Buying a Condo? Here are Five Things to Consider

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“Every person who invests in well-selected real estate in a growing section of a prosperous community adopts the surest and safest method of becoming independent, for real estate is the basis of wealth.”

Condominium living has been somewhat of a trend in the Philippines wherein you can find one in almost every nook and cranny of the major cities. Indeed, there are a lot of merits to living in condominiums—especially for perpetually busy Filipinos who long for a more convenient lifestyle. After all, it is a well-known fact that condominium projects and developments pride themselves upon the expedient living they offer to their residents. Living in condos has been associated with an ease of access to most establishments, offices, and entertainment hubs. However, what encourages a prospective condominium buyer to close a deal apart from the practical lifestyle it affords? Well, for most condominium unit buyers, the price would either be a driving factor or a major concern. Unfortunately, if buying a condo unit is in your plans, this should not be the sole consideration you have to make.

A condo unit’s price, albeit a paramount consideration to most condominium buyers, should not be the only consideration. Focusing on this aspect alone might lead you to make bad investments that you would regret soon after. In any case, if you have been eyeing a condominium unit in Avida Asten or wherever, here are some of the other things you should consider:

1.) Location

What good would a condominium unit be if it is located smack dab in the middle of nowhere? If this is the case, it would likely defeat its purpose of being an alternate residency considering living on the outskirts of the city does not offer many conveniences. Apart from that, you should also consider the general safety of the area where your condo is located. Moreover, the location of your condo unit significantly affects the potential price appreciation. So, if you are looking to sell your condo anytime in the future, the location would be a pivotal aspect.

2.) Track record and reputation of the developer

Today, most condominium developers offer their condos at the pre-selling stage in order to sufficiently finance the completion of the project. If you have thought of buying a condo at its pre-selling stage, it would be best if you took a look at the reputation of the developer. This will ensure whether the finished property would be of good quality and if it would be turned over as scheduled.

3.) Parking

Contrary to what most condo buyers believe, parking lots do not come with the unit. You buy them separately, and they can be quite expensive. Condo units by themselves are already expensive, and if you added the price of a parking space with that, it could easily set you back by at least 500K pesos more. If you require parking space, then this should be a primary concern. Furthermore, parking lots appreciate in value and should you not be using them; they can be used to generate extra income.

4.) Population density and amenities sharing

One of the features a condominium has that would entice buyers to close a deal with them is their array of amenities. The more amenities a condo has, the pricier it would be. Basic amenities would include a swimming pool, function rooms, children’s playground, and the gym among others. Before deciding on which condominium to buy, you should assess whether the number of amenities offered corresponds to the price you would pay. Apart from this, you should consider if you would be able to take advantage of the facilities adequately while having to share it with a significant number of neighbors.

5.) Rules and Regulations

Not all condos have the same set of rules. For example, one condominium development might be rigidly strict about having no pets allowed in the units while there are some that can be a bit more flexible. Apart from this, some condos impose strict regulations on what you can modify and alter inside your unit. These are all things you have to consider especially if you intend on making the unit your primary residence as you have to ensure the rules imposed would sit well with you.

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Home Living: How to Split Finances with Your Significant Other

Couples follow a pattern of living. They look for the cheapest house and lot for sale in Philippines, save for the expensive and luxurious buys and plan out their family.

However, discussing finance or expenses can be taboo. It often causes arguments and disagreements between the partners. Unfortunately, failing to plan or discuss finances of the household can provide damages in the long run.

If you and your significant other are not open to the idea of tackling your income, you can talk about your spending and expenses as a household. Here are some tips on how to split you and your s.o. can divide your monthly bills.

Money rules for couples

Communicate money matters

Having a partner means being comfortable to share everything, even the most embarrassing moments of your life. It also means you have to share what how much goes in and out of your wallet. Finance can be a sensitive topic, but if you don’t trust your partner with information regarding your spending habits and financial status then splitting the bills won’t work.

