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This is one of the issues I often encounter with many of my clients, especially first-time homebuyers. Owning either of the two properties has its own advantages and disadvantages, and often, the choice boils down to the buyer's goal in purchasing the property as well as his or her lifestyle and priorities. In case you are also experiencing the same dilemma, I might be able to help you decide by listing down the pros and cons for each type of property.




Price: Because they are centrally located, condos cost more per square meter. For example in Makati, average rental rate for luxury condos is already at Php 646/sq. m. Monthly dues for a condo also cost more than in a subdivision.

Price: House and lots, especially in areas that are a few hours away from the city center, are more affordable. For example, a Php 2-million budget can already buy you a house and a lot in some areas, while in Manila, this is just the price of a 21 to 29 sq. m. middle-end condo.

Location: Several high-rise condominiums are located in central business districts, close to the city's main transportation (trains and buses) and office areas.

Location: It is difficult to find a vacant lot for a home that's conveniently located in the city. The trade-off for having a nice house is to spend more on travel expenses.

Privacy: While some ultra-luxury properties can offer privacy for tenants, this also means you have to pay more. In general, however, privacy is difficult to achieve in a condo.

Privacy: This is more possible for single-detached homes, especially if you choose locations that are not densely populated.

Investment: For investors who wish to have an income-producing investment in a short time, condos would be their best bet. However, condos are only good for 50 years, so I would advise against investing in one if you want to utilize the unit for a lifetime.

Investment: Its yields may not be achieved as quickly as in a condo, but a house is still ideal for long-term investment -- especially for individuals and families who plan to live in it and own it for a long time.


The bottomline
In choosing between a condo and a house, ask yourself these questions:
  • Which life stage are you in right now? Are you single, married, or retired? If you are thinking of settling down, you might want to consider if you can properly raise kids in your chosen location.
  • What is your goal in purchasing a property? If it's an investment, make sure you check the ongoing trends in the area and if it is easy to lease it out or to resell it in the future.
  • What is your budget? If you don't have enough savings yet or incapable of paying a mortgage, perhaps renting a condo would be a better choice.
  • Where do you want to be? Now this is a question for expatriates or Filipinos living abroad. Are you staying in the Philippines for good? Or are you looking to simply invest in a property that you can use while you are here? The answer will help you determine if owning or leasing a condo or apartment in the city or purchasing a luxury house in villages such as McKinley Hill, Ayala Alabang, Forbes Park, etc. is the right way to go.