A mother’s worry for space

by Steve Van Derodar

When a residential unit becomes available to market, it is almost automatic for interested parties to know the size or space next to price or vice versa. Price and size are always the two main important facts in a real property purchase. Size affects price as the value of the property is determined by the price per square meter. The price per square meter is affected by land values and the entirety of the building’s offerings.

In real estate condominium properties, what’s in exchange for your money? Space. Space is the currency of a condominium investment or any real estate investment in general. While space is equivalent to price square meter, location is also a factor in determining the size of the property. Obviously, space plus prime location makes it even a pricier equation but it also means high demand, high appreciation, and above standard specifications. Suffice it to say that small sizes in luxury condominium projects may be market-standard but can be already of high value that could be a much bigger unit somewhere else for the same price or lesser.

“Obviously, space plus prime location makes it even a pricier equation but it also means high demand, high appreciation, and above standard specifications.”

Most buyers look forward to a new acquisition with an imagination. A mother who I met in Schipol airport, Amsterdam, The Netherlands was so worried about what her money could afford in terms of space. I was fortunate to have started a conversation with her in the airport as I told her that I was an International Property Specialist from Manila. She was very eager to know the projects that I am offering and even told me that she is indeed looking for one and would be available for viewing.

Upon conversing with her, she was so concerned about the unit that she could get for her and his son whose work in a business outsourcing industry is in the Central Business District in Makati. She also understands that she has a limited budget but she recognized that a condo property is still the best for them. “A condo is perfect for us as we do not have the time for all the nitty gritty of house maintenance. In a condo, everything is taken care of. We can just be concerned about the space that we have,” she quipped.

A condominium, often shortened to condo in many countries, is a type of living space like an apartment but independently sellable and therefore regarded as real estate. The condominium building structure is divided into several units that are each separately owned, surrounded by common areas that are jointly owned. Parking can either be appurtenant or a separate purchase.

I was in my 3rd year high school when I first visited Manila and I was able to stay in a family friend’s posh condo in Paranaque City. It was my first time to have stayed in a condo for 2 days before I had a summer vacation retreat in Metro Manila. I was overly impressed with the dentist-owner’s 3-bedroom unit with a view of Manila Bay. I was even incredibly surprised that they have a large-sized branded washer and dryer in their utility room. I remember how impressive their living room was, it had an exceptionally beautiful interior design. At night I was enjoying the city lights from the balcony. It was a memorable stay and for the first time I understood what condo living was like as the condominium property isn’t as spacious as a house.

“Condo living suits well to a fast-paced lifestyle. There are more and more people who prefer living in a building than in a house, especially the ease of maintenance and worry-free security.”

Condo living suits well to a fast-paced lifestyle. There are more and more people who prefer living in a building than in a house, especially the ease of maintenance and worry-free security. In Metro Manila, more and more residential units in condominium buildings are being made available with sizes apropos to market demand, living trends and even just for rental investment.

A Homeowner’s Association (HOA) or Condo Management Company manages the condo building. Condo management is responsible for the maintenance of the common areas and enforcing the building’s rules and regulations. The HOA collects fees from each tenant in the entire complex to cover costs like maintenance, insurance for the building exterior, etc. The HOA is responsible for maintenance of the common areas.

To understand more about condo properties appreciation and price, the ones located with high zonal values would appreciate more and are priced higher, which is exactly the reason why there is a premium to buildings located in the city centers. In other words, condos with high walkability are priced higher and can be more expensive and sought-after due to central location.

Going back to the mom, she realized that space is more important for her than the proximity of the building to the son’s place of work, she reasoned that to be distant from the focal point of the city center, she could get more space. Even if she likes the ones in the center, she felt she couldn’t afford it yet as her son has just started working fresh from college.

“There could be units for you that could serve well its purpose, function and as a form of investment, provide you good appreciation. If space is your consideration, weigh more on what’s important to you.”

After weighing her considerations, she was happy to buy a property with the space that she was hoping to get based on her affordability. In the end, client satisfaction is about affordability and comfort. She decided on buying from one of the reputable developers which has a great project with complete amenities. That building may not be located within Makati Central Business District but offered her the space she was hoping to get with her affordability.

There are many buildings that offer more space for their money and are subject to the market price depending also on the condo amenities and deliverables it offers. There could be units for you that could serve well its purpose, function and as a form of investment, provide you good appreciation. If space is your consideration, weigh more on what’s important to you.

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(Stevenson’s experience in Philippine Real Estate spans more than 15 years. He has been involved in horizontal, vertical, vacation and commercial properties. He has worked as an International Property Specialist to markets in Asia, Europe and North America with Ayala Land, Federal Land and Century Properties. Through PhilHouseHunters, he offers real estate investment opportunities, marketing, and consultancy with a key focus to Metro Manila and Mega Cebu areas. Visit www.philhousehunters.com. Email at derodarsales@gmail.com.)

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