Author Topic: Buying Tips for a Manila Condo  (Read 2462 times)

Offline Turo

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Buying Tips for a Manila Condo
« on: March 09, 2019, 03:10:49 AM »
Hello All,

My wife and I just completed a trip to the Philippines that included condo shopping. We originally had planned to look/buy in Bacolod, but she had a change of heart during our visit after prolonged exposure to family and small town chismis while in Negros and decided that Manila would be mas mahal. So, we went to Manila and looked briefly there as well prior to departing.
We looked in Makati, McKinley Hill, BGC and Bonifacio Heights and there is plenty available. Our next trip will almost certainly be to purchase. In the meantime though can anyone provide some general tips or do's and don'ts regarding condo purchase in the Philippines. Our agent seems solid, but I make it practice to gather all the information I can and do my due diligence twice.

Any advice/general direction/experience good or bad would be welcome. Thank you in advance for anything offered.

Turo
« Last Edit: March 09, 2019, 03:18:31 AM by Turo »
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Offline piozam13

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Re: Buying Tips for a Manila Condo
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2019, 12:28:02 PM »
location is important.  oftentimes there are more disadvantages than advantages being near family.  i agree with your wife.

Offline Turo

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Re: Buying Tips for a Manila Condo
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2019, 10:20:28 PM »
Piozam, I laughed very hard when she reached the "not near family" conclusion. She had that look on her face like when you smell the milk in the fridge and can't decide if it has gone bad or not when she told me. I am ambivalent about her family. I have known them 30 years and am comfortable around them, but whatever makes her happy works for me, after all this is her home game not mine. Thanks for the reply.
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Offline starrt

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Re: Buying Tips for a Manila Condo
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2019, 07:38:07 AM »
Hi Truro,

I can only give you some general tips, as you haven't given many details on what you are looking for.

There are 3 situations for buying condos here in Metro Manila, 1) the building isn't built yet and you are buying a new unit on specs and photos, with no guarantee of a move in date, 2) the building is built, and you get to choose what is left over, 3) you are buying from an owner and not the developer. Depending on where and what, these choices may be different.

Also, are you looking for a high rise, medium rise, ... ? Do you want/need amenities in the condo, or else close by?

And never forget that buying into a condo means additional expenses throughout the year for insurance, taxes, and repairs on the common areas.

Anyways, a good place to start looking is online, at the developers sites, at online search sites, etc, to give you a general idea of what types of units are out there and their costs.

Good luck in your search.

Thomas

Offline Turo

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Re: Buying Tips for a Manila Condo
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2019, 08:07:17 AM »
Hi Truro,

I can only give you some general tips, as you haven't given many details on what you are looking for.

There are 3 situations for buying condos here in Metro Manila, 1) the building isn't built yet and you are buying a new unit on specs and photos, with no guarantee of a move in date, 2) the building is built, and you get to choose what is left over, 3) you are buying from an owner and not the developer. Depending on where and what, these choices may be different.

Also, are you looking for a high rise, medium rise, ... ? Do you want/need amenities in the condo, or else close by?

And never forget that buying into a condo means additional expenses throughout the year for insurance, taxes, and repairs on the common areas.

Anyways, a good place to start looking is online, at the developers sites, at online search sites, etc, to give you a general idea of what types of units are out there and their costs.

Good luck in your search.

Thomas

Hi Thomas and thanks for your reply. We are looking to purchase and existing unit from a private seller for a variety of reasons. We are not opposed to purchasing from a developer if their offering meets our needs, but I find the practices of most developers on the shady side of unsavory. No high rises as we don't want eleventy thousand neighbors in a building that looks a lot like the ghetto buildings in Hong Kong so low to medium rise is the general goal.

We are no so concerned by what is close by other than the airport, but we would like a pool and the ability to lock up and leave without worrying too much.

We have a realtor who is solid, but I thought any insight gathered from the seasoned folks on this sight  couldn't help but assist in a smooth purchase. I would rather buy a tbone in the store than put my hand up a cows backside to feel it if you know what I mean.

Turo
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Offline FastWalk

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Re: Buying Tips for a Manila Condo
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2019, 08:31:33 AM »
Sounds like fun,   I always have a similar advice for this sort of question.   Suggest to rent for awhile in the area you want to live.  I think there are also plenty of good reasons to just buy right away also...

for me the following are why I would not buy right away (however... I did buy instead of rent to start out).

- Get to know the exact area better,  how is the traffic,  local stores,  local culture,  etc...   Most of this stuff one can not know until living day and night in an area for some time.  In my opinion this is more important if choosing to be away from other family.  I mean as annoying as the family can be they probably will not kill you.
- Avoid buyers remorse,  I mean figure out what amenities are really wanted vs watching and thinking about it from a distance.
- While renting looking for a bargain on the one to buy.


 

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Offline JoeLP

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Re: Buying Tips for a Manila Condo
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2019, 09:04:34 AM »
Somewhere on this forum, there is a lot of stuff that Lee left us about condo shopping.  Everything from making sure your confident in the security setup to not buying a top floor condo due to roof leaks and how slow some condo companies are in getting those fixed and more. 

