The buying process

Costs and things to look out for

Buying property abroad can be a very complicated process and to avoid nasty surprises it is best to seek the advice of an expert.

The buying process

When buying in the Philippines always look for property backed by established developers and licenced real estate agencies. This is especially true if you are buying off-plan - where the property hasn’t been built yet and is still in the planning stages. A good realtor can guide you through the process, put you in touch with reliable developers and will be able to find you the right property for your requirements.

Generally property is bought using a buying agreement. Once all the documentation has been checked and the property inspected the buyer will sign a notarized and binding Deed of Sale. If you use a reputable estate agent they will be able to help you arrange a mortgage and ensure everything is legal and correct.

Buying condominiums

Usually a down-payment of 10-30% is required and ownership of the condo is documented with a Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT). This title isn’t normally transferred until the price of the condo has been fully paid. Remember that foreigners are not allowed to own more than 40% of a condo complex, that is, 60% of the units must be owned by Filipinos.

The one things most people focus on is the price of the property, but when it comes to the place you want to make your home there are many other things to consider.

Location - The location of the property is going to be all important depending on what your needs are. Most expats congregate in condos near good schools, restaurants and with good transport links. Bear in mind, the closer to conveniences a condo is, the more traffic noise there is likely to be. Make sure you visit the site during different times of the day.

Amenities - These could include a pool, gym, and a playground for children. You need to make sure the price you are paying is equivalent to the amenities available, you would expect the more expensive condos to have better amenities.

Population density and noise - Noise may be something that is hard to judge before you move in, but you can predict the population density ie. the number of residents you can expect to be living around you. The more residents the more likely it is to be noisy, especially in cheaper condos that will have thinner walls. The more people the busier the amenities will be as well.

Parking - Parking spaces tend to be very expensive (between P400,000 and P500,000) to buy. A cheaper option is to rent one at a cost in the range of P4,000 to P10,000 per month. Ask other residents if they are renting theirs or at your condo property office.

Incurred costs when buying a condo

It’s important when buying a condo you are aware of all the costs involved. These include:

  • Condo association fees - these cover things such as maintenance, security and cleaning of public areas. These will be payable by the owner once the CCT has been signed.
  • VAT - check that 12% VAT is included in the price.
  • Closing costs - these cover the registration fees, transfer taxes and document stamp duties. Some developers require you to pay 30 days after your deposit, others on completion of the sale.

When buying in the Philippines always look for property backed by established developers and licenced real estate agencies. This is especially true if you are buying off-plan - where the property hasn’t been built yet and is still in the planning stages. A good realtor can guide you through the process, put you in touch with reliable developers and will be able to find you the right property for your requirements.

Generally property is bought using a buying agreement. Once all the documentation has been checked and the property inspected the buyer will sign a notarized and binding Deed of Sale. If you use a reputable estate agent they will be able to help you arrange a mortgage and ensure everything is legal and correct.

Buying condominiums

Usually a down-payment of 10-30% is required and ownership of the condo is documented with a Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT). This title isn’t normally transferred until the price of the condo has been fully paid. Remember that foreigners are not allowed to own more than 40% of a condo complex, that is, 60% of the units must be owned by Filipinos.

The one things most people focus on is the price of the property, but when it comes to the place you want to make your home there are many other things to consider.

Location - The location of the property is going to be all important depending on what your needs are. Most expats congregate in condos near good schools, restaurants and with good transport links. Bear in mind, the closer to conveniences a condo is, the more traffic noise there is likely to be. Make sure you visit the site during different times of the day.

Amenities - These could include a pool, gym, and a playground for children. You need to make sure the price you are paying is equivalent to the amenities available, you would expect the more expensive condos to have better amenities.

Population density and noise - Noise may be something that is hard to judge before you move in, but you can predict the population density ie. the number of residents you can expect to be living around you. The more residents the more likely it is to be noisy, especially in cheaper condos that will have thinner walls. The more people the busier the amenities will be as well.

Parking - Parking spaces tend to be very expensive (between P400,000 and P500,000) to buy. A cheaper option is to rent one at a cost in the range of P4,000 to P10,000 per month. Ask other residents if they are renting theirs or at your condo property office.

Incurred costs when buying a condo

It’s important when buying a condo you are aware of all the costs involved. These include:

  • Condo association fees - these cover things such as maintenance, security and cleaning of public areas. These will be payable by the owner once the CCT has been signed.
  • VAT - check that 12% VAT is included in the price.
  • Closing costs - these cover the registration fees, transfer taxes and document stamp duties. Some developers require you to pay 30 days after your deposit, others on completion of the sale.

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