Monday, April 23, 2007

Things you need to know about buying Lancaster Condotels in the Philippines

1. What is a Condo Hotel or Condotel?

Think of a Condo Hotel (also called a Condotel or hotel condo) as a condominium, although one that is part of a hotel facility. As a Condotel unit owner you’ll get all the benefits of more services and amenities than you'd get in a typical residential condominium. At Lancaster Suites we took that one step further and threw in a Mini Mall and Exclusive Businessman’s Club.

2. What types of services and amenities are found in Condo Hotels?

If you can imagine the niceties you’d find in most hotels, then you can picture a condo hotel. Among the features are often resort-style pools, spas, fitness centers, restaurants, concierge services and room service.

At Lancaster Suites Manila and Lancaster – The Atrium Manila apart from normal Hotel amenities including a resort style pool on the podium deck, numerous restaurants and guest services, there is a self contained Mini Shopping Mall integrated into the building design providing guests and residents alike to purchase everyday necessities from various grocery and convenience stores and a variety of services from dry cleaning to salons and clinics within the confines of the building. A fully self contained and integrated business center is provided and even a private, exclusive, members only Businessman’s Club.

3. What is the difference between a Hotel and a Condo Hotel?

The big difference between a hotel and a condo hotel is that a hotel typically has one owner, but a condo hotel is sold off unit by unit. Therefore, a 300-room condo hotel could have as many as 300 unit owners.

Moreover a Lancaster Condo Hotel unit is not time sharing. All Lancaster Condotel unit owners own the property in fee simple on a freehold title deed basis.

4. Is it evident to hotel guests whether they’re staying in a Condo Hotel or a Hotel?

A hotel guest will likely never know that the hotel has multiple owners because the property is operated just like a traditional hotel and often under the management of a well-known hotel companies like Marriot, Hilton, Hyatt, Trump. Also, each of the individual condo hotel units will look identical in design and décor to every other, just as they would in a traditional hotel.

5. Who typically buys Lancaster Condo Hotels in the Philippines?

They’re primarily sold to people who want a vacation home in either Metro Manila or Cebu but do not want to deal with the hassles typically associated with second home ownership such as maintaining the property or finding renters in the off season and property investors whom just want the rental income without all the hassles of being a landlord.

6. What is the demographic of the typical Philippine Condo Hotel buyer?

The spectrum of condo hotel buyers in the Philippines is pretty broad. There are both local Filipino families and Overseas Filipinos and a growing number of International clients that want a second home in a either Cebu, as a vacation destination, or the capital Metro Manila for investment purposes or both. There are a growing number of baby boomers from all parts of the world whom, are at or nearing retirement and want somewhere they can “winter” and there’s no better place than the Philippines with its English speaking population and ease of access from Europe or the United States. There are also plenty of overseas investors who purchase condo hotel units or buy to let suites with little intention of ever using it; they’re in it solely for potential appreciation of the real estate and higher rates of rental income.

7. Can you live in a Condo Hotel?

Yes. At Lancaster Suites Manila a unit owner can live in his or her condo 365 days a year as a primary residence. What could be better than living permanently in a Hotel with all the amenities and facilities at your fingertips? Lancaster Unit owners have the ‘option’ of enrolling their units into the Condo hotel rental pool at any time. Similarly, if enrolled in the Lancaster Condotel Pool the unit owner may withdraw same for personal use by giving adequate advance notice.

8. Who gets the money when your Condo Hotel is rented out?

The hotel management company splits the rental revenue with the individual condo hotel owner. While the exact percentages vary from property to property, at Lancaster Condotels the typical rental split is 60%-40% in favor of the unit owner

9. Who finds hotel guests and then cleans and maintains the condo hotel units?

The hotel management company markets the property and books hotel guests. It also maintains the unit and ensures the smooth operation of all of the hotel’s services and amenities.

10. What are the advantages / disadvantages of purchasing a Lancaster Condotel over purchasing typical rental properties in the Philippines?

Advantages include:

• Hassle-free ownership; No landlord issues
• Rental revenue to offset some or maybe all ownership expenses
• A vacation home available for use whenever you want
• A real estate investment at a time when other investments may seem less attractive
• Strong likelihood of appreciation specially when purchasing at preconstruction stage
• Pride of ownership
• Easy to resell units through the Condotel operator

Disadvantages include:

• Pets are not welcome.
• Advance reservations are required to guarantee availability in case owners unit is rented.

