Most OFW’s aspire and dream to have their own property after years of tears and perspiration overseas. Owning a house and lot or a condo unit is definitely a big part of their retirement plan.
With the improving financial condition of the Philippine economy, living near and around the central business district of the Philippines can be one of the best choices for buying a relatively affordable unit in vertical villages to be called home in the city.
Together with my survey team, we visited some of the up and coming desirable properties around the Mandaluyong and Makati areas a few days before Christmas to help our fellowmen decide which of these condominium projects will best suit their investment ventures or their quest for financially-secure retirement years.
Again, I advise you to read my previous articles “The Hidden Costs of Buying a House or a Condo” and “Are You Really Ready To Buy A House” before making that big decision to buy a house or invest in real estate.
Here are our thoughts and observations about some of the most vibrant and exciting new and upcoming projects we visited. Take note that all these properties offer almost the same amenities, price discounts, and payment schemes.
1) Axis Residences (by Robinson’s Land, Inc.)
Strategically located around the Robinons Cybergate Complex, EDSA –Pioneer, Mandaluyong, it is only a walking distance away from Forum Robinsons Mall and Robinsons Cybergate office buildings. It also offers easy access to major thouroughfares such as EDSA & C5 Roads.
Those who always take the MRT can find the everyday journey more convenient as the MRT Boni Station is just a few steps away from the property. So if you don’t own a car yet, commuting is definitely easier and less costlier than choosing a property situated in suburban areas.
According to the property agents we discussed with, almost 40% of the buyers of these units are Chinese businessmen due to the proximity of the Mandaluyong river which is valued for good fortune and feng shui.
Axis units have two types and sizes, the 1-bedroom/studio Deluxe Unit which is approximately 24 sqm. priced at Php2M and a 2-bedroom 50.04 sqm Executive Unit being sold at Php4.5M. Both includes the kitchen area, dining area, and a restroom.
I like the nice relaxing view from the unit of the river and the Metro that will surely bring some chillout moments to owners during dusk hours.
2) Centera Tower ( by Avida Land)
This Avida Land property is located at EDSA corner Reliance St. also in Mandaluyong City. It’s also Walking distance to Boni and EDSA Shaw MRT Stations, the EDSA Pavillion, EDSA Shangrila, EDSA Central and the Pioneer District.
Centera has various unit sizes that range from 22 sqm to 52 sqm but is limited to single and two-bedroom units only. Their sales agent recommended their 40 sqm units probably because of its “right” size for a regular Filipino family. Units are priced from Php1.7M to 5PhpM.
The project is still under construction with Towers 1, 2 and 3 to be available by 2015 and Tower 4 in 2016. It will have easy access to taxi bays, jeepney, tricycles, and buses although I will personally be a bit wary of EDSA Central and Reliance commuter stations as there have been several incidents of robbery and hold-ups there in the past. Expect also heavy traffic if you are going to access EDSA during rush hours.
But one good thing is that it is near the Green Field district which is being developed by Mandaluyong City government. There are also no residential houses and no nearby slum areas since it is surrounded by other condominiums and buildings as well.
If you are a type of person who loves to breathe fresh (or unfresh) Metro Manila air from a balcony, then Centera is not for you. Avida decided not to put balconies for safety reasons and you know what that means.
3) Flair Towers (by DMCI)
In case you disliked some features of Centera, then you can be its good neighbor by choosing Flair Towers by DMCI. It is also located at Reliance Street corner Pines Street near EDSA in Mandaluyong City.
Bachelors may find Flair Towers too big for their personal as it only offers 2-Bedroom Deluxe and their 3-Bedroom units with floor areas ranging from 52 sqm to 81 sqm. This already includes the kitchen,living, dining areas and yes, 2 restrooms. But this can definitely be a better option than Centera for rental income purposes. Unit prices are offered from Php1.9M to Php5M.
The project is still under construction and North Tower will already be available by February 2014. The units may be spacious but could be a safety concern for parents with children because of the balconies.
But one admirable design of Flair Towers is its inclusion of atriums every five floors giving an illusion and that feel that the unit is not located on a high floor. Another plus about this site is that it is suitable for young and starting families.
It will also have a Sky Lounge that can be used for parties and events. The developer is also planning to have green gardens and trees making it a good choice for environmental-conscious individuals.
4) Pioneer Woodlands (by Empire East)
Another neighborhood star located at EDSA corner Pioneer St. in Mandaluyong City is Pioneer Woodlands by Empire East. Proximity wise, it’s the nearest to other establishments because it’s just beside the Boni MRT Station.
It offers studio-type (20.5 sqm), 1-bedroom (26 sqm) and 2-bedroom units (36 sqm or 50sqm). Pioneer Woodlands can be more expensive than our previous sample projects since the starting prices range from Php2M to Php5M. All because it’s the nearest to EDSA.
Tower 1 and 2 already available for turn over while Tower 3 will be available in the last quarter of 2015.
I won’t recommend this property to persons who want a quieter surrounding because of its location which has a busy daily EDSA foot and vehicle traffic. If your concern is accessibility to transportation, then Pioneer Woodlands is the recommended neighborhood dwelling place of choice.
If you feel that Pioneer District in Mandaluyong City is a great choice to have your dream high-rise home, then perhaps you can consider any of these 4 new projects.
In our next review, we will talk about two more vibrant and sparkling Mandaluyong neighborhood properties and a couple more located in the bustling financial capital city of Makati.
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