Before, houses and lots in subdivisions were the first choice for the first home, but in the last few years, condominiums have been hogging the spotlight. Newlyweds starting their families and long-time married couples who have grown-up children embrace vertical living precisely because of the comfort and convenience that come with it.
In fact, the sustainable condo lifestyle seems to appeal more now in the midst of a pandemic, as it usually means walking leisurely to the mall that’s connected to your residential building or taking a refreshing evening dip and shaking off the cabin fever blues at the in-house swimming pool. It’s the dream lifestyle.
The dream comes with a price, of course. To make the dream a reality, a great deal of financial preparation needs to happen. In this regard, a lot of people ask: how much do you really need to own a condo?
Here, we break down money matters that you have to prepare for, once you decide to become a condo dweller:
This is usually the heaviest financial obligation in buying a home because you need to put down 10 to 20 percent of the total contract price. This means a P3M home would need a P600,000 down payment. While it is a lot, the good news is there are developers who offer stretched terms for down payments.
ISOC Land Inc., for instance, allows property seekers to pay the 20 percent over 36 months when buying a unit in I-Land Residences Sucat. You can also avail of their special promo discounts for 5%, 10% or 20% spot downpayments.
The residential tower offers pre-selling units, and are therefore at a lower price, so you might want to consider the possibility of investing in this soon-to-be-completed residential tower. With amenities such as clubhouse, clubhouse lobby, kid’s playroom, think pods, game room, lounge, lap and kiddie pool, pet park, meditation garden, fitness stations, and playground, and with 60% of the development dedicated to open spaces, you’ll be getting the most of your money when you move into this development.
Aside from exploring stretched terms for down payment, the other important strategy for settling this fee is to save, save, save. Review your expenses and see how you can cut them down. Perhaps there are some luxuries that can be let go, at least for the time being, so you can build your money pile. Be specific in terms of the figure you want to save every month to track finances better.
After the downpayment, the next thing to think about is the remaining balance on the property. For that, you will apply for a loan. Essentially, you’re incurring debt, but you don’t want to have a money pit of a home in the long run, so you have to discern well how much mortgage you should take out.
The golden rule here is that your monthly payments shouldn’t go beyond 28 percent of your gross monthly income. Gross monthly income is the amount of money you get before taxes. For instance, if you and your spouse have a combined income of P100,000, then your loan payments every month shouldn’t exceed P28,000.
This is the reason it’s good to shop for mortgages before shopping for actual condos. You’ll narrow down options based on homes you can actually afford. Compare the rates from different financiers, from banks to developers’ offices. Take this time to consider the changes in your lifestyle when you move into your dream condo as well. As you’ll be using part of your income to pay for the monthly mortgage, you’ll want to make sure that the condo you choose allows you to live an eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle to cut back on electricity and other expenses.
Once you finalize your budget, explore the different units in I-Land Residences Sucat. The location of this residential tower along Dr. Arcadio Santos Ave in Parañaque, close to shopping centers and prestigious schools, would help you save on gas, transportation, and energy costs–leaving more for monthly loan payments in the long run.
Aside from the actual property you’re acquiring, there are other costs that come with living in a condo. This includes association dues, membership fees, and realty tax on your unit. You will have to pay for parking fees as well, along with the share of realty tax on the land where your condo is constructed, and share of realty tax on common areas.
Let’s break them all down here:
- Association dues. The amount varies, depending on the total square footage of your unit and number of amenities in the building. In general, the bigger your unit is and the more facilities you have, the pricier association dues get.
- Membership fees. In some communities, you automatically become a member when you buy a unit. In others, however, there’s a separate fee for membership, which gives you access to amenities in the complex. Be sure to ask your realtor what the set-up is for membership.
- Real property tax. This is determined by multiplying the tax rate (two percent for Metro Manila) by the assessed value of the property. The assessed value of the property, meanwhile, can be computed by multiplying the fair market value of the property and assessment level (stated in the Local Government Code).
- Parking fees. The price of your condo doesn’t include parking fees. You will have to pay for that separately. In Metro Manila, these fees can go up to a hundred thousand pesos, which is why some choose to rent a slot rather than buy.
When you consider all these fees, it’s quite heavy on the pocket, especially when you think of all your other living expenses, such as the utilities. This is the reason most condo dwellers make it a priority to move into energy-efficient condos, homes that will let them reduce costs on maintenance. I-Land Residences Sucat suits this criterion well, as it’s the first LEED-certified mid-rise condo in the country, projected to become the “Home of the Future.”
Condos are fast becoming the first option for the first home, especially in this time of crisis when convenience and comfort are pressing needs. Accept the challenge of being financially prepared to get your family this kind of safe, sweet home. See ISOC Land’s Facebook page for the best deals in the property market, or check out their development page on Lamudi.