Along with location, the type of property is an important consideration when buying a home. In the Philippines, the most common home options are either houses and lots or condominiums. Seemingly sitting on the opposite ends of the residential real estate spectrum, there are advantages and disadvantages to both, and your lifestyle and the cost of the property can help determine which between a single-family house or a condo is the more suitable choice to best address your dwelling needs.
|Given the land requirements of houses and lots, most are located outside the city. This is ideal for those who prefer to live in more laid-back communities and can make do with residing in an area where urban conveniences such as malls, parks, and business centers, among others, are not all available or within convenient distance.
|A fringe benefit to most condos is they are typically located in cities like Metro Manila. This makes it easy for residents to get to and from school or work, as well as gives them the advantage of being within a relatively convenient range to commercial centers, healthcare facilities, and government offices.
|Because houses and lots are generally larger, they are usually more expensive both in terms of price and property taxes. While some houses can be a little more affordable than some condos, these tend to be in areas outside the likes of Metro Manila, but are still worth considering in the provinces nearby which are being developed to become part of the Greater Manila Area.
|Given their size, condos are usually more affordable, unless they happen to be of the penthouse variety or are in an upscale development. Condos that are pre-selling, or being sold before being built, are an even more affordable way to buy. In addition, developers and financial institutions are also presently offering more flexible financing options for condos as a result of the economic challenges stemming from the pandemic.
|For houses and lots, ownership encompasses both the structural property and the land it is built on.
|With condos, your sole ownership is for your condominium unit, while shared ownership with the rest of the unit owners is what you have with regard to the lot that the building/s and common areas are built on.
|Among the most obvious benefits to living in a house and lot is having significantly more privacy. Even when having neighbors that are right beside your property, all of you still have your own private lots that further the distance/boundaries you need from each other.
|While you have privacy inside your unit, outside of it becomes a little trickier because everywhere else on the property shares the space. With that, privacy in a condo is not as it is with houses and lots, and there’s also a greater possibility to be disturbed by the noise (and even smells) coming from people from next door.
|Although exclusive communities usually have a semblance of security that is comparable to condo developments, as previously mentioned, not all houses and lots are located in these types of communities. For those that are part of more open neighborhoods, security is mostly the responsibility of the owner/residence, although the neighborhood’s overall security should be ensured by the local government.
|Because of the number of units and residents, security is typically tighter in a condominium development. Apart from a reception area that monitors who comes in and out of the buildings, the overall property is only immediately accessible to residents, with key sections usually kept secure via CCTVs and other security measures.
|With house and lot ownership comes the freedom of being able to more or less do what you want with your property. With that said, being able to make any and all changes also means being solely responsible for the maintenance of the home.
|Because all else besides the inside of your condo is shared property with the community, there are very few options in terms of personal renovation or improvement. On the plus side, however, any maintenance work needed on the property that is not in your actual home is decided on and covered by the condo association or property managers.
|Although some subdivisions have amenities, these are usually not as extensive as that of a condominium. Additionally, not all houses and lots are located in gated communities.
|Amenities & Conveniences
|Condos, especially the new ones, typically feature amenities such as a swimming pool, clubhouse, basketball court, 24-hour security, and the like. While not yet common to all condo communities, several also even have commercial establishments as part of the development.
|Houses and lots are simply significantly larger compared to condos, so they also expectedly have a greater floor area. The living space can be further increased when the home has (or adds) more than one story.
|Condos are considerably the more modest between the two in terms of floor area, although this isn’t always a disadvantage as a smaller space means easier upkeep.
|House and lot ownership commonly do not mean having to pay association fees, that is if the home isn’t within a gated community or subdivision that usually has a homeowner association.
|Being part of a residential community that shares in the land and common areas means having to pay member or association fees. Within these payments are your share of the realty tax where the condo stands, tax on common areas, and fees for its repair and or maintenance.
|Having land that is all to yourself means being able to own a cat or dog of any size, as they will be able to move about freely within your property with little risk of being an inconvenience to neighbors.
|While some condo developments allow for the ownership of small-sized cats or dogs, others may not, depending on the homeowners association or property management. A common reason is some residents may be allergic. Then, even when allowed, living in a modest space may also not be the most ideal for some pets anyway.
Indeed there are advantages that houses and condos hold over the other, while also having respective compromises which you’ll have to make after you choose. Whichever you decide on, both are a substantial investment, where knowing which one can better cover your residential needs and preferences will help in your getting the most out of the property.
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