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Reviewing My First Condo Investment
condo-investment

At the tender age of 25, I got a big break in my career.  With worth three-months-pay of liquid savings in the bank, I wanted to make myself proud by investing on my first ever real-estate.  I already had my insurance policies in place then.  I told myself that my splurges in clothes shopping are of no value at all and I needed to put my money somewhere with value. 

I wanted to prove that I was already a big girl and shunned away the guidance from my parents.  This is where everything went wrong – I jumped upon the first developer that knocked on my door.  I didn’t even consider how my cash flow would be once the equity would start.  This is where everything went wrong.   I didn’t even consider what I would do with the property once it has been turned over for punch listing.  I believed it was a healthy investment since it was located right beside a school.

With the help of a housing loan from the Home Development Mutual fund, I was able to purchase a humble 21-square-meter abode to call my own.  I simply submitted to the developer’s required paperwork and signatures without consulting my elders nor friends.  I wasn’t aware that the documents I have signed shouldn’t be signed unless the unit was ready for punch-listing.  I wasn’t aware that a unit can never be considered for punch-listing unless it is already completely constructed.  I wasn’t aware that the housing loan can’t be took out unless the property has been punch-listed and accepted by the buyer.

Fast forward to today, I had the property I bought rented out to students in the nearby school.  I eventually realized that my move to buy the said property wasn’t a good decision and that it was a failed gamble on my part.  Yes, I never ran out of tenants every year – but all tenants left when the school year was over – prompting me to shell out my own salary to pay for the HDMF loan for a couple of months or until a tenant comes.  Yes, the property was paying for itself for the last four years since my loan take out but I still felt robbed of the liquid savings I have invested into it simply because I cannot liquidate the property.  It has very minimal appreciation in value.  I tried approaching several brokers but not even one was able to come up with a prospect buyer.  The Rental Management office even took 10% of the rent each month.  Worst is that I can’t dictate the price of the rent since they follow a certain “standard price” within the condominium.

Looking back, I realized I should have listened to the elders and sought advice from people who knew real estate better than I do.  I should have asked around if the vicinity is a good place to invest.

I should have bought something from Robinsons Properties instead.  Knowing their sales people, I should have known that these sales executives wouldn’t take advantage of a young professional, trying out her way through the real estate market.  I shouldn’t have been fooled that a location beside a school will never run out of tenants – it never did, but the fee from rent ran out.  I should have asked how the rental management process works.  I could have saved my money into more liquid savings and indulged in a healthier investment than gambling my savings into the wrong property.  I should have trusted only the big names in the real estate industry.

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