Here in the Philippines, real estate developers race on land acquisition because finding the perfect place to establish a condominium means big revenues especially in big cities. And in these cities, people are leaning towards purchasing condo units instead of houses because the latter are either too expensive or too far away.
I started to search for a condominium unit two years ago where my wife and I could live in close to our work. We visited at least three sites and searched many others on the internet. There were a lot of factors to consider and I want to share my personal experience with everyone.
1. Proximity to business districts
If you are an employee like me, this should be your number one priority. Condominiums near to business districts are more expensive but it could save you lots of travel time if you work there. Your office may only be 10 kilometers away from your condo but your travel time could take up to 2 hours during rush hour. Just imagine living farther away.
I remember walking for 7 kilometers on one rainy Friday night because all public transports are full. Good thing I was only 7 kilometers away from home, but how about the others who live 20, 30 kilometers away? They have no choice but to wait for a public transport or get a cab and pay one thousand pesos or more, depending on the distance and the cab driver.
If you could find a condo which is situated in a flood-free area despite heavy rains, then great! One of the sites I visited two years ago was a low-rise condominium and the sales agent told me that the ground floor units were flooded during the typhoon Ondoy. So you really have to do some research with regards to floods, not only in the condo complex itself, but also in areas on the way to the condo.
3. Proximity to malls and supermarkets
Condos near business districts will most likely have malls and supermarkets near them. The only downside is that the commodities will be more expensive than in palengke or wet markets.
4. Proximity to hospitals, clinics, and schools
This will be a little bit more difficult because in terms of hospitals and schools, we usually have choices in mind, at least for me. So you should also consider these when looking for a condo.
5. Public transport
Whether you have a car or not, check for the public transport to and from the condo. Is it near to a terminal or do you have to wait for a bus or a UV express with available seats?
I remember going to Kasara Urban Resort Residences. We already made a reservation back then but I realized that the public transport would be very difficult and it’s far from EDSA. So I refunded my reservation and I have no regrets. We got a condo just 10-minutes walk away from EDSA! We don’t have a car so public transport is very important for us.
6. Is it quiet?
Even if you live on the 37th floor, you will still hear the horns of cars from below. If you can find a condo that is not facing the main road, that would be a lot better. If you care about the views from the window, it’s up to you, but it’s the least of my concerns.
7. Does it have amenities?
To be honest, I really don’t care about the amenities as long as I can live peacefully in the condo. But if you do, you can check for swimming pools, common areas, and whatever amenities you want.
8. Water pressure
Consistent water supply is important but I also consider the water pressure flowing through the faucets. If the water pressure is low, certain washing machines will not work. Bidets will also be useless.
9. Remoteness to fault lines
One thing that is scary living in a high-rise building is during earthquakes. If you can find a good condo far from fault lines, the better.
10. Don’t be fooled by the model units
Model units are so glamorous that you would want to purchase right away. However, model units may not be constructed with the same materials as with the actual units. Ask the developer how the walls are constructed. Will you be able to drill on the walls and put a shelf intended for heavy loads?
Check the toilets as well. Ask the developer if they would use the same model of toilet for the actual units. Open the toilet tank and see if it’s of good quality.
Check for outlets. Are there enough number of outlets inside?
11. Choose a unit adjacent to the elevators
This is only my opinion but it makes sense to choose a unit adjacent to elevators because
- you will only deal with one noisy neighbor, if any.
- the walk will be shorter to and from the elevators.
- the walls surrounding the elevators are reinforced so during earthquakes, these walls should be the last ones to break.
These are the things I thought as of the moment, but I would add to this list if anything more comes to mind.