Tips on Condo Living and Real Estate Investing

Real Estate Tips for Filipino Millennials in Buying their First Condo

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Much has been said about the Filipino millennial generation, that they are financially insecure, averse in home ownership, and impulsive. They are also said to be the “Me” generation who are obsessed with selfies but are also politically and socially engaged. But despite the negative connotation about the Filipino millennial generation, these 35 million people are expected to dominate the country’s economic landscape.

There is more about the Filipino Millennials or the “Filennials” that affect how they think and make their decisions.

Filennials value authenticity, they avoid brands that do hard selling of their products and services. They want to make purchasing decision by themselves. Filennials also want to be rewarded for their loyalty. According to LeapOut Digital, 87% of millennials subscribe to loyalty programs and 55% some kind of reward would keep them engaged with the brand. Aside from this, they also believe in client testimonials and reviews and not just rely on ads and copies.

Since Filennials are known to be digital natives, they spend hours and hours, consuming various digital content. They also rely on technology to help them in researching about different products and services. Aside from consuming digital content, they also love to share it within their circles.

In terms of experience, they are more than willing to pay to be able to experience life. They always crave for new adventures and discoveries that would make them feel more alive each and every day. Another interesting thing about filennials is their being socially-conscious. For 76% of millennials, it is important that brands give back to the community and should communicate brand values not just plain business.

While they are willing to pay for experience, filennials are also carefully considering prices. According to Goldman Sachs, 57% of millennials compare prices in stores. Because of their always-on lifestyle, it is easy for them to search for product reviews, research on alternatives, and compare your brand to competitors. However, they favor consistently good quality to be able to consider your products or services. Lastly, they want to go at their own pace. Filennials make decisions through the processes they made for themselves. They want to take actions on their own and be accountable in everything they do.

These are some of the characteristics that influence Filennials’ buying decisions, especially when it comes to big purchases like car and condo.

According to Philippine Statistics Authority, the Filipino millennial generation comprise 53% of the working age population, with 45% employed. This means this generation has a growing purchase power. Now with higher incomes and with the desire to be successful in their chosen career, Fillennials are making their way into condo investing and settling into the city where they can be close to where they need to be and pursue their passion without the hassle of commuting, daily traffic and exposure to viruses especially in times like this.

According to Lamudi’s 2020 Real Estate Sector Outlook report, web users aged 25 to 34 years old made up 3.95% of the property listing site’s total page views, beating out all other age groups. This majority was consistent across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. While those aged 35 to 44 made up only 16.9% of page views, which is significantly lower than their younger counterparts. Most of them were interested in condominiums, which led the survey as the most sought-after property type.

Is Buying A Condo A Good Idea Or Should You Just Buy A House Instead? 

Although Filennials are seen to be non-committal due to their tendency to get married and settle down later in life and shift jobs more often than previous generations, they want to live in a condo that is conveniently located within the city, with a short commute to work.

If you are a Fillennial who is planning to buy a condo for a more convenient city living or for long-term investment, you might be conducting a thorough research right now on the properties available in the market and seeking the assistance of a real estate agent to better understand the condo buying process.

Location, location, location is very important in condo investing. If you are a first-time condo buyer, you have to consider the property location. Choose a condominium that is situated within the city and is in close proximity to developed business districts, main transport hubs, universities since these are the factors that could greatly affect the value appreciation of such property.

Filennials prefer condominiums that are just a few minutes or literally a few steps away from their office to avoid the hassle of daily commute and heavy traffic.

Look for condominiums that have a retail row where convenience store, coffee shop, and restaurants are located for that ultimate convenience you can enjoy.

You might have realized that owning a condo is a wise investment option and if you are one of the 79% millennials who are first-time condo buyers, check out these Real Estate Tips for Filipino Millennials in Buying Their First Condo.

The Buying Process

As the youngest generation of condo buyers, millennials are relatively new to the real estate world. Because many filennials are new to the home buying process, they need a real estate agent who can assist and coach them through the process of condo buying. They have to learn and further understand the buying journey as well as the advantages of choosing a particular condo property.

It is advisable to choose a professional who is knowledgeable and has years of experience in the real estate industry. While you seek professional advice, it would also be better if you also do your own research as to the locality and advantages of a particular condo property over others.

With today’s digital world, it is now a lot easier to talk to a real estate agent via virtual platforms. Schedule an online property presentation and meeting with real estate agents to be able to know more about the condominium project you are eyeing about. List down all your questions and let the real estate agent guide you with a checklist of considerations when searching for a condo property to buy.

The condo buying process is similar across developers.

