I’m not going to advertise any condominium brands in the market. But I want to give a few points to observe if you consider buying one. That’s because a lot of condominiums sprout like plants and you might get confused or deceived by sales agents or misleading advertisements. Although I still prefer a house built on my own land, condos are practical way of living in the urban area especially for those working in the metro.

Location

The first thing you have to consider when buying a condo is the location. Remember, you are buying a condo to have immediate access to essential and necessary places. Of course, you wouldn’t want to travel for so long just to get to office when you have a condo. What then is the difference of having a house in a nearby province to a 100-km far condo from office?

Other considerations for the location are:

  • Crowd (Is the place surrounded by what kind of people?)
  • Environment (How polluted is this area?)
  • Disaster-proof (Traffic, flood, earthquake, tsunami, accident-prone area)
  • Access to important places (Police, hospital, fire station, school, grocery, church, utilities)

Size

Obviously, condo units are smaller compared to houses and the prices are more expensive. That makes me think that having a condo is not worth its selling price. But after doing some pro’s and con’s, I found out that the price has its sense although some prices are way too far from fairness. Sizes of units range from studio type like 18 sq m to some 90 sq. m. to 100+ sq. m. The average size for singles is the studio type ranging from 18-25 sq. m. On the other hand, for couples and small families have an average of 30-50 sq. m. In comparison to homes, these sizes are relatively small for families or even singles. But with good unit design (i.e. right furniture and appliances that can be used to maximize the unit’s space), having that small size will make a difference.

Some would prefer to have a fully furnished unit than a bare unit since the furniture and appliances are designed to fit in the unit. However, the downside of this is that fully furnished units look alike and triple the price from the original. In addition, it may not be as durable as the ones that are popularly known and in case you don’t like some of the furniture, you cannot refund/choose another.

Building structure

Not a few observers have mentioned that the name of the developer be the large criteria in selecting the right condo for you. Maybe. But maybe not as well.  I would rather not use the developer’s name as an influential basis when buying your unit. I’d rather go general – building structure. Although I admit there are already some developers who have brought fame because of the structures they built, not all of the structures made are equally made “perfect.” There are still lapses. One must consider the physical structure though not so much civil engineering jargon.

Start first with the general building structure features then go to the developer’s name and track record. Things to consider:

  • Number of units per floor – This depends. Although for high/average rise condos, there are 20-30 units per floor.
  • Number of floors in the building – Having so many floors is not good not. More people means more issues. Average number of floors range from 20-40.
  • Number of elevators in the building – How long are you going to wait before you can go up to your unit and go down to the ground floor? Some condos that I have visited queue up so long and they even reach the streets already.  Typical condos I’ve seen range between 4-8 elevators, some serving only the lower half floors and the rest the upper half floors.
  • Number of exit stairs – There should be fire exit stairs on strategic places of the condo building. If the elevator is situated at the middle, stairs should be placed at the left and right side of the building.
  • Unit height – The normal height of a condo unit is 2.5m. Having a height of 3m. is already a high ceiling.

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