Saturday, December 19, 2009

Building a New Bathroom what are the costs?

Building a New Bathroom, Construction Costs in Philippines

Philippines. Live Cheap! Groceries. Lunch and Dinner  gives ideas of food costs here.

Philippines Budget Breakdown
Also more costs here

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

RP property sector resilient in crisis, 2010 outlook good—CBRE

From the Business Mirror:  With the passage of the Philippine REIT Act of 2009, Santos sees investment in the property sector to accelerate as more investors will seek more new opportunities previously limited to institutional investors.

Among the income-generating assets that can be converted into real-estate investment trusts are office buildings, residential condominiums, townhouses, apartments, shopping/outlet centers, tourism-related facilities such as hotels, resorts, restaurants, golf courses; health care (hospitals, nursing homes, retirement homes and drugstores); warehouses, R&D centers, and infrastructure such as expressways, railways, ports, power plants.

Radovan said Cebu is the next big thing as far as development of business districts is concerned. He said growth in demand has resulted in major developments in the office market in Cebu and the fringe areas of Lapu-Lapu City and Mandaue City.

“Cebu is the place to watch as far as development of business centers is concerned,” said Radovan.  Continue reading here

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Philippines offers good investment opportunities….

December 8th, 2009 Posted in EXPAT News Source:
Philippines offers good investment opportunities

Two landmark events have propelled a developing property market in the Philippines to international scrutiny.

The Philippines is not a place that many people consider when they think about property investment, and they would be right to ignore it. With property hotspots springing up around the world in the last two years to replace declining markets in the west, many countries have been overlooked. However, two recent events have catapulted the small country to the international stage in the property market, as many analysts are now predicting good times ahead for the country.

Reasons cited by the firm in doing this include protections for a 12% annual yield on property investment in the Philippines in 2008 as well as an expected rental yield of a similar amount. Another reason has to do less with the property market and more with general development in the country. In the second quarter of 2007, the Philippines reported a GDP growth rate of 7.5% which actually surpasses that of either India or China. All of these different factors have combined to result in a DSR Ltd. endorsement of the Philippines as one of the world’s newest up and coming property markets.

The second event was the reporting of tourism figures for 2007 by the Filipino government in which they cited that foreign tourism had increased 8.7% and surpassed the country’s yearly goal of 3 million tourists.  Continue reading here

Also read more at How to buy real estate or land in the Philippines

Friday, November 13, 2009

Online Real Estate, we need one in the Philippines the combines all!

Real estate site Redfin announced today that it has raised $10 million more in a fourth round of fudning.
Comment: I have often written about the lack of a good search engine for Philippine real estate which also includes map location and prices. Hope that some computer wiz here develops one or puts the present data into a useaful data base and would be a godsend to buyer. If they can do it in USA they certainly can do it here in the Philippines

The round was led by Greylock Partners, meaning that the firm (which just raised a new fund) is the latest high-profile VC to enter the online real estate market. Real estate search engine Zillow's venture backers including Benchmark Capital, while Sequoia Capital invested in Zillow's. Unlike those companies, Redfin describes itself as an "online real estate broker" - you search for homes on the site, but then Redfin tries to connect you with its own agents, and it makes money from real estate deals, not ads. Continue reading here


Tags: online real estate, multi-listing real estate in philippines, zillow, trulia,

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How to buy real estate or land in the Philippines

Some of the common complaints I’ve heard from the real estate investors here in the Philippines about their properties varied from the inferior construction quality of the homes to the properties being too far from other establishments like schools, hospitals, and shopping centers. High home association fees usually do not go towards the upkeep of the properties. These are important information that were either withheld or not explained properly during the selling process.How difficult is the property purchase process in the Philippines?

most people make no money or very little when attempting to resale due to a 6% capitol gain tax

Foreigners cannot own land, but can own condominium units or apartments in high-rise buildings as long as the foreign proportion does not exceed 40%. They can also buy a house but not the land on which it is built. Leases on land up to 50 years, renewable for another 25 years, are available.If a foreigner is keen on acquiring land, there are several options. One, if married to a Filipino citizen, is to have the ownership of the land under the Filipino’s name. However, in the event of death or separation, the land cannot be transferred to the foreigner. Another option is to acquire land through a corporation. Corporations can only be, at the maximum, 40% foreign-owned.

The maximum area that may be acquired for residential purposes is 1,000 square meters of urban land or one hectare of rural land.
Read this article at

Should You Buy Properties In The Philippines Or Rent First? read more at this link

A good forum for finding real estate for sale is a simple idea: buy and sell basically everything, like: cars, motorbikes, housesand computers in your region conveniently!

