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Buying a house in the Philippines as a foreigner

JonnyStekkino

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Dec 10, 2021
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Hi everyone, these days I were browsing the real estate market in the philippines as I wanted to purchase something to live in (not as investment).

And noticed a big difference between apartments and houses in terms of price per sqm possibly due to the fact that foreigners can only buy condo's, so apartments prices are inflated.

Wanted to ask, there is any way to purchase something without having to rely on some things such as a 50 years term rent to a random filipino person (I do not have a filipina wife).

Seems like also the company option is very hard here? or I am wrong?
 
Philippines real estate prices, especially for condos in big cities, are ridiculously inflated for several reasons.
Just my 2 cents: never buy new projects or pre-construction.

As a foreigner you don't have many choices. And having dealt with Filipinos/Filipinas for quite a few years already (married to one), never get in any kind of those BS agreements here.
 
Philippines real estate prices, especially for condos in big cities, are ridiculously inflated for several reasons.
Just my 2 cents: never buy new projects or pre-construction.

As a foreigner you don't have many choices. And having dealt with Filipinos/Filipinas for quite a few years already (married to one), never get in any kind of those BS agreements here.
Could you elaborate on why prices are inflated?

I agree on not buying ‘off-plan’, launch-prices have gotten out of control over the recent years. An off-plan in metro Manila often comes at a higher price-tag than a ready built one.
 
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Could you elaborate on why prices are inflated?
Do comparables. Check the courts for duress in real estate sales and whether it is valid there. Make a ridiculously low offer. Let them take it or leave it. Never trust anyone's word, whether accountant, attorney, notary, etc. If they have a state-issued license, they are on team "state."
DYOR, surreptitiously record everything and keep all documents.
;)
 
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Totally agree on making low offers, I've seen apartments in Makati going from 12M php to 6M php, but still cannot figure out the right price per sqm.
Seems like people are just putting inflated prices to hope in a life changing sale, but end up staying in the market for years.
 
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Could you elaborate on why prices are inflated?
Sure.

Average price per sq.m. is the highest in SEA, quality of constructions is rock bottom (aka crap).

I'm sorry if I may sound racist in the comments but the reality is that Filipinos don't have a culture of maintaining buildings. I repeat, lived there, married a filipina. Been around Asia since I was 23. I'm 42. All of this, to tell I have seen my dose of s**t.

They build it and let it go for as long as they can.

Just take a walk around Makati (that's the CBD of Manila) and along nice buildings you will see rundown condos. The facade of the "nice buildings" might be limited only to that. You go inside the flats and you will see leaking, cockroaches-pestered 25 sq.m units.

It depends on the developers (they are there to squeeze as much money as possible out of buyers), but I still need to find a condo whicj let me tell: "oh, this is nice".

You would honestly have better luck getting married, buy a piece of land and build your own. And good luck finding a nice builder. Did I tell you here when they see foreigners they see like SIMS characters with the dollar sign on top of the head?

Then again, if you plan to live in the middle of the jungles in Mindanao, yes you can find cheap houses there.

Just a few months ago I was walking along Chino Roces Avenue in Makati.
Was stopped by one of those guys promoting the new buildings going there.
I needed to get a laugh so I asked him what was the price for the units.

Their studio, 26 sq.m., was selling for 10M PHP. I needed all my forces to hold myself from laughing. I mean...157,000EUR for 28 sq.m.

Oh, and what they don't tell you, you are hooked for expensive monthly maintenance fees the developers will keep collecting to (badly) run the building until the end of time. Because yes, developers not only make money selling this crap, they will keep collecting forever on monthly fees.
 
I've seen apartments in Makati going from 12M php to 6M php, but still cannot figure out the right price per sqm.
I would read this: Comparables: What They Are, How They Work, Examples

...and then calculate my own value. What do I think is a fair value for the home. I would then offer 50% below that! If you are desperate, you are so f*cked!

