Tips for those who want to invest in a condo

MANILA -- While there are bonds, stocks, and other instruments you can put your money into, buying real estate is also among the top investment options in the country especially with the booming economy.

Carl Dy, a property investor, has dished out some advice for those looking into investing in a condominium unit and making a profit out of it for the short- or long-term.

"If you're looking to invest in condos, my number one advice would be to make sure you have a steady flow of income... because you have to have at least the downpayment [for the property]," Dy told ANC's On The Money.

"Next is to treat your property investment like a business," he continued.

Dy explained that one should look at his property as a product, understand its features well and think about how he can add value to this before putting it out in the market.

"Also, it's always best that you identify your market. If it's a condo near a school, then your tenants would be students. If it's a condo near some hospital, then maybe your tenants would be doctors or potential patients from abroad," Dy said.

Knowing which market your property will attract will help you prepare your unit so it could cater to the needs of your target tenants. Dy said it is best to have a "value-adding" feature in your unit such as extra storage for clothes or shoes which female occupants love, and a play room if you're looking to rent it out to a family.

"In condos, just like any business, you will have competition that's why designing your unit is very important. Make sure your unit has one unique feature and this can be as simple as a big sofa, a bigger LCD TV, etc.," Dy said.

One would also need to do a little research before pricing his unit and this involves knowing the average rental rate in the area and understanding how much your target market can shell out.

Investing in real estate also means one should be ready to market his property on his own and this can be done online, through word of mouth, or through classified ads.

But before finally renting out your condo unit, Dy stressed one should always do a background check on the tenant before giving him keys to your property.

"You have to be careful not to get a tenant who does not pay on time, and what you don't want to get are tenants who are into illegal activities," Dy said.

"Do a background check at least meet with your tenant, have a chat with them, and ask them some questions," he added.

by Kathleen A. Martin, ABS-CBNnews.com | Posted at 07/06/2013 8:38 AM | Updated as of 07/08/2013 9:50 AM