We've already discussed why Makati is a great place for expats to live. Basically, it's the closest you can get to a luxurious, Western-style city. That said, not all condos in Makati are created equal, which is why you also need to look at the following factors when making your choice.
This is arguably the most important factor. Before you purchase a Makati condo, take a look at the nearby establishments first.
Is the condo within walking distance of malls, banks, train stations, government offices, convenience stores, fast food outlets, etc.? Can you drive from the condo to your workplace and back, without worrying too much about traffic? If you don't have a car, is the condo easily accessible to one of the many means of public transportation in Metro Manila?
Your location doesn't have to be "perfect." But it does have to be as convenient as possible. The more convenient your location is, the easier your life will be as a condo resident.
Of course, we're not talking about the size of the condominium building. Whether a building has 30 floors or 100 floors doesn't really matter. What we're talking about is the size of the unit you want to purchase.
Obviously, the greater the number of people who'll live in your condo, the larger your unit has to be. If you're the only permanent resident of your condo, a one-bedroom unit will be enough. If, on the other hand, you'll bring your entire family with you, the condo should accommodate all of them.
Your ideal size also depends on what you'll use the condo for. If, for example, you're the type who likes to bring people over, you'll want a larger unit even if you're the only one who lives in it permanently. Keep in mind, however, that larger units are also more expensive, so weigh the pros and cons carefully.
Many condos have swimming pools, children's playgrounds, gyms and the like. Ask your broker if the condo you want to buy has these. You can also visit the condo personally, and see for yourself whether the facilities they claim to have are up to par.
Aside from the building facilities, check the amenities of the unit you plan to buy. We've discussed some of these "must-haves" before: Internet connection, hot showers, security, a well-stocked kitchen, etc. Take a quick glance of the condo, and judge whether there's enough room for all your furniture, appliances and other peripherals.
Different condos have different house rules. For example, some condos are more pet-friendly than others. If you're planning to bring a large dog over, make sure the condo has enough room for your pet to play around without disrupting other residents. Pet restrictions are there for a reason, after all.
Also, if you're a smoker, it'll help if the condo has a designated smoking area. Some residents aren't too keen on neighbors who smoke, so be considerate of them. Otherwise, you might find yourself at the receiving end of a complaint from those same people.
These house rules are often posted on the bulletin board in your building's lobby area. If you have any questions about them, don't hesitate to ask the condo administration or security office.
You might've noticed that this is pretty far down the list. That's because, like many other things, you usually get what you pay for when you purchase a condo.
In Makati, for instance, a condo worth seven figures is already on the low end. You can find one of these in the seedier areas of the city, though you'll have to make some trade-offs security-wise. You may already know how to stay safe in Metro Manila, but erring on the side of caution won't hurt.
On the other hand, the ones on high-value property (e.g. Ayala Land) are pricier. However, since the facilities are better, and the security is tighter, you know you get your money's worth.
Current Residents' Reviews
Even after taking the above into consideration, don't give up that check just yet. Look for reviews on different Makati condos online, and see whether they can tell you anything you haven't heard before.
For example, does the condo experience frequent electricity/water interruptions? How is the security around the area? Is living in that condo more of a dream, or a nightmare?
If you're an expat, you can look up online forums reviewing what it's like to live in Manila. Join one or more of them, and don't be afraid to post any questions there. Chances are at least one person will give the answer you're looking for.
Of course, the "best" condo will vary from one person to another. Some people are content with low-priced, albeit dirty, units, as long as they can live near their workplace. Others are pickier, and won't settle for anything less than the best. No matter your preferences, taking the abovementioned factors into account will help you make the right choice.
Looking for a Makati condo for rent that meet your need? Check out our reasonably priced unit here!