Here are the Pros and Cons of Buying a Townhouse or Apartment in the Philippines

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The decision to buy an apartment or townhouse should start with prioritizing the needs and the wants of the dwellers.

For years now, apartments and townhouses have been the popular choice of abode, especially for new families. The reason is pretty simple as an apartment or a townhouse presents the perfect middle ground—a bigger space than most condos yet more affordable than single detached houses.

Browsing through Lamudi Philippines’ property listing reveals a significantly high concentration of units in the suburban areas of Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Quezon City, which also garner a high demand in searches. These cities have high areas that are constantly abuzz with activity, yet they also provide corners that are ideal for quiet living.

Wherever one decides to purchase an idyllic apartment or townhouse and settle down, consider the following advantages and disadvantages of making this particular real estate investment:

PROS

They are similar to condominium units and single detached houses.

Apartments and townhouses may provide the benefits of both condominiums and single detached houses to an extent.

They take after the single detached house in terms of purchasing, not only the unit itself but also the land on which the house is built. Miscellaneous dues should be lower since shared common areas are quite scarce in this type of arrangement.

They are cheaper alternatives.

On the other hand, apartments and townhouses are similar to condominiums in the way that they all come in a ready-made state. There is no need to bother with the intricacies of the construction process. If one’s lucky and patient, one might even find a development with the trimmings of condo living.

The price tag of these properties varies by location, but apartments and townhouses are generally cheaper than standalone houses. To give potential investors an idea on the price, three-bedroom door apartments in Parañaque average Php3.5 to Php4 million, or monthly rents of Php18,000 to Php25,000. Meanwhile, townhouses in Quezon City can be had for as low as Php2.8 million to as high as Php17 million.

The maintenance is less of a hassle.

In an apartment block, everyone will have essentially the same leases with the same rules applying throughout the building, making it easier to handle disputes. In the same way for purchased units, the cost for maintaining the properties’ exteriors is shared among homeowners.

Security is guaranteed and the community is tight-knit.

When it comes to safety, apartments and townhouses provide a better sense of security than other housing types. In Metro Manila, most of these properties are built inside subdivisions or gated communities that employ the services of a security detail. Ideally, nothing goes through the gates without the knowledge of the guards.

In relation to the community, townhouse living also promotes common interest and a tight-knit environment to all dwellers. This can come in handy in different situations.

CONS

Apartment and townhouse living may present some compelling perks, but it is also wise to look over some less-attractive aspects to make a better decision.

In terms of appearance, both apartments and townhouses tend to look the same. Also, they typically, but not always, have fewer upgrades than condos—especially the exterior. Since the houses share the same architectural design and even a common wall, the units need to be uniform.

Related to the architecture is the lack of privacy due to the sharing of at least one common wall. The very close proximity to neighbors could mean being exposed to their noise and also generally not having enough privacy compared to a single detached.

Also related to space is the lack of front and backyard square footage which comes aplenty with standalone homes.

An apartment or townhouse owner will not exactly be free from miscellaneous dues such as homeowners association fees. On the bright side, the payment allows for a number of the association’s daily community operations, including common area maintenance and trash removal.

As mentioned, townhouses in Manila are usually clustered in subdivisions and they may not exactly be accessible to common public transportation routes. Best to consider transportation concerns as early as now to avoid incurring larger expenses in the future.

Finally, the tight-knit community has a less appealing side to those who want to enjoy a degree of freedom in the way things are done. Restrictions such as pet ownership may arise.

Sources: Caliber Homes, Pocket Sense

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