When talking about financial matters, you don’t have to break down what you spend each day. Giving your partner an idea of how you delegate funds each payday will help him or her get a sense of how responsible you are. At the same time, it gives your significant other an idea how to work with your existing funds and habits to reach your long-term goals as a couple.

Schedule dates

There are lots of advantages to plotting dates on the calendar. First, it allows you to make plans considering the budget you set for the day. You also get to see the pattern of your dates if they are monotonous or not. Next, it makes you look forward to the moment.

Steady couples often focus too much on their careers and forget to go out and treat each other to a day out or a fancy dinner. If you are part of the population that has the same experience, a scheduled date will undoubtedly improve your relationship with your s.o.

Scheduled dates also allow you to assign who pays for it. You can take turns on who shells out for the current rendezvous. The other can spend for the next date. Moreover, pre-planned night outs and brunches will give you a chance to have unexpected dates because you both saved extra cash.

Use the 50/50 rule

Most couples the payments for dues and expenses by half. Most of the time, live-in partners are the ones who follow this rule. The total amount of utility bills and living costs are equally divided to two. That way, both parties are liable for the expenses.

However, the 50/50 rule may not be ideal for a couple who have a discrepancy in income. At the same time, there are cases when a partner contributes a larger portion of the expenses than the other. If that is the case, they may try using percentages to compute their share of payment.

The person with a greater net income may have a higher percentage share, but if the same person consumes fewer resources at home, there needs to be a compromise.

Have separate savings

Just because you are open to each other doesn’t mean you don’t save some for yourself. Financially speaking, it’s best for each to have separate funds when saving for personal wants and needs then have a mutual savings account for the future.

Saving is a continuous process. You should not only save money to attain pricey material things, but you should also save for rainy days. Emergencies are unexpected and often cost a lot of money. Thus, having spare money for such instances is important. You can use the stored money in the mutual savings account when the incident occurs.

Avoid IOUs

No matter how smooth sailing your relationship is, some people still have boundaries. The line more often than not is drawn when it comes to financing.

Some partners are not flexible when it comes to money. They expect you to be a responsible adult, the same way they do. Thus, borrowing money to purchase useless things is a no-no. It can be the spark that strains your relationship. Refrain from borrowing money especially if you are unable to pay it back on time.

If you need extra cash, you can use the balance of your savings to withdraw.

Open communication is the best solution for tackling money matters. Starting the habit on the dating stage until co-habitation will make splitting expenses easier.

Philippines Real Estate: Things You Need to Know About Buying a Condo in the Philippines

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“Every person who invests in well-selected real estate in a growing section of a prosperous community adopts the surest and safest method of becoming independent, for real estate is the basis of wealth.”-Theodore Roosevelt

In modern Philippines, you would be hard-pressed not to find a condominium tower in major cities. In fact, it may be argued that you can find one (or one about to be erected) in almost every nook and cranny in its biggest metropolis, Metro Manila. Of course, this rising trend of condominium living is to be attributed to the proliferation of these real estate projects. After all, with a Filipino’s perpetually busy lifestyle, living in a condominium unit would not only be convenient but ideal. With this in consideration, the Philippine condominium market remains as robust as ever and shows no signs of slowing down. After all, with the ever-increasing demand, condominium developers must endeavor to address that exigency.

As Manila is rife with individuals seeking condo units (seeing as it is a premier spot for professional and career growth), it would inevitably be area developers would be so keen to develop. Makati, Fort Bonifacio, and Ortigas are three prime spots where condominium units are the most prevalent. However, with a myriad of options to select from, buying a condo can easily get tricky. How can you ensure that the unit in two serendra is ideal for you? Is there any way of knowing whether the property in question would make a sound investment? While there is no telling for sure, it would be best if you armed yourself with information as regards the property you are looking to buy.

Otherwise, here are a few things you should consider to help you decide where you should put your money:

When in doubt, check the rental yield

Experts in real estate would argue that rental yield is a paramount criterion for real estate investment—and they are right. The Asian average is around 4.2%, but this number is nothing in comparison to those of Metro Manila where rental yields are at an all-time high. Manila is a prime spot for condominium investment as investors can expect a yearly influx of individuals who are looking for condo units to rent—from the students to young professionals.

