Myths vs Facts: The Real Deal About Buying a Condo
It’s like living in a box. It’s too expensive, and it will be taken away from you in 50 years. It’s too cramped, you share a space with hundreds of tenants, and you can forget about privacy.
These are just some of the usual arguments against buying or living in a condo. It’s funny because most of the people who give these kinds of “reviews,” have not even experienced living in a condominium.
Condo living is not an extremely popular choice of dwelling for nothing. Young professionals, couples, families, and even OFWs have come to understand the value of owning one. Apart from comfort and convenience, condos are a good investment, whether you are looking to rent it out or live in it.
In condo buying, you are likely to hear a lot of opinions. As you weigh down pros and cons, you will encounter condo myths and misconceptions that will hold you back. Here are some of the condo buying myths you are likely to hear and read about, and why you should not fall for them.
Condos are way too expensive
Four million pesos for a 50-square-meter, two-bedroom home? Really? Yes, really. But let’s look at your other options. A townhouse in a prime area in Quezon City can cost how much? For sure, it isn’t just four million, and you’re lucky if a floor (they are usually two or three storeys) would measure around 50 square meters.
How much does a lot costs per square meter these days? It depends on the area, and it is likely that your four million won’t be enough, and that’s excluding actual construction costs. The truth is that a four-million-peso home in a prime location like Makati, Ortigas, BGC, Quezon City or Mandaluyong is already great value for your money.
It’s such a risky investment
Real estate has proven time and again that it is probably the best investment you’ll ever make. Investing in a condo means investing in a property whose value doubles in just a couple of years. Apart from living in it, there are other things you can do with a condo such as turn it into an office space, rent it out or sell it twice the price in a few years’ time.
Units are too small
This is the perennial complaint of people about condos, most of them have not lived in them. Units come in different sizes, but what most developers have learned to accomplish is to maximize the space so that every square meter and every corner is utilized. Some condos are also built to be bigger than the average, such as a two-bedroom DMCI condo that is normally around 60 square meters with a balcony.
Size matters, sure. But what you do with the space matters more. Condo spaces are not only about form, they are first and foremost about function. With the right attitude towards space-saving designs, your condo can feel like a massive bungalow.
Condo fees are expensive and pointless
Condo communities have varying homeowner’s fees, which usually cover security, garbage disposal, and use of facilities and common amenities. If you think that 24/7 security is pointless, then skip condo living and homeowner’s charges altogether. If you think the use of the gym or the children’s playground is a waste of money, then opt for a home where it is unsafe for children to play on the streets and a set up that would require you to sign up for a gym membership.
These fees assure that you get the comfort and convenience you desire from owning a good condo unit. These fees make sure that you and your family are safe, your surroundings are well-kept, and everything you need is just right outside your doorstep.
Rules are too strict
In any unit of society — families to communities to countries — there are always rules. Parents can enforce curfews, community leaders can set rules on garbage segregation, and governments have laws on taxes. So if one of the condo buying myths you will encounter is that condos are rules, that is true. But are they too strict? Not really. Rules are usually about parking, pets, use of elevators, waste segregation, house parties, and basically matters that concern other tenants. Rules exist to protect the residents, and to ensure peace and order in the community. Wouldn’t you want that?
Improvements are not allowed
Sometimes, condo rules also cover renovations and improvements. But almost all condos allow them, depending on the extent of renovation you want. The usual interior design elements such as repainting and drilling here and there are normally allowed.
For singles only
People often quip that condos are only for singles, and that young and successful professionals who like modern living and being near the latest happenings in town, are the only ones who are a perfect fit for condo living. False.
While condos are popular among the younger demographic, more and more families are also choosing to live in condo communities given the many benefits in terms of raising children. The older crowd also sees condos as a retirement option, so that they are near their loved ones in the city and never lose touch of the social scene. OFWs look at condos as great investment opportunities that will ensure that the money they worked so hard for abroad is not put to waste.
It’s gone after 50 years
What happens to a condo after 50 years? If you will listen to the myth, then you’ve probably heard that it will be demolished. That is absolutely false.
Republic Act 4726 or the Condominium Act of the Philippines gives three factors before declaring that a building is uninhabitable: (1) building has been existing for more than 50 years; (2) building is obsolete and uneconomical; and (3) owners holding more than 50% interest in the common areas oppose efforts to repair, restore, or remodel the project. These three factors need to be satisfied.
Condominiums are built with the latest technology and are maintained regularly, which means a condo becoming obsolete is highly unlikely.
Now, that you had a look into the most common condo buying myths and truths, you know better than to fall for them easily. Buying a condo isn’t an easy decision to make, more so a commitment that is easy to sustain. You need to do a lot of research, you need to consider a lot of things, but be careful about believing in some baseless myths that might keep you away from the best investment of your life.