Seven (7) Things to Consider when Buying a Condo Unit

Tips when buying condo in the Philippines

1. Location, location, location

When buying real estate, condo units included, a major factor a potential buyer should consider is location, location, location.

The location determines accessibility to needed comforts and conveniences. If you value convenience, get a condo unit that has easy access to restaurants, schools, banks, or hospitals... “Access” here means ability to go to those places by foot in under 10 minutes from the unit.

2. Track Record and Reputation of the Developer

For condos that are still in pre-selling stage, the reputation of the developer matters a lot because it ultimately determines whether the condo will actually be completed. There have been cases of condo projects in the past that halted construction because the developer ran out of money...

For condos that are already ready for occupancy (RFO), the reputation of the developer can tell you if they are committed to work with the condominium homeowners’ association to help manage the condo. Condo management means adoption of effective security measures, strict implementation of condo rules, and proper maintenance of the building.

This is not an endorsement but Ayala Land, Robinsons Land, Megaworld, Federal Land, Century Properties and DMCI, among others, have proven themselves to be reliable real estate developers in the Philippines based on their ability to turn over condo projects to homeowners within predetermined dates.

3. Parking

If you think condo units are expensive, wait till you hear how much parking spaces cost. In our Makati condo, a 9-square-meter of parking slot costs P400,000 to P500,000. Yup, around half a million pesos for a tight parking space. In BGC, some parking slots sell for P600,000 to P1.5 million each... Inquire with your condo’s property office how to rent one or ask other condo residents if they are renting out their unused parking slot.

4. Noise

In a condo, you share everything with the residents — elevators, swimming pool, playground, garden, etc. That includes the noise as well.

5. Amenities and Population Density

A condo may be expensive because of the amenities it offers. Normal amenities include swimming pool, gym, children’s playground, function room, and the like. Assess whether the price you are paying corresponds to the value of the amenities available to you.


Be concerned about the population density of the condo. “Population density” refers to the number of people per available unit area. In a condo, this translates to the number of residents sharing amenities. In short, the more people living in a condo, the more inconvenient it gets because you’ll have to share the same amenities with more people.

6. Association Dues

Living in a condo means paying an additional expense every month: the association dues. This represents your contribution to the shared costs incurred by all condo owners, such as electricity in common areas, water used in swimming pools and to water the plants, wages of security guards, janitors, and maintenance workers, among others. The association dues are usually a fixed amount multiplied by the total floor area of your unit AND your parking slot, if you have one.

Our monthly dues at our Makati condo was P50.00 per floor area while at BGC, it is P80.00 per floor area. So for our 40-square meter Makati condo, association dues were P2,000 per month (that’s P50 x 40 sq.m.), while for our 40-square meter BGC condo, the association dues were P3,200 per month.

Make sure you pay these dues on time because like credit cards, the penalty interest rate for late payment ranges from 1-4% per month. That is a hefty price to pay for late payments.

7. Rules and Regulations

As a resident, you are bound by rules and regulations applicable to all residents and tenants of the condo building.

Some condominiums, for example, totally disallow pets and animals of all kinds. There are condos that forbid tearing down a part of your unit or changing the color of your wall. Some condos allow residents to use the swimming pool or the common area up to a certain time only. Parties inside residents’ units are allowed but normally have to end before 10 or 11 p.m. Know your condo rules prior to buying so you won’t be surprised by the regulations once you have moved in.

Again we reiterate, if you’re looking to buy a condo unit, don’t be concerned with price alone. Several things must be considered so you won’t feel shortchanged or disappointed with your purchase. The list above may not be exhaustive but we hope this gave you an idea on what to look for before buying a condo.


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