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

Happy Couple Placing Sofa In Living Room

“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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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:


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.


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.


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.


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.

4 Things to Expect When Renting a Pricey Market

Renting an expensive property is inevitable especially when you are in a rush to move out from your previous household. And whether you choose to move into an apartment in Cebu, the price would vary depending on how good you negotiate with your landlord. However, not all of us are lucky to have a good landlord who considers negotiation. As a result, they don’t have any choice but to rent an expensive apartment.
For some tenants, leasing such high price doesn’t matter at all. But if you are one of those people who are into budgeting and wants to cut down expenses, then you might as well think about it again and again. There might be something that you can do to make it more affordable. Well, if not, then consider moving out.
To give you an idea, below are some things to consider on what and what’s not to expect when you happen to rent in a high priced market.

1. Be prepared to jump quickly

Again, one of the best solutions you can have when you can’t already afford the rent is to move out. Of course, you don’t have any choice before that’s why you avail the property with such price. But now, you have an ample time to find another apartment for you to live. Moreover, there are a lot of properties that are affordable enough for you to have. Just make sure that you also choose apartments of your choice for as not to have some regrets later on.
Also, before you move out, make sure to clear any pending issues or bills with your landlord. With that, there will be no problems at all when you are ready to move out.

2. Expect to compromise

If you are dreaming of fancy furniture in your apartment but can’t achieve those desires since your rent is high, then you might want to consider improving things. Instead of having an expensive wall décor, you can have some fancy wallpaper. It can still make your apartment look beautiful and elegant yet at an affordable price. Of course, you also have to make sure that you can properly make the decorations look good on your home for as not to compromise its beauty and design of the place.
And if you are planning to buy expensive things, think again if it’s worth your money. If you think that it is not that useful and necessary for you, then you might as well skip that thought of buying such expensive things. Remember, you’re renting an expensive apartment. At least, save your money for it.

3. Consider sharing the burden


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If you think that you really can’t afford to pay the rent, yet you also have no choice since the apartment is near your school or work, then you might want to consider asking your friends and family members if they are willing to live with you and divide the rent. With that, you might survive having and living in that apartment.
Having a roommate is not a bad thing after all. In fact, they just don’t just accept their responsibilities when it comes to paying their monthly dues but also, you can have some real and memorable experience while living with them. Additionally, you might need them when in any cases of emergency.

4. Anticipate additional costs



When you are a tenant, you have to expect that sooner or later, your landlord will have an increase in your rent. Of course, you also have to know what and why your landlord raised the price. Well perhaps, the marketer price is also increasing, that is why they also are increasing, or there are some renovations they do to make the apartment look healthy and liveable. With that, expect additional cost.
Yes, living an expensive apartment might be a hassle on our part. But always remember that it can be resolved if you just know what and what’s not to do to achieve the desired outcome. Of course, before you decide something, you have to think again and again to make sure that you will not regret the things you have made.

Three Ways to Price Your Home like a Pro



Have you been looking for ways to sell your home?

Are you looking for a new and better place to live in?

Are you quite unsure as to the approximate price of your property?

Do you want a price that would be affordable enough to attract potential buyers but reasonable enough to grant you profits?

Or are you just generally having a hard time appraising the value of your property without the help of experts?

If you answered a resounding yes to all of the five questions, then you might want to have a gander at this article. Selling your property is one thing, assessing it for its real value is another. One of the hurdles to bypass when it comes to owners selling their homes is pricing their houses appropriately. This is a known fact considering that homeowners do not have sufficient market knowledge, can be sentimental and rather emotionally attached to their homes. With this being the norm, the conventional route to take when it comes to listing your property on the market is to leave it to the professionals seeing as giving your house the wrong price can cause it to languish in the market. However, this type of knowledge discounts how the DIYers do it: utilize the internet for market and research data that were once only available to professionals. Though evaluating and selling property can be a real taxing job without the assistance of a financial pundit considering that real estate investment in the Philippines may be a bit complicated to dabble in (especially for homeowners who have little to no experience in property appraisal) it is still possible.

It comes with many perks too! If you sell your home without any assistance whatsoever, you would be saving yourself a great deal of money that is usually reserved as commission pay for experts. It may not exactly be an easy task, but pricing it appropriately is crucial as it determines how fast (if at all) your house will sell. Of course, you need to strike a balance as well as if you price it too cheap, you will end up leaving money on the table.
If you are in contemplation as to whether or not you should price your house on your own, here are three tips that may aid you in that endeavor:


Before selling your house, it is a good idea to revisit the past as it is one of the best predictors of the future. In essence, this means that you, homeowners should do sufficient market research to get an approximate gauge of how much the homes in your neighborhood have sold for. There is a superfluity of real estate websites that would offer you tons of market research and would even give you past sale prices. With a deeper understanding of the previous pricing trends around your area, you will have a sense of whether the house prices are either appreciating or depreciating on average.

This is crucial when it comes to prices as when you are in a market where prices are depreciating, you should not get ahead of yourself and price is too high. But if the local market seems to be faring well, then you may as well price it aggressively.


Without a doubt, one of the best tools that will aid you in pricing your property appropriately is inspecting properties of comparable value. Essentially, this means the price that similar homes in your area that have sold for recently. This information is critical as it will determine how much you should price your house for– if you price it higher than comparable properties than you might find your house sitting in the market longer than the rest. To get an accurate comparison of how much you should be pricing your property at, you should find at least three houses in your neighborhood that are similar to yours regarding condition, location, and square footage.

Additionally, when looking at “comparables”, take note of only the houses that have been sold– not those that are currently listed. This will give you an idea of how much potential buyers are willing to pay for a property similar to yours or if your price should be negotiated with.


When it comes to a successful sale, pricing it right and accurately is of utmost importance. With this in mind, it is wise to enlist the help of experts. You may do this by getting an appraisal that would help you determine which price to list your home. Additionally, this will help you check if the price you arrived at after your research is as close as possible to the one appraised.

Another option available is to ask a real estate agent to do a competitive market analysis that would often be a free service they would offer in hopes of landing your business. But if you choose to sell your home on your own, they may ask for a fee to conduct the analysis.