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What is the procedure of buying a property when I don’t have the time yet to come over to the Philippines?

You can purchase without necessarily coming over. First, you select from this site the specific property you are interested in. We can send you an updated map of the subdivision (and in the case of a condo, its floor plan) From the map, you can choose the specific location you want to reserve. Upon receipt of your payment “bank to bank”, or through your SPA, the unit of your choice will be reserved for you in 30 days. Within this 30 day period, all documents required will have to be submitted and a contract shall be signed. The original shall be sent to you for your original signatures and to be sent back for notarization here. After notarization and after receiving your down payment “bank to bank”, one of the notarized copies shall be sent to you again for your copy. The reservation is always deductible to your down payment.

For your monthly amortizations, there are two possibilities:

(1) There are developers who require issuance of post dated checks for at least one year. In this case, your SPA here is required to open a bank checking account here in your name and post dated checks shall be submitted to the developer. Before each check becomes due, you can fund this check by again, depositing the money bank to bank. Or, you may want to come over personally, open a bank account here, and issue post dated checks to the developer.

(2) When a developer allows, you may just at your own option, send the monthly amortization bank to bank direct
to the developers account.

 What are the deed of restrictions to the use of the unit?

Deed of Restriction would differ from one subdivision to another. Generally, your use is restricted for the well being of all homeowners such as the height of the house is limited to prevent the blocking by neighboring houses of a nice view. It also limits the use to residential purpose and disallows livestock, poultry, the building of factory. Also, it covers easement on each side etc. The Deed of Restriction for each project is made available to you upon request before signing any contract.

What is the assurance that the project will be finished?

The first step is to choose a credible Developer with proven track record of developing projects that are finished on time. We can help screen out these developers and recommend to you those whom you can trust. We are accredited by virtually all developers in Cebu, and being not exclusive in any one of them, we can disclose everything for you positive or negative about the developer.

If the contract is already signed and payments already made and still eventually, the project is not completed on time, we can impose a provision of law in the Philippines that if the Principal/developer fails to complete the project on time, 100% of all payments shall be refunded less penalty interest plus interest legal rate.

For house and lot package, can we inspect while construction is going on? Can we suggest changes in plans such as color and designs?

Very few subdivisions disallow this. Normally, these are the one who develop large projects and cannot allow delays due to changes of plans. There are developers who are moderate about this and entertains changes in plans by sitting with the buyer one time and agree on changes of plans. But majority entertain changes by buyers from time to time and without much restrictions.

Is the reservation refundable? Is it deductible from the selling price?

Reservation which is usually a very small amount ranging from P10,000.00 and up will entitle you to 30 days hold of your unit in your favor. Since the developer refuses to sell this to anyone interested within the period of reservation, the reservation is equitably not refundable. All reservations are deductible to the selling price.

What are the financing schemes or manner of payment available?

Generally, you can choose from one of the following:

(a) In-house financing
(b) Bank financing
(c) Pag-ibig loan (HDMF)
(d) Cash purchase with discount

Availability of financing would depend on which type is conveniently adapted by developer. Some developers are superior on one financing scheme and appear to be disadvantageous on other types of scheme. It is ideal that you contact us for more detailed information of each developer’s financing scheme offer and we can disclose to you the advantages as well as the disadvantages.

How much is the lowest price available in the area? The smallest lot available?

Availability of lowest price and smallest size may change everyday. It is ideal that you contact us thru email so we can send you a subdivision map showing availability of lots of different sizes as well as the lowest price in the area.

How much is the monthly association dues?

This would depend on the Subdivision you have chosen. Association dues are usually very minimal which would normally range between P300.00 to P500.00 per month. This represents your share of the maintenance of the subdivision which includes salaries of the guards, garbage disposal, repair and maintenance of amenities and facilities. But the developer does not impose this on the residents. Once the project is completed, the residents shall form a homeowners association and you being one of the members/officers, will be among those who will govern the subdivision and determine how much association dues to impose on each homeowner.

Condominium maintenance fees are usually higher and are based on the floor area of the unit occupied. You may contact us for a more specific amount of maintenance fee for each condominium.

Can a foreigner own real estate properties in the Philippines?

Foreigners do enjoy absolute ownership of a condominium unit. Ownership is evidenced by Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT).

