// posted May 30th, 2012

User's Guide: Manila Townhouses or Townhomes


If we were to mention one of the biggest dreams today of a typical Filipino, one of them would be an improved kind of life in the country.  Certainly, this takes into account the ownership of a permanent residence, whether in the countryside, the provinces, or in big cities such as Metro Manila.

This is one of the reasons why Filipinos are hard-workers; they double their time and efforts in working for more money, so they can provide permanent housing for themselves or to their own families and relatives.  Like any other person, a Filipino considers getting a permanent home an achievement all in itself.

Of course, buying a house is a really big investment, and for most people, availing of a house is just once-in-a-lifetime.  Many are content to live in one permanent residence, or if they have the money, two residences: one in the city, and another one as a rest house.

Big investments call for careful resource analysis and wise decision-making.  One of the biggest considerations would be the person's financial capacity, whether or not a buyer has the means to pay the house over an extended period of time.

The writing below is intended to provide information and a guide to all those wanting to rent or buy a townhouse.  Maybe you are looking for one, right smack in the middle of Manila.

This article is not only for those directly seeking for Manila townhouse, this can also be for those who are residents of the city and still do not have a permanent place to call home.  Below, you can find pertinent information about townhouses specially in Manila and is meant for all readers of this article.

The City of Manila is nestled in the eastern shores of Manila Bay, approximately 1,300 kilometers from the Asian mainland, and is considered one of the biggest and highly-urbanized cities in the world.  This sprawling city is the capital of the Philippines and also one of the busiest, providing people with jobs and sustaining the economic, government, and institutional centers in the country.  It also has a very high population density rate, which means relative to many Philippine cities, it is very crowded.  In it, permanent and temporary residents go about their businesses, working or plying their trade.

Tagaytay Condominiums

With 38.55 square kilometers in area and 897 barangays (which is considered the smallest political unit in the Philippines), Manila is the center of the all cities that make up the National Capital Region.  Each Manila barangay is headed by its own barangay captain and a host of chairpersons and councilors that act as administrators of each barangay.

Barangays are grouped into more or less 100 zones so that management of each would be much easier.  Each zone is also subdivided into 16 districts.

Manila has known to have an economy that is versatile, diverse, and flexible.  This fact makes Filipinos from other parts of the country come to this metropolis to seek vast employment opportunities, as well as foreign investors and multinationals seeking investment opportunities.  There are a lot of manufacturers and companies from every area of commerce in the city, be it clothing, electronics, food and beverages, raw materials industries, and so on.

Manila is also considered one of the busiest seaports in the world and boasts a lot of restaurants, schools, churches, and department stores, creating a huge opportunity for income for most Philippine residents, migrants, and even travelers.  There are also several huge flea markets in the city, and one of the most prominent of these in Manila is Divisoria.  Because a sizeable area of the district is simply a huge market, you can find different kinds of brick-and-mortar businesses there.

These are some of the factors and places that make Manila a very attractive source of income for locals and equally attractive to entrepreneurs as investment opportunities.  Of course, when people have found jobs or have been employed for some time in the city, they would naturally look next for a permanent or semi-permanent residence within the city.

Aside from employers and workers, more than a million tourists visit Manila every year.  The places of interest include Intramuros, museums like the National Museum of the Philippines, and the Manila Zoo.  Other tourist spots include the City Chinatown, Rizal Park (Luneta), the Divisoria and Baclaran flea markets, and even Manila's shopping malls such as SM, Robinson's, Ayala Greenbelt and others.

Some tourists stay longer in Manila and so may want to find an affordable place to stay within the duration of their stay.  Instead of pricey hotels, tourists may opt to live temporarily in a townhouses for rent, which can be more practical and affordable in some situations.

Manila Townhouses

There are many places to stay in the Manila area. A residence is especially practical for those who want to do permanent business in Manila, or those who want to find long-term employment there.  Living in a townhouse can be an affordable and practical means of living, as the right townhouse location will keep you from having to commute to and fro your place of work for long hours.  Hence, a townhouse can relieve you of stress and lowers the risk of travel hazards.

It is also recommended to stay at a townhouse for those who travel a lot for business or pleasure, since the domestic and international airport is located in the Metro Manila area.  This applies too to expatriate foreigners and foreign businessmen, since the cost of living in Manila is one of the cheapest in the world.  Of course, the cost of living may vary to each person according to his/her lifestyle.

There are a lot of opportunities and benefits when one stays in a townhouse within the Manila area.  A townhouse offers so much convenience for the occupant, whether he/she is working, traveling, or studying within the city, be it rented or owned.  It's also light on the pocket compared to other kinds of residential units, such as a hotel or condominium, especially if you live for a long period of time in the city.

The townhouses around Manila area are conveniently-located near business and entertainment centers, which is a boon to those who are working in the city.  In fact, you can be closer to many types of restaurants and fast food joints, so that if you are hungry and just want to get a meal over with, you can head to the nearest resto and get your fill, instead of having to cook your own food inside the townhouse.  This is especially helpful when you've just been through long hours of work or an extended shopping spree.

