Home Improvement

RL Tips: 6 Important Condo Questions to Ask

To buy or not to buy; to move in or not?


Buying or moving into a condo home is a big leap. Ask yourself these questions before you take the plunge.

Photographed by Vincent Coscolluela, Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions, Miguel Nacianceno, and Jun Pinzon.

Read the original article in the August 2012 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to summitnewsstand.com.ph/real-living for more details.

Is the location right for me?

Condos are often located in key urban areas with proximity to commercial and transportation hubs. The sacrifice of floor area is convenience. Consider factors such as ease of commute as this will contribute to a better quality of life.

What amenities are available?

There are condo developments that have all the bells and whistles when it comes to amenities – a wave pool, posh boutiques on the ground floor, landscaped jogging paths – and there are others that don’t even have a reception lobby. It all depends on your budget and priorities when it comes to choosing. 

If you have kids, you may consider condos with a playground or an outdoor area where they can hand out safely. Meanwhile, if you’re single and a health buff, you’ll surely appreciate a gym within the building.

Are pets allowed?

Is bringing in your black lab or Miu Miu out of the question? Ask the building administration up front about their policies on pets. Some low-rise and medium-rise developments with big outdoor areas allow large dogs; most condos allow toy dogs, cats, and other (vaccinated) small, furry pets, while other condos will only allow you to bring in a goldfish bowl.

Is there enough natural light or ventilation?

Some condo buildings come with small windows that will force you to turn on the lights and air conditioner 24/7. Pick a development with generously sized windows that you can open safely.

What if you got the unit pre-selling? Check the building’s elevation drawings to see if the windows are big enough. Refer to the building’s floor plan and choose the units that do not face another unit’s wall, and ask the developer’s staff how big the windows are.

Are the utilities working well?

Remember the punch list we featured before? Keep it handy! Check out our lists:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

These lists will be helpful. Bring along your spouse or friend so that there will be a third-party witness to do the walk-through.

Is there post-purchase maintenance?

Your building administration should have a maintenance team to keep the corridors, public areas, grounds, and exterior windows clean, as well as do seasonal maintenance work like repainting and repairs. These factor into your association dues, so expect the condo to be in tiptop shape all year round. The maintenance team should also be willing to make repairs that they are responsible for, such as main electrical and sewerage problems.


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