A condominium is my husband and I’s biggest purchase to date as a married couple. This is actually unplanned, but since we are currently on a vacation in the Philippines, we decided to give condominium-shopping a try.
Chateau Residences near SM Bicutan
We frequented Mall of Asia during our stay and passed multiple SM Residences booths, thus; the first unit we checked out was developed by the SM Development Corporation (SMDC), the Chateau Elysee in Parañaque.
It just happened one day that one of their agents, whose assignment was Chateau Elysee, approached us and gave us a flyer. He told us the location of the project is near the airport, and that selling point caught our attention. My husband and I looked at each other, and I asked him, “why don’t we check it out?”. The next day, we found ourselves riding a taxi from Pasay Taft to SM Bicutan, and riding a tricycle from SM with the agent. (I really had no idea where Bicutan is and how far it would be.)
After signing on the visitor registration, the agent gave us a tour in their showrooms, walked with us to see the beautiful outside view and the condo amenities, and finally evaluated the available units. Honestly, my husband and I think it is a good deal with its price, its good management, and well-maintained amenities and buildings. What we just didn’t like was the location, and of course it was our first time seeing a condo unit for sale so we couldn’t decide on the spot. I believe this condominium is for owners who have their own transportation or who are willing to study the public transportation options and whose work is in or near Parañaque City. My husband and I are not those people.
It is also interesting to note that this is the first project of SMDC and the first of their project we saw.
Light Residences in Mandaluyong
The same day, we walked in to the Light Residences showroom Mandaluyong, after visiting a friend in a nearby hospital (after seeing Chateau). We could not pass the opportunity that the showroom was still open at 7PM and so curious what the project is about. We were assisted by one of the site’s agents and his manager.
Honestly, we were in love with the location from the start that’s why we decided to walk in. Light Residences has a direct entrance and exit to the MRT Boni station, a big plus for my husband and I, as we plan to commute rather than taking a car.
The units in Light Residences are more expensive because of its prime location, in the middle of Ortigas, Fort Bonifacio, and Makati business district, and of course just by the MRT Boni station. The one bedroom unit’s size is comparable to a studio unit’s (around 23-24 square meters), except you have a room and an optional balcony for a bigger space. Also, there is an option to buy multiple one-bedroom units to combine them as one big condo unit.
Avida Towers San Lorenzo in Makati City
Yes, call this condo-shopping. Right after checking out Light Residences, we headed to Greenbelt for dinner and noticed one of the booths for Avida Towers, owned by Ayala. We stopped by it and had the agent schedule us for a site-visit. Well, a showroom visit on the actual building site, as the project, Avida Towers San Lorenzo, is another pre-selling project like Light Residences. However, the location is better for mall lovers as it is a walking distance (around 15 minutes) to Greenbelt, Makati.
So Monday, two days after, our Avida Tower’s agent gave us a tour of the studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom showrooms for San Lorenzo. The studio’s size is actually a good livable space, and the layouts for the units with bedrooms are pretty good as the ventilation is planned well. The price for the units are pretty steep though considering there are no appliances and kitchen cupboards that come with the unit. This can be a plus though for people who want to customize the unit with their own style. For my husband and I, we listed this place as our second option next to Light. The only downside was the later date of turnover for the second tower, since the first tower units were almost out the time we came to visit.
* Note: We checked another preselling condo showroom in the Global City the same day we saw San Lorenzo. But at the time I was writing this post, I forgot the name of the project. It was the most expensive one among all the condo projects we saw. We might get one when we can afford it, who knows.
Field Residences in Sucat, Parañaque
In one of our later strolls in MOA, we decided to check another condominium project of SM Residences. This time, it was Field Residences. The agent was quick to tell us that there was a showroom in Mall of Asia. So we walked through the main building to go to the opposite site where the showroom was. When I saw the model, I immediately noticed the long road that goes around the eight towers of the compound. This was exciting to me as I can go biking safely there! Also, I can tell the compound is huge as if it is a hotel resort. After looking at the model units, I asked the agent if we could see the actual project. Though it was near closing time for viewing (45 minutes to 7PM), she was kind to say we could try to make it as she could drive us there. We made it.
It wasn’t close to the NAIA as I expected it to be, but it was next to SM Sucat at least. I enjoyed the resort like feeling of the compound and the go-cart like vehicle that goes around the vicinity to pick up residents who want to skip walking to their tower or go to the main gate. The lobbies on each tower have this hotel atmosphere as well. The downside is, you need to get a vehicle to live here or have the patience to commute every day to work.
Condominium in Malibay, Pasay
We were staying in my uncle’s house, in Malibay. When he learned about our plan buying a condo, he suggested a condominium that could be cheaper and around the area. We paid the site a visit and was assisted by one of the salespersons. The sizes of the units are great for their prices, but the poor ventilation, poor amenities, and the squatter area around the building is a no-no for us. I am not against slum areas, as I lived in one, I am just saying if I felt if we had to pay millions of pesos for a condo, we deserve a nicer view and good amenities at least.
Project We Chose
In the end, we chose Light Residences next to Boni MRT Station in Mandaluyong. We will not be able to use our condo unit a lot when it is finished, but at least we have a place to stay in the Philippines for vacation and a place we can rent out when we will be away. Extra income.