How the pandemic changed what we look for in a home

Published March 10, 2021, 12:45 AM

by Manila Bulletin

Over a year ago, nobody would have imagined spending not just hours but full days, weeks, and even months strictly indoors. Though the pandemic caught people by surprise, they adapted quickly and made adjustments in how they live their lives within the safe confines of their homes. Even though news about vaccine availability gives hope that this situation will soon improve, the lessons learned while in quarantine will likely stick around.

New requirements for new homes

For homebuyers, most of the “nice-to-haves” have now moved to the “essentials” column. The most obvious demand is more space, especially when people now tend to do everything at home.

People need enough space for work, school, exercise, and even to enjoy some fresh air. It’s not just any kind of space, either. Living in a big white box just won’t cut it anymore, so home designs that bring peace and comfort have become the top priority.

Since there is so much time spent in one place, homebuyers also focus on the safety of their homes. Sanitation has become the biggest concern with the pandemic, but so is being located in a secure neighborhood.

The one thing that has never changed is people’s attraction to convenience. Translated to finding a new home post-pandemic, this means easy access to essential goods and services.

This is where condos become the go-to choice for future homeowners: having enough space to move around, both inside and outside the four walls of your home. An extensive suite of amenities and facilities also become an important extension of the living space. Good developers ensure that projects are built in strategic locations that place residents close to everything they need.

Ready to move in

House-hunting is an exciting process, but it’s not without its complications.  Make sure you are choosing a condo built by a reliable developer to avoid doubts about its quality.

To feel even more confident about your investment, opt for a ready-for-occupancy (RFO) unit, so you can personally inspect your new home before signing the check.

As the term suggests, RFO units are fully-constructed properties readily available for move in for new owners. All you need to do is file the paperwork, settle with the bank, then you can already call it a home of your own. It also allows potential homeowners to feel how it’s like to live in the property because they can physically stand in their future homes.

“RFO properties address Filipinos’ need to move into safer, integrated homes as soon as possible, so they can start their new life immediately,” said Federal Land, Inc. Sales Group Head Margarita Saenz–Resurreccion. “In our quest to provide every Filipino with a better home, we offer these RFO units built with the same quality as every residential project we develop – safe, secure, and efficiently-designed for every Filipino.”

Central location

If before the pandemic people were okay with an hour-long drive to the mall or a 30-minute drive for a grocery run, it’s no longer the case. Homebuyers are now looking for homes that are within walking distance to essential establishments like business hubs, retail malls, schools, restaurants, and hospitals.

RFO properties in central locations guarantee convenience, accessibility, and security with or without a pandemic.

The Capital Towers along E. Rodriguez, Quezon City.

Federal Land’s The Capital Tower along E. Rodriguez Avenue in Quezon City is only a three-minute walk to S&R New Manila, a 10-minute walk to St. Luke’s Medical Center, and a 10-minute drive to the University of Sto. Tomas. Residents of One Wilson Square in Wilson Street corner Ortigas Avenue, San Juan City can take advantage of its proximity to major retail establishments such as Greenhills Shopping Center, top-notch schools such as La Salle Greenhills, Xavier School, Immaculate Conception Academy, hospitals like the Cardinal Santos Medical Center, and the exclusive Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.

One Wilson Square in Greenhills, San Juan City.

Flexible payment options

Homebuyers looking for a home with all the best features usually have one deal-maker: affordability. Investing in a home can feel daunting, especially for first-time homeowners, but some developers do offer flexible payment options to support customers. A popular scheme is a lease-to-own plan such as those available for RFO units at The Capital Towers and One Wilson Square.

Lobby of The Capital Towers.

A lease-to-own or rent-to-own plan is much like a tenant-to-renter agreement, except that the renter can get exclusive rights to the property after a specific period. This helps buyers manage their amortization payments better or give them time to strengthen their financial position while already living in their ideal home.

Quality home experience

With the limitations of the new normal, better living requirements are on top of every homebuyer’s list. These days, size and layout matter in choosing a condo as it affects the comfort and movement within one’s home.

One Wilson Square offers one- to four-bedroom units ranging from 39.4 square meters to 216.5 square meters. Each One Wilson Square unit has its balcony where residents can delight in the views of the gleaming city lights of San Juan and its neighboring cities.

Artist perspective of One Wilson Square’s recreational pool.

Select One Wilson Square units also come with a den that can be converted to a home office, children’s classroom, or even an indoor garden.

Future owners of RFO developments could also make full use of the property’s amenities and facilities. Residents at The Capital Tower can let off some steam at the lap pool or jogging paths, while those living in One Wilson Square have access to amenities such as recreational pools, lawn and gazebo, fitness gyms, and recreational rooms.

Artist perspective of One Wilson Square’s gazebo.

The best part? All this extended living space is maintained and managed by a reliable property management team.

“Real estate continues to evolve to keep up with the changing lifestyles of homebuyers. Even so, residents could ultimately rely on the availability of RFO properties that can immediately cater to their needs amid today’s uncertainties. RFO properties are ready to give them a better living experience, more importantly, allow them to move in at the soonest possible time and start living the good life in their new home,” Resurreccion concluded.