11. Are Lancaster Condo Hotel units difficult to finance?

Not at all, Pacific Concord Properties offers all buyers of Lancaster Suites Condotel units a very easy and affordable ‘In-House Buyer Friendly Payment Plan’ with or without any down payments and up to 6 years repayment period with no interest. Mid term financing is also available through Pacific Concord’s own no prequalification ‘In House Financing’ with or without down payments. A longer term 15 year Bank financing is available only completed units but 30% equity is typically required.

A Currently Available – Studio at Lancaster Suites Manila Tower I that has a Floor Area of 27.23 square meters [293sqft] at $1,721/sqm. Total Contract Price: USD 46,862.83 [Tax Exempt] and may be purchased with a 30% Down Payment [with 10% Discount on the down payment Saving USD 1,405.88] of USD 12,652.96 and the balance payable over 36 equal consecutive monthly installments of USD 911.22. Interest Free. Alternatively, Pay Cash and take a 10% discount on the Contract Price. Save USD 4,686.28 Pay 90% of the contract price now [USD 37,958.90] and the remaining 10% balance [USD 4,217.65] on unit turnover from July-August 2007….

Studio Suites are also available through Bank Financing. Minimum Equity required is with a 30% Down Payment [with 10% Discount on the down payment Saving USD 1,405.88] of USD 12,652.96 and the balance payable over 15 years [180] equal consecutive monthly installments of USD 383.28 [at 11.5% per annum] Please Inquire For Availability....

For clients intending to enroll units in the Condo Hotel Rental Pool a complete Condotel Suite “Fit-Out” package including all required items of furniture’s, furnishings, appliances, air-conditioning, kitchen utensils, dinnerware’s, linens etc is now available for Studio Suites ranging from USD 8,589.67

Whilst a Preconstruction Condotel Suites at Lancaster - The Atrium Manila are now available on very affordable and competitive payment plans that provide for Suites to be purchased on a No Interest No Down Payment basis with 67% of the payment payable over 60 equal consecutive monthly installments without interest and the 33% balance payable upon turnover of the unit or to be paid over an additional 5 years from turnover through our hassle free no prequalification "In-House" Finance Plans

Lancaster Suites Manila Atrium Tower II Executive Studio Suites. Average Floor Area 28.17 square meter [304sqft] at $1,615.00/sqm. USD 45,494.55. These units are either facing towards Ortigas Center overlooking Pasig towards Laguna de Bay and Antipolo, Samat Street overlooking Mandaluyong, Makati and towards Manila Bay or the Swimming Pool Deck. All units are within the Lancaster Suites Manila Atrium. The Current Price for a Studio Suite provides it may be purchased with a Reservation Fee USD 500.00 and the Balance then Payable without interest over 72 consecutive equal monthly payments of USD 624.92.

Alternatively Save USD 2,699.67 by making the Reservation, USD 500.00 then within 30 days a 30% Net Discounted Down Payment of USD 10,798.70 and Balance payable without interest over 72 consecutive equal monthly payments of USD 437.45.

The Lancaster Atrium Executive Studio Suites are also now available on the very affordable and competitive New Payment Plan that provides for Executive Suites to be purchased on a No Interest No Down Payment basis with 67% of the payment payable over 60 equal consecutive monthly installments without interest and the 33% balance of the contract price payable upon turnover of the unit or to be paid over an additional 5 years from turnover through our hassle free no prequalification "In-House" Finance Plans... Pay only USD 500.00 Reservation for a 28.17sqm [304sqft Executive Studio [Contract Price USD 45,494.55] then 60 consecutive monthly payments of only USD 502.44 with the balance of USD 14,848.20 either payable in cash on turnover or to be financed over another 60 months payment plan.....

Cash Payment option, take a full 20% discount [Save USD 9,098.91] on the unit price.... Pay 90% Now [USD 32,756.08] and the remaining 10% [USD 3,639.56] on unit turnover

12. How long have Condo Hotels been around in the Philippines?

Condo hotels have been around for several decades, but the surge of four-star condo hotels that have been making their way across the country, started around year 2000 in Metro Manila. Cebu is now another up-and-coming area for Condotels in the Philippines.

