Additional Costs You Are Expected to Pay When Buying Condo Properties

Just when you think that condo advertisement is where you need to invest your hard-earned dollars abroad or bounty from the disposal of another property, think again. In the guise of investment, and low upfront payment, plus your genuine desire to own a piece of that dream home in a desirable address, you could easily commit to a tantalizing offer.

Before making a commitment to acquire on be sure that your computations do not only include the price tag as mentioned in the advertisement and potential earnings, but also other related costs that are normally hidden behind unit price and attractive offers that appear on flyers handed by property agents.

One thing is for sure: buying a condo unit doesn’t come cheap.

Even if purchase by cash isn’t required — but gets perks such as steep discount and preferential treatment – a fraction of cost as down payment may still require mortgage loans to cover cash deficiency on hand.

It’s not unusual for buyers to take the route of availing of housing loans from banks or government pension funds to get that dream fulfilled. Yet the decision often leaves the buyer with higher cash liability as he or she gets to pay more interest for the condo in an installment scheme, but also pay interest for the bank loan. And we’re not yet even in the topic of other extra expenses associated with buying condos!

So what are the other costs expected to pay when I buy a condo unit?

Apparently it sounds scary but if you can’t conquer your fear, you’ll never be able to own your dream home. What’s important is to be aware of what to expect, and make calculate decisions before making a commitment.

So get to know how much are you willing to spend for a condo unit without getting cash-strapped for years or decades. How much do I earn a month or do I have other income streams? How much can I allocate to finance a new house from that income? If I need to take up home mortgage loans, how long can I (or my children) pay for it? What sacrifices do I need to make just to get that dream home — a symbol of success and source of pride to many Filipinos?

Many Filipinos who have dipped their toes into buying a condo unit out of persuasion from agents did not think long and deep enough. They don’t have enough cash or other income streams, even if the condo unit itself can become an income generator through lease income, Airbnb accommodation or appreciate its initial value as location becomes more attractive.

Behind in their amortization payments, they have given up ownership as their long desired home got swallowed into foreclosure.

So even if the agent says the you only need to pay P6,000 every month, don’t fall for such promises — there will always be expenses you can’t avoid from paying.

According to Arlyn Santos, national treasurer of Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines, such fees are not really hidden as they come directly next in the agenda soon as a buyer commits to buying a condo unit.

Let’s take a look at what you might expect to pay once you agree to purchase your dream home.

  • Documentary Stamp – 1.5% of selling price of property
  • Transfer and Registration Tax – 1.5% of selling price of property
  • Association fees – varies depending on cost of repair, maintenance and upkeep of common areas (elevators, security cameras, etc)
  • Broker’s fee – 2 to 3% of gross price of the property
  • Parking fees – varies and usually comes with a slot that needs to be bought separately
  • Utility charges – varies (cleaning and collection of trash, power and water on common areas)
  • Insurance premium for unit – varies depending on value of property, location, and other factors)
  • Real property tax – varies, depending on the value of property as evaluated by an authorized assessor, paid yearly

That’s quite the minimum you’ll pay on top of the monthly amortization obligations. Should you decide to sell it a capital gains tax worth a whooping 6 per cent of the selling price on Deed of Sale or zonal value, plus the broker’s commission. So there’s little relief of getting your hands off that property.

And even when you die, your grieving family will still need to pay estate tax imposed when transferring ownership of your real property so entering into the transaction of acquiring a condo unit is littered with fees that are legally collected from you the owner.

The purpose of this article is not fearmongering but a reminder to all those who wish to avail of properties such as condos, house and lot and other real property to look beyond the price and amenities. Consult with a competent, licensed real estate broker while making computations before deciding on any property transaction.