Consider those places that are near to BPO offices, central business districts, techno-hubs and significant developments as these will be driving factors in raised rental yields.

When looking for condominium units to invest in, consider smaller units

Most individuals looking for a condo unit to rent would hardly be looking for a full-blown condominium complete with three rooms, a suite, and a rather spacious bedroom. Considering as they will mostly be living alone, renting a big condo unit would not only be impractical but unnecessary as well. Save for a few exceptions, it has been determined that the rental demand for one-bedroom and studio type units are higher than two-bedroom units and up—most especially in developments in or in proximity to central business districts.

This is because most potential condominium tenants would likely be looking for only enough space for themselves only making the extra rooms extraneous. So, instead of investing on condos with big spaces and some rooms, choose the single unit ones.

In sum

If you are looking to invest in real estate in the Philippines, breaking ground with condominium units is an excellent way to start. Condominium units are known for their affordability and high rental yields as compared to the Asian average. Select premier areas where the working and student population remains the highest. Furthermore, choose properties in proximity to business districts, schools and BPOs and you are guaranteed a good investment.

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Home Selling 101: Four Ways to Sell a Home Sans The Drama

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“I still think buying a home is the best investment any individual can make.”-John Paulson

Without a doubt, one of the most stressful endeavors one can undertake is selling a home. The logistics itself are complicated—couple that with the frustration of many unsuccessful attempts in finding a buyer and you would inevitably feel worn out and infuriated. Unfortunately, this is very much a reality that can possibly occur when you are trying to sell a home. After all, experiencing an emotional roller coaster is just one of the many consequences you will deal with in your attempt in making a sale. At best, selling a home would make you feel accomplished, proud and relieved when it finally sells at the asking price you wanted. However, at worse it can leave you disappointed at the low ball offers made—that is if any offers are made at all. Regardless of whether the property for sale is located in Bonifacio Global City or is a Makati condo, selling a home is always associated with some kind of drama. But that does not mean that this drama should always occur. Here are ways to sell your home minus the drama:

1.) Figure out and be clear on the reasons why you are selling

There are a lot of reasons that would compel you to sell your home. However, this myriad of reasons may not necessarily resonate with yours. Are you selling because you need to move to a bigger residence? Or do you need to downsize? Are you selling for profit or something else entirely? Figuring out why you are selling your home in the first place would enable you to have a stress-free navigation through the unpredictable seas of the market. Furthermore, it would get you through the days of rather disappointingly low offers. Knowing and focusing on your why are two simple tasks—all it needs from you is a conscious effort to form your own personal vision and values.

2.) Give it the right price

Before putting your house up on the market, it is imperative that you do a thorough check as this is paramount to giving it the right price. In pricing your home, it is important to remember that you look at it from an objective point of view. With this in mind, old sentiments and nostalgic feelings should not be factored in. You may think that your home is worth more than it actually is—only to have the market tell you otherwise. Do not list it too high or your house will stay far longer than necessary on the market.

3.) Be on the lookout for qualified buyers on the web

If you want your home to sell faster, then you need to permeate every single avenue for listing advertisings. This means you should not limit showing your ads only to traditional and typical mediums such as newspapers and the like. Instead, broaden your scope and include websites as a listing opportunity—from social media platforms to house market listings. Take note: the online community is rife with individuals looking for a good deal on houses, and there is a likely chance you would find a potential buyer there.

4.) Be flexible and creative as regards structuring a deal

As said before, it is important to know why you want or need to sell your home. Apart from that, you also need to have a rough idea on how you should go about the process of selling it. However, this is no way means that you should rigidly stick to the process you set your mind on. If you want buyers to consider your offer, you might need to be flexible and open to alternative ways in selling your home. Remember, you get more prospective buyers knocking on your door if you are flexible.

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