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Offline codefreeze

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Re: Buying Tips for a Manila Condo
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2019, 09:42:56 PM »
Sounds like fun,   I always have a similar advice for this sort of question.   Suggest to rent for awhile in the area you want to live.  I think there are also plenty of good reasons to just buy right away also...

for me the following are why I would not buy right away (however... I did buy instead of rent to start out).

- Get to know the exact area better,  how is the traffic,  local stores,  local culture,  etc...   Most of this stuff one can not know until living day and night in an area for some time.  In my opinion this is more important if choosing to be away from other family.  I mean as annoying as the family can be they probably will not kill you.
- Avoid buyers remorse,  I mean figure out what amenities are really wanted vs watching and thinking about it from a distance.
- While renting looking for a bargain on the one to buy.

I think this is really good advice.

OP: You don't mention if after the purchase you will be living there year round, or splitting time between there and somewhere else? I think that's important to know.

Offline Turo

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Re: Buying Tips for a Manila Condo
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2019, 10:39:35 PM »
Thanks to all for your replies. Your information is very appreciated. We will actually be staying in my sister in laws condo in Bonifacio Heights during our next visit to puchase for a month or so. The eventual plan is to live in the Philippines 10 months of the year with the rest devoted to travel and visiting those remaining in the US so we need a unit that is relatively safe to lock and leave. We have spent some time in the area (McKinley, BGC, Bonifacio Heights...Taguig in general) and are comfortable with most of what is there with Manila traffic being the biggest caveat and the cigar lounge in the Manila Penninsula in Makati the biggest draw (for me). Our main requirements though are ease of airport access, a pool and a low rise unit larger that 55sqm.

I recall reading Lee's comment about penhouses and to never buy one. I actually used that advice in a real and immediate way when we nixed a unit in Bacolod during this last visit.
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Offline codefreeze

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Re: Buying Tips for a Manila Condo
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2019, 08:44:53 PM »
<snip>The eventual plan is to live in the Philippines 10 months of the year with the rest devoted to travel and visiting those remaining in the US so we need a unit that is relatively safe to lock and leave.<snip>

In that case I would add "make it a reasonable size" to your list - ideally two bedrooms. We stayed mostly in studio type apartments and soon realised we'd get cabin fever if we lived there long term. A bedroom/study or TV room where you can shut the door and have some me time or go into "man cave mode" is a good idea. :)

I think your choice to go low-rise is possible a good thing. With high-rise you do have a feeling of being up in an eerie - this may be fine short term, but I suspect you'd feel very isolated after a while. One caveat though with low rise - make sure there are decent communal facilities. I say this as I found these places (swimming pool, gym, mini-mart, laundry) a great place to meet other expats and find out what's going on. I would also look for a place where there was a decent sized mall nearby. Great place for mallathons (exercise), but you've got doctors, church, dentists, supermarkets (Rustins etc.) restaurants etc there too.

Good luck!

Offline Turo

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Re: Buying Tips for a Manila Condo
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2019, 09:22:30 PM »
Thank you codefreeze. That is solid advice. The two bedroom is the way we are going I think based upon spacial comfort. Some of the units we looked at, particularly in BGC and Makati were claustrophobic. I am looking forward to meeting people when we arrive so a broad expat community will be most welcome.
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Offline David690

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Re: Buying Tips for a Manila Condo
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2019, 01:24:26 PM »
Thank you codefreeze. That is solid advice. The two bedroom is the way we are going I think based upon spacial comfort. Some of the units we looked at, particularly in BGC and Makati were claustrophobic. I am looking forward to meeting people when we arrive so a broad expat community will be most welcome.

2 bedrooms in 55sqm, will indeed be claustrophobic.  Personally I couldn't live in such a small unit full time.  OK for short term, holidays etc, but I would go stir crazy if I had to live full time is such a small space. Just my personal opinion.
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Offline Hank

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Re: Buying Tips for a Manila Condo
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2019, 04:03:55 PM »
Interesting question Turo .. buying low to medium rise real estate in and around Manila ..

You've got some folk having a quick look at what's currently available again. This time mainly just on Craigslist, which of course, as you know, is like most of the Phils in being fairly disorganized  :)  However there are a number of perhaps somewhat interesting places for Manila currently available .. for example ..



https://manila.craigslist.org/reb/d/kathleen-place-4-townhouse/6826895838.html



https://manila.craigslist.org/reb/d/for-sale-pre-owned-townhouse-in/6798614426.html


https://manila.craigslist.org/reb/d/rush-don-antonio-heights-qc-spacious/6820613116.html


https://manila.craigslist.org/reo/d/for-sale-cozy-delightful-3-story/6807852995.html




Offline Turo

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Re: Buying Tips for a Manila Condo
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2019, 10:48:43 PM »
Claustrophobic indeed David. I agree. 55 is a minimum, bigger, in this instance, would certainly be better.

Disorgannized is being generous in my experience Hank, but you play the hand you are dealt. Nice units you found. I will have to dig deeper. Those do hold some appeal.
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