The ownership of land and house and lot are allowed only to Filipinos and foreigners who are formerly natural born Filipino Citizens. If a foreigner is married or related to (for example) a Filipina, the title shall indicate the Filipina name “married to (name of a foreigner)”. Whatever happens along the way, there are ways to get back the money invested by the foreigner.

As a foreigner, can I apply for loan with your local bank even if I’m not permanently residing in the Philippines? How much is the interest rate?

There are banks who do not allow if you are permanently residing abroad but there are banks who will. For example ChinaBank allows provided that you submit the needed documentary requirements and the credit check will be though phone. The rate is between 10.5% to 14% interest depending on the bank of your choice and also depends on the number of years fixing. Yearly fixing offers lower interest than a 3-year or 5-year fixing.

How can we make a reservation?

If you are abroad, you may appoint somebody you know here, a friend or relative whom you can trust and send to him the money for the reservation through any courier. A notarized special power of attorney is required duly authenticated by the nearest consul in your area. Since it normally takes one month for the authentication, you may fax the notarized copy just to process the reservation. The authenticated copy will follow later. If you choose to pay not though somebody, you may pay “bank to bank” direct to the developer’s account. We can send you the bank account of the developer as well as the developer’s contact numbers for your confirmation of the authenticity of these numbers and personalities. As soon as you make the deposit, please notify us right away so we can trace the incoming deposit and immediately issue an official receipt. The copy of the O.R. shall be attached to an email right away while the original shall be sent via post mail.

Do these projects have title on the land?

All of these projects have title on the land and in cases of new project development, most developers only have a mother title. Although some projects do not have individual titles yet and shall be titled upon full payment of the land. your protection shall be based on the sales contract between you and the developer., On the other hand, there are developers who as a matter of policy, do not sell land unless it has individual title. It’s ideal that you contact us to give you a more detailed information of each developer.

How much is the monthly maintenance fee of your condominium?

It depends on the type of condominium. Movenpick Cebu for example charges P65.00 per square meter floor area per month, so for a 100 square meter floor area, that would be P6,500.00 per month. Citylights Gardens charges slightly higher with P80.00 per square meter per month. Other condos with much lesser amenities also charge less.

How does in-house financing compare with pag-ibig and banks?

The advantages of in-house financing are:

1) Simplicity of documents required. You need not be subjected to thorough background/credit check as compared to banks or pag-ibig. A Filipino wife who has no or inadequate income for herself can be approved for in-house housing loan if she has a husband such as a foreigner who can support the monthly amortization. Since the title does not bear the name SPOUSES ….. but only the name of the Filipina married to ….. (foreigner’s name), banks do not approve loan nor Pag-ibig if the wife does not have enough income to pay for the monthly amortization.

2) Maceda Law or R.A. 6656 – mandates the developer to refund 50% of your payments if you have paid at least 2 years installment even if you are delinquent. Refund is not applicable in mortgage with banks or Pag-ibig.
3) Interest charges remain constant no matter what happens to the economy. If contracted to 16%, it shall remain at that throughout the period of the contract. Bank interest rates on the other hand are floating. In times of crises, it can shoot up.

The prime advantage however with Bank financing and Pag-ibig are that of lower interest rates which range from 10.5% to 14% per annum but there are also fees such as processing fees and appraisal fees which are not existing in the in-house financing.

If I buy a house and lot for construction, how long will it be completed?

This will depend on the specific developer of subdivision you have chosen to buy from. The fastest developer here like Crown Asia and Nexland Inc. can finish a house construction in 6 months while others would take about 12 to 18 months to finish depending also on how large the project is and the type of facilities/amenities to be built.

How much is the lowest price single detached house and lot in Cebu City?

Where is it located? Is it accessible to public transportation?
The Verona model of Lacittadella located in Talamban, Cebu City is the lowest price single detached as of this date at
a price of P2,928,791 It is readily accessible to public transportation (just one ride from downtown Cebu.)

Do you have a house and lot ready for occupancy?

Yes, as of December 1, 2005, available ready for occupancy are South Point Manor in Banawa, Bella Terra Townhomes in Lahug, Vista Pueblo in Beverly Hills, Pacific Grand Townhomes in Mactan, Pacific Grand Villas in Mactan,
17. Do you have ready for occupancy condo?
Yes, as of December 1, 2005, available ready for occupancy are North Singson Flats, Maryville Condominium, Hilton Cebu Resort & Towers, and just 2 months to finish is the Lancaster Cebu Resort Residences.

