Filipino millennials looking to establish their independence can have a rewarding experience renting their first home and establish a good foundation for owning their own property later by following a few simple guidelines offered by online property listing site MyProperty.ph.
“For Filipino millennials looking to live independently from their parents or are ready to start a family, renting a condo unit is almost a no-brainer,” MyProperty.ph’s Jillian Cariola said. “Condos are most often conveniently located, and renting provides you with the flexibility you need especially if you’re still exploring your career options.”
Cariola suggested several tips to help young people striking out on their own to have a successful experience in their first home, which will help them gain experience and establish a good credit history that can be applied to a home purchase later.
Establish a budget
Renting a condo does not involve only the lease, but other expenses such as utility bills, groceries, transport, and other basic costs, and all these must be taken into consideration.
“A good rule of thumb is to set monthly rent payments at around 30 percent of your income, but it might go up to 50 percent depending on the location and classification of the condo,” Cariola said.
Find the right location
One way to reduce some of those expenses and make life generally easier is to find a condo in the right area, with easy access to work or school, as well as necessities and conveniences such as the grocery store, restaurants, banks, malls and other entertainment, and medical facilities. Locations where most of these things are within walking distance are ideal, Cariola said, but as an alternative, there should at least be easy access via public transportation.
Find the right neighborhood
Apart from convenience, safety and security is a priority, Cariola said. The building should be located far from earthquake fault lines and flood-prone areas. Personal safety, especially at night, should also be assured; make sure the area is well lit, and that there is adequate security, both in the building and in the surrounding area.
A local real estate agent, who declined to give her name, offered a practical piece of advice. “When you find a building you’re interested in, visit the neighborhood at nine or ten o’clock at night,” she suggested. “If you’re comfortable in the area at that time, it will probably be a reasonably safe area to live in.”
Check the amenities
All condo developers and managers pride themselves on the amenities offered by their properties, such as swimming pools, fitness centers, and landscaped outdoor areas, so the prospective renter should definitely consider those, Cariola said. Other things that might be overlooked, however, include whether the building has good wi-fi and cellular signal reception, whether cable television is available, and what the arrangements for seemingly mundane matters like trash disposal are.
Consider a bare unit
Bare condominium units, or those without any sort of furnishings, are nearly always cheaper to rent than semi-furnished or furnished units, Cariola pointed out. If the new resident can make do with borrowed furnishings or a “minimalist” lifestyle for a period of time, the money that is saved on rent can be put towards furniture and decorating that suits his or her tastes.
Read the lease agreement carefully
A lease agreement keeps both parties secure, and is legally binding once one signs it, “so be sure to thoroughly read the contract before signing to avoid getting sucked into a lease with clauses you have issues with,” Cariola said.
Besides the monthly rental amount and terms of payment, the lease also includes other arrangements like early termination clauses, rules on pet ownership, allowable renovations, repairs and maintenance, and even smoking guidelines. “If there are certain policies you do not agree with, inquire with the landlord if they can be amended,” Cariola said.