What You Need to Consider Before Buying a House or Condo in the Philippines


Have you considered buying a house or condo in the Philippines?

You may have a lot of questions about available housing or condos and the best way to go about making a purchase.

Whether you’re simply curious about how real estate works in the Philippines, or are on your way to the country to buy property — or even if you’ve been living there for years — this guide will give you useful information to help guide your decision.

Buying a house or condo has its own pros and cons. There are many things you should consider before you buy one.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a house or condo for yourself or your loved ones, this article is prepared with the steps that must be done if you’re planning to get your own home or condo.

I’ve compiled these steps during the time my partner and I purchased our very first condo.

What type of property do you want to buy and who are you buying it for?

There are many types of real estate properties in the Philippines, namely: condominiums, house and lots, townhouses, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), lot only, apartment buildings and beachfront properties.

Determining the ideal type of property to purchase significantly depends on your personal requirements and preferences.

The type of property that you choose depends on what kind of lifestyle want to live. Some people prefer to live in an apartment building while others prefer living on beachfront property.

It is also critical to take into account other factors such as your future plans for that property and how long you intend on owning it.

If your foreseeable future involves starting a family, having children and growing old, then it may be in your best interest to purchase a house so that you won’t have to worry about finding new accommodations once your family starts to grow.

However, if you think that purchasing a condo would better suit your lifestyle, then by all means go for it!

Given a choice, buying a house over a condo because of the difference in size is the obvious choice. However, buying a house is more expensive than buying a condo unit.

You can also choose to invest in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). It’s just like stock investing but instead of putting your money into stocks, you are investing in real estate properties.

The small thing to remember when investing in REITs is that there is a minimum investment that you need to meet.

There are many reasons why you should consider buying real estate in the Philippines. One of them is that the Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia.

Another reason why you should invest in real estate in the Philippines is that there are many opportunities for business. Oftentimes, people buy houses and condos because they want to rent them out for business.

And lastly, there are many opportunities for leisure activities like sightseeing and sunbathing.

How much can you practically afford?

How much are the utility costs? If you’re moving into a condo, this isn’t as big of a problem. It should be included in your amortization fee (association dues).

Also, consider how much electricity will cost you and what kind of appliances you need for your home (gas vs electric).

But if you’re moving into a house, it’s best to know how much your electric and water bills will be so you know how much it will cost. You can call the local electric and water companies to give you an estimate.

Will you need financing to buy a property?

One of the greatest decisions that you will face prior to buying a house or condo in the Philippines is whether to use financing or pay in cash.

There are pros and cons to both options, so before deciding on how you will fund your purchase consider all of the factors involved.

If you are unable to pay for it with cash, then you may want to take out a mortgage or home equity loan. You will want to review different banks and lenders so that you get the fairest deal possible.

Also, you should look into construction loans in case there are changes that need to be made after purchasing the property.

Finally, when looking at financing options make sure that it is something that fits well within your budget so that you don’t end up defaulting on payments later down the road.

Focus on location as it is key.

After deciding on the type of property you’d like to purchase and the budget you have, location is the next key factor to consider.

The Philippines is a tropical country and so it has a variety of climates. The best time to look for a home is when the weather is not too hot or cold. Make sure to list down the areas you’d like to visit and arrange them by location to make things convenient.

Now that you have your list, examine the following when you’re choosing a house or condominium:

  1. Transportation

Is it easy to commute to work? Are there public transit options? How far are you from a subway or bus stop?

Transport is important because it gives you options for leaving your car at home and walking or using public transport instead. Ideally, you’ll want to be close to public transportation and major highways so that you can get around easily and quickly.

You also want to make sure that there are plenty of parking spaces if you have a car because parking can be hard to find in big cities like Manila and Cebu City.

If you work in an office building or hospital, it may be easier for you if it’s close by, so look into how close everything is when considering neighborhoods.

2. Accessibility

Accessibility is another important thing to consider when choosing a neighborhood or condo complex. You should be able to get around easily with your family without having to worry about traffic jams or other problems when traveling from point A to point B.

A good neighborhood will have sidewalks and bike paths for pedestrians and cyclists as well as safe roads for motorists.

Can you walk to work or run errands? If not, how far away is public transportation?

Also, make sure you can get good internet service and cell phone reception in your home or apartment complex.

Having access to these is important for emergency purposes and if you’re also working from home or running an online business.

3. Safety

Consider your neighborhood. Is the vicinity safe for walking or jogging? Are there places where people congregate after dark, such as parks and playgrounds?

Ask around concerning crime rates and how safe it is to live in that area. If you are looking for extra security, ask about guards or Closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems that are available in the building or surrounding areas.

Also, visit the area during different times of the day. Make sure to check if the area floods during rainy days as well.

4. Schools

What are the local schools like? Are they good or bad? Do they offer after-school programs that would be helpful for your child(ren)?

If you have young children, proximity to schools is essential. Check out airport details such as security screening times and parking availability before committing to an address if you’ll be planning to travel frequently by plane.

5. Shopping

What kinds of shops and restaurants are nearby? Is there anything you might need on a regular basis — dry cleaning, groceries, hardware store — that you can get close by?

What’s around the corner from your new home that will help make life easier (if anything)?

Are You Ready For The Investment?

Make sure you’re ready before making any decisions as the type of property will determine how much money you need and how long it will take before seeing any returns from your investment.

Remember to always do your own research even if you’ve been offered some property recommendations by family or friends.

Before you purchase a house or condo in the Philippines, you need to inspect the developer’s reputation. You should know if they have any history of not finishing projects or if they have ever had any legal problems with previous buyers.

Also, you need to know if the contractor that they hire to build the project has a good reputation for quality work and finishing on time.

You may also choose to hire a real estate broker. Take your time as this is a huge commitment.

The Final Verdict

Even if everyone dreams of owning a house, it’s not that simple. Buying a house is serious business.

Ultimately, you need to understand its requirements and responsibilities. Nothing compares to having your own home. But before you decide to buy, make sure that you do a lot of research and careful planning.

I hope my experience will help others in their journey of owning their first home or condo.