High Rise vs Low Rise Condominium
Condominiums have replaced the house and lot as the first real estate purchase for single professionals and new families. Condominium development in many urban areas of the Philippines promises a higher return for developers because they maximize land use. This is the reason why they are pushing the condominium lifestyle on the increasingly affluent young urban population.
Even the most exclusive condominium project has at least four 3-bedroom units per floor occupying the space that contained a single family back in the day. With land values sharply increasing in highly urbanized areas, condominiums are the practical solution to the housing demand.
That said, choosing the type of condominium will still depend on several factors. Most people associate “condos” with high-rise buildings 12 floors or higher, and denotes a certain lifestyle i.e. two-income married with no kids. However, low-rise condominiums are also becoming a viable alternative for buyers that may be uncomfortable living so high up. A low-rise condominium for the purpose of this article is a residential building that is one to four storeys high. A high-rise is a building more than 12 storeys high. Here are the pros and cons of a high rise vs low rise condominium.
Note that condominiums are indistinguishable from apartment buildings in terms of structure. The difference is in the ownership. You can own one condo unit, as evidenced by the condominium certificate of transfer. You can own an apartment building, but you cannot own one apartment unit. If you do, then that is a condominium, not an apartment.
Price and amenities
In general, a high-rise condominium unit is more expensive to purchase per square meter than a low-rise one. This is because high-rise condos typically have amenities such as one or more swimming pools, fitness centers, parking garages, elevators, cable- and Internet ports, and full security, administration, and maintenance staff that you will not find in a low-rise condo. However, you also pay extra for the maintenance of these amenities through higher association dues. If you want parking space, you usually have to buy it separately, some costing as much as 30% the price of the condo unit!
Many high-rise condos are located near or actually connected to commercial establishments such as malls and corporate buildings, and along major roads. This is because these areas usually command the highest land prices, so developers want to squeeze as many units as they can into the space. As a result, they are much in demand for people that put a premium on convenience and easy accessibility. Low-rise condos tend to be located in quieter, less commercial areas that may not be ideal for easy travel to and from work and school. However, it is quieter and less commercial, so it may be desirable for people who like to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
High-rise condos command a much better view than low-rise condos, which is a feature than many for which people are willing to pay a premium. No one likes a view of a blank wall of the next building, or look out into the washing area of the house next door.
Fire and earthquakes are a big concern for many Filipinos nowadays, especially following the somewhat gloomy predictions of geologists that a major earthquake could happen anytime in the Metro Manila area. Low-rise condos are less likely to collapse during a major earthquake, and since it is closer to the ground, it is easier to escape the building in case of a fire.
Choosing one type of condo over the other will depend on the buyer’s financial capability and personal preferences. In general, single professionals with active social lives are more likely to prefer high-rise condos. Married couples with or without children may prefer the relative quiet and safety of low-rise condos.