Shopping-wise, there are many shopping centers in the area too.  One of the most accessible of these is the SM Mall of Asia, one of Asia's biggest shopping malls.  The MOA is just a ride away from the Manila townhomes and is easily accessible through commuting buses and jeepneys.  This mall has literally everything, from cheap items to luxurious stuff, so you'll never be lacking for an exciting shopping spree.  Because the SM Mall of Asia is just beside Manila Bay, don't forget to take a stroll through the Malls promenade beside the sea walls for a relaxing time.

You actually have a lot of choices when it comes to living in Manila townhouse.  Of course, your choices will depending on your lifestyle, your living preferences, your tastes, choice of location, and your financial capacity to own or rent one.

There are great choices of townhouses in Manila, some of the well-established, and some of them new.  Celadon Residences is one of the newcomers and the latest project of Ayala Land Inc.  A sprawling 4.2 hectare residential townhouse community, Celadon Residences is also one of Ayala Land's biggest projects in Manila.  Celadon has around 202 units in all, and is a gated and perimeter-bounded community which offers safety living to its residents, right in the heart of Manila.

The aesthetic theme of the Celadon townhouse community is Mediterranean-inspired.  There are village parks that cater to children and adults alike, and there is also a swimming pool area, kid's playground, and an open playfield, where children can play to their heart's content.  There is also a basketball court and a clubhouse pavilion, where residents can hold parties, major events, social activities with family members and friends as well as other members of the community.  Celadon Residences, as we said, offers security and safety for its residents by means of a 24-hour security system.

There are townhouses too, that are perfect for students.  In Metro Manila, there is the so-called University Belt where the country's top universities and colleges are clustered together.  Fortunately for students, there are also townhouses within the area of the University Belt.

For example, there are 3-storey townhouses that are in proximity to popular universities such as San Beda, La Salle Taft, FEU, and CEU.  Each of these kinds of townhouses commonly have 4 bedrooms, maid's quarters, a small laundry area, 3 toilets/bathrooms, a study/computer area, family hall, and a car garage.  This type of townhouse is preferable for students because of their nearness to schools.  They can also accommodate a few other members of the student's family, if they choose to stay there.

The location, the size, and the quality of amenities that are offered by townhouse developers determine the price of a particular townhouse.  An example of this would be a townhouse which is near the University of Santo Tomas, and which has a 72.6 square meter area with 2 bedrooms on the ground floor, and 2 bedrooms on the second floor, kitchen area and an attic, and one toilet and bathroom.  This kind of townhouse costs around P3.5 million.

Another example of a townhouse, which is in Sampaloc, Manila, costs around P4.3 million, and consists of 2 bedrooms, 2 toilet and bathrooms, a laundry area, a storage area, and a carport.  These Sampaloc townhouses are only one jeepney ride away from the main area in Espana Blvd. where UST and the rest of the University Belt resides.  It is very near the LRT2 - Legarda Terminal where one can take a railcar from Manila to Cubao, Quezon City, and back.  These townhouses are near hospitals, grocery stores, malls, and banks, which makes it very convenient for residents to conduct their personal and business affairs there.

Buying a Manila Townhouse

You can pay for Sampaloc townhouses through in-house financing or bank financing, as well as cash.  Aside from these modes of payment, townhouses can be availed of using a Pag-ibig Housing Loan from the government's Home Development Mutual Fund.  This, of course, is available to Pag-ibig members only.

Members of Pag-ibig are already qualified to avail of a housing loan if they have contributed at least 24 months of the member's contribution (or at least P4,800). Per month, that would be P200.  Around of that monthly contribution is shouldered by the member's employer.  You can also be a voluntary or self-employed member, if you have a personal business or you are a proprietor of an enterprise.  In that case, you will have to pay a full contribution of P200 per month.  The Pag-ibig housing loan is also extended to overseas foreign workers (OFW).  To get more information about their current housing loan schemes, you may contact us.

There are townhouses for rent in Manila that are available, if you opt to spend only a temporary time in the city.  People who want to spend their residence semi-permanently in a townhouse can do so, and there are a number which can suit your needs and preferences.  Townhouses for rent within the Metro Manila area have rental fees that are as low as P10,000 to as high as P85,000 or even more.  The cost all depends on the size and the number of amenities and features available for particular townhouses.

If you decide to rent or buy a Manila townhouses, know that going through the process of owning one is a bit tedious; there are a lot of factors that have to be considered.

Owning a townhouse is practical and financially-economical, although the monthly amortizations and mortgages associated with paying for a townhouse can be a huge burden to many people, who have to work hard and make sure that that payment is made every month.  Payment for monthly rent is equally as challenging to dole out.

There are some tips and information on how to own a townhouse with a minimal amount of hassle.  You can sell your existing houses and downsize to a less expensive home or gather savings first, and when the budget is right, buy an inexpensive home and try to renovate it over the years.  These tips of owning a townhouse may take a lot of time, but the effort is well worth it once you finally get to live in your new townhouse.

