A Guide for Foreigners Looking to Buy Real Estate in the Philippines

Real estate in the Philippines is ripe for investing, and a buyer would find potential returns in the purchase of property in the country. A foreign national who is planning to buy a residential or agricultural property in the Philippines should first be aware of the laws governing the purchase of land and assets. Foreigners must know these rules for a successful acquisition of real estate properties in the country.

One of the reasons that foreign nationals will consider purchasing properties in the country is the upbeat state of the Philippine economy. The highly current economic condition is indicative of a booming industry. Many foreigners are seen coming in and out of the country frequently. Others extend their stay. To establish residence, expats invest in properties.

By law, the purchase of real estate properties in the Philippines by a foreigner is not a walk in the park. It is not even allowed if bought directly by a foreign national. Philippine laws and regulations should be adhered to religiously, otherwise, the result will not be favorable for the foreign guest. Foreigners who are planning to purchase property will likely want to know the legalities specific to the country, so the transition of their acquisition will push through smoothly.  

A foreigner aiming to buy properties in the Philippines should seek a licensed real estate agent or broker that will assist him with the purchase of property in the country. Foreigners, in principle, are entitled to buy and own properties in the Philippines. The Philippine Condominium Act allows them to own up to 40% of the project development. A subdivided townhouse is qualified for foreign ownership under the 40-60 condition. Foreigners may own buildings and houses, but not the land where the edifices are erected. The most convenient way for a foreigner to buy a property is to marry a Filipino and put the property under their name.

Also, a corporation with at least 60% Filipino ownership will entitle a foreigner to be part of the acquisition of the building, considering that the foreigner is one of the owners of the corporation. Another exception is when someone buys the property before the 1935 constitution. Hereditary heirship exempts in the case where Filipino parents die and their children are already of foreign citizenship. The children, legitimate or illegitimate, will have the right to claim the property left by the deceased parents.

Another option for foreign ownership is to have a long-term lease of the desired property. A 50-year lease period is considered a long-term rental. After which, a renewable lease agreement will be in order. Renewable leasing could be another 50 years or more.

A former Filipino who had pledged allegiance to another country could still buy Philippine property, but will limit themselves on a residential property of up to 1,000 square meters only. The former Filipino could also purchase an agricultural estate limited to one hectare only.

Under normal conditions, the foreigner will negotiate directly with a property developer for a property acquisition (i.e. a condo unit) or a resale of an existing one. As mentioned earlier, they require a real estate agent who is honest and experienced for the purchase of a real estate property in the Philippines.

Having a reliable agent will be helpful for the expatriate. Selection of a reputable agency with a licensed real estate company is imperative. The trusted agent, together with the property developer, will assist the expat in the process of acquisition.

* Documentation is essential. This step of completing the required paper trail is in the care of the agency and the property developer.

* They will assist in the signing of a notarized irrevocable deed of sale.

* They will help in the payment of transfer taxes and other fees to obtain a tax clearance.

Get a title deed at the Registry of Deeds Office

If a buyer is an Overseas Contract Worker, the same rights will be applicable as with the Filipinos working domestically, as long as he did not renounce Philippine Citizenship. The OFW should have a trusted real estate agent with a notarized special power of attorney to represent the OFW in his real estate dealings while he works abroad. The assigned real estate agent can even apply for a loan for the OFW once all documentation requirements are in order.

Indeed, the Philippines is ripe for real estate investment based on the influx of expats and foreign investors. Strong economic indicators and high GDP growth are pointing towards the Philippines for success!

Author Bio:

Jeff Caceres is a freelance blogger and a real estate agent who aims to help and guide customers before buying a property. He also helps his fellow real estate agents by giving tips and advice on gaining more clients. You can visit the website at Morris Real Estate Marketing Group to find out how you could gain more real estate leads with this one-of-a-kind real estate referral marketing system.

Sources:

http:// yourhomeinthephilippines.com/ philippine-property-buying- guide-for-foreigners

http://investvine.com/invest- philippine-property-guide- foreigners-expats-ofws/

http://real-estate-guide. philsite.net/foreigners.htm