You’re in the process of deciding whether to make a real estate investment or sign a lease contract on a condominium unit. But to make it worth your time and money, it pays to be smart about the finer decisions you have to make during the process of securing your new property.
From deciding whether to buy a pre-selling unit or one that is ready for occupancy to giving thought to the number of bedrooms you need to comfortably house your family, we share with you five smart property investment tips.
First things first: lease or buy
Before you go into the finer details of the type of unit you want, be clear on whether it is more practical to lease or buy. This is of course contingent on your present needs.
Perhaps you are an expat who has been given a year-long assignment. In several cases, companies will cover the rent for your home, therefore a lease contract will be more viable for you. If you are in need of a weekday halfway home closer to your place of work, renting may also be more practical.
However, you could also explore the viability of investing, and eventually earning rental income from a condo unit. Furthermore, a real estate investment not only increases your assets but injects variety into your investment portfolio if you haven’t purchased property before. Purchasing is also more practical if you are looking for a more permanent living arrangement.
Determine if you need an RFO (Read-for-Occupancy) or Pre-selling unit
If you decide to purchase, there are pros and cons to choosing either an RFO unit or a pre-selling unit. The former is ready to use so you can move in anytime and immediately enjoy your brand new property. However, purchasing a unit closer to its turnover date means you will likely pay a higher selling price. This is due to periodic increases to the contract selling price, which occur throughout the construction period.
On the other hand, buying a pre-selling unit allows you to take advantage of introductory prices especially if you purchase as soon as the development is offered to the market. If you intend to pay in installments, you may benefit from zero-interest, monthly payments on the initial down payment for a unit. Securing a bank loan for the remaining balance is something you need not worry about until the unit is turned over to you. If you choose to pay for a pre-selling unit in full, you can also benefit from a developer’s discount, although this perk is also available for buyers of RFO units.
If you are an investor looking to rent out property, a pre-selling unit means you will be unable to reap the benefits of rental income until the unit is ready for use. The waiting time varies from a year or more, sometimes even up to four years. Conversely, when you purchase a pre-owned unit, there are instances wherein a property may currently have a tenant. This means you will begin earning rental income as soon as you have acquired the unit.
There is no right or wrong answer, and making a smart property investment decision will ultimately be determined by your unique needs.
Try asking yourself these questions: Do you need to move into a rental home as soon as possible? Do you wish to get your return on investment sooner with rental income from an RFO property? Will purchasing a pre-selling unit give you more liquidity to make other real estate investments? From there, you can make a well-informed decision.
Be realistic about the space you need
The number of bedrooms and floor area that you require is one of the most basic considerations when it comes to choosing a property to purchase or lease. However, the space you need is dependent on a mix of factors that go beyond the size of your household.
First of all, determine your current and future lifestyle needs. During the pandemic, homes have started to include spaces for remote work and distance learning. In this regard, would you need a spare bedroom to accommodate these activities? Or are you a small family with plans to add a new member in the coming years? Perhaps, you might want to consider an extra bedroom. Do you have senior family members or those with physical disabilities? In this case, a 193-sqm loft wherein all bedrooms are located on the higher floor may not be feasible. Opt for a flat unit instead.
Finally, don’t forget about parking spaces. If you are a solo dweller who lives within walking distance from your place of work, leasing a studio unit without a parking slot will not only be more practical, but will save you money on your monthly rent. However, if you purchased a condo unit with more parking spaces than you need, you could use this opportunity to make money from the unutilized space, and rent out your spare slot.
Consider your must haves
Amenities are one of the top selling points in any development, from a business center to indoor gym, to the ubiquitous function room and pool area. It is a great draw for any lessee or buyer to have access to a wide range of facilities. Thoroughly scour the amenities being offered by the development you are considering vis a vis your must haves.
If you have young children, look for developments with options for indoor and outdoor play areas. If fitness is a vital part of your lifestyle, attractive add-ons such as a basketball or badminton court, in addition to a gym, will provide you with more choices for physical activity. If you have pets, find out if there is ample outdoor space to walk your pet. And if you like to entertain guests at home, ask about the availability of public parking spaces for their convenience.
Apart from the amenities, it pays to look into the security features of a property. Inquire about the availability of CCTV cameras and 24-hour security. Furthermore, discuss the development’s security guidelines when it comes to ensuring the privacy of residents and the coming and going of building guests.
Be smart about the developer you choose to purchase with
Give careful thought to the reputation of the developer with whom you choose to buy (or lease) a condo unit. Look into their current developments. How do you feel about the way these communities have been planned? Are you impressed by the locations? Are they strategically located near key locales such as business districts, schools, and major thoroughfares?
Be discerning about property management services. Ask about how they maintain their properties. If you choose to rent out your unit, can the developer assist with leasing services? All these factors matter because they will inform your lifelong satisfaction as a resident.
Whether you choose to buy or lease, Rockwell Leasing and Secondary Sales can help you find a condominium unit. You can find and compare various property options for lease and resale to fit your unique lifestyle needs, space requirements, and budget.
And whether you require a studio or a four-bedroom unit, you can be assured of the same level of exclusivity, security, convenience, and accessibility that is the hallmark of every Rockwell community.