotiable stuff. If you’re looking at a fully-furnished unit, check if everything’s complete and made according to the quality that is promised.

2. “Location, location, location.”

This real estate adage will never be obsolete because really, location is the prime factor when determining the value of a property. A state-of-the-art condo building in an out-of-the-way location may attract fewer buyers compared to a standard building located in the middle of the city. See, convenience is usually the reason why people would consider buying a condo unit; they want a residence that is near all the places of interest such as schools, malls, restaurants, and offices.

If you’re looking for an RFO condo, you need to look at units located near your workplace or school in order to eliminate the need for long commutes and transportation. Keep in mind though that the more convenient the location is, the more expensive the unit is going to be.

3. Value for money

A condo unit with the right looks and the perfect location is still not the best option for you if you don’t have the means to invest in it. After deciding where you want to live, you have to find the unit that you can actually afford to pay for the years to come. You have to consider who’s footing the bill, whether you have to finance it alone or with a spouse or family member.

What happens if one of you fails to come up with the money due to unforeseeable events such as unemployment and sickness? Make sure not to stretch the budget too thin and always leave room for emergency expenses. It’s not wise to blow all your cash on condo rentals and barely have enough left for other necessities.

4. Building maintenance

Association dues will be part of your monthly expenses for the RFO unit so make sure you will be getting your money’s worth when it comes to building maintenance. Make sure to look for a reputable developer who ensures that the facilities are well-maintained and the security and maintenance personnel are always on call. If there are already tenants in the building, you may want to interview some of them to get their feedback on building maintenance.

5. Clear Contract

Once you find the unit suitable for your needs, you should proceed to the tricky business of reading and understanding the contract. Always remember to read the fine print so you can save yourself from trouble in the future. If you’re not confident of your abilities to foolproof an agreement, it’s best to consult a reputable real estate lawyer who can guide you through the legal jargon and iron out the details with the contractor before you sign the paperwork.

6. Utilities

These little things may seem trivial at first but it will matter in the long run if you plan to live in the condo you plan to buy. Among the concerns that belong to this category include network signal and utilities provider. There are condo buildings that receive poor signals for mobile phones and internet use, which can be a major hassle for you as a resident. Make sure to clarify these first with your agent/developer before you make a decision.

7. Reputation of the developer

Do your homework and check out the developer’s reputation and previous properties. The condition of the buildings years after it was built will pretty much tell you how the developer maintains its properties. If the buildings are in dire need of repair and renovation and has been left in that condition for a long time, it’s a sign that you should look for another developer. It’s better to pay a little more money for your RFO unit  if it means living in a condo building that is built to last and maintained according to what’s promised.

Judging from the number of condos in the Philippines that you can put on your list of considerations, you will never run out of options when it comes to finding the perfect condo unit. Remember that buying a condo is a long-term investment so make sure that you cover all your bases.