How much is the down payment?

This would depend on the developer concerned. Normally, developers offer easy down payment such as 20%. (Others go as low as 10%) if the project is pre-selling. Pre-selling is an offer to sell when the construction of the Subdivision or Project is on-going and your unit will be scheduled for construction upon full down payment and will be completed at a time frame disclosed to you. Some developers offer one year to pay for the down payment of 20% for on-going projects and the monthly amortization for the balance will only take effect after the full payment of this down payment.

Do I have to pay Value Added Tax? (VAT)

Under the law, all prices shall include the VAT and should not be indicated separately in the pricing, thus, the prices quoted herein may already include the VAT. But there are developers/sellers who still emphasize the VAT to be added to their list price

Do I have to pay for the capital gains tax? What sort of fees shall I pay for the transfer of title?

You don’t have to pay for the capital gains tax. All developers/sellers are required to pay this or an equivalent of creditable withholding

Property Ownership:

· Lease the Property

You can lease public and private land for 25 years with an automatic renewal for 25 years, (just enough time for return on investments). This is also a cheap alternative, but it makes it difficult to make any sort of investment return on a property. However, it is ideal for those thinking of retiring here. Unlike many countries such as Thailand or Indonesia, a lease on property for a foreigner is a very easy and straightforward step to take in the Philippines. This is the easiest, least time-consuming, and safest way for a foreigner to purchase small areas of land within the Philippines. It can be done directly with the owner.

· Through a Filipino Trustee or wife

Have a Filipino (you can trust) where you can put the title or ownership of property in his/her name. This is the most common way for small-scale investors to buy property.

· Buy A Condominium Unit

You can own 100% of the unit but not more than 40% of the entire condominium project.

· Form a Corporation

You can form a corporation with Filipino partners with the sharing of 40% foreign – 60% Filipino capital. This is the most iron-clad form of property ownership for foreign investors, and definitely the preferred form of property ownership for those thinking of establishing a resort, or tourism facility. In fact, the majority of existing resorts and businesses owned by foreigners are using this form of ownership.

· Inherit the land if your Spouse dies

This simply means, when your Filipina wife dies, you as the compulsory heir, together with your children if you have any, will become the legal owners of her property.

A. Is it safe for foreigners to buy land in the Philippines?

Yes, the Central Registration of documents ensures that you can buy with complete confidence. We can provide certified copies of documents evidencing title to and/or rightful possession over properties.

A. Can I form my own Land Holding Corporation?

Yes, provided that the foreigner shall own a maximum of 40% and give away the other 60% to Filipino incorporators.

A. When I buy a beach property, how much of the beach lot do I own?

The shoreline of the whole Philippines belongs to the government. When you buy a piece of beachfront lot you have to obtain a Foreshore Lease from the Philippine government which shall award you possession and control of the beach from the High Tide to the Low Tide mark as lessee thereof. This law was promulgated to prevent squatters living on beaches within the Philippines, and to protect the environment. No development is allowed on any beach closer than 30 m to the high tide mark.

A. What sort of land titles are used in the Philippines?

There are different kinds of evidences of title for lands in the Philippines. Titles under the Torrens System are absolute proof of ownership. Tax Declarations are proof of lawful possession and affords possessory rights under the law.


The present land titling system of the Philippines was instituted just after the Americans colonized the Philippines in 1898. Act 496, or the “Land Registration Law of 1903” placed all public and private lands in the Philippines under the Torrens System. The law is almost a verbatim copy of the Massachusetts Land Registration Act of 1898, which, in turn, followed the principles and procedure of the Torrens System of registration formulated by Sir Robert Torrens who patterned it after the Merchant Shipping Acts in South Australia.

The Torrens System requires that the government issues an official certificate of title attesting to the fact that the person named is the owner of the property described therein, subject to such liens and encumbrances as thereon noted or the law warrants or reserves. The certificate of title is indefeasible and imprescriptible and all claims to the parcel of land are quieted upon issuance of said certificate of Title.

Upon your arrival we can arrange you to have a meeting with our lawyer, and can also take you to an independent lawyer who specializes in real estate laws of the Philippines. We are registered Real Estate Agents.

