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Philippines Real Estate: Things You Need to Know About Buying a Condo in the Philippines

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“Every person who invests in well-selected real estate in a growing section of a prosperous community adopts the surest and safest method of becoming independent, for real estate is the basis of wealth.”-Theodore Roosevelt

In modern Philippines, you would be hard-pressed not to find a condominium tower in major cities. In fact, it may be argued that you can find one (or one about to be erected) in almost every nook and cranny in its biggest metropolis, Metro Manila. Of course, this rising trend of condominium living is to be attributed to the proliferation of these real estate projects. After all, with a Filipino’s perpetually busy lifestyle, living in a condominium unit would not only be convenient but ideal. With this in consideration, the Philippine condominium market remains as robust as ever and shows no signs of slowing down. After all, with the ever-increasing demand, condominium developers must endeavor to address that exigency.

As Manila is rife with individuals seeking condo units (seeing as it is a premier spot for professional and career growth), it would inevitably be area developers would be so keen to develop. Makati, Fort Bonifacio, and Ortigas are three prime spots where condominium units are the most prevalent. However, with a myriad of options to select from, buying a condo can easily get tricky. How can you ensure that the unit in two serendra is ideal for you? Is there any way of knowing whether the property in question would make a sound investment? While there is no telling for sure, it would be best if you armed yourself with information as regards the property you are looking to buy.

Otherwise, here are a few things you should consider to help you decide where you should put your money:

When in doubt, check the rental yield

Experts in real estate would argue that rental yield is a paramount criterion for real estate investment—and they are right. The Asian average is around 4.2%, but this number is nothing in comparison to those of Metro Manila where rental yields are at an all-time high. Manila is a prime spot for condominium investment as investors can expect a yearly influx of individuals who are looking for condo units to rent—from the students to young professionals.

Consider those places that are near to BPO offices, central business districts, techno-hubs and significant developments as these will be driving factors in raised rental yields.

When looking for condominium units to invest in, consider smaller units

Most individuals looking for a condo unit to rent would hardly be looking for a full-blown condominium complete with three rooms, a suite, and a rather spacious bedroom. Considering as they will mostly be living alone, renting a big condo unit would not only be impractical but unnecessary as well. Save for a few exceptions, it has been determined that the rental demand for one-bedroom and studio type units are higher than two-bedroom units and up—most especially in developments in or in proximity to central business districts.

This is because most potential condominium tenants would likely be looking for only enough space for themselves only making the extra rooms extraneous. So, instead of investing on condos with big spaces and some rooms, choose the single unit ones.

In sum

If you are looking to invest in real estate in the Philippines, breaking ground with condominium units is an excellent way to start. Condominium units are known for their affordability and high rental yields as compared to the Asian average. Select premier areas where the working and student population remains the highest. Furthermore, choose properties in proximity to business districts, schools and BPOs and you are guaranteed a good investment.

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Home Selling 101: Four Ways to Sell a Home Sans The Drama

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“I still think buying a home is the best investment any individual can make.”-John Paulson

Without a doubt, one of the most stressful endeavors one can undertake is selling a home. The logistics itself are complicated—couple that with the frustration of many unsuccessful attempts in finding a buyer and you would inevitably feel worn out and infuriated. Unfortunately, this is very much a reality that can possibly occur when you are trying to sell a home. After all, experiencing an emotional roller coaster is just one of the many consequences you will deal with in your attempt in making a sale. At best, selling a home would make you feel accomplished, proud and relieved when it finally sells at the asking price you wanted. However, at worse it can leave you disappointed at the low ball offers made—that is if any offers are made at all. Regardless of whether the property for sale is located in Bonifacio Global City or is a Makati condo, selling a home is always associated with some kind of drama. But that does not mean that this drama should always occur. Here are ways to sell your home minus the drama:

1.) Figure out and be clear on the reasons why you are selling

There are a lot of reasons that would compel you to sell your home. However, this myriad of reasons may not necessarily resonate with yours. Are you selling because you need to move to a bigger residence? Or do you need to downsize? Are you selling for profit or something else entirely? Figuring out why you are selling your home in the first place would enable you to have a stress-free navigation through the unpredictable seas of the market. Furthermore, it would get you through the days of rather disappointingly low offers. Knowing and focusing on your why are two simple tasks—all it needs from you is a conscious effort to form your own personal vision and values.