13. How much do Lancaster Condo Hotel units cost?

That’s like asking how much a car costs. There are different quality condo hotels. Some require greater amounts of money than others, obviously.

There are inexpensive Condo Hotel suites at Lancaster – The Atrium, Metro Manila, Philippines from as little as $36,395 for a Studio. From $73,350 for One Bedroom Suites and $109,500 for larger Two Bedroom Suites.

There are new and exciting luxury five-star properties or high end developments planned in Cebu Philippines next year that will be sold by invitation only and may start in the $150,000 to $200,000 range, but can go all the way up to $600,000 for 2 bedroom Penthouse suites and $800,000 for a Grand Penthouse. Of course, International gateways from Europe, South East Asian and the United States to Cebu-Mactan International Airport is within 10 minutes and, all units have sea views, beach toys and other lifestyle amenities such as spa and fine dining restaurants and will come fully furnished and finished to the highest European or US standards with fully fitted kitchens, fitted bedroom suites and every unit will be sold including all appliances, split type central unit air-conditioning, plasma TVs’ and state of the art condotel management systems. Units will be significantly larger in size than a typical hotel room yet still a much better value for money investment option than paying $800,000 for a studio suite in maybe Dubai or Panama or a cool million dollars for a condo in Chicago.

14. What are typical monthly maintenance costs?

On current average [in the Philippines] of about $0.20 cents per sq. ft per month

15. Do you buy Condo Hotel units after they have been built, or can you purchase Lancaster condo hotels in pre-construction?

Unless you are in a hurry to get started vacationing, it's best to buy Lancaster condo hotels in pre-construction as early as possible. That’s when prices are lowest and unit selection is greatest. You will likely wait two to three years or longer before closing and taking possession of your condo hotel unit, but you will have locked in the price and will get the benefit of maximum appreciation which has shown in Lancaster Suites Manila to be 80-100% on turnover.

16. What do I get for the standard price of the Condo Unit ?

All units at the Lancaster Suites for residential purpose have basic kitchen facilities. The standard basic unit price provides for the suite to be semi-finished but not fully fitted and furnished. Included in the current price are the interior finishing’s such as tiled & fitted bathrooms excluding accessories, bedrooms with simulated wood plank flooring, semi-fitted living and dining area with simulated wood plank floorings and lower kitchen cabinets/work tops installed excluding appliances. Cielings and walls are painted cement finish. Furnishings, furnitures, air-conditioning, unit fixtures and light fittings are excluded.

For clients wishing to enroll in the Lancaster Manila Condotel Rental Pool they are required to purchase, at additional cost, a complete Condotel Suite extra interior fit-out and completion package including unit fixtures, accessories and fittings, bathroom fixtures upgrades, kitchen and cieling enhancements, light fittings, air-conditioning, furnitures, furnishings and appliances, kitchenwares, dinnerware, linens and soft furnishings. Currently [as of April 2007] an example of the complete Condotel 'Fit-Out' package for Tower I Studio units is from $8,589.00 that provides a 'Fully Fitted Ready for Occupancy Studio Suite'. Condotel packages for Lancaster - The Atrium will be available towards the time the units are closer to being completed towards the latter part of 2010

17. Is there anything else investors should want to know about Condotels?

There is more to buying this type of real estate than the old phrase, "location, location, location." While most condo hotels are located in desirable resort and business area locations, what is most important is a good franchise with a strong reservation system.Resort Club of the Pacific [RCPC] was recently appointed by Pacific Concord Properties Inc to manage the pre-opening of the Lancaster Cebu & Manila Condotel operations in the Philippines. RCPC will provide assistance in installing a computerized operating, control, financial and membership system for club and hotel operations provide the special disciplines in membership affairs, rooms’ inventory and time management, culinary, F & B service, spa and relevant support operations.

RCPC President, Amor Salud, built a hotel career with Hyatt, Westin, Sheraton and Peninsula Hotels where he developed a balanced perception of overall hotel operations, will oversee the pre-operations of the Lancaster Condotels. He held General Manager and Chief operating Officer Positions for hotels and exclusive clubs for 15 years and was a key officer in the hotel subsidiary of Ayala Land Inc. With a Master’s Degree in Business Management fro the Asian Institute of Management, Salud was one among Filipinos with professional training in international chain hotels abroad.

