What to Know When Buying Your First Condo Unit

Posted May 23, 2024

Actual photo from Crown Residences 1-Bedroom model unit

Actual photo from Crown Residences 1-Bedroom model unit

New seasons mean new beginnings, so new opportunities await. For young professionals, making your first personal investment can be daunting, especially if you’re going to spend money saved up for years. Where would you want to spend your hard-earned money that you’ve accumulated? What, as a young investor, should you choose to grow in value over time?

The most ideal one is property investment. It can be used for many reasons, from simply investing to earn, to living there part-time as a halfway home in the city, to staying there full-time for a fresh start. Quality condo units can be costly, but can provide high rewards when invested right, so here are a few things to know when buying your first condo.

Location: the place to stay

“Location, location, location” is a popular term in real estate for good reason. Location considerations are a major factor when looking for a condo unit - the place might be nice, but it would be a lot more convenient if it is near work, a family home, your kids’ schools, and essentials. 

Proximity is an important location factor. You’d want your place to be near places of transportation or within walking distance of where you want to go, both for convenience and personal safety. Consider nearby establishments and infrastructures, such as malls, restaurants, playgrounds for kids, and other leisure places where you can hang out and have fun with friends and family. Aside from being close to major universities, Torre Lorenzo properties are conveniently near recreational places; Torre Lorenzo Loyola has many Katipunan establishments on its doorstep and malls like UP Town Center nearby, while Torre Lorenzo Malate is close to Robinson’s Place Manila and is within a few minutes away to Intramuros. You could also take notice of the traffic around the area, in case you use a car to travel, so you can note if you are too near jam-packed areas that make it harder to go around or to travel to farther places. Having minimal noise pollution from the outside or neighbors is a plus. Tierra Lorenzo Lipa’s Adria Tower and the upcoming Merano Tower, for example, is an ideal place for retirees because of the quiet and cool environment of Lipa City in Batangas.

Actual photo from Torre Lorenzo Loyola West Tower 1-Bedroom model unit
Actual photo from Torre Lorenzo Loyola West Tower 1-Bedroom model unit

Aside from nearby establishments, check your surroundings as well. Security and safety are musts, so you should ensure you are in a safe environment in the city, or that the building has a good security system. Check their security and safety protocols while scoping out your new condo building. All Torre Lorenzo properties have strict security systems in place such as a resident’s portal app, 24/7 CCTV cameras, and RFID to enter the residential areas.

Budget right and budget well

Aside from location choosing, real estate budgeting and home buying can be challenging due to the costs involved, but as long as you know what to focus on and what to save up for, having your own unit becomes manageable. 

You need to determine how much you are willing to spend for your personal unit. Which one is within your price range? Which unit is worth the amount of money you will spend, especially if you will pay for it over the course of years? Did you save enough for fees like association dues and taxes? Buying your own unit is not easy, and this is one of the biggest factors you have to figure out going into condo living.

Image from Drazen Zigic on Freepik
Image from Drazen Zigic on Freepik

Having a budget plan once you begin living in your unit is vital as well. What you bring into the unit will also affect your budgeting, from appliances to electronics. Part of “adulting” is knowing what to keep and what to sacrifice to lessen the bills and re-evaluate your lifestyle to figure out what you need compared to what you want. There is also day-to-day life activities, from travel costs going around the area outside, to what food to buy, to which amount to save for future bills and fees. Lifestyle changes are necessary but worth it in the long run both financially and health-wise. Nearby affordable restaurants and free resident-exclusive amenities are great bonuses when choosing a place that is beneficial to your budgeting.

When you have the right outlook and the ideal budget, you will get the hang of condo financing once you begin living on your own.

Reputation is key

Suppose you finally decide to buy your first condo unit. Before entering the world of condo living, research the property developer. Read online reviews and ask family and friends who own units about their experiences with the developer. Check their litigation history and see if they have previous or pending issues that you need to veer away from. Ask the questions: How long have they been in the real estate game? What are their positives and negatives? What is their reputation among the public? How do they treat their buyers and residents? And if they are new, are you willing to take a chance?

