Where to Settle and Retire in the Philippines

As young as you are, you’ve been already interested in where to settle and retire – if it’s abroad or here in the Philippines. Like what others usually say, life is short, so you got to prepare yet enjoy all the things happening around you. Given that idea, of course, you would want to retire in a place where you are not just “resting” but also have an excellent time.

Here are our top three picks on where to settle and retire (and enjoy life) in the Philippines:

Cebu City

Cebu, dubbed as the “Queen City of the South” ranked fourth as the best place to retire in the country in a survey done last 2016. You can effortlessly find real estate in Cebu for sale and rent as Cebu has a booming economy and a welcoming environment for new inhabitants and investors too. This province is in the Visayas region and comprised of three big islands – Camotes, Bantayan, and Mactan. You’d get the mix of urban and rural vibes in Cebu as there are mountains, hills, and beaches surrounding the City.

The native language is Cebuano, and most locals are also fluent in English. You’d often hear Cebuanos mix their mother tongue with English, not with Filipino words. So if you are a foreigner or more comfortable in the English language, I guess you won’t be having a hard time with the language.

Batanes City

This is an unpopular choice, but if you are looking for a peaceful and scenic place to settle for the long run, you should go for Batanes City. Another well-known tourist destination, Batanes is rich in history and culture as well. The ancestors of the Ivatans, the natives of Batanes, came from Austronesians who migrated to the archipelago 4,000 years ago. Their ancestors are seafarers, boat-builders, and farmers too. Until now, about 75% of Ivatans are farmers and fisherfolks.

The province is vast in hills and mountains, given such beautiful landscape, prolonged flooding is most likely not going to happen. Given its incredible landscape, there has been a study which confirms the need for a national park in the province to keep safe and nurture Batanes’ protected landscapes and seascapes, proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The proposal was submitted on August 15, 1993 and they are eyeing to declare the whole province as a Heritage Site by the end of 2020.

The people there are accommodating and very honest. You’d actually spot some honesty stores where there are no sales person or tindera to take your payment, and you just get what you want to buy and leave your money there. The primary languages are Ivatan, spoken in the islands of Batan and Sabtang, Itbayaten on the island of Itbayat, and Ilocano. You’d probably need to make some adjustments with the language, but it would surely be worth it.

Baguio City

The world-renowned summer capital of the Philippines or “The City of Pines” is another place to consider for retirement. Baguio is located within Benguet but has been administered independently from the province and known as a separate entity. As of 2015, the population of Baguio is 345, 366. You’d see a lot of local and foreign tourists visiting and residing for good, in the City.

Aside from the cold climate, you would also have healthier food options as the province’s environment is suitable for cultivating vegetables and fruits. Living there might be similar to getting used to a field trip in a great region like Baguio. About the transportation, jeepneys are also widely present as well as taxis. Cabs are way cheaper in Baguio, and the drivers always give you the change, and they don’t ask you for “extra” payment because of “traffic” and “place is hard to find” (the things we usually here in the Metro Manila!). Indeed, another people-friendly city to consider.

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The Value of Living in Mixed-Use Developments

Mixed-use (residential + commercial) developments are rampant nowadays specially in the Philippines. In fact, mixed-use is the norm in the Philippine real estate industry today. Of course, these developments must have a value that owners can take advantage of. The article will discuss how valuable these developments are for both the developers and homeowners and even for the commercial establishment owners.

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Value for everybody

For the developers

Like what most developers will tell you, mixed-use properties offer the best of both worlds. The primary goal of these developers is diversifying and reducing risks especially after the economic crisis of 2008 when the demand for offices significantly declined. These developers realized better returns, and so other developers followed suit.

For these developers, such real estate development model gives them the opportunity of earning higher returns due to the flexibility in land usage notwithstanding the need for bigger tracts of lands. Self-sustainable as they are, the development risks are not only distributed, but there is a prospect to restructure the projects based on the current demands in the market for the type and purpose of the property.

Further, demands for both commercial and residential spaces tend to feed one another. Residents, who get to benefit from the commercial spaces, are not limited to the dwellers of the mixed-used projects alone. People living and renting nearby can also become the commercial establishment’s customers. This is more beneficial if there are other necessary services like hospitals and schools and other entertainment centers within the vicinity. In return, the demand for the residential spaces is created.

For the homeowners

Mixed-use properties are also advantageous because of the projects’ social infrastructures and commercial establishments. For some of them, the primary advantage is living in a community where the workplace is also situated, leading to lower travel time and cost.

Developers continue doing more mixed-used projects so they can cash in on the recent demand for self-sustainable dwellings that include basic physical and social infrastructures. Not only that, these projects capture all the segments from residential to commercial to retail that most of the homebuyers are looking for nowadays with their busy lifestyle.

An India-based real estate developer says that mixed-use developments provide homeowners with all sorts of possible conveniences within an area. Aside from the residences, establishments and offices, there will be facilities and amenities that owners and other occupants can maximize for personal and even corporate use.

If we are going to look at it from a long-term perspective, while the initial cost of paying for a unit is high (be it for a residential or commercial purpose) is high, the benefits of living, staying and communing with these facilities and nearby infrastructures will be immense.

Thereby, the commercial and residential combination creates investment-friendly environments. There are sellers and buyers under one roof which is unquestionably impossible to achieve for standalone residential or commercial development projects alone.

The way forward

Investing in mixed-used projects located in developed locations is more sustainable than those projects being drawn up on upcoming locations due to the presence of physical and social infrastructures. There will be higher appreciation on the part of the investors with these infrastructures, fueling the economic and social growth of the location.

If the developers can make the self-sufficient townships a much better living environment despite being located on upcoming locations, no doubt, homebuyers will seriously consider investing on the mixed-use project. This means well-planned and well-structured mixed-used projects still count.

Evidently, mixed-used projects create a win-win situation between the developers and homeowners, developers and business operators and owners and business operators. Indeed, such a development model gives an opportunity to experience the best of both worlds (residential + commercial) that no other property model can give.