RCPC Director, Willhelm Bolton, whom will be responsible for the Lancaster Condotel business development comes from a family of restaurateurs in South Africa. He graduated from famous hotel institutes such as Glion, Cornell and Wits, with working experience in South Africa, Europe and Asia. Mr. Bolton occupied senior posts in prominent hotel, resort and club companies in South Africa and the Philippines. His inventory of international affiliations includes Leopard Song Game Ranch – South Africa, Southern Sun Group of Resorts & Hotels – South Africa and Sun International resorts & Hotels.

Also, do not be fooled by an aggressive rental split. One way or the other, the developer of the property will have to staff, maintain and operate the hotel and its services like the restaurants, bars, spas and pools from his share of the proceeds. If he's giving you a very favorable share of the rental, he's also more likely to be charging you a higher monthly maintenance fee. Of course, this goes both ways. If the maintenance split that is offered is closer to 60-40, then your maintenance should be more reasonable too.

18. Any suggestions to investors in choosing which Lancaster Condo Hotel to buy?

Get good advice. Talk with a broker who specializes in Lancaster condo hotels and who knows and understands the entire condo hotel market in the Philippines, not just the facts pertaining to a single property. He or she will listen to your wants and needs and then offer recommendations as to which properties best match your requirements. You’ll have an opportunity to comparison shop and consider the pros and cons of each available property.

For those looking for somewhere to live or for rental returns in 2007, the Lancaster Suites Manila Tower I fits the bill. Nearing completion early 2007 and set for Condotel Operations by the latter part of the year, a few resale units are still available. Preconstruction investments are now available at Lancaster – The Atrium Manila.

A good broker can be the difference between your buying a condo hotel that will be problematic and not live up to your expectations or one that will provide you with years of great vacations, good annual revenue and a substantial profit when you sell.

19. Does it cost more to use a real estate broker to purchase rather than buying a unit on one’s own?

No. With Lancaster condo hotel properties, the prices are always set by the developer and are exactly the same whether you buy directly onsite or using a broker.

The broker’s commission is always paid by the developer and is already built into the price regardless of whether an outside broker participates in the sale or not. Since a Lancaster Condotel broker’s representation is free to buyers, it does make sense to enlist their aid and get the benefit of their advice before making a purchase.

20. How can prospective buyers find a good Lancaster condo hotel broker?

If you are reading this then you have !

PLC International Marketing Networks together with PLC Global Filipino Agency is a Real Estate Marketing & Investment Company based in Metro Manila with Branch Offices in Cebu, Philippines, serving thousands of Filipinos and Real Estate Agents across the Globe.

The company, as Lead Marketing Partners with PCPI, specializes in International Sales and Marketing for the Lancaster Suites Manila and Lancaster Atrium Manila Condotels [Condo Hotel] or Buy to Let investment income opportunities in the Philippines consisting of Three 42 Storey Towers located in Shaw Boulevard, Metro Manila and the Lancaster Cebu Resort Residences in Matcan, Cebu, both Condotel Developments of Pacific Concord Properties Inc by direct marketing and through it’s extensive International Network of Realtors, Brokers, Agents and Accredited Marketing Partners across North America and Europe

PLC International sees the strength of its 1,500 strong Global Network of Marketing Partners and sole focus on Philippine Condotel Investments, particularly the Lancaster Brand of Condo Hotel developments in Metro Manila and Cebu, as foundation for its year on year awards as consistent Top Producers for Pacific Concord Properties Inc.

21. How can buyers learn about new and existing Lancaster Condo Hotel properties coming on the market?

Subscribe to the Lancaster condo hotel newsletter such as the one we publish called The Lancaster Suites or join our Condotel Forum on www.lancastersuites.com

Other Condotel developers and brokers around the world can also publish their developments on our website at www.plcglobalpinoy.com We offer it for free on our websites and it will feature different condo hotel properties coming on the market each month.

For further info on Lancaster Condotels in the Philippines or send us an email on plcsales@pldtdsl.net for more details of our investment opportunities

PLC International Marketing Networks
Pacific Concord Properties Inc
Lancaster Suites Condotels, Shaw Boulevard
Mandaluyong City. Metro Manila, Philippines. 1552
Email: plcsales@pldtdsl.net
Web: http://www.lancastersuites.com [Lancaster Condotels Philippines]

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