Ready to take that home buying plunge? Chances are that you have been presented with opportunities to make Bonifacio Global City your new home. However, upon your initial research, you have come across criticism from netizens about living in a highly-urbanized district such as BGC.

We delve into the many misconceptions a home buyer would have of living in one of Metro Manila’s emerging business and lifestyle hubs and see whether they hold up:

1. BGC property is ridiculously overpriced.

The idea of living in an ultra-modern landscape that is BGC has people thinking that only the rich and the elite could live there because they can afford it. After all, BGC is both an emerging business hub in Metro Manila and the hottest market for anyone who’d like to invest in Philippine real estate now. But shouldn’t this be an indication already why people are moving to BGC?

Citing a study by US real estate website Trulia, Carolyn Bigda for the Chicago Tribune agreed that price is only secondary when in comes to looking for your home. Moreover, Wong+Bernstein Business Advisory senior adviser Enrique M. Soriano III revealed that developers nowadays have managed to lower the cost of condominium units in urbanized districts without sacrificing home value that the price points are now similar to a low-cost house.

2. A BGC property comes in with expensive real estate tax and other fees.

The notion of BGC properties being sold at high prices also comes with the presumption that they would also come with high real estate taxes and other fees. Broker and blogger Jun Sanchez said that costs that home buyers need to account for when buying a new home, like Documentary Stamps Tax and home loan fees, usually amount to 3.5% of the property price.

However, property owners can always look forward to the city’s low tax rates and incentives. The city government of Taguig, which has already been commended for their low taxes when compared to other cities like Makati and Mandaluyong, has expressed earlier in an online news that they do not plan to increase real estate taxes for both residential and commercial properties anytime soon. Second district of Taguig Councilor Aurelio Paulo Bartolome said that the move was the city government’s strategy to attract more business in the city. Moreover, homeowners by law could get up to a 20% discount off from their real estate taxes if they pay ahead of the deadline.

3. Dining out in BGC is expensive.

Yves Luethi argued that living in urbanized districts such as BGC are actually beneficial to Filipinos. Although the cost of living in a city is arguably higher, cities provides more higher-paying job opportunities to certain types of people like young working professionals or young families. This is because foreigners who set up shops in BGC can offer competitive salaries and premiums like bonuses and incentives because of the savings they get with overhead unlike in other countries like Singapore and Tokyo.

One observation by Zipmatch during an ocular in BGC townships Forbes Town Center and McKinley Hill revealed that the availability of food options within the area follows the preference of the regular customers. Affordable hole-in-the-walls and convenience stores like 7-11 and Mini Stop from 30th street going to St. Lukes Hospital Global City cater to young professionals working at the nearby business district. We have also spotted a few specialty grocery stores that sell Korean and Japanese items like kimchi and instant ramen for Asian foreigners who wish to dine in the comforts of their condo units. Fast food restaurants like McDonalds, Jollibee and KFC are of walking distance for professionals, students in nearby colleges, and even small families.

4. BGC is not commuter-friendly.

Highly-urbanized cities are known for their congestion and traffic. BGC has mitigated these concerns via pedestrian-friendly streets and by having its own public transportation system. BGC buses have three routes that cover the entire district: BGC Central, East Route and West Route.

Commuters still have the option to ride jeepneys in BGC, but are limited to certain routes to avoid clogging up populated areas like Bonifacio High Street and Serendra. There are traffic enforcers, traffic signs and CCTV cameras installed in almost every corner to ensure that city rules are being followed. At night, professionals in the business process outsourcing industry or those who work in odd hours feel confident to walk to their offices because of ample street lighting.

5. BGC is not that family-friendly.

Unlike urban cities in Metro Manila, BGC is actually a welcoming treat to just about anyone who longs for the great outdoors. The number of public areas like parks and pocket spaces provided opportunities to host events like marathons, art exhibits, food festivals, dance and music competitions to movie screenings and lifestyle parties. We are also seeing the trend of BGC as the place to be for health nuts who wish to do outdoor sports like flag football, ultimate frisbee, badminton and football.

Moreover, there are a variety of residential condominiums and mixed development that also cater to growing families and young professionals. The future look of BGC will be a large expanse of green townships that provide amenities that fit to the residents’ lifestyles, encouraging social interaction within communities.

6. I can’t live in a city for that long

People who live in the outskirts of highly-urbanized cities complain about the cost of living as the biggest factor on why they prefer to live where they are. Simple Dollar argued that this is might be a valid argument, but a better criterion is what aspects of life or priorities are the most important for you.

For young working professionals and small families, living in urban cities is seen as a good idea. Job opportunities, convenience and recreational diversity are plenty in cities as compared to provinces. People in BGC seem to agree in the last few years as observed in a five-year population data sheet of Taguig. According to the data, Barangay Ususan’s population in 2007 experienced a 21% jump in the years after leading to 2012 at 25,106. That’s around a little under 5,000 people.

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