A. What are the terms of the sale?

Financing is available, but not common in the Philippines. The most common form of payment is 20% deposit and then the balance when the title is changed over. This payment must be paid in cash, at the time of the sale. Philippine Pesos or U.S. dollars are accepted. Taxes and associated closing costs will amount to about 7.5% of reported price of your property.

The Real Estate Market

Understanding how to research the real estate market is also the key to your success. Knowing where to go, such as the local registry of deeds and town office, to research the history of the property can make or break you in this business. If you do not have the history of the property, as well as information on how properties are selling in your particular area, you may find that you are lacking the fundamentals of real estate investing and find yourself on the losing end.

Why You Want To Invest In Real Estate

Generally speaking, there are only three reasons to invest in real estate. The first is to get cash immediately. This can be done a couple of different ways. This is done by purchasing a property at a low price then selling immediately at a higher price, otherwise called flipping properties. The second reason to get involved in real estate investing is to get cash monthly. This can be done by generating a positive cash flow from the rentals you’ve purchased as an investment. Of course, the third reason is to get cash at a later date. These properties are kept for a time until they appreciate in value and then they are sold. It is kind of like having cash in the bank that you can not touch. Understanding why you want to invest in real estate is one of the fundamentals of real estate investing that you must know before you begin the process.

The Buying and Selling Process

In order to be successful in your investing, you must first understand how the buying and selling process works. You need to understand what steps to go through before you close on a property. This includes learning about the purchases and sale agreement, contingencies, cash flow statement, and, of course, how to negotiate as both a buyer and a seller. These things are the fundamentals of real estate investing and must be understood before you begin.

The Fundamentals of Real Estate Investing

If you have decided to begin a career in real estate investing, you will need to start out with the basics before you begin investing your money. The fact is understanding the fundamentals of real estate investing is crucial for you to become a success. The following information will help you to understand what you need to do to become successful.

Take Your First Ste

Real estate is a formidable investment, as it can be difficult to acquire. The initial investment that it takes to purchase a house anywhere in the country is enough that many people never purchase a house in their lifetimes. If you are fortunate enough to have a bit of money for a down payment and a good credit score, then it would be a wise idea to start with your investing now.

There are several ways to invest in real estate depending on your preferences. One way to invest in real estate is to buy a home to live in yourself. People are always making babies, and those babies are growing up. With people living longer than ever, room is not being made for the new generations fast enough. There may be market slumps now and then, but as long as we continue to have babies, there will always be a market demand for homes.

If you buy a home to live in, a great investment is to buy a fixer-upper (a home that needs repairs). Fixing these minor problems over the duration of your stay, especially if you can do the repairs yourself, will help you to gain a great deal of value in the home before you sell it again for a different home.

Some people buy houses just to fix them and sell them again, never actually living in any of these homes. Indeed, in some parts of the country, the market is so “hot” that people can buy a house, hold onto it for three months and resell it at a profit without repairing a single leaky faucet. In time, these people will be able to purchase several homes at once and continue to sell them as they wish, or even let them out to renters.

This leads us to the third type of real estate investment. Buying properties to rent is a great way to make a steady income as long as you are willing to be liable for the premises and willing to be on call for the residents should a problem with the facilities arise. The landlord is responsible for all repairs to the rental building, however the renters are responsible for not destroying your property. There is a tight legal line to walk, and some people find this means of making money to be too much trouble. For many, though, owning properties and renting them out is a great way to make a second income in addition to their regular jobs, and the properties can pay their own mortgages in many areas.

All of these methods of real estate investment require significant initial investments on your part to start them off, and for the most part they will also require a significant investment of time as well. This can be time dealing with tenants, time repairing buildings, and even time that is spent on acquiring the houses in the first place.

Real estate is a game that is played by men and women all across the country, and with the right investments it is a game that you can play as well. Buying and selling homes a-la Monopoly® certainly feels like a game, after all and it is a great way to make an income. You just have to be willing to take that first, scary step.

The Fundamentals of Real Estate Investing

If you have decided to begin a career in real estate investing, you will need to start out with the basics before you begin investing your money. The fact is understanding the fundamentals of real estate investing is crucial for you to become a success. The following information will help you to understand what you need to do to become successful.