A car is not just a car, it is a gas-guzzling, maintenance requiring and insurance needing thing that is sadly essential in my day to day existence. Living in a condominium complex, our car needs a parking space and that also brings forth its own set of expenses.
When we moved to our condominium unit almost three years ago, we rented a parking space right outside the complex and paid Php3,500/mo for a six month contract. We were then able to rent a slot inside the covered parking area for Php4,000/mo for a one year contract. After one year, we moved to another parking slot, and are now paying Php3,000/mo., again for a one year contract.
When I inquired about a parking slot at the then newly opened parking building, I was aghast at the prices. Seriously, Php475,000 for a parking slot?! I expressed my surprise in Facebook and almost everyone else reacted the same way, except my real estate agent friends who remarked that it was normal for parking slots to be priced that high and Php475,000 was even a steal, considering how much other condominium developers price their own parking slots.
Our developer put up a five story parking building almost two years ago and up to now, only the second floor is occupied with the other three floors still vacant. It actually makes sense since a good chunk of the condo owners rent out their units as boarding houses for the students in the nearby school and thus don't see the need to buy a parking slot. I don't know what the exact statistic is, but every weekend or holidays, the whole place becomes practically deserted with all the students gone.
So now my issue is, do we continue renting a parking slot or do we cough up the cash and buy a slot? With the upcoming renovations, we'll be staying here for at least another five years and if we continue renting a parking slot at our current rate, we'd be spending Php180,000 plus the Php84,000 we already spent for the last two years of renting a parking slot. Basically, for 7 years of renting a parking slot, we'd be spending Php264,000. If we continue renting a parking slot at the same rate, we would be paying more or less Php475,000 after 13 years.
I don't think we'll be staying here for 13 years, so maybe renting is the best alternative after all. Besides, all of our extra cash is targeted towards buying out my brother's share of the next door unit and the upcoming renovations. Thus, all this talk about buying a parking slot is purely speculative.
Writing that out and crunching the numbers made me realize that our status quo is still the best option for now.