What you need to know before buying a condo unit

Posted at 04/29/2014 9:31 AM | Updated as of 04/30/2014 11:32 AM

(Editor's note: This article was written by MoneyMax, the Philippines’ foremost online platform for comparing financial and telecom products and services, for ABS-CBNnews.com. Find out more at MoneyMax.ph.)

MANILA, Philippines - Since property demand in the Philippines continues to post incremental growth, more developers are increasing the number of skyscrapers and mixed-use communities both in urban and rural areas.

This creates a tight competition wherein property developers are forced to come up with more innovative projects, easier payment schemes or generally, more attractive offers.

While locals, OFWs and foreign investors are on a buying frenzy for mid-priced and luxury condominiums, it is smart to follow a simple checklist when weighing your options to make sure that you are getting the best deal.

1. Price

Before you start looking for a condo, make a careful assessment of your finances. This will give you an overview of what you should be looking for and help you to wisely filter your options. Can you shoulder the full price of the condo or do you need to apply for a home loan? Can you shoulder all the fees? Do you have extra money to get your own parking space?

When you manage your finances before making an investment, you will be able to identify your financial obligations and avoid the risk of living in debt.

2. Location

When choosing the location of a condo, you must always consider its proximity to your activities: your work or your children’s education. Most condominium projects are built near shopping malls, hospitals, churches and market, but always remember that all major transportation terminals should be easily accessible.

If you want to find everything you need once you step out of the building, you may choose to get a condo in a mixed-use property or township or in a commercial zone. Do not forget to ask around if the area easily gets flooded or if it’s in an earthquake-prone area.

3. Unit size

Are you living alone or are you living with your family? Keep in mind that the unit size of your condo should be directly proportionate to the number of persons who will live in the condo. However, you may want to buy a one bedroom unit even if you are going to live alone. Remember that you are making a property investment. Getting a studio is only advisable for those who will be renting a unit.

4. Amenities and convenience

If you are living in a mid-priced or luxury condo, then there surely is a gym and a swimming pool within the establishment. Other amenities which may be included are function rooms and playgrounds. Cut down on your gym and recreational memberships by utilizing these amenities. You can allocate the money for your monthly budget or you can transfer these funds to your savings account.

5. Environment

The overall environment of the condominium is one of the key contributors to the price of your condo, so there’s nothing wrong with being meticulous. Aside from asking about the property management, conduct your own inspection. Don’t simply rely on word of mouth no matter how credible your sources are. Some of the key issues which you may want to focus on are population density, cleanliness, waste segregation, and pollution.

MoneyMax.ph has prepared an infographic for those who are ready to get their own condo unit soon.