Buying condominium homes today is far different from years ago. Because expectations are much higher today, thanks to the evolving profile and taste of a lot of buyers, developers have begun offering home experiences that meet a new level of expectations.

Such is the case of Jessie Soriano. He recently moved in to his new minted units at the Gramercy Residences, Century Properties’ maiden structure within its own modern and cosmopolitan masterplan called Century City in Kalayaan Avenue, Makati.

Jesse has lived in the United States for more than three decades. After graduating from college, he decided to become a real еstatе broker. His work in the property industry has brought him to places and allowed him to see and experience all kinds of homes.

“Being a real еstatе broker there, I got to see homes from Beverly Hills to San Diego, from simple ones to great homes worth a million dollars,” Jessie said.

Recent years have not been good for the United States property market though, and Jesse is one among many who have held back on buying.

Jesse realized that what was happening in his native Philippines was quite the opposite.

“You know every year that I come and visit I find new infrastructure, amazing entertainment (facilities) and more. So maybe a lot of Filipinos who don’t come and visit much will realize how much change there have been here, especially in the central business district. It’s been very positive. As I read newspapers or when I travel overseas, I hear and see a lot of positive feedback from people.

“The Philippines can now be compared to places I’ve been to like Bangkok and Singapore and I’m proud of it,” Jesse said.

He took an even bigger interest in the property market and after a few checks on the country’s noted developers, he decided that it was once again a good time to buy a home.

“I think you have to make sure you are with the right developer. If you’re going to buy a condo, make sure it has got the name and could stand on its own, Jesse said.

His search soon led him to Century Properties, which had launched a promising new residential condominium in Century City: the Gramercy Residences.

“I always look for the company’s reputation so that I know they’ll be able to finish their project; fulfill their promise/s to you,” he added.

Jesse had his expectations of Gramercy but met a bigger surprise upon his unit turn over.

“They (gave) more than I expected,” Jesse said.

This is also an experience shared by Ms. Lyra Ingojo, who manages her uncle’s units at the Gramercy. Recently retired from a long career in teaching music in the university and the military, her time is now only divided among charitable work, church activities, a few invitational lectures and mostly just making sure that two of the condominium units that her family had just purchased in Makati are properly leased out.

“For amenities, it’s worth the investment. I get to lounge around and relax and this is very well indeed especially if you’re already retired,” Lyra said.

Lyra also lauds the building’s in house shuttle service. “When I need to go to the bank or to Makati Med, I can just check with the concierge if a unit is available for me,” Ingojo says of the Gramercy’s own shuttle service.

The security, hotel-like features and the attention and professional concierge service of the Gramercy have also been quite popular among the residents and tenants.

“I understand that they cannot attend to all of us residents at the same time, but when they are able to, they respond quickly and nicely,” Lyra said.

For Jesse, who has seen and experienced the posh homes of his American clients, the building reminds him of an experience in the Big Apple.

“This is such a nice building. It’s got this hotel feel, reminds me of the place I stayed in New York, the Astoria. It’s amazing when you look at all the amenities from the infinity pool to lap pool to kiddie pool and all other features, I think it’s a good buy. Consider also that the neighborhood includes Trump Tower,” Jessie added.

The neighborhood is one thing Lyra is most excited about. “Eating is no problem. There are places to eat and buy food from. I’m also excited about the Century City mall because when it is finished, I don’t have to go very far, especially because I hear Rustan’s is going to open a supermarket there,” Lyra enthused.

And if there was a huge plus who have some of their units rented out, it’s the Gramercy’s ultra modern interconnectivity. The developer has signed up no less than PLDT Fibr (with Gramercy having a built-in fiber-optic infrastructure) to be its internet connection — a feature that a lot of residents and foreign tenants profess to love.

“We even had a British tenant who especially loved that feature of the condo,” Lyra said.

As the country’s economy is expected to flourish, a lot more Filipinos are expected to purchase their own dream homes. The good thing about this newfound prosperity is that developers will definitely be raising the bar higher.