Should you buy a house and lot, townhouse, or condominium? In a perfect world, smart real estate investing will mean putting your money in all three property types. However, for most of us, purchasing property is best done one at a time. This brings us to the burning question: which property type is the best choice?
Of course, buyers have different reasons for purchasing properties. First-time homeowners will have a different mindset compared to repeat buyers. Likewise, homebuyers with the sole purpose of investment also have their objectives. To get a better view of each property type, let’s take a close look at the differences between a house and lot, townhouse, and condominium.
House and Lot: More than a Basic Property Purchase
Many people believe that buying a house and lot is the safest form of real estate investing. That’s because once you complete the payment, you’ll have your land titled in your name. For many, the security of having a lot means having a tangible investment that grows in value over time.
Why We Like It
In addition, the property attached to the lot is absolutely detached from any neighboring property. Apart from unprecedented privacy, this frees owners to do whatever modifications they want to their property without triggering neighbors who share the same walls or buildings. However, property modifications still require permits as defined by the National Building Code of the Philippines. In addition, some villages require consistency in exterior appearances so restrictions might apply.
All in all, however, a house and lot unit remains the most open in terms of personalization and modifications. Another big advantage of buying a house and lot is the potential for adding more space for your interior and exterior needs. For those who like gardening, doing yard work, or tinkering in the garage, only a house and lot option gives you opportunities for one or all three activities. For growing families, renovating existing floors to make way for new rooms or even adding new floors is possible.
Things to Consider
As for the downsides? Owning a house and lot means shouldering the entire responsibility of maintenance. This includes having to deal with any utility-related problems such as water, electricity, or communications. Depending on your location, the value of your house and lot may rise or fall depending on demand. This is why it’s important that when buying property, make sure to deal with reputable sellers or use trusted real estate platforms.
Additionally, property ownership is limited to condominiums for foreigners. As a result, house and lot units remains a local attraction. As such, the growth potential remains limited to how the local housing market reacts.
Our Top House and Lot Picks
- The Enclave (Filinvest Land)
- Portofino Alabang (Brittany Corporation)
- Park Slopes Estates (Transphil Real Estate Development Corp)
Townhouses: a Great Middle Ground
Yes, we know. A townhouse is technically a house and lot. The major difference between a townhouse and a house and lot is its relationship with neighboring houses. House and lot units are freestanding properties. Meanwhile, a townhouse shares at least one wall with another townhouse. In terms of structure, townhouses share the same design as the rest of the complex. Despite the relatively smaller lot cuts, a typical townhouse usually has two or three floors and a garage.
Why We Like It
Townhouses are great for small family households who prefer a house and lot within a small community. Set within a reasonable distance from business districts, townhouses can serve as a worthwhile investment that’s leasable for working professionals with small families.
Things to Consider
Like house and lot units, townhouses allow property owners to own tangible land. With smaller lot sizes and uniform construction, they’re more affordable compared to standalone houses and lots. While the homeowners’ association plays a more active role in ensuring that all house sport a uniform look, individual owners hold the primary responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of their units. The HOA will still collect monthly fees from residents to ensure the continuity of basic services (security, garbage collection) and common areas maintenance.
Our Top Townhouse Picks
- Brizlane Residences (MetroStar Realty)
- The Alcove (Kommuno Properties)
- Tomas Morato (MetroSummit Properties)
Condominiums: Convenience and Conformity
Then, there are condominiums. Usually located at the heart of business districts and urban centers, condos provide residential options for people who require dwellings near their workplaces. With space at a premium, condominium units are much smaller compared to detached homes and townhouses. They usually come in variants of studio (one room with a bathroom) or one or more bedroom options (usually one to three). Given their sizes, condominiums are usually cheaper and easier to acquire. A single residential development can house hundreds of units in a single tower.
Why We Like It
At the same time, condos are usually in proximity to modern necessities that cater to today’s urban lifestyle. This includes banks, 24-hour convenience stores, department stores, pharmacies, dining establishments, coffee shops, and laundromats. Plus, the availability of basic services such as ample electricity and water plus high-speed internet is more guaranteed in condo-dense areas. In addition, excellent amenities like swimming pools, gyms, and clubhouses are available exclusively for residents.
Things to Consider
Maintenance and upkeep are also easier with condominiums. A homeowners’ association collects monthly fees from residents to operate amenities, pay staff salaries (reception, security, admin, janitorial), and keep common areas operational. An in-house team will also be on standby to address problems from leaky faucets to broken door hinges to noisy air conditioners.
For these reasons, condominiums are the preferred domiciles of working professionals, working couples, and active lifestyle individuals. As an investment, condominiums offer great value. Given their usual location in high-density areas, their value often appreciates faster due to higher demand. This is why renting out or flipping condominiums is often a profitable undertaking for many property investors.
Our Top Condominium Picks
- Olin at Jade Drive (Ortigas Land)
- Le Pont Residences (RLC Residences)
- The Velaris Residences (RHK Land)
Should You Buy a House and Lot, Townhouse, or Condominium?
Before answering this question, buyers should always ask themselves why they’re buying property in the first place. Is it something to move into immediately? Is it a second home that also serves as an investment? Or, is it a pure investment play that takes advantage of pre-selling rates in order to turn a profit in the future? Either way, property investments can’t miss. For many working professionals and households, having a home is a psychological barrier that symbolizes independence: No matter what happens, you will have a place to go home to. Meanwhile, business-minded individuals find real estate investing a safe place to park their money.
The choice between purchasing a pre-selling or a ready-for-occupancy (RFO) property mostly depends on your financial health and your immediate need for a home. RFOs are understandably more expensive as they’re ready for immediate occupancy. If you can afford the time, pre-selling units are often worth the wait as they’re between 30% to 50% cheaper. Investors and second-home buyers count on the savings of pre-selling properties to turn a profit in the future.
Other Considerations in Real Estate Investing
For buyers planning to reside in their planned home purchase, consider your requirements. Does work or business require you to live in close proximity to your office? Or, are you the type who wants a total work-life balance? A home that’s a considerable distance from your office might be what you need to achieve this balance. Finally, family size is also a consideration If you’re going solo or just with your significant other, a condominium might be your best bet. This is especially true if you’re busy individuals who have little time to clean a whole big house daily or weekly.
It’s also best if you take a look at the current rates of house and lot units, townhouses, and condominiums in the Philippines. Here are links listing BGC condos for sale as well as a list of condominiums in Makati. Meanwhile, you might find your dream property among the entries in this list of townhouses for sale in across the country. Finally, here is a list of house and lot units for sale in Metro Manila from the country’s top developers.
Ohmyhome Helps You Make Great Real Estate Investing Decisions
Trying to choose between a house and lot, townhouse, or condominium for your next real estate investing move? Ohmyhome can help you make the most out of your hard-earned money. Ohmyhome has partnered with more than 180 of the country’s top developers to provide tens of thousands of listings. As a result, we’ve helped over 13,000 happy and satisfied clients to buy, sell, or lease homes. Why not try us out and visit the Ohmyhome website? Or, download the Ohmyhome iOS and Android apps for easier access to thousands of available properties.