TLDC, for example, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2024 and is acclaimed for its stylish and contemporary condo units, location convenience, and top-quality service. Answering the need for better housing options for Filipino students, Torre Lorenzo pioneered premium student residences in the Philippines with the opening of 1Torre Lorenzo at Taft Avenue, and TLDC properties still serve generations of students around the country. Despite its expansion over the years TLDC’s founder, CEO & President Tomas P. Lorenzo, still prides in 1Torre Lorenzo to this day, with the building now a mainstay in Taft. 

As more TLDC properties serve the needs of students around the country, Torre Lorenzo has also expanded to the hospitality market with partnerships with international hospitality brands such as Dusit Thani for its Davao-based Dusit Thani Residence, dusitD2 Davao, and Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation, and the upcoming Lipa hotel Dusit Princess Lipa, and The Ascott Limited for serviced residences The Suites and co-living spaces lyf Malate Manila located in Torre Lorenzo Malate.

Torre Lorenzo has also spearheaded multiple efforts in corporate social responsibility. They have promoted environmental sustainability, especially in Lubi, which utilizes solar power, electric vehicles, and purified recycled water. They continually help partner communities in Barangay Pindasan in Davao de Oro through employment in Lubi and donations to local schools and daycares. They also provide scholarships for children of fallen soldiers. They turn words into action, making them a trustworthy name to rely on.

To have and to have not

As a first-time homebuyer, you have to know the purpose of your purchased unit, whether it is to stay for the long run or use it temporarily or as a halfway home. You should also know if it is a place for yourself or with more people involved, especially if you plan to start a family. Additionally, you could opt for it to be a personal investment that could generate interest in the long run.

Actual photo from 3Torre Lorenzo Pool Area
Actual photo from 3Torre Lorenzo Pool Area

That being said, choosing also includes deciding which amenities you want in your building, like a swimming pool, a fitness center, and a pet park if you ever have small pets staying with you - all of which are available in most Torre Lorenzo properties. Choose which among the popular condo trends you would want to have in the building, such as open and green spaces and colorful, trendy designs. Take a look at the unit (or model units) and see if you like the layout and the appliances included, especially if you’d like to spice up the living room and kitchen of your unit with your own designs as well.

Terms and conditions apply

You’ve decided to buy your first unit and you’re happy with the layout, design, and surroundings of the place, so what now? It’s time to put pen to paper.

As you sign in to purchase your new condo unit, make sure you know the ins and outs of the building. Know the rules of the place very well, as well as where to find or call maintenance or housekeeping. Check through the contracts to see if everything is agreeable for you. 

Your part in the agreement should be upheld as well, so make sure you have the necessary documents like personal IDs and income statements. Read thoroughly through each contract and fill out and sign the forms properly. Choose how to pay, whether you pay everything from the get-go or pay through installments over the years, and make sure you are careful in putting down the details to not redo them over and over again.

Inspect and maintain

You’ve found your place, you’ve signed the contracts, and you’re ready to move in, but how about things that could happen in the long run? That’s what the in-house maintenance team is for. Know what to call and who to ask among the team if ever you run into problems along the way, or if you need one last check-up around the unit before your big decision. TLDC, for example, has its proactive and in-house property management team Torre Lorenzo Property Management Corporation (TLPMC) that ensures common areas are maintained and secure.

Additionally, there’s no harm in finding a trusted inspector, contractor, or engineer to help you with additional hardware, electronics, and wiring, as well as to assist with choosing the right designs and furniture for your place. Having the right person will make a huge difference in saving money and time.

There is a lot to factor in when buying a new condo unit as a young professional, but choosing the right place with the right location, history, and price will benefit you not only lifestyle-wise but investment-wise in the long run as well.