Things to consider when buying a condo

December 18, 2020 | By: Arch. Benjamin K. Panganiban, Jr., (first published in the Philippine Star last December 18, 2020))

“Amazing, the view is fantastic!” This is what I always hear from friends who appreciate or are in awe of the picturesque view from a condo unit.  

A condominium is a building or a complex of high rise structures composed of several individually owned residences or condotels. 

But what should buyers consider when buying a condo?

I asked Arch. Minerva Villarosa, a well-known architect at Villarosa Architects and Engineers, what her thoughts are on this matter. She gave the first three items in choosing a condo unit, and I added a few more considerations.

LOCATION

First on the list is the location. As the saying goes, “location, location location!” 

Consider your needs — a place to live, work, play. Other related facilities nearby, such as a church or chapel, a hospital, a grocery, a school, and a mall, should all be considered before deciding to buy a condo unit. And if you intend to re-sell your condo unit in the future, consider the developments planned and are ongoing in the surrounding areas that will increase its property value. 

And, of course, the view should still be fantastic from your condo unit. You wouldn’t want a future development to block its view. 

TARGET MARKET

This second requirement relates to the users and the surroundings you will be staying in and sharing with others. In other words, the class or level of society you will be associating with as your neighbors in the condo building and the kind of services that will be added as features of the condominium building. 

PROXIMITY, SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENT

This is also factored in as the homeowners do not stay 24 hours a day inside their residences. So the need to visit the church for spiritual needs, do groceries for your food and nutrition, work out and play in gyms and field exercises for physical development, go to the hospital to check up one’s health, go to the office for work and process documents are still some of the surrounding facilities to be also considered in choosing a condo unit.  

AMENITIES

The developer should provide amenities that the architect envisions. These extras spice up the building condo people love so much but may not use a lot. These amenities like swimming pools, gyms, libraries, visitors parking areas (parking for condo unit owners is a given), garden courtyards, open spaces, party or function rooms, chapel, store concessionaires, and playgrounds are bonuses for a captured market. It also increases the value of the property, and subsequently, the condo fees.

 

One of the Proposed Condo Projects in Makati of Villarosa Architects and Engineers with principal architect and partner Architect Minerva Villarosa.

 

SAFETY AND SECURITY

By default, the architect considers these items in the design stages, such as fire emergency exits, fire safety considerations including the conveniences and comfort for persons with physical disabilities (PWDs) and the contained security measures in preventing unexpected harm and damage to life and properties. 

MAINTENANCE

The maintenance of the Common Use Service Area (CUSA), garbage disposal systems, elevators, plumbing and sanitary waste systems, water and fire sprinkler systems, parking areas, and such specialized areas only for homeowners must also be properly commissioned and maintained at all times.

 All these service areas should be separated and hidden from the public areas. Even the building’s administration is important to the architect. This is where the building administrator’s company’s credibility is at stake as the architect wouldn’t want a depreciation of the property. 

SIZE

Size matters to the architect. The bigger, the better, but of course, it should be relative to cost. It is where spatial relationships are considered. Movements of people, what pieces of furniture to put in, and what can be discarded if you are coming from an existing condo should also be considered.

But what most condo dwellers and architects do love is wanting a picturesque view from their condo unit and the highest point of the building, a top restaurant, or a view deck with a lounge. It is where people can converge, have a decent conversation, meal or few drinks together with a vibrant atmosphere to cap the night.


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