Their studio, 26 sq.m., was selling for 10M PHP. I needed all my forces to hold myself from laughing. I mean. 157,000EUR for 28 sq.m.
Oh, and what they don't tell you, you are hooked for expensive monthly maintenance fees the developers will keep collecting to (badly) run the building until the end of time. Because yes, developers not only make money selling this crap, they will keep collecting forever on monthly fees.
smi(&%
I would have offered the seller €1000 cash just to fvck with them! rof/%

PS. This is GREAT intel! Thank you for sharing! ;)
 
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Asia builds like Spain
Concrete columns and bricks in between - non structural - all these buildings have a lifespan of 50yrs expectancy obviously they live past that but in Europe they’d be torn down.

I have a similar but completely rebar/concrete home in Switzerland - built in the 70s every other year there’s a new part pulled down and replaced.

Just to replace the doors/windows was 50,000 CHf, the roof 2,500,000 chf, community plumbing and boiler 1,500,000 chf

That’s the sort of maintenance scaled down that should be occurring in Asia that isn’t.

In phuket my 4 yr old walls have to be chiseled out and new concrete set for foundation settling etc

So basically buy new and flip within a five year span

Philippines real estate prices, especially for condos in big cities, are ridiculously inflated for several reasons.
Just my 2 cents: never buy new projects or pre-construction.

As a foreigner you don't have many choices. And having dealt with Filipinos/Filipinas for quite a few years already (married to one), never get in any kind of those BS agreements here.
They have the same issue in bangkok - I’d only be interested there in a house on wireless otherwise buy a condo and the following year have one put up beside loosing any view and 5% cheaper etc which happens all the time in central bangkok
 
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Indeed, that's the reasons why I started the thread, because overall the quality for what you pay and also the option of improving / building a house is interesting compared to an old tower building.

I mean for the price of a modern house, you can only get a small apartment in 2008-2012 buildings.

1720457867528.jpeg



Recently found this advertisement, which says "foreigners can own" but still didn't figured out what's the catch behind this.
The description of the advertisement says "Note: Condominium Cert. Title" Someone knows what that means?

Tried to reach out to that seller, but no answer.

UPDATE: Did some reasearch and seems like there are some projects like villas communities offering villas under the condominium title, not sure how safe is that long term, but seems like it's a thing.
 
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Indeed, that's the reasons why I started the thread, because overall the quality for what you pay and also the option of improving / building a house is interesting compared to an old tower building.

I mean for the price of a modern house, you can only get a small apartment in 2008-2012 buildings.

View attachment 7205


Recently found this advertisement, which says "foreigners can own" but still didn't figured out what's the catch behind this.
The description of the advertisement says "Note: Condominium Cert. Title" Someone knows what that means?

Tried to reach out to that seller, but no answer.

UPDATE: Did some reasearch and seems like there are some projects like villas communities offering villas under the condominium title, not sure how safe is that long term, but seems like it's a thing.
Condo villas basically can be done as you still don’t own the land and the asset is sitting on top of something
 
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I know some people who lived in the Philippines for 19 years, then finally found and bought a place.

After 9 months waiting for the final papers, visiting the government office every 2 weeks and paying increasing amounts of tea money , they got fed up and moved to another country, when the total of the bribes became higher than the price of the place. BTW: They still haven't gotten the papers until today.

Disclaimer: I know nothing about the Philippines, especially regarding real estate and the legal rules regarding it, I only spent 3 months there years ago.

But what I saw were higher prices for lower quality (both, rent and buying price) compared to Thailand for example. And you got a real 3rd world outside (the pod mentality is real), price/value isn't the best.

Having said that, I saw some beautiful gems for not too crazy expensive, but these were far from cities (the best one had just one supply boat every 4 weeks, none in typhoon season).

But yeah, visa and tax rules are quite attractive, unfortunately the food and life quality aren't the best.
 
