It may be 2018, but many still subscribe to the idea that buying a home or condominium is an intimidating major expense, a daunting right-of-passage into adulthood, especially for Millennials. Meanwhile, a growing many have also adopted the lens of seeing it as a big investment and opportunity for the taking.
Meet 5 Millennials who have all taken the leap into owning their own condominium. Their personal experiences may enlighten lingering doubts that impede your own decision making: 31-year-old Leonard is a banker-turned-entrepreneur and co-founder of tasty potato snack Spuds Buds; Ajjie, 32, is a varsity coach for gymnastics, cheerleading, and dance; siblings Michelle, 31, is a brand manager and Margarette, 33, is a CPA; and Jello, 30, is a young branch manager at the country’s oldest bank.
They’re cut from different molds and backgrounds, with varying interests and goals, but guided by more or less the same principles that have helped them take the leap toward buying their own condominium property.
Before taking the leap
What’s the first step to landing a condo of your own? Ask questions.
Asking yourself, “Can I afford it?” and “Which condo is right for me?” among others, is a good place to start. By trying to answer similar and related questions, prospective buyers go through a self and reality-check that puts forward their personal circumstances and top considerations. Here are four questions these Millennials asked themselves before taking the leap.
- What is my goal?
Owning a condominium means coming to terms with clearly defining whether you are buying to own (potentially live in) or buying as an investment.
For Leonard, while fully devoted to his business Spud Buds, his early established perspective of real estate as an investment and eventual source of income, urged him to study and secure a real estate broker’s license before buying his condominium six years ago.
While buying his first property at Avida Towers New Manila at the age of 25 came as a shock to others, he shared that, “Any time can actually be the right time to invest (in a condo) provided that you have enough funds and have a clear objective why you’re buying that property in the first place. Different people have different means and circumstances. Some have a good head start; some have to save up first.”
In his case, it was at 25 when he managed to save money for this kind of investment. He bought the unit and spruced it up to be rented out, with the monthly rental income enough to cover his monthly bank amortization.
- Am I financially ready for this?
Apart from ensuring that your monthly salary can comfortably cover your would-be monthly amortization, Jello points out that part of financial readiness means being aware of other costs that may be included in purchasing a condo. “[There are] charges outside the contracted price, construction bond (if any), monthly condo dues, mortgage fee (if applied as loan), and other fees that cover expenses associated to sustaining the upkeep of the condominium property.”
Millennials are often noted as overly eager once struck with a brilliant idea. This enthusiasm is primarily a good thing. However, when it comes to investing, it is best to tread lightly. Don’t rush into it if you don’t have enough funds to get started.
- What makes a ‘good’ property for investment?
According to Michelle, whether for personal use or investment, the value of a property is only as good as its location and its developer. Studying the value of similar properties in the same location will give a clue as to how the condominium’s value can appreciate over time.
In her experience, the Ayala Land condo she purchased in the Makati Business District during pre-selling 5-years ago has already doubled in value. Research on the developer to check if they have a good reputation. Check their track record if they completed the construction of all condos they’ve pre-sold. Remember that banking on a good, trusted company should be part of your investment decision.
Margarette, in true CPA-form, wore an investor’s hat from the get-go. She made excel sheets consisting various computations to thoroughly assess whether the property being offered would suit her investment goal. She shared, “Ask a lot of questions – possible terms of payment, additional discounts your broker can specifically offer, inclusions, and make sure you plan out how you will finish paying for the unit and how you will financially sustain its upkeep. Fully paying a unit is not the end. There are others costs to sustain so make sure that too is considered when you decide where to invest”.
- What makes a ‘good’ property to live in?
For Ajjie who lives a very independent and active lifestyle, his dream of having a place to call his own needed to be complemented by a condominium that fits his lifestyle; accessibility was his top consideration. Before jumping the gun, he asked himself, “Is condo-living for me? Does it fit my lifestyle?” and these questions were answered by his thorough research on the pros and cons of living in a condo, which resulted to concrete plans for each step of his homeownership journey.
Your first property is a real exercise in investing, commitment, patience, and responsibility. Homeownership is a big step into adulthood and a physical manifestation of your hard work and success, and will surely be a lifetime source of pride.
Ready to see what’s out there? Visit Avida Land to find exactly what you’re looking for.