It's the return to work effect. Google searches for condos for rent in Metro Manila surged in February to May as office workers confront the reality that they would have to leave their homes to be within a few meters from their managers.
For those who gave up their leases during the pandemic, this means looking for a new condo to rent for the convenience of having their weekday living space close to their places of work and play.
“Maraming advantages kapag nakatira sa condominium unit. Pero top 3 --- accessibility, security and then lastly, the amenities,” Jeremy Pascua, who has been helping people find the right condo unit for them for eight years now, told reportr.
“Masarap sa feeling na after mong mag-work the whole day, pag-uwi mo it's time naman para mag-relax. Yan yung wala kapag nagwo-work ka far from home. Sayang din yung time at yung chance mong makapagpahinga dahil ang layo. Yun yung meron sa condo,” he added.
What to look for in a condo
If you are looking at renting a condo unit that would help you easily adjust to return to office, the first thing to consider is the distance of the property from your workplace, Pascua said.
Ideally, the condo unit you should rent is just a few walks or one ride away from your office, according to the real estate consultant.
“Kung yung kinuha mo na rental condo ay malayo sa work mo, hindi rin ganun ka-wise na decision. Find a place na close to your work,” he added.
Consider how much you are willing to spend for the monthly rent. Most condo units located in central business districts have higher monthly rates, so if you’re short on budget, consider looking for properties a little outside these areas, Pascua said.
“Dapat yung makikita mo is accessible pa rin sa work mo. As much as possible, if hindi walking distance, at least mga one ride away lang,” he said.
“Kung gusto mo naman na nandun ka sa BGC, tipong walking distance sa work, you can find someone na makakahati mo sa monthly rent. Pwedeng ka-work mo dahil doon din sila sa area para mas madali yung payment mo, hati kayo,” he added.
It’s also important to consider the amenities of the property, as these will help you relax after a long day at work.
“Napaka-convenient lalo na you have access, for example, sa swimming pools, basketball court, fitness gym, at kung anu-ano pa,” Pascua said.
How to look for a condo
Finding a condo unit is just one click away, with many owners and real estate agents using social media to look for potential buyers and tenants of their properties.
On Facebook, condo rental listings are typically on the site’s Marketplace feature, where owners and agents post photos and other details of the units they have. Websites like Lamudi and RentPad also allow users to search for units in areas near their workplaces.
Some condo developers also open up booths near their properties where people can inquire about rentals and units for sale. Others have a dedicated stalls offering real estate services to assist potential buyers and tenants in looking for a unit.
While it’s easy to look for a condo, Pascua said it’s still important to know the developer and the agent of the unit, especially if you are considering buying it.
“When you're buying a condo unit, you are spending millions, so the quality is very important. Yung mga well-known developers, hindi sila gagawa ng low-quality development kasi very important yung pangalan nila. So before buying, one thing to consider is the developer,” he said.
“Very important din to know your property agent kasi you have to know kung real deal ba yung agent mo. Pwede kang tumawag sa company, pwede mong i-add sa Facebook, pwede mong i-search sa Google para na rin iwas scam, and then makikita rin kung maganda ang record,” he added.
What if you want to buy a condo?
As long as you have the finances and the right financial mindset, now is the best time to purchase a unit, according to Pascua, as prices of properties continue to increase overtime.
Those looking to have their own unit should start investing in one as early as the pre-selling, when the building is just about to be built, as it will cost them way lesser than if it’s ready for occupation.
“Kapag pre-selling, hindi ka required mag-spot cash downpayment, magma-monthly ka lang. Kung ang minimum downpayment ng developer is 20%, yung 20% na yun ii-stretch from the moment you reserve hanggang sa turnover,” he said.
“Kahit hindi ka pa very capable na kumuha ng property pero meron ka namang spare money na pwede mong i-invest sa condominium, at least now mababa lang ini-spend mo pero pagdating ng turnover, may condo ka na,” he added.
At the end of the day, as with any purchase, it’s always good to know your budget and how much you are willing to spend when getting your own condo, Pascua said. “Kung kaya lang din naman, go na lang.”
Jeremy Pascua is a real estate agent and property consultant. If you are looking for a condo unit, you can reach him at email@example.com for tips and suggestions.