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October 26, 2010

House and Lot or Condo, Which is Better?

I came across many local forums about this topic and find it very informative. So I decided to consolidate the inputs into a blogpost. Condo living nowadays is starting to gain more and more acceptance. Not like in the old days, maybe 15 – 20 years ago when condo living is viewed as for the rich people only. Today, all major developers expanded their market reach by entering into condominium development that is targeted towards the lower middle class and the working class markets, thus the term “Affordable home” was coined.

Now that prices of condo compete with that of the prices of house and lot, what would be a better investment? – It all really depends on you, your preferences and in what you value. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, it all boils down to what you think is best for you and your family. The key thing is you have to have a clear sense of what that is.

I have listed below the general idea of the forum comments that really draw the line between living in a condo or house & lot. I don’t think one outweighs the other; it’s a matter of perspective. My goal for this post is to help you determine which is best for you. 

House and Lot
  • More spacious than similar priced condo unit and parking is always a part of the package.
  • Pride of ownership. You can truly claim that the whole property is yours.
  • More privacy because you don’t share walls with your neighbors.
  • You can do your own landscaping if you’re into gardening.
  • Home owner’s association dues can be minimal.
  • You can make home improvements anytime without the need to ask permission from anybody.

  • Can be very costly if you want to live in prime areas.
  • The more affordable house and lots are located outside of the city thus it takes longer to travel to and from work in the city.
  • Low level of security especially for the affordable house & lots in mediocre villages.
  • You shoulder the cost of maintenance for the whole property.
  • Mediocre clubhouses and amenities.
  • No property management in place but a HOA (Home Owner’s Association) instead that oftentimes is not as much as effective as the former.
  • When all units are sold out, the developer turns over the roads and the common areas to the government and to the Homeowner's association respectively or wholly to the government to rid them of maintenance responsibilities. This oftentimes result to lack of maintenance procedures thus causing the roads and common areas to deteriorate rapidly.

  • Conveniently located in prime areas where everything is within reach like Major hospitals, schools, commercial establishments, business districts and others.
  • Property management is in place for building maintenance, security, landscaping, maintenance of the common areas and they act as the executive body of the condominium corporation to ensure effective implementation of the rules and regulations in the community.
  • There’s a high level of security when you live in a condo.
  • Low maintenance because you only deal with the insides of your unit. Everything else is maintained by the property management.
  • Offers wider range of amenities like bigger swimming pools, clubhouse, function rooms, basketball court, play ground and gym as compared to subdivisions.
  • Living in condos gives a certain sense that you belong to a higher class in the society.

  • You only own the insides of your unit. Everything else is shared among unit owners. And if you purchased leasehold condo, your ownership is limited to whatever is stated in the contract. Usually 25-50 years. After which the ownership reverts back to the developer.
  • Higher association dues that tend to increase every year.
  • Parking is owned separately
  • Less privacy with regards to noise because you share walls with your neighbor.
  • You need to secure a permit from property management prior to making any improvements in your home.
  • Stricter implementation of community rules and regulation that mean less freedom for some people.

Now that you know, what would it be? If you choose condo over house and lot, click here.

Live a beautiful life!

Ryan Rillorta
Real Estate Broker
PRC Reg. # 5578

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