I was just there in PH with an Aussie colleague who bought a chunk of land. Not that hard really. You'll need a PH national to buy the land and then you take a 99 year lease on that with all the rights in your favour. There are lawyers that specialise in this investment technique.
 
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I just got back to France, but when I am in Philippines I'm happy to help anyone in this Offshore Group wanting to know the scoop--for free...The price anywhere ALWAYS depends on location. That's true where ever you are. After a lot of looking I just bought a 2 bedroom Manila BGC (best location in Fils) condo with pool, gym, & only 15 meters from the top shopping malls Aura & Market Market + hundreds of High Street restaurants, bars, stores, etc. The appt has a super "greenery-park" view in the very best, most modern absolutely SAFE & crime free neighborhood of Manila. No car is needed. Everything is within a 10-minute walk! My all-cash price was around $250,000.
I can & will rent it for around $1900 a month 7 months a year ... My ROI is better than in Europe or comparable USA cities. Syndicate Management charges & tax costs are maybe 10% of Stateside. The same size & quality unit in Monaco (my other "home") would be around $25,000,000, Thus, I found the Manila Place I bought to be exceedingly cheap. It's a de facto tax haven for foreigners who physically live there under 6 months a year.
Foreigners can buy condos (which normally have a useful life of only 25 years) and also middle class or small houses (not palatial estates with lots of land). Buying a place in the boondocks? It's easy to find a pleasant Nipa hut (made of bamboo) for as low as $1,000. I have a really big plantation with Nipa "residence" in the middle of nowhere (Mindanao). I got it for $10,000. Wanna buy it from me? It even has a big underground complex (a flooded wreck) built by the Japanese in WW2.
I will be using my delux 23rd-floor Manila apartment only 5 months a year, so if anybody out there wants to rent it fully furnished, it's available to you while looking around for a terrific, faithful, intelligent & industrious Filipina wife, or girlfriend. Or maybe just an apartment/house to buy. Just ask me & I'll give you a good deal. Picture below. If you look at a lot of places anywhere in the world you can always find good deals on repos, foreclosures & distressed properties You get them with a low-ball offer like I did... I advise renting for 6 months in the area before you buy.

One thing you got right is that the majority of builders in the big cities build cheaply --crappy high-rise bldgs with tiny studio apartments. They quickly deteriorate. These tiny studios may get occupied as rentals by families with 5 kids and cockroaches. The places become slums within 5 years. But there are exceptions! If you buy or rent in an Ayala building in BGC, even their hi-rise bldgs over 30 years old are still well-maintained (large!) apartments in high-quality buildings. Their garages are full of polished new Land Rovers, Corvettes, Ferraris & the like. Maintenance & security is 1st Rate.

There. are very few houses (called Villas) in BGC, but nearby, in the best single-family residential Manila neighborhoods, like Makati, Forbes Park, and Desmarines, the houses are well-built, & huge . They may cost upwards of US $2-$10 million. Similar prices to Los Angeles, or NYC.
Really safe pleasant city is Davao. Cebu & Subic Bay are also good . All have an international airport, like Manila does. Much cheaper than BGC Manila.
I just got back to France, but when I am in the Philippines I'm happy to help anyone in this Offshore Group wanting to know the scoop--for free...You can check out my informative blogs on Manila & the Philippines in general, at *youtube.com/@Lucky2balive888*
The biggest advantage over Cambodia, Thailand etc. is that the national Language is ENGLISH . Most of the Upper classes are dual citizens of the Philippines & USA with 2nd homes over there.
It's my 1st choice in Asia.
 

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Sure.

Average price per sq.m. is the highest in SEA, quality of constructions is rock bottom (aka crap).

I'm sorry if I may sound racist in the comments but the reality is that Filipinos don't have a culture of maintaining buildings. I repeat, lived there, married a filipina. Been around Asia since I was 23. I'm 42. All of this, to tell I have seen my dose of s**t.

They build it and let it go for as long as they can.

