• Buying SMDC condo unit is not always fun

    Emeterio Sd. Perez

    Emeterio Sd. Perez

    TWO octogenarians alighted from a van to see a group of sales persons at the site where SM Development Corp. (SMDC) was to build condominiums. A young sales man approached them and, after the usual greetings, asked what floor they would prefer should they decide to buy a unit.

    “This is small for my family,” the man said.

    The salesman, who was perhaps fresh from college, was excited over the prospect of selling a unit. He got more excited when the man told him: “We need two units but the contractor should merge them into one unit.”

    When told that the builder-developer which was SMDC could make the request possible, the old man told the salesman: “See me in my office on Monday. Be there early.”

    If the old man and his wife made good their commitment to buy in 2013, then the question is: Has SMDC been able to deliver to them the title to their two units?

    Frustrated buyers
    SMDC is the developer of Wind Residences in Tagaytay City. It has a property manager which is identified in a circular as Sosa JB Property Management Corp. How the two companies are related may not be clear to unit owners. Perhaps businessman Henry Sy Sr. and his family can well explain the relationship between Sosa JB and SMDC, which he owns.

    However, as far as buyers of condominium units of Wind Residences are concerned, all they knew then was that SMDC, thru Sosa, was making condo living very difficult for them while SMDC, for some if not for all of them, remains a big frustration for failing to issue the certificates of titles to their units—at least to those who have fully paid for them.

    What could be happening inside the boardroom of SMDC, which is a unit of SM Prime Holdings Inc. which, in turn, is a subsidiary of SM Investments Corp.? As the condo developer, SMDC should tell unit owners of Wind Residences the reason or reasons why, after paying in full, some of them from way back in 2013, they have yet to get their proof of ownership. Does the company have anything to hide from unit buyers?

    What if…
    How would Mr. and Mrs. Sy, for instance, feel if they had bought a piece of property but which his company could not fully develop because the title to the property remained in the vault of a bank to serve as collateral for a P100-million loan? Frustrated? Definitely.

    Here is another theoretical poser: What if Mr. and Mrs. Sy were the condo unit buyers and not the SMDC owners? What would they possibly feel if they were deprived of the titles to their units? Frustrated? Definitely.

    Perhaps, Mr. and Mrs. Sy were even pleased that the members of the sales force of Wind Residences-Tagaytay City even succeeded in selling the space occupied by the huge posts that carry the entire weight of the condominium. Two of these posts measuring two feet by two feet are at the end units of each building.

    (I know one buyer who happened to buy one unit only to find a big post in the space—which was computed accordingly as part of the acquisition price—where she had planned to put the refrigerator. Worse, her husband died without seeing the title to the unit. Until now, she is still waiting for SMDC to complete the transfer of ownership.)

    Parking fees
    Let me go back to Sosa JB. The more scrupulous and curious unit owners may have already read the latest communication issued by Sosa JB.

    In issuing Circular No. 08-21-2015, Sosa JB did not extend to unit owners of Wind Residences even a “semblance” of courtesy by signing it. It simply concluded the notice to “All unit owners, commercial tenants, merchants and tenants” with “For your information. Thank you.” Who said what was in the notice? “Property Management.” Property management of what?

    What are the people of Sosa JB afraid of that they did not find it necessary for anyone among them to sign said circular? Are they ashamed that they are charging the unit owners of Wind Residences P40 for the “first four hours” and P20 “per succeeding hour” for parking at the commercial area of the condominium?

    While SMDC has yet to complete the construction of ALL facilities, Sosa JB has identified a total of 78 parking slots—70 for “four-wheel slots” and eight to be converted to motorcycle parking that can accommodate 16-20 motorcycles.

    While it is their duty to earn for their company, Sosa JB people should bear in mind that Wind Residences attracts unit buyers because of the facilities it offers. Have they not observed how SMDC has failed them and their families?

    A case in point: Noel Tangbaoan posted on SMDC Residences website what should interest Sosa JB. The writer had this to say: “Quite frustrating that up to now the clubhouse and sky lounge are not yet open and we unit owners have no place to hang out.”

    By the way, is Parking Management Company, which is charging and collecting the parking fees, a stock corporation? If so, who are its stockholders? Where does it hold office? The circular did not contain said very basic information.

    If Sosa JB would not make the proper disclosure of the identities of its owners, then the best source would be the Securities and Exchange Commission. See your files at SEC.



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    1. We experienced both unfortunate scenarios. We are already fully paid for more than two years and until now the title of our unit in SEA RESIDENCE in MALL of ASIA has not been delivered to us. The same scenario also happened to us when we fully paid a piece of lot in a subdivision and the Title can not also be delivered by its owner. When we conducted an investigation, we discovered that it was used as loan collateral. I do not know why SMDC can not deliver to us the Condominium Certificate of Title.
      We have a corner unit and also affected by two big post which SMDC included as part of the size of the unit in the contract. A clear violation, cause under Condominium Act, Post of Condo Building is considered included in the group of Common Areas which should not be included as part of the unit. The effect of this misrepresentation is double whammy to the buyer cause this will not only result to overpayment but will also increase the Association Dues. Another issue we dicovered with HLURB on the SMDC’s Project that we investigated is after they secured Autority to Sell in their original Plan, they will apply for amendment of Plan. As of this moment I dont want to coclude and wish that this is not related to the existing problems of the buyer. On the part of SMDC’s Sales Person, they are good in making misrepresentation and can not do anything if we will raise the problem to them.

    2. I`ve read sorry stories about SMDCand DMCI. Their is a low profile developer in Manila CITY LAND CORP. in which I own a unit. I am very happy with this Co. I speak for my self.

    3. Felimon A. Soria on

      The rumors that circulate while contemplating of buying a condo is that you can never own that piece of unit because the title is quite hard to come by. You proved it today Mr. Perez

      • Buying condominium unit is really not fun.I am also a victim of sweet talking sales representatives as they call themselves. I bought unit in one of Villar’s condominium and they will let you sign a documents not shown to you at initial stage of selling , depriving the buyer to have enough time to really understand the contents of contracts.You will just be informed that your balance payment unit had been transferred to their partner bank Planters Bank in my case by Receivable Purchase Agreement . The start of agony in securing documents when I applied for Pag-Ibig Housing Loan. The bank did not bother to prepare documents needed by the Pag-Ibig Fund. The worst thing I found out ,even the CAR , Certificate Assignment for Registration in the BIR was not yet paid or settled with the partner developer Polar Mines now Vista Residences despite my early one year notice to the bank for all those documents needed by the Pag-Ibig Fund. It took me one year following all by my self to get all those documents even though I have already secured Loan Guaranty from Pag Ibig Fund. How long will this developer and bank partner will mislead buyer to put their hard earned money in their so called investment and doing nothing to facilitate the issuance of clean titles and other Pag-Ibig Fund Requirements.This the agonony of buying properties in the Philippines. Where is the HLURB action in this particular case of victimized OFW? They will even charge you with penalties out of their inefficiency.