There comes a point in a person’s life where they feel it’s time to make a big decision and buy their own house. If this is where you’re at, then perhaps you’ve already been picturing and thinking about your dream house. Do you want a two-story house enough for you and your family to live in? Maybe you want a place with a big garage or open space outside? Or perhaps you’d prefer to live in a high-rise building instead? Choosing a house to move into can be exciting and confusing, especially since there are many different types of housing in the Philippines. But don’t worry! With this guide on the typical kinds of houses in the country, you can read on to see which ideal house type best fits your preferences, priorities, and budget!
A condominium or “condo” is a single building (whether low-rise, mid-rise, or high-rise) made up of different units, where each condominium unit can be individually owned. You can find most of these in various urban cities in the Philippines, like Makati, Quezon City, or Taguig, among others.
Types of condo units
In general, Depending on your preference, there are different types of units to choose from: studio, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, or 3-bedroom unit, or loft.
This type is best if you live alone or with a partner. In a studio, you’ll find the different parts of your unit in a single room (except for the bathroom). Compared to the other types, given its small and compact space, a studio is definitely the most affordable.
This one is similar to a studio where everything is fitted in a single unit space, except that it has high ceilings, an elevated bedroom (accessible through stairs), and larger living spaces. It still does not give you as much privacy as the bedroom is an open area on the upper floor, but if that’s alright with you and you’d want more space to move around, this one’s a good choice.
1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, or 3-bedroom unit
Exactly as the name suggests, this kind of unit is different from the studio or loft as it has separate enclosed spaces for the bedrooms. It’s ideal if you prefer to have a more private sleeping space or if you’re moving in as a small family.
Why choose a condo (or why not)?
As most condos are situated in urban places, it’s ideal if you’re looking for convenience and seeking that “city life.” It’s relatively easy to find one close to your workplace and places to get necessities (like malls or shopping marts). Also, most condos come with shared amenities like gyms, swimming pools, and others, all of which you won’t have to bother maintaining on your own. Security is also a big plus as condos have their own measures, including built-in devices and guards or other security professionals.
Tip: Besides looking at the building amenities and security provided by a condo, it’s suggested that you look for one that comes with free parking.
While the amenities and security are all great, they, of course, come with a price – which comes in the form of homeowner association fees that you have to pay monthly. These fees come on top of other payments that you need to take care of as a condo owner, such as utility fees and mortgage, and a potentially high cost of living. It also gives you less freedom and privacy as you live very close to your neighbors, and since you live right next to (or above/below) them, you’d have to deal with any potential noises.
House and Lot
On the other hand, if living in a building isn’t for you, and you’d prefer to not deal with the hustle and bustle that comes with living right in the middle of a city, you can choose to buy a house and lot instead. In the Philippines, you’ll commonly find four types of houses, and each comes with its own pros and cons.
A bungalow is a small house with a sloping roof. Most bungalows are single-story, but a second story can also be built into the roof for some designs. Given their small size, bungalows are ideal for small families or couples just about to start a family.
As most bungalows are single-story, it allows good mobility, perfect for those who might find it challenging to go up and down the stairs. Since it’s also relatively small, the interior is easier to maintain and take care of.
If you want more space to move around or are moving in with a big family, the limited space in a bungalow house could be a problem. Also, related to the limited space, it would take more effort to create or go through a floor plan that fits all the rooms and furniture inside your home.
For a single-attached house, one side of the house is built directly on the edge of a lot. This leaves space for one side of the lot to be used as an outdoor space.
As the house is situated on one side of the lot, it leaves space for you to utilize the empty lot space on the other side. This gives you room to create a side garage, small playground, or even a pool. For some subdivisions, multiple attached houses are placed next to each other, where homes can share a common wall, making it ideal for bigger or extended families that want to live near each other. Lastly, a single-attached house is relatively cheaper than a single-detached house (more on that later).
If you’re looking for a house where you’d have the freedom to build around the property, the house and lot aren’t the ideal ones for you. Additionally, sharing a wall with a neighbor gives you less privacy than having a wholly detached house.
On the other hand, a single-detached house stands alone in the center of a lot, separated (or detached) from the sides of the lot, and does not share walls with the neighbors’ houses.
Single-detached homes give you more privacy as it stands independently. You also have more space around your lot, which provides you with more freedom to utilize more outdoor living space and allows you to put up a fence and gate should you choose to do so.
Compared to the single-attached houses, having a detached property costs more, both with the house and lot price itself and maintenance costs.
A duplex is a type of attached housing made up of two separate housing units with separate entrances that are placed next to each other (either side-by-side or above and under, depending on the architectural design) and shares one lot.
As lots of Filipino families live near each other, duplex houses are ideal if you’re one of those people who would want to live close to your extended family. It’s also cheaper than single-detached houses, and if you wish, you can even choose to buy out both houses and use one to rent for additional income.
On the other hand, it comes with restrictions to having a sense of privacy and freedom as you will be sharing the lot with a different homeowner, which can be uncomfortable for some.
Lastly, a townhouse is a semi-detached house within a housing complex. While you’re living next to other townhouses in an area, you’re paying for both the house and lot (as opposed to living in a condo).
A townhouse gives you enough space to live with your family as a house would but with the benefits of living in a housing complex, including shared amenities. It can be less expensive compared to buying a single-detached house and lot.
You’ll be sharing walls and/or floors with your neighbors for a townhouse, and similar to a duplex and other attached homes, it comes with its own concerns. You’re also more restricted in doing what you want to do in your living space as you’ll need to abide by rules set by the homeowners association of the housing complex.
And that’s it for the list of housing types in the Philippines. After looking through the house characteristics and the pros and cons of each, which type of house would you prefer? Remember to factor in the location, budget, and the kind of lifestyle that you’d want to have as you choose to buy the type of house that best suits your interests!