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Condo vs. house and lot in the Philippines

condo vs. house and lot

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Potential homeowners face the dilemma of choosing between a condominium and a house and lot in the Philippines. This decision involves selecting a lifestyle and investment that matches personal needs, financial capacity, and long-term goals. Condos provide modern, convenient living in urban centers, while houses offer more space and privacy, suitable for a traditional lifestyle. In this article, we will discuss condos vs. houses and lots in the Philippines.

Pros and cons of buying a condo in the Philippines

Like any significant investment, buying a condominium in the Philippines has advantages and drawbacks. Understanding the condo vs. house and lot in the Philippines can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your lifestyle, budget, and personal preferences. Below are the pros and cons of buying a condo in the Philippines.

Pros

Here are the advantages of buying a condominium in the Philippines:

1. Cost-effectiveness compared to houses

Condominiums offer a more cost-effective option, especially in prime areas. The average price of a condo in the Philippines is ₱ 7.5 million ($127,500) for a 50 sqm unit, compared to ₱ 14.5 million ($246,500) for houses. For first-time buyers and middle-income families, more budget-friendly condos are available in the metro area, with the average price of a condo in the Philippines from ₱ 1.7 million ($28,900) for a studio unit.

2. Prime location and accessibility

The allure of convenience is strong when choosing a condo vs. house and lot in the Philippines. Condos are close to malls, supermarkets, restaurants, hospitals, and transport links. These prime locations are especially beneficial for working professionals looking to cut their commute drastically.

3. Access to exclusive amenities

Condo residents can enjoy amenities like swimming pools, sports facilities, gyms, lounge areas, and function halls, similar to gated subdivisions. Additionally, condos often feature reception areas with concierge services, providing an extra layer of convenience for verifying visitors and accepting deliveries.

4. Enhanced security

Security in a condo vs. house and lot in the Philippines typically surpasses that in subdivisions. With 24-hour security, CCTV surveillance, and equipped with smoke detectors and fire sprinklers, condo residents can rest with greater peace of mind.

5. Minimal maintenance

A condo comes with reduced maintenance responsibilities. Condo residents are only responsible for the inside of their unit, while the administration handles the rest.

Cons

Here are the disadvantages of buying a condominium in the Philippines:

1. High fees

While the initial cost may be lower of a house and lot vs. condo, ownership costs pile up due to monthly association dues ranging from ₱ 1,000 ($17) to ₱ 8,000 ($136). These fees, susceptible to increases, cover the running and maintenance of communal areas yet continue even after the mortgage is paid off. Additional financial considerations include late payment penalties, membership fees, parking fees, and real property taxes.

2. Compact living spaces

When considering condo vs. house and lot, a condo often means adapting to a smaller living space, with the average unit less than 50 sqm and studio types as small as 18 sqm. Unlike houses, condos have only shared outdoor facilities and common areas, potentially a significant constraint for some.

3. Restricted modifications

Restrictions on property alterations mean condo owners cannot undertake extension projects, limiting the potential to adapt space for a growing family or other needs. Any interior renovations require approval from the property management, reflecting a broader range of condo living regulations that may include pet policies and limitations on common area usage.

4. Limited privacy and potential noise issues

A condo might not be suitable for those seeking solitude and privacy. Neighbors surround each unit, along with the unavoidable noise they can bring. Privacy is less with the frequent foot traffic in hallways, restricting the freedom to leave doors open for ventilation when choosing a condo vs. house and lot.

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Pros and cons of buying a house and lot in the Philippines

Owning a house and lot vs. condo in the Philippines can be highly rewarding, providing a personal sanctuary and presenting some practical challenges. Below are the pros and cons of buying a house and lot in the Philippines.

Pros

Here are the advantages of buying a house and lot in the Philippines:

1. Expanded living area

A house typically has wider living rooms, kitchens, dining areas, and bedrooms than a condominium. When choosing a house and lot vs. condo, foreigners can enjoy the luxury of having a garage, exclusive areas for laundry, and potentially a dirty kitchen, an outdoor space used for heavy cooking away from the main house. The availability of a yard means room for a garden, a play area for kids, or even a lovely veranda to relax in.

