The An­swers Lie Not in the Brochures


IT’S easy to think that liv­ing in a con­do­minium is per­haps bet­ter than liv­ing in a house. The lure of frills in one build­ing, of­fer­ing the view of the city and with a price and up­keep lower than when one is liv­ing in a house, cre­ates frenzy.

How can liv­ing in an ac­ces­si­ble lofty build­ing, com­plete with 24- hour se­cu­rity, In­ter­net ac­cess, on- call house­keep­ing, pool, gym, event halls, and park­ing not en­tice any­one who wants to lead a con­ve­nient and so­phis­ti­cated life?

While the idea of liv­ing in a condo seems en­thralling, a bad de­ci­sion means a hefty amount of money down the drain. Even if condo liv­ing may mean more con­ve­nience and less main­te­nance, it is not for ev­ery­body.

More­over, an in­ter­ested buyer is pressed with prob­lems that mostly re­volve around the ques­tion-- which condo is right for me, given my pref­er­ences.

But with a bro­ker, this be­comes com­mon knowl­edge and to any­one who can get hold of the brochures these de­vel­op­ers are hand­ing out. Sure, it may also be fine to do it your­self. You could col­lect all brochures of dif­fer­ent projects and get all the in­for­ma­tion to an­swer your ques­tions.

Any­way, the de­tails about the lo­ca­tion, the ameni­ties, and the price so that you may com­pare dif­fer­ent projects, are all found in the brochures.

In choos­ing a condo, go be­yond what the brochures tell you. Un­for­tu­nately, get­ting down to the nitty- gritty is left on the back burner. And even if one were to dig for de­tails, im­por­tant fac­tors that must be con­sid­ered such as those found in project plans are not read­ily avail­able, not even to most bro­kers.

Jose Fran­cis Cañizares or Joe France is the man to ask. This ur­bane young man comes from a fam­ily that is sought- af­ter in the real es­tate in­dus­try. With renowned ar­chi­tect Jose Mari and mas­ter- bro­ker Mar­ilou Cañizares as par­ents, this pa­tri­cian’s rep­u­ta­tion is be­yond ques­tion. He is a bro­ker and me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer, who is mak­ing his name and step­ping out of the shad­ows of his par­ents.

Joe France has been in the in­dus­try since 2008, but his pre­vi­ous stint as an en­gi­neer spells a dif­fer­ence. As an en­gi­neer, he is fa­mil­iar with a build­ing’s struc­tural de­sign, in­clud­ing the func­tion­ing sys­tems, as well as the track record of the de­vel­op­ers be­hind the projects. He is not the typ­i­cal bro­ker out there who only main­tains a spiel. He is an in­sider in the real es­tate busi­ness, who has first- hand knowl­edge about these mega struc­tures and be­lieves that safety is above all.

In look­ing for a condo, Joe France sug­gests that a prospec­tive buyer should check “the back­ground of the developer and the struc­tural de­sign of a project, which should be in a project plan.”

“The rest of the perks come in sec­ond.”

Joe France be­lieves that ev­ery project should be de­signed to be a safe home for any­one. “They should be overde­signed, mean­ing the de­signs should ex­ceed the re­quired safety fac­tors to with­stand what­ever stress the build­ing may ex­pe­ri­ence.”

He cites the im­por­tance of know­ing who the developer is and

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