2.) Give it the right price

Before putting your house up on the market, it is imperative that you do a thorough check as this is paramount to giving it the right price. In pricing your home, it is important to remember that you look at it from an objective point of view. With this in mind, old sentiments and nostalgic feelings should not be factored in. You may think that your home is worth more than it actually is—only to have the market tell you otherwise. Do not list it too high or your house will stay far longer than necessary on the market.

3.) Be on the lookout for qualified buyers on the web

If you want your home to sell faster, then you need to permeate every single avenue for listing advertisings. This means you should not limit showing your ads only to traditional and typical mediums such as newspapers and the like. Instead, broaden your scope and include websites as a listing opportunity—from social media platforms to house market listings. Take note: the online community is rife with individuals looking for a good deal on houses, and there is a likely chance you would find a potential buyer there.

4.) Be flexible and creative as regards structuring a deal

As said before, it is important to know why you want or need to sell your home. Apart from that, you also need to have a rough idea on how you should go about the process of selling it. However, this is no way means that you should rigidly stick to the process you set your mind on. If you want buyers to consider your offer, you might need to be flexible and open to alternative ways in selling your home. Remember, you get more prospective buyers knocking on your door if you are flexible.

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What You Need to Know When House Hunting

Make things easier with a checklist. Whether you are looking at bungalows in a subdivision in Bulacan or a townhouse in Quezon City, narrowing your options when choosing your next abode will make the selection process easier and quicker.

When house hunting, buyers often focus on the exterior and interior design rather than the functionality of the structure. Others prioritize the price of the house and lot because of the economic and financial aspects. Having a checklist will help balance what’s important and what is necessary.

It’s easy to get swept by the newest trends in architecture and real estate. House agents and brokers can be very persuasive. With a checklist in hand, you can stay right on track. Below are few pointers to guide you in completing the list.

 

Source of electricity

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Electricity and gas should be the first thing on your list. Some important questions to answer are:

  • How many sockets are in each room? Are there conveniently positioned?
  • Do all electrical sockets work?
  • Are there any interferences to electricity sources?
  • What alternative sources can you use in case the main power goes off?

If all of these are answered clearly by the seller or agent then it’s worth to consider the house. But other than the central electricity source, it’s worth noting how gas can be utilized in the space. Where can you store the gas cylinder? Does the house rely on LPG or petroleum to run the central heating? Is the heating system working properly? These things are equally important as they can also save your wallet.

 

Water source and plumbing

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When you are planning to move to an area with a limited supply of water, ask where the water came.

Live in a place that is comfortable, not worry about water rotations and rationing. Do some research and survey the area if their supply is stable. It may not be an issue now, but it can be in the future. Look years ahead before settling in a location.

As soon as you find no interruption with water supply, check the plumbing. Inspect the fixtures and pipes for noises, leaks and weak spots. Rusty pipes and fixtures are more likely to appear in aged houses, so pry the previous homeowner of the house’s history. Consulting a professional plumber for a second opinion is also advisable.

Hot water and bathtubs are additional features in Filipino homes, but newly-built houses often have these. Make sure the water heater still works properly and is connected to all water lines. The bathtub shouldn’t be clogged and the bathroom should be well-ventilated. It better to have a bathroom with a window. If that isn’t the case, choose one with an exhaust fan.

 

Lot and Surrounding Area

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Take into consideration the land area of your property – yard and side gutter included. The house might check everything on the list but if the gutters and drains are clogged, just forget it. It may cost you more because you did not consider the water damages caused by the blocked waterways.

If you’re on the scrimping side, consider the spread of the yard and the garden work. The lot may have a landscape that is high maintenance. The yard may have expensive turf that needs water more than your family does. Do you really need those? Think about it.

When scouring the exteriors, watch out for signs of decay and rot in woodwork.

Consequently, the surrounding area and neighborhood play a huge part in your everyday life. Living close to the places you frequent (school and work place) and facilities like hospitals, banks, and retail stores make life easier.

Communities accessible through different modes of transportation are much ideal than places exclusive for private vehicles. Best of all, choose a location that fits you and your family’s lifestyle.

Remember, a safe community is always a priority.

If you’ve been to a couple of houses visits, take note of the details that fit the details listed above. The next time you view a house, bring the list and compare if they have the potential to be your new home. Buying a property is a decision that should be hastened, so come with an open mind, inspect the structure thoroughly and compare your notes. Do not hesitate to ask questions about the house. Most of all, trust your judgment on deciding the perfect home.

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.

