One thing I’ve learned a few years ago when my husband and I decided to buy our first condo was that buying a condo unit is not as easy as buying your clothes, gadgets or any other property where preference can change from time to time, wherein, as soon as the fad and fashion fades, the preference also changes and your asset may become worthless within a short span of time. Buying a condo unit, on the other hand, entails a lot of risks especially so because owning a condo may involve your whole life. Either it becomes your main livelihood by having it as home for yourself and your family or as an investment for an added income thru rentals or to be liquidated in the future. The choice of the condominium unit can either make or break your purpose for having one. So to eliminate the risks involved in buying condominiums, I have come up with 5 things which we have considered when we were in that same situation. Read on and allow yourself to have a guided decision.
1. Select the location & the type of unit best suited to your plans, goals and needs
Know your purpose in owning a condominium. Evaluate your goals in life. Remember that what you decide on today will greatly affect your future. Whether you are single or have a family of your own, you should think about your short-term and long-term goals. Ask yourself questions that will greatly impact your lifestyle in the future. What are your plans for the next five to ten years? Will you be changing your status? Will you be changing careers? Where do you plan to settle? These questions will help you decide whether you should buy or invest in a condo, where will be its location and what type of unit you will buy. When we decided to buy our first condo, the first consideration we had in mind is that we wanted to have a home near our workplaces where traffic will not be an issue and our family will just be stones’ throw away when they need us. We also wanted to own a property in the urban area in close proximity with establishments such as shopping malls, hospitals, schools, and parks. However, we also wanted to experience nature where we can relax after a long days’ work so we’ve chosen a condominium just adjacent to the bay area in the urban city. Its location was hence, perfect for our plans, goals and needs.
2. Ask an expert not just the agent or broker
Maybe a lot of you would raise an eyebrow and ask me “so who are the experts in condos?” Is it not the real estate brokers or agents who convinces you to buy that nice condo you browse in a brochure, internet or saw during open houses? Well come to think of it, unless you and your agent/ broker are friends, remember that those people simply earn their living by getting a commission from your purchase. Oftentimes they too have a quota sales requirement from the developer to earn added commission so that super special treatment you’re getting from them will turn 180 degrees once you signed the Contract to Sell. Anyway, with due respect to the agents and brokers, they are not really your enemies. In fact, you can acquire from them a lot of information you want regarding the subject property. Just make sure that you have obtained all the right information you need before jumping into buying that much awaited condo unit. You can also ask your lawyer friends, engineers, or accountants to help you understand the technicalities involved in purchasing a condo (ie. terms and conditions of the contract, unit design and structure, taxes associated and best financing option).
3. Choose the best payment option
Most developers offer several payment schemes for installment buyers. In choosing an installment plan, consider the flow of your income. You can also talk to banks if the developer is an accredited partner if they could offer a better financing scheme so you could forge the best financing deal before buying the property. You can also talk to financial experts to discuss and analyze your payment options. As for us, the best deal we got was money borrowed from a relative which was a lot lower interest rate (payable within a short period of time) compared to banks and other lending companies.
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