A Year in Review – 10 Questions on Condo Living Answered

We moved into our one-bedroom condo unit last year during the last week of May 2019. It was still bare then. Except for a bed with a mattress, a work station, a dining table, and three chairs, our place had no other furniture nor appliances. We also found out that I was pregnant, so we had to save up for the baby.

It’s been more than a year, and we’ve learned quite a bit about condo living. This was our starter home – a prelude to a better nest someday. At least, that’s the dream. Before I get too sentimental, I’m going to share with you some answers to common questions we get about living in a condominium.

What is living in a condo like?

Our space still lacks luxurious carpets or rugs to call it “homey,” but I like how easy it is to clean and how minimalist it looks. I love the view from our room, too. Its windows are facing the mountains (and so far, no buildings have been built around it to obstruct the view). Best of all, almost everything we need is within walking distance and we don’t have to fix anything that doesn’t work.

Is it worth getting a condo?

For its price, less than two million pesos when we bought it through Pag-ibig, and location, near business centers, I would say ‘yes, condo ownership is worth it’. We also appreciate the security and ease of maintenance.

Are condo dues monthly or yearly?

Ours is monthly and it is below P2,000 a month. We actually didn’t pay for the first few months because some promised facilities were not available yet. As far as I know, all condominiums have association dues to cover expenses on the upkeep of common areas, exclusive garbage disposal system, security, and more. Discuss this with your realtor before you buy.

What’s the monthly amortization thru Pag-ibig?

This depends on the loan term you will select. If you choose 20 years, for example, your monthly payment for a 24 sqm condominium unit would be around P13,000 to P14,000. This is the most affordable condo (with a reputable developer) that we have found near Cebu City.

When is the best time to buy a condo?

When you have extra money and have made up your mind to own one, pre-selling condo units are better than completed condo properties, IMO. If you are looking to move in ASAP, there are units available for sale for a higher monthly payment.

What are your top space-saving tips?

Measure everything before you buy and take note of the measurements in a device you can carry around when window shopping. Opt for compact and small appliances and choose light colors. We got a Vornado fan, a slim disinfectant dryer, and a sleek shoe cabinet – all of them fit really well inside our small space.

Was it hard to move from your old place to the new one?

Not at all. Our old place is a rented space, so we didn’t have the freedom to do anything. Any renovation would have been a waste. I don’t miss the creaky bed and the leaky roof. Moving from the old place to the condo was easy because we just let go of things that we didn’t want to own anymore. We still rented a small truck to carry our wooden dining table (the first piece of furniture we ever owned), Neil’s PC desk, and books.

Aren’t you afraid of an earthquake or fire?

I am. I thought about putting all essentials in a backpack to prepare for escape. But I’m just hoping that the building can sustain a minor tremor or contain a fire. To be fair, this can happen to any property. We all should prepare for emergencies like this.

What are some lessons you learned about condo life?

Feel like hotel guests on day one and cleaning crew on day five. Kidding aside, many of our condo talks were about how to dry our clothes. We do send the bulk of our laundry to a shop nearby but for Cyd’s clothes, sensitive pieces, and undergarments, we wash them at home. Air drying them can be tricky. Good thing, Neil found a small dryer from Lazada. It’s called Xiaomi Sterilization clothes dryer.

What do you wish you can change with your current home?

Lots! 🙂 First, we wanted a wooden floor – it just looks and feels better than tiles. But for the kitchen, we wanted to put some tiles near the cooking area. We also think it’s time to let go of the dining table – it’s brown and it’s too bulky for our small space. The bathroom needs a mirror, too. And more shelves for books and plants.

If you are thinking about moving into a condo or you’re already living in one, let me know what you think of this post. Thanks for reading!

Photo by Greg Rivers

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