2. Full and exclusive rights over the property

Purchasing a house and lot vs. condo grants you ownership of a tangible property exclusively under your name. As a homeowner, you can make modifications, such as repainting walls or adding extra rooms. However, all expansions and significant alterations must adhere to the National Building Code of the Philippines, and securing the necessary permits is required.

3. Increased privacy

Subdivision living generally means quieter neighborhoods and more distance from neighbors, unlike denser living spaces in a condo vs. apartment. A detached house offers no shared walls, floors, or ceilings with others, while townhouses and duplexes still grant significantly more privacy than high-rise living. 

4. Valuable long-term asset

Houses are assets that can be passed down through generations. While the structure may depreciate, the land’s value can be appreciated over time. Compared to condos, with their 50-year lifespan, houses are often seen as better investments for those looking forward.

5. Potential for growth in suburban areas

Housing in suburban areas such as Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal can be much more affordable than in Metro Manila. These areas are becoming more urbanized, with improved infrastructure and amenities. Investing in a house in these regions could be financially wise as property values are likely to increase.

Cons

Here are the disadvantages of buying a house and lot:

1. Maintenance challenges and costs

Owning a house and lot vs. condo places the responsibility of property maintenance on your shoulders. You could hire professionals for each task, which might incur substantial costs. A condo involves sharing building maintenance costs with other residents, often making it less burdensome financially.

2. Increased utility expenses

A larger living space in a condo vs. house and lot also translates to greater electricity and water usage, leading to higher utility bills for homeowners. Condo residents usually benefit from lower consumption due to less square footage.

3. Commuting concerns

When choosing a condo vs. house and lot, affordable housing often lies in the suburbs. This can mean lengthy daily commutes into business districts, especially given the Philippines’ mass transport system. Those who work in the city but choose suburban life need to be prepared for a two to four-hour journey each way, a demanding routine that may take a toll over time.

Is it better to buy a condo or a house and lot in the Philippines?

When buying a condo or a house and lot in the Philippines, serious consideration should be given to your budget, preferred location, and lifestyle needs. Ensuring that your home financing does not surpass 28% of your gross monthly income is crucial to maintaining financial health, and using an online loan calculator can help you set a reasonable budget.

The 28% rule helps ensure that housing expenses do not overburden your finances, according to the 28/36 rule, which suggests that no more than 28% of your gross monthly income should go towards housing expenses and no more than 36% towards total debt. If proximity to urban amenities and a fast-paced environment is important, a condo might be your choice. For a condo vs. apartment, those seeking quiet and space might prefer an apartment outside the metro areas.

Lifestyle can also greatly affect the suitability of a condo vs. house and lot in the Philippines. Condos are ideal for individuals who crave low-maintenance living with added security, such as young professionals, newlyweds, small families accustomed to similar setups abroad, and foreigners downsizing from family homes. Houses, however, typically attract larger families, pet owners, those looking for a long-term investment, and retirees who appreciate having more space and tranquility. Considering these aspects will guide you in making a decision that aligns with your personal and financial goals for a condo vs. house and lot in the Philippines.

Buy property in the Philippines with Own Property Abroad

Considering the pros and cons of a condo vs. house and lot in the Philippines? Let Own Property Abroad guide you through your property journey. With our deep understanding of the local market, we offer expertise in legal requirements, property searches, negotiation, and due diligence.

To learn how we can help you make an informed decision tailored to your lifestyle and budget, please provide your details below or contact us at [email protected].

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does a condominium cost in the Philippines?

The condominium cost in the Philippines as of 2023 outside the main business districts of Metro Manila typically falls between ₱ 150,000 ($2,550) and ₱ 250,000 ($4,250) per square meter.

Why buy a condo in the Philippines?

Buying a condo in the Philippines can offer shared amenities, lower maintenance costs, security, prime location, and potential for rental income.

Is a condo a good investment in the Philippines?

Yes, a condo can be a good investment in the Philippines if chosen carefully, considering factors like location, price appreciation potential, demand for rentals, and the quality of the property management. 

Why buy a house and lot in the Philippines?

Buying a house and lot in the Philippines offers stability, more space for families, the potential for property value appreciation, and freedom to customize the home, making it an attractive option for long-term residency and investment.

Your guide to buying property in the Philippines

Written by Therese Angeles

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Your guide to buying property in the Philippines

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