What to Consider When Choosing an Apartment in the Philippines

An apartment may not be your permanent residence, but it will still be your home for the next few months or years. So, you need to find the right apartment that suits your budget, needs, and lifestyle.

Don’t be afraid to be selective. Keep reading to learn how to choose the right apartment – what to ask, things to consider, and what you should know about the property – before signing a lease.


The Importance of Choosing the Right Apartment

Apartment hunting can be exhausting and time-consuming so you may be tempted to settle for the first unit you find. However, doing so may land you an apartment that could make your daily life frustrating or stressful.

The place that you live in is your sanctuary. It’s where you sleep, wake up, sometimes work, eat, and relax. If you don’t choose the right apartment, you may end up paying for one that’s too small, too dark, too noisy, or too far from your office.

So, if you’re paying for an apartment, you may as well pay for the one that you can call home.


What to Consider When Choosing an Apartment

There are so many rental properties nowadays that it can be confusing how to choose an apartment to rent. What should you consider when choosing a place to rent and what should you know or ask to help you decide?


The Price

The rent is the first thing most renters consider when choosing an apartment, as they should. It’s important to consider if you can afford to live in that unit. The rule of thumb is to allow only up to 30% of your gross monthly income to rent  so you still have enough for other expenses.

Another thing to consider is how reasonable the rental price is. Is the landlord charging at around the same range as other studio-type apartments for rent in Caloocan City?  Does the location and/or the property itself justify the price?

Choose an apartment that has a reasonable price that you can afford. Remember as well that most rentals require an advance and deposit, so you should be able to pay twice or three times the amount of the rent before you can move in.

What to do:

·         To get the best price, make sure to research and compare with the rent of other properties in the area.

·         Consider negotiating the price with the landlord to get a match of the market price.


Lease Duration

Different properties allow short-term rentals while others only accept long-term ones with a minimum of one year. Look for an apartment that accommodates the length of time you plan to stay.

What to do:

·         Ask what the minimum and maximum lease duration they allow for every contract.

·         Discuss the process for ending and renewing the lease.


The Property’s Condition

When you look for properties to rent online, you’ll be enticed by beautiful photos of staged units. The property may tell another story when you see it in person. There may be cosmetic issues like cracked paint, but there may also be more serious issues like pest problems, leaky faucets, mold, faulty electrical wires, rust, and so on.

It’s important to check the apartment’s condition so you can avoid health hazards, safety hazards, and additional expenses.

What to ask:

·         Ask to visit the property and thoroughly inspect the different parts of the property.

·         Ask when the property was built, when it was last renovated, or what parts were recently repaired.


The Landlord

The landlord is the owner of the property, so you’ll be dealing with them for the duration of your stay. Your rental experience will be colored by how your landlord manages their property. You’ll have a negative experience if they’re uncooperative or don’t take good care of the property.

What to do:

·         Request a phone call or in-person meet-up with the landlord to get to know them.


The Location

One more important thing to consider is the location. How to pick an apartment that’s in a good location? Consider how far is the property from your office or your children’s school. Is it easy to commute to those locations? Finding an apartment that’s strategically located can help reduce your commute time and allow you to have more time to relax or spend with your family.

However, you should also consider the location on a street or community level. Consider how safe the area is, how friendly the neighbors are, the infrastructure available (e.g., streetlights), and how accessible it is.

What to ask:

·         Ask about the traffic situation in the area.

·         Ask about the demographics of people living in the area.

·         Ask about available modes of transportation and, if needed, the parking situation.


The Utilities

Another thing that will affect your living costs is the utilities. Some properties include the cost of utilities with the rent, so you don’t have to worry about it. However, sometimes landlords offer customized set-ups. For example, they may have an Internet connection set up that you’ll only need to pay for, while others may require you to arrange for your own Wi-Fi.

So, when looking for apartments, make sure to ask which utilities you’ll need to cover and consider the overall price of your rental to see if it’s still within your budget.

What to do:

·         Ask which utilities are available and what is the arrangement for payments.

·         Make sure that arrangements regarding utilities are laid out clearly in the lease.


The Pet Policy

We’ve so far dealt with the basics, but what you should also ask when looking for an apartment is if it can accommodate your lifestyle. One major deciding factor for many is the pet policy. Obviously, you cannot rent a place that has a no-pets policy. However, some apartments allow only small dogs and cats or require certain arrangements for larger pets.

What to do:

·         Inform the landlord or real estate agent of your pets and ask about the details of their pet policy.

·         If needed, negotiate pet policies with them.


The Amenities

Another factor that could make an apartment rental desirable is the available amenities. If you’re looking at an apartment in a building, amenities may include security guards, a gym, a playground, and/or a pool. But, of course, check their condition to make sure that you’ll get to use them.

Does the property have commercial space for rent in Caloocan where shops, restaurants, or laundry shops may be available? These little things can make a big difference in your daily life.

What to do:

·         Ask to see the amenities on the property.

·         Ask about nearby shops or visit them yourself.


The Lease

Perhaps one of the most important things to scrutinize when choosing an apartment is the lease agreement. Don’t sign the lease without first checking its contents.

At the very least, go over every section and make sure that all the things you’ve agreed to are laid out clearly, such as payment arrangements, duration of the lease, when rent is due, who’s paying for utilities, pet policies, etc.

If possible, you may ask a realtor or lawyer to go over the lease agreement to guarantee that there are no surprises and that it’s completely legitimate.

What to do:

·         Ask for a copy of the lease agreement in advance and raise any concerns before signing the lease.

·         Ask them to revise if necessary.


Choose the Right Apartment

We hope that this list of what to consider when choosing an apartment can help you find the right apartment for you. See if any of our property spaces for rent in Metro Manila fits your requirements.

Contact us today to learn about pricing and availability.


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