House and lot or condominium?
Metro or province?
Cash or Loan?
These are some of the most common questions you ask yourself when deciding to buy a real estate property. Ironically, as you narrow down your options, you will find yourself swamped with even more questions and other factors to consider. You will realize that this ain’t something you can decide upon in a few short days.
For Filipinos living abroad, well, it’s a different story. More than just your preference, you will also need to take into consideration other factors. But before you get all discouraged, I would like to assure you that getting your home in the Philippines while residing overseas is very much doable. In fact, it is not as difficult as it may seem provided that you know what you need to prepare and expect.
I listed down the key things that you need to know before you buy your dream home back in the Philippines. I also threw in some tips and guides that will surely help in your decision-making process.
Do your research
Before you start thinking about the acquisition process, it is vital to do your own research first. Not just on the process itself, but more importantly, on the home you wish to purchase. At this stage, you will need to ask yourself fundamental questions like “Why do I want to buy a house in the Philippines?” and “Will benefits will I get should I acquire one?”. In other words, you have to be clear with your motivation for buying a home in the Philippines.
By defining your motive, you will find yourself asking the following questions:
- Which part of the Philippines should I buy?
- What type of home do I want to get? House and Lot or Condominium?
- Should I get it from a developer or brokerage?
- Where and how can I find a good deal?
Answering these preliminary questions will make your buying process a lot easier since this will narrow down your options and dismiss unnecessary factors you may come across when making a decision.
Research becomes more important the longer you have been away from the Philippines. The real estate situation in the country may have changed drastically from the last time you know, so it is important to do, even just a quick google search of the current real estate scene.
You can also ask a family member or friends back in the Philippines about their recommendations. Every information you can get will help you make your final decision.
Find a representative that you can trust
Speaking of family and friends in the Philippines, you should also consider looking for a person that you can trust. The reason for this is that getting a property in a country you don’t currently live in would be more difficult when you are not physically present.
Of course, you can always fly back to the Philippines to do the paperwork and all that stuff, but there’s no guarantee you can accomplish everything in one flight. Buying a house is a huge step to take and you cannot expect to settle everything within a month or two. You would either fly back and forth to the Philippines or simply assign a representative to do the physical work for you.
This trusted representative will play a huge role in getting your property. His or her responsibilities include, but is not limited to:
- Reserving the property
- Submitting your requirements
- Signing forms on your behalf (special power of attorney, reservation form, etc.)
- Remitting initial payments
- Having your papers notarized
- House viewing
These responsibilities and more are the reasons why you need to assign a representative that you know you trust. I advice that you assign a family member to fill in the role. Someone you know that will not leave you hanging, or will run away with your money.
Finding the right agent
Once you are done with your research and have appointed a trusted representative, the next to do is find the right property agent to help you acquire your new home.
When choosing a property, you can either buy from a project-based property, or more commonly known as real estate developers, or from a brokerage, which normally resells pre-owned homes. You will most likely find agents representing their developer or brokerage firm online or via recommendation. Either way, I highly advise that you run a background check of whoever agent you are eyeing. This is because not all agents are the same. Some will work fast, some will give you a lot of excuses. Others are more willing to help, while others may not prioritize you.
You can reference check your agent by checking social media, or simply by talking with them initially to get a feel of what they are like. This may sound like an extra step, but if we’re talking about something long term like acquiring a home, this “extra step” is something you don’t want to skip.
Prepare the requirements
Now that you’re getting closer in acquiring your new home, it is time to know what the requirements are. Here are some of the requirements you may need to prepare:
- Consularized special power of attorney
- Proof of income or bank statement
- Proof of billing in the Philippines (some may require that it is under your name)
- Consularized certificate of employment and compensation
- Employment Contract signed by your employer or HR personnel of your company
- Reservation fee payment
- Passport and IDs
Note that the requirements from different developers or brokerage may be the same. Make sure to ask your agents for the complete list of the requirements. Also, you will need to send these requirements to the Philippines via courier. Make sure to secure your parcel to avoid any inconvenience.
Depending on your developer, you will be given the option to pay through different methods. Some only accept PDCs or posted-dated checks while others can accept online payments. PDCs normally requires more effort as you will need to have a bank account in the Philippines and ask for your representative to do more paperwork so the bank can issue you a checking account. Alternatively, you can ask your representative to open his or her checking account, which equates to more work.
The best option would be online payments. Look for a property developer that accepts online payments so you can pay them directly. AQWIRE is a real estate payments platform that allows overseas buyers to pay using their debit or credit card to pay for their real estate dues online.
To see the list of property developers that accept payments through AQWIRE, visit https://billers.aqwire.io/.
Other things to note
- Taxes and other fees – when budgeting, be sure to consider the taxes and others fees associated with your purchase such as capital gains tax, documentary stamp tax, transfer tax, and registry of deeds.
- Loan application – depending on your budget, you may need to apply for loaning, be it from a Pag-IBIG, a bank, or in-house financing. AQWIRE Loans can also help you apply for a housing loan through banks online. Want to see which bank can give you the best offer? Get pre-qualify for free at https://online.nook.com.ph/partner-aqwire/
- Turnover – The turnover terms may differ per developer as well as no the type of property you have decided to go with. It may take any time between 1 to 9 months from the day of your purchase.
I sure hope that this blog helped you in making up your mind. Should you be ready to take a step in acquiring your new home, feel free to come back to this blog to make sure everything checks out. Good luck!
If you are interested in paying your reservation fee or monthly amortization while living abroad, you can check out billers.aqwire.io to find different property developers in the Philippines that can accept internationally issued debit or credit card online. Paying with AQWIRE is as easy as shopping online so be sure to check it out.
For home loan applications, you can check out https://online.nook.com.ph/partner-aqwire/ and find which bank can give you the best offer.