Buying a Condominium in the Philippines

By: grem1

Looking for a condominium to purchase will take time and effort!

With the many condo projects existing, being built or at the pre-selling stages, the potential buyer has to be informed of his many options.
The potential buyer has many sources of preliminary information for his condo selection process, such as billboards, newspaper and magazine ads and write ups, flyers and brochures, the internet, family, friends, associates, brokers and agents.
The most important thing for the potential buyer is to make up his mind with regard to the location and his budget.
But due to budget limitations, many buyers are forced to look elsewhere other than their first choice of preferred location.
This is where the help of brokers and agents are needed.

Care should be taken when buying a condominium in the pre-development stages.
For some projects, it is really difficult to judge the outcome since some projects are being pre-sold for years before the building is to be completed.
Check all the necessary documents and check the site to be sure where your unit will more or less be.
By going to the site, you can see the surroundings, which you may have overlooked or assumed otherwise.
In many cases, the brochure will show the area is near the mall, commercial centers, etc. The brochure may not have indicated the kind of traffic in the area, the narrow roads, the atmosphere (industrial, residential, mix, rural) the kind of community, or squatters nearby etc.

Documents -- Check if the developer has obtained all the necessary documents from the concerned agencies.
Although License to Sell is one of the major requirements, it is not a guarantee that the project will be finished.
Check the other requirements such as the Contract to Sell which one may find not to ones liking in the contract. the CCT, latest tax declaration and tax receipt for the condo unit. Other documents such as Master Deed and Declaration of Restrictions and House Rules are only showed to buyers who have already reserved for a unit

Track Record of the Developer -- Check what the past developments were, if the project was done with the customer in mind, if the developer or chief officer has scandalous legal cases before.
Density of the Building/Project The unit may be affordable but problems may arise later on as there may be too many residents in the building or project that it may just look like a tenement five years from the present.

Parking Slot and Utilities -- A number of parking slots are too expensive.
In majority of cases, the parking slot is not included in the total selling or contract price of the unit.
Some units are not allocated a slot or limited only up to one or two slots depending on the unit purchased.
Some projects don't have enough water, or their phone land line will take a few years to be operational.

Payment Terms-- The payment terms may look easy but just ask what the consequences are if one is not able to pay up on time.
There are developers who are very strict when it comes to paying on time.

Miscellaneous / Transfer Fees -- The miscellaneous (electric meter, notarial fees, insurance, etc.) and transfer fees are not included in the total contract price.
These fees are paid only when the buyer has fully paid for the unit or will obtain a bank loan.

Association Dues -- The dues are quite high for some projects.
The buyer will have to start to pay the dues upon the turn over of the unit to him or even before that, whether he will live in the unit or not.
The start of the payment is written in the Contract to Sell.
In some cases, there is a one-time membership fee to be paid plus two months advance for the dues.
After the initial information and explanations, the potential buyer has to go to the site itself to get the feel of the atmosphere.
Example, buying a penthouse unit in a twenty-storey building in one area may have a good view for the next five years after the completion of the building.
But may be in eight years time, a taller building will be built opposite or beside it, blocking the view, which defeats one of the prime considerations why one chose the topmost floor - the view, the prestige and the privacy of living on the highest floor.

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As an end-user buyer, buying a condominium is a great way to buy a place in a very urbanized area. There are many advantages in buying and living in a condominium compared to buying a house and lot.

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