When you inquire on a condo project, you will be endorsed to a sales agent who will assist you on your specific needs like the location and unit type. The sales agent will schedule an online appointment and project presentation to be able to share further details about the condo project as well as the payment terms. A site visit is scheduled to show the actual condo unit, which is applicable for Ready for Occupancy condo projects or the area where the unit will be or the showroom for Pre-selling condo projects.

If you are interested in buying the condo property, you will be asked to fill out the reservation form and settle the reservation fee. All the other requirements, such as valid identification and proof of billings will then be compiled by the client and submitted to the sales agent within an agreed time.

Upon submission of requirements, the condo developer prepares the Contract to Sell, and sends it to you within a predetermined time from the completion of requirements.

Aside from your signature on the reservation agreement, the preferred payment scheme, and the payment for the reservation fee, you will be required to submit some documents like fully accomplished buyer’s information sheet, at least two valid government-issued identification cards. If the buyer is married, he/she and spouse should sign and submit identification, photocopy of marriage certificate, if married, proof of billing on declared address, certificate of Employment (COE), if applicable and Special Power of Attorney, if applicable.

Check your fund source

Filennials cannot afford to break the bank. Many have limited savings, the reason why it takes them a while to finally invest and own their own home.

As a first-time condo buyer, you have to understand all the fees involved in your condo purchase. Check if there are additional costs (or hidden costs). Check your estimated monthly amortization so that you can also take note of it when budgeting.

Whether you have limited savings at the moment, you can still buy your dream condo in one to two years from now. You just have to check your budget and prioritize your needs over wants. Look at how you can increase your savings, diversify your portfolio, and lessen your expenses, to be able to reach not only your financial goals but also your home goals.

There are various ways to save up for your dream condo, from savings accounts to stocks and bonds. Condo developers usually have tie-ups with banks in order to ease the burden of finding funding for your condo.                                                                                                        

If you plan to purchase a condo during its pre-selling stage, you have to pay a downpayment (usually 20% of the total contract price) and the bank comes in to finance the remaining 80%.

The requirements for a bank loan application may vary per banking institution, but these usually include photocopy of two valid government issued IDs, appraisal fee (non-refundable), proof of income (latest ITR and COE), photocopy of passport, COE, and proof of inward remittance (for Overseas Filipino Workers) and Securities and Exchange Commission registration and other business documents (if self-employed).

Pay for your dream condo

Expect to pay the reservation fee when you confirm the reservation for the condo unit of your choice. Reservation fees depend on the developer’s standard rates, but these can range from P15, 000 to P30, 000. Reservation fees may be paid via bank transfer, check, or cash.     

As a general rule, the reservation fee is always deductible from the total contract price of your condo unit. Condo developers usually extend discounts, with varying rates, when paid in cash. The discounts may seem attractive, especially when you see the savings in pesos so it's important to consider the payment terms. 

Time to move in

When you’ve issued all the checks and signed all the necessary documents, check your final payment computation again to confirm if closing fees or move-in fees have been included.

Take note that final payment computation will cover documentary stamp tax, transfer tax, transfer fees, notarial and documentation fees, and other administrative and handling fees related to the transfer of the title to your name.  

Upon unit turnover, you will also receive an assessment of joining fees, Meralco deposit, water meter deposit, association dues, and other charges. The actual computation should be presented prior to the turnover of the unit.                                   

Most condo units are bare when turned over. In case you want to make some improvements in your condo unit, you will be the one to should the cost.

Finally, a condo unit of your own

The following documents should be in your possession following the turnover of your condo unit: notarized Deed of Absolute Sale and all other contracts signed, Condominium Certificate of Title, clear of any annotation of previous mortgage, lien, or encumbrances, Certified true copy of tax declaration, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) certificate authorizing registration, BIR capital gains tax, and documentary stamps, forms, receipts, Real estate tax receipt, and Real estate tax clearance.

If the developer or agent undertakes to transfer the title to your name, you should also have the following: Deed of Absolute Sale, Condominium Certificate of Title in your name, Tax declaration in your name, Registration fees receipt, and Transfer tax receipt.

You might be seeing a lot of catchy phrases nowadays such as no down payment, zero percent interest, no interest for up to five years, for as low as P10, 000 a month.These promotions on condominium units are meant to catch your attention and whether you like it or not, they do, especially now that more and more people are realizing the value of condo investing.

Vista Residences, the condominium arm of the largest homebuilder Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc. offers ready for occupancy and pre-selling condominium projects that are strategically located within inner-city areas, in close proximity to developed business districts and premier universities.

For more information on Vista Residences properties, email [email protected], follow @VistaResidencesOfficial on Facebook or call the Marketing Office at 0908-9148457.