Four Common Questions About Philippine Real Estate

 

 

Owning a home is a keystone of wealth… both financial affluence and emotional security. ~Suze Orman

One of the most crucial aspects when it comes to buying real estate in any part of the world is to know your legal rights. This applies true for house and lot buyers Philippines. It makes potential homebuyers more vigilant about their real estate purchases and aware whether the contract they are signing has legal color. Additionally, it would help prospective buyers weed out unscrupulous people such as scammers and unlicensed agents.

However, most Filipinos are lefty unaware of what their rights as a buyer which would render them vulnerable to bad deals and underhanded transactions which is why it would very much benefit them to have a general knowledge of our local laws.

The Philippines has an excellent set of legislation that would protect buyers from bad real estate agreements. Instead of the usual jargon found in real estate law books, this article aims to make it clearer to its readers as regards their legal rights as a homebuyer and a homeowner by elaborating on the most common questions about the Philippine real estate.

1.) Do foreign spouses or family members have the legal capacity to acquire property in the Philippines?

Unless they are renting a place such as in one of the condominium units for rent, the law is explicit when it comes to foreigners owning land and property in the Philippines. It has been stated that only Filipino citizens are allowed to buy real estate property in the Philippines regardless of whether such property is a condo or a home.

The rationale for this law is to keep Philippine lands from transferring ownership to foreigners lest we get overrun by properties owned by foreign nationals. However, foreign nationals can own property through co-ownership with his or her Filipino spouse or if the foreigner owns a corporation or an ownership where sixty percent of it is Filipino owned.

2.) What is a deed of sale and what are my duties as regards this document?

This crucial piece of document is essentially your legal proof of purchase. In essence, it indicates the transfer of property between the seller and buyer and shows that it has legally transpired. As a homebuyer, you should authenticate the document and have it notarized and recorded in the registry of deeds. After which, a homebuyer ould need to pay for transfer tax, registration fees, documentary stamp tax and other fees.

3.) What are my options when dealing with an unlicensed agent?

Before buying any property and dealing with an agent, it is best to check if the agent is registered with the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service. Unfortunately, there is not much recourse in dealing with an unlicensed agent apart from filing a fraud charge in the same manner as you would when you file a crime report.

4.) What are my rights as a buyer?

When it comes to property sales agreement, the rights of a homebuyer are essentially two things which are:

1.) The right to demand the developer to deliver the title of the unit or property upon full payment; and

2.) The right to be reimbursed with the amount you have paid which would include the amortization payments.

In essence, this would mean that it would be illegal for the developer to forfeit any installment payments in favor of the owner or the developer himself. Both laws are reflected in Presidential Decree No. 957- Subdivision and Condominium Buyers Protective Decree.

Condo Living 101: Four Reasons Why Condos are Ideal For Newlyweds

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“Living together is an art, it is a patient art, it is a beautiful art, it is fascinating” -Pope Francis

After saying your designated, “I do’s”, the next possible milestone and adventure would be choosing where you and your spouse would live. From the myriad of choices you and your partner have, it would be a challenge to zero-in on one. However, if you and your spouse are just starting out, your best tack is to start your familial life in a condominium unit. Expansion and some renovation constraints may be a problem, but if you considered the advantages of living in a condo, you would realize that it takes out so many of the complications and headaches that a single home ownership might bring to your relationship.

Additionally, condo living has been a growing trend among newlyweds, young professionals, and small families—and needless to say, with the proliferation of condominium real estate properties all over the city, you have a wide range of properties to choose from. From lush real estate properties such as Solstice and High park to affordable properties with flexible payment schemes, you do not have a shortage of options. Apart from those stated above, here are more reasons why living in a condo is ideal for newlyweds:

1.) More bonding time

Most condominiums are located near business districts and entertainment hubs which would mean that your regular commute from work to home is significantly shortened. If the convenience alone of living alone is not enough to convince you, consider how much this effectively cuts your commute and as a result, give you more quality time with your partner. Additionally, if you and your spouse are looking for premier amenities, you are granted unlimited access to the condo’s swimming pools, entertainment rooms, and the sprawling lawns. You and your spouse need not go out of town just to bond when you can do it right in your condominium.

2.) Sleep peacefully at night

One of the most integral characteristics a neighborhood and a home must have is excellent security. Knowing that you are safe and secure in your beds at night without fear of anyone trying to enter your property would make you sleep more soundly. In condominiums, they take their tenants security seriously and home safety is non-negotiable. Condominiums usually have security guards stationed everywhere from the gates to the common areas. Additionally, almost every nook and cranny except the units themselves are equipped with security cameras.