Should You Buy Properties In The Philippines Or Rent First?, Tips On How To Buy, Philippine Condominiums (or any Philippine real estate) click this link to read more

Advice for Foreigners Buying or Building in the Philippines. Helpless Property Buyers on the Rise.
Read this article at

Here are some classified to find a property ideal for you in the Philippines

Sulit is an outstanding place to look for classified ads for properties, just do a search for the type of property you desire such as beach house with city you want to look
Buy and Sell has land, house and lot, condos, or lots of rentals

Ebay Philippines has lots of houses, lots, beach houses, condos for sale just do a search for what you want

Cebu Classified has lots of condos, house and lots, farms and land

Tags: , , ,  buy land in the philippines, , , ,

Philippine Real Estate: Retire now in Paradise

Philippine real estate is a little bit different from the concept where you are from. One of the first and foremost important aspects to point out about the Philippine real estate that as a foreigner, you are not allowed to any! Now with that said, you are allowed to purchase certain condos in which no more than 40% of the units in that development are allowed to be owned by foreign nationals. Then you also have the option of getting a 25yearlease in which you are allowed to build and own the home on that leased land, but you can own the home only.

One of the best parts about the Philippines is the low cost to build a home. However, the cost of land is fairly high with the space equivalent of a single acre costing more than $1 million in some places; especially those in the upper-class subdivisions. On the other hand, in the Philippines you do not need that much space because if you will notice when you do your research on Philippine real estate, the concept here is to build up and not out. It is not uncommon to see some of the nicer homes with an elevator included costing less than $100,000.

Furthermore, if you are choosing to retire in the Philippines and get married, you may just be better off putting the home completely in your Filipinas’ name. However you choose to do it, you will find that when you take the time to look for Philippine real estate, you will find some excellent deals.
You don’t need an acre of land inside the city and if you do want a big house you can build upwards. 5 Stories tall; no problems, just don’t forget the elevator! You have to keep in mind that the reason prices on Philippine land are so high is because there is no more available and with a population of more than 90 million and growing every year here in a space land area wise smaller than that of the average U.S. state, you can see why.
All you need to do is to keep your eyes open for a good deal and they do come along quite often. When you find some good Philippine real estate available you need to pick it up if you can because the only place the value of the land is going to go is up. Keep in mind that the Philippines is hot and if you want to purchase Philippine real estate, look to the mountains. All of the Philippines is made of coral and volcanic islands and what this means is that there is always going to be some high altitude Philippine real estate available. The breezes you get up in the mountains are well worth the price you will have to pay for the Philippine real estate.
No matter how you look at it though, coming to the Philippines is an excellent choice and it only takes a single visit to simply fall in love with spending the rest of your life here. Read complete

