For many Filipinos, living independently remains a social and financial challenge. Considering our deep familial ties and social anxieties, many prefer the comfort and familiarity of staying with family or friends instead of venturing solo into the real world. For many professionals, living alone means staying in a condo near the workplace. However, rising house prices and spiraling rental rates make solo living a greater challenge than ever. This begs the question: is condo living a manifestation of a dreamy lifestyle? Or is it more of a necessity that can later become a financial challenge?
The Pros and Cons of Condo Living
Until today, many people see condominiums as a financial challenge and a bad investment. However, others insist that condominiums are the better purchase given their often choice locations. Let’s examine the pros and cons of condos and condo living.
The first thing that comes to mind when buying a condominium is location. A multilevel, multiple-unit development results from scarce land availability in a choice location. In a busy street, most developers would rather build a condo with hundreds of units instead of a townhouse complex comprising a dozen houses. This choice guarantees a better return on investment.
The Pros of Living in a Condominium
Condos are popular because of the high demand to live in the same popular space. Take Makati for example. Over one million employees living outside the city arrive at Makati to work in the morning and go home before evening settles in. Many of these workers endure a daily commute time of an hour or more, depending on both location and traffic situation.
Given the choice to live in the city, many would do so if they can afford it. However, the demand for dwellings within a few meters from work far exceeds the capacity. In this case, condominiums offer a great option. If you can afford it, you’d want a residence that’s just a stone’s throw from the office. This strategic location also means being near retail shops, commercial centers, dining establishments, and entertainment complexes. In short, a condo will always be where the action is.
Living in a condominium also means getting to enjoy exclusive amenities, Many condos offer swimming pools, fitness gyms, and clubhouses. In some cases, badminton and basketball courts are also available for use exclusively by residents and tenants. Other amenities include private gardens, meditation areas, and various function rooms. For busy individuals who usually shuffle between their residences and offices, these amenities offer the opportunities to stay fit and connected with neighbors.
Given their target audience, condos in busier districts usually feature retail shops on the ground floor. Apart from the omnipresent coffee shop, most condos will also host convenience stores, laundromats, banks, and the occasional fast food outlet. Many condo dwellers appreciate this convenience given their lack of space to cook or do their laundry.
Enhanced Security and Peace of Mind
Condominiums offer 24/7 security for their residents. The lobby will filter all incoming visitors and ensure that only expected guests are given access. Roving guards will check doors left open and call on owners if something is amiss. Parking spaces are also verified daily to ensure that only authorized vehicles are in their designated spots. Many condo dwellers sleep better knowing that home invaders and robbers have little to no chance of hitting their units.
Help with Maintenance and Cleanliness
Living in a condo also means having designated waste disposal areas that are regularly maintained by sanitation workers. It also means having a crew of plumbers, electricians, and carpenters on standby to fix minor problems such as leaky faucets or major issues like broken windows. Thankfully, these services are part of what you pay for. As long as your condominium association dues are up-to-date, in-house staff will be available to address your concerns.
The Cons of Condo Living
Of course, not everything is a positive thing when it comes to condo living. Some of the potential red flags that can turn you off from condo living include the following:
No Land Ownership
The first thing that comes to mind is that you’re renting a temporary residence that does not come with guaranteed land ownership. Technically speaking, every unit owner in your condominium owns the parcel of land housing the building. Getting your share of any land purchase means getting everybody to agree to sell the entire structure. This won’t be a problem until there comes a time when you need to unload some assets to increase your liquidity. Despite the lack of land, condo prices are at par or even higher than land-based properties such as townhouses and lots.