Debunked Real Estate Myths

10 Debunked Real Estate Myths

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A real estate investment is likely the hardest decision that any person will ever commit. It definitely calls for careful financial planning, in-depth research, and sincere discussions with loved ones since you need to put in a lot of emotions when making decisions this huge. But instead of moving one step further, people are hindered from purchasing a dream home of their own due to real estate myths circulating through the internet or from self-proclaimed real estate gurus.

Perhaps, you are always hesitant about buying a condominium unit because you have come across these following myths that often hamper you from widening your horizon. It is about time to break them apart and allow you to see the potential of generating wealth from this tangible asset.

1. A Condominium Unit is Only Good for 50 Years

You should not get confused or even discouraged with this myth. It has become a long-standing misinterpretation as the Condominium Act of the Philippines, known as Republic Act 4726, qualifies a condominium development as a corporation. The law grants the condominium corporation a lifespan of 50 years, similar to what is being given to major corporations in the country. When you purchase a condominium unit, you automatically become a shareholder, of a legitimate corporation as the homeowner.

But wait, you might have been misinformed since the Condominium Act is only applicable to condemned buildings or residential structures which are deemed “obsolete and uneconomical.” Fortunately, high-rise condominium buildings are now constructed far superior to before, eliminating all possibilities of building deterioration within the next 50 years. Though the law states that a condominium corporation expires after 50 years from the date of issuance, you don’t lose your legal ownership of the unit. The law also grants voting rights to the shareholder, referring to condo owners, whether to renovate the building complex before considering it as “condemned.”

The residential building will only become eligible for demolition if more than 50% of the shareholders have agreed, granting that the building has been considered “unsafe” by the authorities. The corporation rights can be renewed for another 50 years after the term, and building owners will not be reverted back to the developers. If the developer decides to sell the property, all shareholders may get a fair share of the profit.

2. Mortgage Terms are Unattainable

Purchasing a new condominium unit is now made affordable with pre-selling, ready-for-occupancy, and introductory rates being offered on the market. Payment terms are determined according to the approved loan amount, monthly average income, prevailing liabilities, and potential income sources, helping clients alleviate their financial burdens. You don’t need to spend your entire savings, but you should be financially ready to take on your mortgage obligations when you finally decide to purchase one. Consult a real estate broker or an investment expert before considering this type of investment.

3. Living in a Condominium Unit is not Safe

When buying a dream home, safety is always a foremost concern by everyone. This myth is going nowhere, and it should not stop you from pursuing your first-ever real estate investment. New condominium developments are now reliably constructed with high-standard building materials capable of withstanding earthquake strength as high as intensity 8 as mandated by the National Building code and Structural Code of the Philippines. Real estate developers go beyond what is required to ensure the earthquake-readiness of the building.

In addition to structural integrity, condominium associations also enforce safety guidelines to ensure life and property protection for all homeowners and building personnel. Smoke detectors, fire exits, and fire sprinkler systems become standard requirements in every residential project while building inspection routine is regularly conducted in cooperation with the local government agencies. There are also backup generators available in case of an electrical outage as well as 24/7 security provided by the property management. So if you feel unsure about living in a condominium unit, then you probably believe in false impressions and myths too much.

4. Condominium Designs are not Family-oriented

For many years, younger Filipino generations are the primary dwellers of many condominium projects primarily due to convenience and independence. Some people think that condominium living isn’t designed to promote leisure and family atmosphere. But condominium developers are now trying to strike the appropriate balance between hardscapes and open spaces to make condo lifestyle more family-friendly.

While middle-aged generations still prefer to own a house-and-lot package, modern families now start to adapt to the comforts of condo living. Why not? Condominium developments are now offering different unit designs from typical studio-type to three-bedroom units in order to accommodate all family sizes. The most significant change here is that real estate developers are becoming “family-adaptive,” providing more amenities and sprawling landscaping areas where kids can play around.

5. Condo Living Does Not Promote Privacy

A lot of people still look for the feeling of serenity, which they enjoy in single-home developments. But real estate developers have found a way to provide this by limiting the number of housing units per floor. In this approach, noisy hallways and crowdedness are significantly reduced to give residential owners the peace of mind they deserve after a long, tiring day. Note that a smaller number of condominium units would mean a lower number of residents on every floor, thus enhancing the relaxing atmosphere around you.

6. Condominium Units are Sold Incredibly Expensive

If you believe this myth, then you are missing an opportunity to maximize the potential of your hard-earned savings. A lot of people think that buying a condominium unit is too expensive without even comparing the actual cost when you purchase a complete house-and-lot package. Try to compare the actual value or contract price between a condominium unit and a newly constructed house, and you will soon realize the considerable difference. You may be able to get a spacious 50 sq.m condominium unit between Php4 million and Php5 million depending on location while a new townhouse unit with the same size may cost you around Php7 million or even more.

The lot cost per square meter depends on the area, and you won’t be able to find any cheap real estate value these days. In a typical house-and-lot package, the actual contract price has already included everything that can be charged to clients such as price mark up, inflation, application fees, taxes, and marketing expenses. For sure, your Php4 million budget won’t be enough to accommodate both lot and construction costs, granting that you will build the house from scratch. So, think about it deeply since the people who are making up this myth haven’t even experienced a condo lifestyle.

7. Condos just Put you in a Huge Block of Concrete

This myth might have been rooted from previous condominium designs back in the 1980s where the units were built like stacks of shoeboxes with pigeonholes and nothing more at the ground. But the high-rise residential developments are now constructed with appropriate building and safety standards while providing a unique balance between luxury and nature for the occupants. Aside from open spaces and amenities, condo units have spacious balconies and exterior hallways where people can breathe in some fresh air while overlooking the lush greenery and cityscapes outside.

8. Most Condominium Units Look Very Small

Definitely, the crowdedness of any metropolitan area has made space a highly valuable asset. People will even question your decision to move into a condo unit, telling you that your belongings may not fit in there. Though condominium units are designed with different sizes and space allocation, real estate developers ensure that every space is fully optimized. The truth is that many condominiums designs today already include the living spaces almost similar to single-family homes for better movement.

Some condominiums are even built more spacious than other average-size units, incorporating other features like balconies, laundry area, peninsula island counters, and garden windows. But what matters most in condo living is how you practice the space-saving principles, integrating efficiency and functionality of the available spaces.

9. There are Condo Rules to Follow

As a condo owner, you automatically become a shareholder of a corporation which mandates you to follow specific “house rules” within the residential complex. Condominium rules are enforced to ensure order as well as secure the residents against any untoward incidents. However, rules should not be treated as harshly strict but a gentle reminder to all tenants instead. They usually revolve around number of visitors, house parties, elevator access, building security, pets, waste segregation, and parking allocations. So where’s the problem there? These rules are all concerns about the general welfare of your family and other co-occupants, similar to the regulations being imposed in other housing communities.

10. Condominium Rules Prohibit Improvements

Home improvements are usually regulated under the association rules depending on the extent of the project. But homeowners are allowed to undertake such renovation except for the modification of structural components and utility systems since these may significantly affect the entire building. The usual home interior repairs such as repainting and drilling are allowed, provided that the condo owner has secured a renovation permit from the homeowner’s association. What usually covers under home improvement projects are specific guidelines concerning proper delivery of construction materials and project scheduling to prevent such inconvenience among residents.

A real estate investment, particularly a condominium unit, is considered the best income-generating form of investment you can possess today. If you prefer not to live in it, you can convert your condo unit into a personal office space, sell it in the future or rent it out to earn extra money.

Dale Basilla
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