First-Time Home Buyers: Condo or House and Lot?

The real estate argument in the Philippines that’s been here for as long as time is, which type of property should you buy for your first home? A condo or a house and lot?

For first-time home buyers, this decision can be very difficult to make. After all, it’s a lot to consider especially because this type of investment can last for a lifetime. Purchasing property can tie up your finances for a long time, which is why you shouldn’t make this decision lightly.

In this article, we’ll tell you all about the things you should consider when buying a house or a condo.

The Dilemma: Condo or a House and Lot?

Price Range


Condos can come out much cheaper than houses, especially if you’re looking to purchase a home in Metro Manila. 

Most if not all condo developers also have pre-selling deals that you can take advantage of to purchase your condo at a much cheaper price. Big condo developers such as DMCI, SMDC, and Ayala Land, usually have their own financing options. 

If you don’t like the terms that these condo developers give, you can always approach your nearest financial institution to apply for a bank housing loan.

House and Lot

Houses and lots can come out to be more expensive than condos, especially if you want to purchase a home located at the heart of the Metro. But if you decide to find a home in cities further away from the Metro, you can find less expensive options with bigger lots.

Additionally, if you don’t have the funds to purchase a house and lot off the bat, you can always apply for a housing loan. We recommend looking around first before committing to a bank. Just make sure to accomplish the housing loan requirements.

However, with the high buy-in price of houses and lots, this decision can definitely pay off because land value usually increases.




In terms of location, if you want to live in the Metro, new condominium projects are constantly popping up in key areas in Manila. Making condos the most convenient option for those who want to be close to areas with shopping malls, business districts, and schools, a condo can get you all of this at a fraction of the price of a house and lot.

House and Lot

While there are many houses and lots available for sale in the Metro, it can come at a steep price. Especially if it’s in certain areas such as Makati, Quezon City, and Ortigas. 

If you’re operating under the same budget as a condo, the house and lot properties you’ll find within this budget are in areas further from the Metro such as Bulacan, Rizal, and Cavite. But never worry because national roads and expressways are being built to make these areas more accessible.




Condo owners only have ownership over the unit that they own. They do not have any stakes on the lot in which their condominium stands. 

House and Lot

House and lot owners own both the structure and the land. 




Condo management will ask residents and tenants to pay association fees. These condo association fees pay for the property managers and the building’s maintenance. This makes maintenance much cheaper for the property because everyone in the condominium compound will be asked to contribute to the association fees.

House and Lot

If you own your own home, maintaining it can be much more costly because you’ll have to shoulder all the maintenance costs. So, whether it’s a broken pipe or faulty electrical wiring, you’re the only one who’ll be paying for it.




For security, condos are much more secure than houses. This is because condominiums have security personnel who monitor the grounds and who can respond immediately to any threats.

Condos are also equipped with CCTVs that document every person’s coming and going.

House and Lot

Houses and lots, on the other hand, may not have the luxury of security that condos offer. You can install your own CCTV in your home, but unless you get your own security company to protect your house, it’s unlikely that you’ll find the same level of security.

Although, if your home is in a subdivision with a guardhouse, you may have a more secure space because of the extra security the security guards provide.




Most condominiums come with their own set of amenities such as home gyms, basketball courts, and swimming pools. These amenities make it worthwhile for those who want to have access to these kinds of facilities.

House and Lot

Unlike condos that come with a ready set of amenities, you may not have these with a house and lot. Usually, you’ll need to pay to have these types of amenities built at your lot, otherwise, you may get lucky and purchase a house in a subdivision that offers these types of amenities.




If you suddenly want to make renovations to your home, you’ll need to secure permits from the association so that you’ll be allowed to work on your property. 

You also will have neighbors on all sides, so you may not have the freedom to do whatever you want in consideration of the other residents. 

House and Lot

If you own your own house and lot, you can make modifications at any time, unless it’s a big renovation. Aesthetic renovations can be carried out quickly because you won’t need to secure permits.

The Verdict?

Well, the truth of the matter is, there is no straight answer to this. It all depends on your preferences, budget, and what you’re willing to compromise.

For example, if you want to stay in the Metro and don’t mind a smaller space, you can opt for a condo. However, if you’re okay with a longer commute time and a larger space, you can purchase a house and lot in a nearby city. 

We recommend that you go through a list of properties for sale and see what options are available to you. Usually, these lists also include how much the mortgage would be should you decide to purchase the land. So, it’s a great way to check out the market and see what’s in your budget.

Finding a Home Loan That’s Right for You

By now, you’ve probably decided if you’re getting a home loan or a house and lot. No matter your decision, a key part of this is that you find a bank that can support you with your needs. A bank that can give you a home loan at a low monthly amortization, just like RCBC.

RCBC has helped thousands of Filipinos purchase a home. Read up on our RCBC housing loan FAQs and talk to any of our loan specialists for any other questions you may have.

Fill out the RCBC home loan application form today to get started on purchasing your dream home.