Disadvantages of Condo Living

Living in a condominium is not for the faint-hearted. I should know; I’ve been residing in one together with my husband and young daughter for six years now.
This article is from herword see link at end of article
My unit—like most dwellings of this type—does not have a lot of space. The floor area barely covers sixty square meters. Even so, I am proud to own this bi-level place that has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and is part of an elegant, gated community along the outskirts of Quezon City and San Juan. I call it home notwithstanding the inherent headaches and problems that come with the residence.
Rude, insensitive neighbors top my list of grievances. My condo complex has nine high rise buildings (a.k.a. clusters) that collectively house more than 700 units. Hence, there is never a shortage of people around, especially the insufferable sort.
Take the tenants from the unit diagonally across mine. These inconsiderate folks own a scruffy and manic mutt that pees with unfailing regularity and precision on the service stairway and the hallway. Displaying the same keenness and consistency, the dog’s owners ignore the stinky mess created by their pet each and every day. Not once have I seen them clean up after their canine companion. They leave this “dirty” job to the janitors and service staff tasked to spruce up the common areas. Residents like me, meanwhile, have to put up with the foul-smelling walkways and be vigilant lest we step on waste matter and pollute nearby spots further.
There’s also my chain-smoking upstairs neighbor who is unaware that trash cans have already been invented and thinks the world outside his unit is one big garbage dump. I say this because he delights in flinging cigarette butts and candy wrappers out his window. Of course, these pieces of trash unerringly land on one or all of the following: my windows’ ledges, my air conditioner’s casing, and my laundry area.
Many times in the past, this flying and deadly debris has made my living room and bedroom, as well as my newly washed clothes, reek of cigarette. It has likewise made me and my family sufferers of second-hand smoke. Once, nasty neighbor’s still-smoldering cigarette settled on my air conditioner’s exterior and actually started a fire! Alerted by fumes on a supposedly relaxing Sunday afternoon, a handful of the condo’s security personnel, fire extinguishers in hand, breathlessly barged into my unit, rushed to the bedroom and sprayed my hapless aircon with the fervor of firemen.
That debacle, needless to say, rendered me and my husband several hundreds of pesos poorer and left us exhausted since we had to attend to the chaos in our bedroom straight away and hire a technician to check on our aircon.
Cigarette-hurling neighbor, by the way, is a renter, not a homeowner. Before he came along, the unit above mine was occupied by an American family with one daughter who fancied herself as a singer extraordinaire. Accordingly, this trendy teenage girl would wage marathon karaoke sessions whenever she was in the mood to warble and exercise her vocal chords; it did not matter whether it was in the daytime, late at night, or in the wee hours of the morning. She, at least, had a great voice, and her family sure wasn’t a fire-starter.
But I do not miss the singing, however tolerable it was, and I’m positive none of the other neighbors do, too.
Like the litterbugs and noisemakers, the local vandals and gossips similarly detract from the wholesome appeal of my lodgings. The first group defaces walls (freshly painted ones are a favorite), elevator doors, railings, posters, and memos with their lewd sketches and scribbles. The second group is composed mainly of helpers/maids or yayas whose primary preoccupation is talking about their employers, the latest telenovela, and their love interests. These gossips congregate at the playground or near the swimming pool midmorning or mid-afternoon to swap stories and other inanities, as well as text away on their cell phones. Some months ago, a little boy was almost run over by a car inside our compound because his remiss, loquacious nanny was too busy socializing with her yaya-pals to bother with her ward.
Besides cohabitation, another necessary evil in condo living are the dues and taxes that have to be paid ad nauseam. Where I live, dues are billed monthly. How much a resident pays is proportionate to the size of his unit (the bigger the floor area, the higher the amount). If you pay in advance—six months or a year’s worth of dues—you get a whopping four per cent discount from the total fee.
Exactly where this mandatory charge goes I have no idea. The property management team deems it unnecessary to enlighten the residents of the fund’s purpose and destination. But my guess is that most of it is allotted for the salaries of the security and maintenance staff, and for prettifying the complex’s fa├žade. Anyhow, there are conspicuous, bright yellow posters in each cluster lobby reminding residents that “Dues are the life blood of the condominium so pay your dues on time.” How edifying.
The taxes imposed on condominium owners continue to befuddle me. I pay a tax for my condo unit, another for the building that houses my unit, and still an additional tax for the lot where the building stands! That’s not all. There are separate charges, too, for the common area and the machinery in my complex, conveniently classified as “real property tax,” quite apt as the multiple charges for owning a home are inescapable and undeniably real.
I can only wish the benefits of paying one’s dues and taxes promptly—something my husband and I always do—are just as tangible.
Parking can also be a pain if you, like me, own a unit and a vehicle but cannot afford to purchase or lease parking space. Not that I would want to buy or rent here anyway if I had the money. The nine-level parking building where I have to plunk down Php700,000 to be entitled to permanent parking or shell out two to three thousand pesos a month (paid in advance biannually or yearly) to be a renter is the only covered parking edifice I know that has indoor showers and flash floods—thanks to substandard building materials and leaky overhead pipes. It is also a good distance away from my cluster, situated at the rear of the complex, at an area farthest from the gate. All non-owners and non-renters who park in this bizarre building are charged by the hour.
Car-driving or car-riding guests of homeowners are not exempt from paying since the brilliant, award-winning developers of my condo complex have never heard of free parking, and intentionally did not include a communal parking area for residents and visitors in their spacious and precious property.
To save on expenses, my husband and I utilize the indoor parking sparingly and only when needed, and just leave our car in the streets most of the time. We are aware of the hazards of parking outside, so we choose our spots well. Nevertheless, our vehicle still got towed once and ticketed on a separate occasion. Luckily, kind, well-meaning relatives came to the rescue, but that’s another story.
Six years of living in a condo has also yielded encounters with incompetent guards, invisible thieves, a raging inferno, playground bullies and brats, and scurrying rats as big as cats. It’s enough to drive one insane or to make one hate his residence with passion.
Only, I don’t hate my home. In fact, I’ve come to like it even more for the lessons I’ve gained on forbearance, simplicity, humility, and gratitude. My residence may not be the most ideal of dwelling places but it has character and is definitely not boring.
I am thankful as well to be a homeowner at a time when many are losing their jobs, their houses, and their families, and may never have a chance to own property. At least my condo has excellent location—it’s right smack in the middle of the metropolis, and a mere five minutes away by car from my husband’s office and my daughter’s school. Beat that. Read the complete orginal article here