Just take a walk around Makati (that's the CBD of Manila) and along nice buildings you will see rundown condos. The facade of the "nice buildings" might be limited only to that. You go inside the flats and you will see leaking, cockroaches-pestered 25 sq.m units.

It depends on the developers (they are there to squeeze as much money as possible out of buyers), but I still need to find a condo whicj let me tell: "oh, this is nice".

You would honestly have better luck getting married, buy a piece of land and build your own. And good luck finding a nice builder. Did I tell you here when they see foreigners they see like SIMS characters with the dollar sign on top of the head?

Then again, if you plan to live in the middle of the jungles in Mindanao, yes you can find cheap houses there.

Just a few months ago I was walking along Chino Roces Avenue in Makati.
Was stopped by one of those guys promoting the new buildings going there.
I needed to get a laugh so I asked him what was the price for the units.

Their studio, 26 sq.m., was selling for 10M PHP. I needed all my forces to hold myself from laughing. I mean...157,000EUR for 28 sq.m.

Oh, and what they don't tell you, you are hooked for expensive monthly maintenance fees the developers will keep collecting to (badly) run the building until the end of time. Because yes, developers not only make money selling this crap, they will keep collecting forever on monthly fees.
I’m a Filipino and I confirm this. We are currently dealing wih expensive monthly dues!
 
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I’m a Filipino and I confirm this. We are currently dealing wih expensive monthly dues!
Sorry-Singapore houses and apartments are much more expensive per square meter. Malaysia is about the same for comparable locations. One reason Philippine housing is relatively expensive is the lack of land. It is an overpopulated island nation. The high population density is over 100 million people... Most want to give up farming & move to a big city. Plus the relatively rich middle class & Chinese & Koreans are crazy about real estate investing in apartments, resorts and waterfront property. Another comment- I would never invest in Off-Plan unbuilt projects in the Philippines because some scammer builders will keep your deposit and their projects never get built. But there are a lot of reliable outfits like Ayala where you easily quintuple your money with a 3% deposit on an off plan deal. "investigate before you invest!"
 
Sorry-Singapore houses and apartments are much more expensive per square meter. Malaysia is about the same for comparable locations. One reason Philippine housing is relatively expensive is the lack of land. It is an overpopulated island nation. The high population density is over 100 million people... Most want to give up farming & move to a big city. Plus the relatively rich middle class & Chinese & Koreans are crazy about real estate investing in apartments, resorts and waterfront property. Another comment- I would never invest in Off-Plan unbuilt projects in the Philippines because some scammer builders will keep your deposit and their projects never get built. But there are a lot of reliable outfits like Ayala where you easily quintuple your money with a 3% deposit on an off plan deal. "investigate before you invest!"
Been today to check out a relatively new built tower in Makati (2016), saw a couple of units, they are selling 65 sqm for 16M... directly from megaworld. Even if not off plan, prices directly from them are totally crazy. Apartment was nothing special, usual megaworld shitty kitchen, standard cabinets and ugly tiles...

Much better investing in second hand properties and renovating them. I figured out that even 60k PHP/sqm is possible in Makati, Ortigas, Eastwood and Greenfield for older buildings (2008 - 2010)
 
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When Woody Allen was asked about religion in his household when he was growing up, he said it was
"Never buy anything retail."
Thus, in Manila or anywhere else, always look for the many listings for distressed, auction & foreclosure properties. Make low offers. If you bid for 100 properties you will get at least three super bargains. Then, like me, you will end up with good deals in well-located quality buildings at maybe 30% of the prices you are being quoted(above). In my YouTube blogs,{FromGrandpa 86, Lucky to be alive 888} I list the many things to consider -- Quality of construction, location near transportation & shopping, upper-class neighborhood, elevators (enough of them?- fast?- always functioning?), High floor with panoramic view (unblocked by other buildings), near attractions like beaches, and shopping malls. Look at the quality of neighbors: other tenants & owners. Consider the maintenance of a building or subdivision...
and a lot more. Grandpa 86.
 
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