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Last July 20-21, 2012, I attended the Money Summit and Wealth Expo 2012 at SMX, Mall of Asia. It was a privilege to be a part of this prestigious and insightful event. I did not go to every talk during the 2-day event. I chose mainly what was useful and relevant to what I do as a cross-seller in Real Estate, Insurance, Mutual Funds.

One insight that I gathered from the Real Estate sector was as of end July 2012, there are about 900,000 BPO workers in the PH. This figure represents the BPO sector alone. There are other industries in the workforce – banking, IT, insurance, to mention a few. They belong to the below 30 age group. And to top it all, aside from the BPO market, there is another large market – the OFW market, that are preparing to go home and retire 5-10 years from now and beyond. Bottomline, there is a demand and the developers are scrambling to meet this need. Hence, you see those condominium constructions left and right all over Metro Manila.

But I’m not writing to dig deeper and give more insights about this supply and demand analysis.

Instead, in view of this demand in the real estate industry and given that the developers are out to supply this need, this Real Estate broker cautions prospective buyers to have a “discerning eye” in view of the seemingly “abundant supply”.

Here are 5 tips to guide you when buying a condo unit:

1. Look for a condo project that is designed to give unit owners FREE FLOWING AIR AND SUNLIGHT.

You can tell from the design of the building if the layout and design are spacious and if natural lighting is evident in the insides of the unit. This strikes a balance between nature and what is man-made.

2. Count the no. of units per floor. THE FEWER UNITS PER FLOOR, the better, as it gives you more personal space.

Surely, you don’t want to scamper during rush hour and squeeze yourself like a sardine in a crammed elevator. Anything less than 25-30 units per floor is the ideal density limit. Look at the Building corridor layout.

3. Distinguish SENSIBLE AMENITIES in a condo project.

Do you want to invest in a condo unit where it does not afford you to spend leisure time on a regular basis? Do you want to just go straight to your boxed-type unit on a daily basis without even giving you the luxury to spend leisure on your free time? Look out for a condo project that have landscaped areas (to give you a sense of peace and quiet), recreational spaces (to spend a relaxing time), viewing deck (to lighten up your mood), sports playground (to promote fitness and fun in your life), social halls (a place for gathering and networking), business facilities (if you are in a work mode), to maximize your investment. These amenities not only give value for your money but also give you the leisure time for yourself.

4. Find out if there is EMERGENCY POWER EVEN INSIDE YOUR UNIT.

Some condo projects boast of available emergency power in their common areas. Some residential condo buildings don’t even provide emergency power at all in case of power outages. But there are some projects that stand out from the rest when the developers of these projects provide emergency power inside the unit at least for the basic necessities such as:  lighting, power outlets for electric fan/cellphone charger, ref and tv. This shows the developer’s concern for their customers by anticipating their needs when times like these happen.

5. Nothing beats a developer when they offer you EASY PAYMENT TERMS.

When a reservation payment is as low as P10,000 and monthly payments are flexible, then it takes out the worries in your life because it gives you room to budget for other personal and household expenses. Look for a developer that understands this aspect and will consider everything to make the payment terms easy for you.

(Ronnie Reyes is accredited with Avida Land Corp., the developer of Avida Towers Centera, their newest residential condominium project located in Mandaluyong. AT Centera just launched its newest tower, Tower 3.)

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