3.) Stay fit easily

If you and your spouse are fitness buffs, you will find that it is easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle in your condominium community. You are free to use the gym amenities that come with the condo and are free to sprint in any of the open spaces. The possibilities of designating time for a good workout are endless such as a quick jaunt before heading off to work, or even a yoga session at the rooftop garden on the weekends. No need to worry about any mishaps occurring as these amenities are always well-maintained by the staff.

4.) You can build mutual friendships easily

Starting and building your life together as husband and wife is an exhilarating and exciting chapter in your married life. Part of this is building and fostering mutual friendships together with your spouse which you can easily do in your own condominium. Living in a condominium community opens a lot of prospects for cultivating these kinds of relationships—most especially since most condominium units are populated with unique, zany and interesting individuals and newlyweds just like you. This would enable you to form lasting friendships and relationships with your neighbors who can potentially be your lifetime friends. Introduce yourselves to your neighbors and invite them over for an afternoon tea or dinner. You might not know it, but that could be the start of a lasting friendship.

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FOUR SELLING FAUX PAS OWNERS COMMIT IN SELLING THEIR HOMES

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People who prefer to get the full profit of their home’s worth would rather sell their homes by themselves rather than entrust it through a broker and have to deal with pay cuts. And since shopping through the Internet has become a rather trendy thing where you can find even the rarest finds online, homeowners wishing to sell their homes have exploited this technological advancement to its maximum advantage. This remains to be a stiff reality even with the downturn in the real estate market, and more and more people think that they can do a better job of selling their homes than the pundits who have been in the industry for years and who have had far more experience than they do.

While selling your homes on your own is not exactly an impossible feat, you may find yourself disappointed with the slow pace or sale you may be getting owing to your inexperience and ineptness. Considering that most of you are novices when it comes to selling homes on your own, it can be easy to commit several faux pas when it comes to pricing our homes, but it is nonetheless, it is a mistake that can easily be rectified. However, before you go on selling your home on your own, it would be great to have an idea of which mistakes to avoid so that whether you are selling your Makati condo or your swanky apartment from uptown, you would be doing it right.

So if you are planning to sell your homes anytime soon, here are the common faux pas you should be avoiding:

1.) EMOTIONAL PRICING

One of the mistakes a homeowner commits in pricing his homes is emotional pricing where he prices his home based on nostalgia and sentiment rather than its real value. This is not necessarily a bad thing but if you are listing it at an exorbitant price for which the buyer will not be getting much value at, you will be disappointed with your lack of potential buyers. Homeowners have this propensity of viewing their property with emotional attachment and because of this, inflation in price –when experiences as a child are considered—will ensue. Do remember that although your memories may mean a lot to you and may mean something of value (may it be through your various decorative touches throughout the home), this is not necessarily true for your potential buyer, and they may not share the same sentiment. Price your home as if you are looking at it from a broker’s standpoint and not an owner’s.

2.) INSISTENCE IN NOT GETTING HELP

You may be selling your home on your own, but that does not mean you are selling your home entirely on your own. At the most, it means that you will do some or all of the work involved in finding a buyer, complete the transaction in the hopes of saving all of or part of an agent’s commission. But this does not mean you will disregard any sort of assistance that could potentially help you. Remember, in this age of technology sources of information and support are available almost immediately and at the click of a finger. If you do not take advantage of this, you will be putting yourself at a disadvantage. To be a savvy seller, you should know when to seek help when you need it.

3.) IMPROPER STAGING

Buyers can be very discerning and discriminating when it comes to buying homes considering that they have a plethora of houses to choose from. So with this in mind, you have to stage your home correctly in order to entice a potential buyer to buy from you. Impressing a buyer does not always take much as simple things such as paint, good flooring condition, cleanliness, uncluttered walls and well-lit rooms are already a few nondescript but imperative things that would impress a buyer. If you are unsure of the best way to stage your home for viewing perhaps hiring a professional would be best so that they can advise you on the changes you can make to not only attract buyers but keep them interested enough to make an offer.

4.) INSUFFICIENT PHOTOS

One thing you must remember when you are selling your home is that you are trying to attract potential buyers and hopefully have them make an offer. Considering this to be the case, you should be sure to put up adequate photos online that buyers seeking for homes to buy online would be able to do a virtual tour of your home—one that would eventually get them to see your property in person. Showcase your home at its best and choose the best photos to upload.