It is every person’s dream to own a home. The sense of accomplishment and stability that comes with homeownership is something we all aspire for. A home under your name provides you a safe space to retreat to when life gets a little too demanding—a happy sanctuary to celebrate milestones or even a worthy investment that can provide financial security.
For most people, owning a home is enough. For some, the goal does not end there. If the second statement resonates more with you, chances are you don’t just want to purchase a home for the sake of having a home. You want the best the residential real estate market has to offer. In that regard, there are high-end condos you can look into.
A high-end condo in the Philippines affords you unrivaled perks. Those include prime location, an upscale neighborhood, generous living spaces, innovative features, premium amenities, and top-notch privacy. But before you get to enjoy those privileges, you need to go through a seemingly extraordinary process that’s no less than fitting for an extraordinary reward.
Purchasing a premium condo unit all sounds exciting and intimidating, but don’t be. This article aims to help you out. Here’s a guide to walk you through the ins and outs of purchasing an upscale condo.
How to Spot an Upscale Condominium
Condo developers are free to label their projects high-end, upscale, or any other related words or phrases. That’s why as a would-be condo buyer, it’s your call to determine which ones offer honest-to-goodness, high-end lifestyle experience.
Thankfully, there are a few easy-to-spot factors that tell you whether a high-end condo development fits the category or not. Consider the following:
- Location – A high-end condo boasts convenient access to all of your lifestyle needs. For example, A-grade schools in the vicinity offer viable options for families, and nearby hospitals with world-class facilities give residents peace of mind. Moreover, shopping and entertainment hubs don’t require a long commute on traffic-ridden roads. In the context of Metro Manila, locations that fit the bill include Makati and BGC.
- Amenities – Condo buildings typically come with public spaces open to residents, such as a gym and a swimming pool. However, those are not enough to spell luxury. When it comes to being upscale, it is in the details—such as sophisticated building facilities or hotel-like concierge services, among others.
- Density & Quality of Space – High-end condos ensure their residents have more space to breathe. Ideally, a high-end condo unit’s floor space is spacious, with at least 60 square meters of living space. Mind the ceiling height, too. It should not be less than 2.7 meters. Ask the developer or their sales representative how many units there are on every floor. Low zone units usually have between eight to twelve units. On higher floors, expect no more than four units.
- Deliverables – Look for natural stone tiles in bathrooms, kitchens, and living areas. Engineered wood is another go-to material for upscale condo units because they are both durable and beautiful.
- Exclusive Community – upscale condo-buyers seek properties that provide a holistic, world-class living experience. Thus, expect to live within a community of discerning individuals who have a keen eye for the finer details on what an upscale condo has to offer—from a higher proportion of open spaces, hospitality services, premium amenities, or other features that provide a sense of exclusivity.
- Safety & Security – at the end of a productive day, you’d want to be able to relax in a secure and private sanctuary. Upscale condos have round-the-clock security personnel and top-notch security equipment such as 24/7 video surveillance. Expect the best safety features in plumbing and electrical works, carefully planned and constructed to avoid incidents.
The Demand for Upscale Condos
There’s a misconception that the real estate industry has suffered a significant slump in the last two years because of the pandemic. However, data shows this is not exactly the case. In the first nine months of 2020, the luxury condo markets showed considerable resilience, accounting for 37% of the total launches and 41% of pre-sold residential properties in Metro Manila.
It’s easy to grasp the rationale behind these trends. Now more than ever, homebuyers put a premium on health, safety, and comfort. And those happen to be two of the most inarguable selling points of upscale condos.
On top of health, safety, and comfort, high-end condos offer a better environment for people from across age groups. Plus, these living spaces allow the kind of modern lifestyle favored by urban dwellers.
Lastly, there’s the fact that premium condos are viable investments. These are tangible assets that you can hold on to or resell for profit eventually. Either way, you know you’re getting your money’s worth and more.
The Condo Buying Process
If you’re considering buying an upscale condo in earnest, here’s how to go about the process.
- Assess your needs and preferences
Would you really prefer to reside in an upscale condo because that’s the kind of living arrangement most suited to your lifestyle? Or were you merely influenced by friends and family or some online content you read on one of those nights you couldn’t sleep?
It’s important to ask yourself these questions because you’re making a serious, big-ticket purchase. If you know deep in your heart that an upscale condo is what you need, at all costs, follow through with your plans.
In terms of floor space, decide on what’s sufficient for you. Is an upscale studio unit right up your alley? Or are you planning to start a family soon, and you want this to be your starter home? If the latter applies, then your best bet is a unit that has at least two bedrooms.
- Research on your condo prospects
Actively seek out options. Maximize the use of online real estate portals. Compare the pros and cons of choices available to you. Narrow down the list.
If you’re looking at a pre-selling unit, make sure to learn all the details of the project. Research the credibility of the developer, too. Know with certainty that they are capable of following through with whatever they promise, especially when you’re looking at properties during the pre-selling period.
- Know the costs
Typically, condo buyers are expected to pay a 20% down payment beforehand. Some developers offer stretched terms for down payments. However, it’s best to take care of the full sum from the get-go. That way, you only have your monthly mortgage to worry about.
This is where financial readiness comes in. If you’re applying for a housing loan, make sure you have a sufficient mortgage nest egg to tap if ever you experience some financial emergency in the future that will hinder your scheduled payments.
- Explore financing options
You can choose between a bank or in-house financing. You might get approved faster with in-house financing. However, expect a shorter loan term and higher interest rates that usually fall between 14% and 18% of the total property value.
As for bank financing, the application process might be more stringent. You’ll be required to prove your capacity to pay. If you get approved, expect to pay an interest rate of between 5.75% and 12%.
- Get in touch with a sales agent
Condo-buying will be more seamless with a real estate agent by your side. Choose one that has a proven track record in the industry. When talking to them about what type of property you’re looking for, be transparent with your expectations. It’s best to be on the same page with your agent throughout the process.
Research the selling price of other condos to compare and negotiate. Make sure every developer you talk to knows you are looking at alternatives. This can give you the upper hand.
Also, explore with your agent ways to end up with a better deal price-wise. For instance, you can pay a higher down payment and negotiate a lower interest rate and monthly mortgage.
The best time to level up your negotiation game is close to the turnover schedule. At that point, the developer is quite keen on selling, and they’ll be more responsive to your suggestions.
- Reserve the unit
You need to sign a Letter of Intent/Offer to Purchase and a reservation agreement. These documents will get your chosen upscale condo off the market. Other relevant documents at this stage include the Letter of Guarantee from your loan provider and the Contract to Sell.
This is the day you’ve been waiting for! Finally, you can move into your upscale condo and experience the perks and joys of an elevated lifestyle like no other.
Dream High, Live High
We often hear the advice to dream big. What we don’t often get is the advice to dream high. When it comes to homeownership, consider choosing a high-end condo. Nothing beats residing in a prime real estate property where you have windows overlooking the rest of the city—and where the sky looks within reach.
But while this is understandably exciting, try not to get ahead of yourself. Make sure to go through the process with as much discernment as possible. You’re making a significant purchase, after all. No matter how minted you are, you want there to be no room for regret once you’ve made your decision. So, for starters, thoroughly research your options.
Speaking of options, check out The Seasons Residences located at the heart of BGC. It’s an upscale condo inspired by Japan’s four seasons. Chat with a customer representative to learn more today.