The Philippines attracts many foreigners with its beautiful islands and the hospitality of its people. These characteristics, together with the low cost of living, are just a few reasons expatriates choose to live here for a long time, if not for good.
If you’re planning to live in the Philippines for a long period, it’s ideal to buy a house rather than rent because you save money by not paying monthly fees. Sites like PropertyAccess Philippines feature the bets properties in the top cities, making the hunt for a good home easier.
But as a foreigner looking for a place to live in the country, certain factors may limit you from finding properties; the Philippines prohibits foreigners from acquiring land in the country. But you can still own a residence by entering a lease agreement with a Filipino landlord.
There are also exceptions to the rule. You can acquire land as a foreigner if you’re married to a Filipino who has been able to retain their citizenship, or if you receive the land through hereditary succession as a legal or natural heir, among other provisions.
What is the Investors’ Lease Act?
The Republic Act No. 7652 or the Investors’ Lease Act states that foreigners can lease private lands for up to 50 years and renewable once for up to 25 years. It adds that the area on lease shall only be for investment purposes.
Moreover, the Act states that ipso facto termination will be imposed upon the withdrawal of the approved investment in the country within the period of the lease agreement. The secretary of Trade and Industry may also terminate any lease contract when the investment project has not started within three years after the signing of the contract.
Despite restrictions in owning a land in the Philippines, your other option is to buy a condominium unit. In Metro Manila, you can find numerous condo developers that offer great amenities.
Buying a Condo
Foreigners can buy a condo unit while they are in the Philippines. But you have to be familiar with the Republic Act No. 4726 or the Condominium Act, which states that you can buy units and shares in condo corporations up to 40 percent of the total capital stock of a Filipino-owned or controlled corporation.
Before making a purchase, there are essential factors you need to keep in mind. One of them is making sure that the developer or the agent has a license to sell a unit from the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).
Inspecting the location of the condo will help come up with a smart decision. You need to know whether the area is susceptible to flooding, landslide, and erosion, among others.
Work with Licensed Property Agents
Working with real estate agents helps you find the right unit that fits your needs as well as making transactions easier. But you have to make sure that the agent you’re working within the Philippines is registered with the HLURB or the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
When you’re buying a condo unit, you have the option to buy directly from the seller or work with an agent. No matter what your preference is, what’s important is finding the right home during your stay in the Philippines.