Part 3:Amenities and Commercial Strips

Buying Your First Condo Unit

(Part 3 – Amenities and Commercial Strips)

The latest condominium developments to be unveiled reveal more and more amenities for tenants to enjoy. Olympic sized swimming pools, private viewing theaters, complete gym, yoga and meditation rooms, art and play rooms for kids, and a plethora of different living spaces for people to enjoy can be found in a condominium. There are also new developments now that feature commercial and retail stores ideally where tenants can dine, shop, and enjoy.

In this article I will talk about factoring in these amenities and commercial strips into your purchase that I hope will help you make a better decision in buying a new condo for sale.

Amenities – what do I REALLY need?

To be frank, in my own personal experience I rarely use the amenities in my condominium. I do not think I am alone in this sentiment. Most owners I know personally and looking over several of my investments in the past, there aren’t usually that many people using the amenities in the condos I own. Maybe it is a cultural thing we Filipinos have, but I am not really sure. There are some condos where the occupancy rate is low, and thus, there are less people using the amenities. Again, this is just my observation and is not a scientific study of any kind.

However, most first time buyers often look at amenities as one of the key factors in making a purchase. I urge my readers to be more flexible, and look at other aspects rather than just being stuck whether which Philippine condominium has the bigger pool.

Don’t expect too much of amenities

I am sure developers are acting in good faith, and they deliver as promised the amenities that were advertised in the brochures and flyers. But let me tell you this: “Stuff always looks better in photos”. Human nature will always tempt you to visualize yourself having a dip in the pool, or enjoying the Jacuzzi after work, but really, who has the time for these activities anyway? (Of course the exception is if you have kids, but even they will have their own forms of entertainment at home) Yes it is a good thing to have a gym in your condo if you are the fitness enthusiast, but I am sure if you are one, you already have a membership in one of the exclusive gyms here in the Philippines. Bottom line, amenities shouldn’t be a priority for your purchase: Location and Budget should be the watchword for the Philippine real estate investor.

Commercial Strips

There are some lucky condos that have retail and restaurants right on the ground floor. These provide convenience for tenants who want to shop and dine nearby. Do not worry about vermin or other unsavory visitors in your condo (which is sometimes an issue for new buyers) your condo will be safe from these as your homeowners association will help with that. Noise is also not an issue as well as lobby traffic since these will be located away from the residential entrance of your condo.

These can also sometimes increase the property value of your condo unit, but is not a sure thing. My advice though is that more often than not it is a good thing to have commercial areas near or even right inside the building of your condo because it provides convenience and a truly urban-style living for you or your prospective tenant.

In the next part of this series, I will discuss in detail a good way to pick the optimal payment terms for your condo purchase.


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