With an uncontrollable rise in population growth, Manila just keep on getting more and more congested every year and it's getting almost impossible to find peaceful and affordable neighborhoods with ideal locations within its confines.
Unless you're filthy rich with loads of money to spare on a mansion in a gated subdivision, for most young families like mine, the answer is often a condo.
Condominiums are usually located within the hustle and bustle of the city making it an ideal choice in regards to budget and proximity from the workplace and the best schools for our children which is probably why they've been sprouting like mushrooms in the past years.
Real estate is a life investment, it's our heritage, something we can pass on from generation to generation so it's important to know what's out there and deduce which ones will appreciate in time and not just seem like a good decision right now.
I live in a condo with my family. We were fortunate enough to be handed down with a place to live after I had Nikola and I appreciate it a lot although I miss the large open spaces I enjoyed as a child. Our condo is one of the older ones so we get to enjoy a larger living space but don't have a common area for Nikola to play in. Until now, she doesn't know how to ride a bike and it is one of my biggest frustrations. How can a kid grow up not knowing how to ride a bike? I used to "motocross" in our garden all day when I was her age.
But still, I really appreciate not having to worry about rent and now that we're more established, this has given us the opportunity to search for a good place to put our money in. So far, none have been a proper fit but yesterday, I was given the chance to view Rockwell Primaries' pop-up model unit in SM Megamall for their latest development: 53 Benitez and I think we've finally got a winner.
In choosing a condominium, some of our non-negotiables are:
- good neighborhood
- 24-hour security
- excellent property management even after turnover
- good design features
- nice common area for leisure and exercise
- reasonably priced
- good solid build and foundation
53 Benitez lives up to these ideals plus more.
Aside from having all those perks as standards, they've also added in extra value for money features such as:
- finished units in chic scandinavian inspired designs
- drying cages (because hanging your clothes out to dry is always a huge problem when you live in a condo)
- "Passive Cooling Technology" which is made possible by the open-air design, floating corridors, terraces and skylight ceiling that allows natural ventilation and makes the most out of natural light (this also translates to less electricity consumed and lower monthly association dues)
I also think that the revolutionary "Pop-Up" marketing theme they developed is pure genius and proves how much they believe in this new project. The problem with selling real estate is the hurdle of making your prospective clients take the next step and visit the build site. A pop-up eradicates this issue and brings it where it is most convenient for you. Right in the middle of one of Metro Manila's busiest malls (Megamall) and almost right next to one of its busiest restaurants, Tim Ho Wan.
Instead of just handing out flyers and presenting a scaled down model, clients can actually experience for themselves what's its like inside its living spaces making it easier for them to decide wether it's worth the trip to the actual site.
Speaking of sites, 53 Benitez is located in an elevated area near Horseshoe Village, New Manila which is one of the oldest, most stable and peaceful upper-class neighborhoods in the city.
The units also boast a floor plan that is well thought of and expertly laid-out with the most minute details taken into consideration such as how we don't want to enter our home with the kitchen right smack in front of us which gives the feel of entering a restaurant through its backdoor. Not very appealing especially for guests.
They are also finished with high quality fixture brands such as American Standard/HCG for the bathrooms and the place feels spacious despite its limited floor area (around 45 sqm for a one bedroom, 63sqm for 2, and 95 sqm for 3 + addtl. 6 sqm for a drying cage).
There's also going to be a safe playground and clubhouse adjacent to the pool with a fitness center, a few commercial establishments and a function room that can be rented out for birthdays and other special events.
The height and ceilings of 53 Benitez are very similar to that of Megamall's:
Oh, and in case you were wondering why we prefer mid-rise condos, here's why:
We currently live in one and enjoy the privacy of co-existing with fewer neighbors but more importantly, there's the issue of brownouts, elevators and earthquakes. You feel everything more when you're up high and that petrifies me.
With regards to brownouts and elevators, I have relatives and friends who live in one of the nicer 32-storey condos nearby. Despite its stature, they have a never-ending problem with their elevators. They're always malfunctioning and slow so it takes forever to get to the ground floor or up. Also, it's happened on several occasions that they've had to use the stairs because none of the 3 elevators were working during a blackout despite the building having its own generator. (nightmare)
Completion date is set for 2016 and judging from what I've seen, heard and experienced, 53 Benitez is the best place to put your money in.
Units start at just 6m which is quite unbelievable and extremely reasonable compared to others I've looked into.
Rockwell Primaries is one of (if not the best) developers in our country and its common knowledge how great they are at maintaining all of their properties long after turnover.
For more info on 53 Benitez, visit the popup unit in Megamall or their onsite units at P Tuazon corner C Benitez in New Manila Quezon City. These are open everyday from 9am to 9pm.
You can also check out www.rockwellprimaries.com.ph