Need help? Contact me today and we'll get your property search started

Ask a Question  (I'll Email You Back)

14 Question & Answers
  1. Mhar:

    Stef could you help us in scouting a home for our family here at Sampaloc Manila

  2. bonnie:

    Is there age restrictions if you are going to live or rent a townhouse? How about pets, are they allowed?

    • :

      Hi Bonnie,

      Yes there is. Please ask for a copy of the Deed of Restrictions or Conditions of Sale from your developer (if you are to buy a townhouse unit) or from your landlord (if you are just renting). Thanks.

  3. rebecca:

    I’m a 60 year old woman and I have a daughter, she is a single mom with 2 kids. We’re planning to purchase a townhouse around Manila that suits for us. Any suggestions please?

    • :

      Hi Rebecca,

      Where exactly in Manila do you prefer? Do you prefer a ready for occupancy unit or your fine with a pre-selling projects? Lastly, please leave me with your budget and I could work it out from there. I’ve also emailed you back. Thanks.

  4. Aia:

    I am new here in Manila and presently I am looking for a perfect townhouse good for 4 people ( a couple and 2 students) what can you suggest? We prefer a location that is not too crowded but close to school (especially important destinations like the DFA and US embassy) and shopping malls. I hope you can help us with this concern. Thanks.

    • :

      Hi Aia,

      Would you consider foreclosed or resell properties? Also please leave me with your budget and I can start from there. I’ve also emailed you back. Thanks.

  5. gab:

    What are the factors that I have to consider if I’m going to own a townhouse? I believe I can rely on your expertise since you are a realtor. Another, how do I know if the property that I’m going to invest is sound – in other words, the condominium unit is not suffering mismanagement from its previous owner or the association (HOA) that is handling the property?

    • :

      Hi Gab,

      Such a nice question you have there. This is a very typical but important question an investor should know about before spending any money in buying a property. These factors that I will give you works not only in choosing a townhouse but also to condominiums or to a house and lot. Thus, it applies not only if you were to use the property as an investment but also for end use.

      1. Location – First things first. Developments are booming now and condos/townhouses/house and lots are all over, so it is important to specify an exact location for the property you wanna buy. Whether it’s near your work, near your family and friends, or near a favorite place where you wanted to spend most of your time.

      2. Budget – Know your budget. Properties is Manila is way more expensive than of Cavite or Laguna or Bulacan so it would be hard for you to find a property in Manila if your budget is too limited. If that’s the case, you might be need to consider places near Manila that wouldn’t be too far from your prospect place yet fits your budget.

      3. Know the developer. This also answers your second question about property management. An investor or a buyer needs to know this thing as this consideration is too important in the long run. Your broker/realtor is expected not only to sell the project/development but also the developer. They have details and information with regards to this as they have had feedback from their previous clients too. You can also do a research online on forums or from friends and relatives that you know who have experiences with the said developer you might be considering.

      I hope these information helped you and all the other readers/investors too.

  6. maria:

    Can I have my own interior decorator redecorate the walls of my rented townhouse?

    Another, if i’m going to buy the townhouse, does it mean that I can have complete privacy of the place?

    • :

      Hi Maria,

      Redecorating a rented townhouse/apartment/condo always needs to have a permission from the landlord. This situation is different from owning one.

      You can definitely have your own interior decorator for your unit, either be a townhouse/condo or your own house. But don’t forget that your full right to decorating your own place is only inside. Outside remodeling or extensions or changes applies for an approval from your developer or property manager as each development had a Deed of Restriction you will need to know right from the start of purchasing a property. So better choose a project that fits the concept you really like. Example, if would you want to have a Bali inspired place, check out developments that offer that like DMCI’s newest Serissa Residences. Otherwise, just buy a lot rather than a property with a constructed house and bring out the artist in you by building your own home.

  7. cheska:

    I’m on a specific budget but i’m open to future adjustments in financing a townhouse. However, there are things that bothers me like: HOA fees and HOA bylaws – I don’t have the slightest idea about this matter. And buying real estate properties are new to me and I know you’re the best person I could ask for. Pls. help.

    • :

      Hi Cheska,

      A membership to a HOA or home owner association is by law an automatic scenario, since this is typically a condition of purchase. Meaning, a buyer has no option to decline or reject it. Once the developer is done selling off a project they will then turn over this to HOA who will take care and manage the development or subdivision. I could say this is very important and beneficial since this will avoid chaos to a neighborhood.

      An HOA implements a shared neighborhood values. It enforces consistent regulations to among the buyers and residents of the project for the purpose of promoting and protecting their mutual interest and assist in their community development. In doing so, an HOA inherently restricts the rights that would otherwise exist for its members based on municipal codes. That is why a conformity to the exterior appearance is often required in single family homes and most of the time there are limits and/or restrictions to activities generating noise.

      Fees are being collected and are use to achieve HOA purposes like paying security guards, renovating common path walks or garbage collection fees, and more.

Stefane Anub, Lead Broker
“Ask Me Anything”

Stef Anub Head Broker

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