Choosing the Right Housing Property in Manila during the Covid-19 Pandemic
It has been roughly a year since the spread of COVID-19 virus in the Philippines. This pandemic is the greatest challenge we have faced in this lifetime. Adjusting to the new normal was tough, as the first months have been plagued with confusion and fear. Many businesses have shut down since then, and most are considering implementing the “Work from Home” (WFH) model. Unfortunately, as said by David Leechiu, written in this Manila Bulletin article, the Philippines is not suitable for the WFH model. He cites poor telecom connectivity, too many relatives, and lack of proper housing to be the few major reasons why WFH would not work.
The last time I wrote an article about finding the right housing property was last 2015. A lot has changed since then. The sharp drop in economy contributed much to the price growth of condominium and house properties. Finding an affordable condominium in Manila is now a lot more difficult as prices soared almost double. In the spirit of preparing for the new year and the challenges of COVID-19 ahead of us, it is important that I revise some of my tips from my previous article.
What can you afford?
Admittedly, me and my husband have been in worrying about our sons’ permanent housing. While our ideal house ideal house has not changed since 2012, the prices to accommodate that is harder. Securing finances to acquire a new condo or housing unit is not only the beginning, but now the most crucial part. According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, there is a large growth of 34.9 percent in residential property prices in NCR relative to 2019.
While rising residential real estate prices is not necessarily new, it was only made worse by COVID-19. With the declining economy, you can even say that buying a house or new property now will be detrimental. However, buying a new property does have its merits. If you are still steadfast in your decision to purchase a new housing property, then I highly suggest doing the math. While you can compute and learn the interest rates manually, you can do so with an online mortgage calculator instead.
I still do suggest having a careful decision regarding getting a housing loan, and take into consideration its maintenance cost in the long run.
Is it strategically located?
Strategic location is now more important than ever. There are more factors to consider when it comes to choosing your permanent/temporary dwelling. This does not mean, however, that my previous tips are irrelevant. Considering the location and determining its safety from natural disasters is still the number one priority.
The first factor I would like to add to my tips is the proximity of the property to a hospital. With the COVID-19 pandemic, you would want to have a shorter distance to travel in case of an emergency. The shorter travel can help you avoid more crowded areas and traffic jams.
Poor internet connectivity issues are some of the prevalent threats to online working. If you are an employee of a company that uses the WFH model, it is important to have a strong and stable internet connection. As such, the second factor I would like to add is learning the stability and strong signal of the available Internet Service Provider (ISP) of the property’s general area. Some things to consider when it comes to choosing the right ISP is their credibility, reputation, and previous experience.
The third and last factor will have to be the market value of the property you would like to buy and amount of people residing around the property. While having neighbors is unavoidable, especially for condominium units, to learn the population density can help you reduce contact with COVID-19. Learn the history of the location and see if there have been any cases of COVID-19 in that area.
Image credits: Winner Prime One Realty