5 Top Reasons Why Single OFWs Should Consider Investing in Pre-Selling Homes

It’s a common myth that OFWs feel better when investing or making big purchases since they are generally paid better abroad than when they work in the Philippines. Filipinos working abroad have all realized that it’s not easy to find even when they are offered bigger paychecks.

Owning a new home or improving their current homes are among the top listed wishlists for OFWs. There are plenty out there in the market, with a variety of factors such as size, price, features and locations. But what matters and on top priority among OFWs? While many have families and children and housing them in a decent dwelling place is a source of pride, there are also Filipino migrant workers who are single and whose priorities are slightly different — save now and secure their future.

This brings the argument about finding the right investment vehicle or type of property single OFW would like to part their earnings with.

Single OFWs still send money to families for daily expenses such as food and utilities, education of siblings or extended family members, medical expenses and savings or investments. But when it comes to acquiring properties, many of them are unwilling or unable to shell out big amount of money to buy a house in the Philippines they won’t enjoy unless they are still employed abroad.

Then comes the idea of pre-selling properties frequently advertised as cheaper, better alternative avenue for single OFWs to carve their way into owning properties in the Philippines. Why so? Let’s find out the five reasons why pre-selling properties — be it condo unit or subdivision housing — and unmarried OFWs appear to be meant for each other.

1. Affordability
Because of their current state, pre-selling units are more affordable compared to advertised homes that are ready for occupancy. OFWs sure get bigger monthly salaries but they don’t expect to spend them all in a single property acquisition; they also have other living expenses to cover. With prices between 30% to 50% cheaper than finished housing units, pre-selling units are certainly more affordable to buy, with some cash to spare for an OFW’s living expenses abroad and remittance money for the parents in the Philippines.

2. Practicality
It seems out of line when OFWs purchase homes in the Philippines while they don’t get to live in them as they’re still working and living abroad. That’s an accurate assessment if the unmarried Filipino migrant worker is based indefinitely abroad, find a spouse and raise family there.

But many OFWs have finite years abroad, then decide to go home and settle down. It makes sense to get a house on the cheap, pay in smaller installments and return to the Philippines once the house is ready for occupancy. That sounds like a better idea than buying a more expensive ready-for-occupancy unit that nobody lives. If it’s meant for investment like rental home or AirBnB, yes, you’ll earn money to pay for installment balance, but its condition deteriorates by the time you arrive and supposed to enjoy this fruit of your labor.

3. Appreciating value of property
In many cases, pre-selling homes are built on places that’s less suitable for living: far from markets, lack of smooth pavements and less accessible by public transport. So it doesn’t make sense for owners to dive in and purchase finished homes outright only to find out it’s not convenient to settle there.

As pre-selling properties are continuously built, the surrounding community starts to develop. More street lights installed, drainage system in place, more transport options as the population in the neighborhood increases, and so on. While you as an OFW may not notice such development in the community, you’ll soon find it out when you return, hopefully settling everything and formally claiming ownership of a residential property whose value increases as its location becomes more conducive to community living.

4. Income generating potential
On another side of practicality in item #2, OFWs who shell out minimal amount of cash as downpayment for a pre-selling property will have extra resources to refurbish it and turn into an income generating property if they decide renting it out is an option (it has to be attractive enough — close to schools, factories and downtown — to make that happen). The payment can be used to pay the mortgage, saving the OFW from shelling out monthly payments and keeping his or her income savings intact. Such savings can then be used to renovate the house once he or she decides to go home for good, after the pre-selling property is already paid up.

5. Flexibility
Buyers of pre-selling units often have fair chances to choose their desired location, whether in a condo block or a townhouse development. This gives the element of excitement as the ones who get to make an early commitment have plenty of options available for them — top floor, better views, and so on.

6. Sense of security and inspiration
Filipinos working abroad feel a sense of security that one day, when their days as OFWs are finally over, they have something to look forward to. Whether that’s a growing poultry business, seeing your children go to school or moving to your newly-paid residential unit you started paying 10 years ago. There’s a sense of inspiration as you look at your desired goals.

Such feeling of anticipation making a countdown to that day is similar when you commit to that pre-selling property and gradually investing your way to a homeowner. That’s certainly more future-focused than aimlessly spending on any random item, only to find out you have nothing to show after years of working abroad.

While these are enticing prospects for single OFWs to get hold of pre-selling units, utmost diligence and research must be done before parting with hard-earned cash. This is especially applicable for Filipinos who are based abroad and have limited amount of time to inspect the location and limited amount of engagement with developers, agents and advertisers who might turn out as fraudsters and fly-by-night operators.

OFWs are now more intelligent and know where they should put their money in, thanks in part to technology and equally informed family who can help them make informed decisions.

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How to Make Your House Safer During Earthquakes

The Philippines is known to be part of the earthquake belt, as part of the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’ which spreads across the northwestern tip of North America towards the western Pacific Ocean.

But what’s not known is the occurence of earthquakes and the magnitude of their strength. That is why Japan, one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, but also part of that region where earthquakes are a frequent occurence, devised plans to make building structures withstand this force of nature, such as inclusion of seismic isolation and vibration control features.

In the Philippines, where technology is catching up, and plenty of buildings are both fire- and quake-hazard, the danger of eathquake does not only result in toppled buildings, but also fires, gas leaks and other forms of destruction. To prevent or minimize damage at homes during an event of an earthquake, here are things to check out:

1. Check electrical connections: Consult with an expert electrician to check electrical wirings, exposed connections and other potential source of fires triggered by an earthquake.

2. Check gas supply: cooking stoves powered by LPG as well as building gas supply lines should be checked appropriately to ensure prevention or mitigate damage caused by gas leaks once earthquakes occur.

3. Tighten security to stabilize electrical appliances and furniture: In an event of earthquake, home appliances such as refrigerator and cabinets might vibrate and topple down. To prevent this, provide enough security by tightening its grip or bolt them to the floor or wall.

4. Check automatic shut-off valves of utility lines. Check with your gas supplier if there is a shut-off valve installed to automatically disable gas supply once strong vibration is detected.

5. Check hanging appliances and decoration: Reinforce fastened wall decorations such as wall paintings, mirrors and floating shelves whose grip or hooks may have loosened.

6. Place heavy objects closer to the floor.

7. Store bottled foods, glass, china and other ceramic ware on lower shelves of the fridge or cabinets that are closed and locked.

8. Identify location where family members can seek refuge in case they’re inside the house during earthquake. This can be the space under a sturdy dining table.

9. Identify escape routes and clear them from any obstruction.

10. Hold earthquake drill with family to go through the standard procedure when earthquake strikes at home.

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6 Neighborhood Factors You Should Consider Before Moving to a New Home

When planning to buy a house, an important consideration has been its appearance, price and location. While appearance can be updated and payment obligations disappear once you settle your financial terms, location is permanent. In many cases, it determines the value of the property and its potential to appreciate or depreciate.

Given such importance of location before making any purchase decision, we’ll try to guide you on things that should be considered before selecting or even considering a property on offer.

Crime rate
Examine the neighborhood and observe if businesses of ill repute — beer houses, videoke bars, cockfight venues — is within a stone’s throw away. Although these might be legitimate businesses, criminal activities or violence have taken place in similar areas. Check also if enough security measures are in place. Is the community within gated premises, well-lighted or littered with surveillance cameras to deter petty crimes like burglary?

How to check: Check the Bantay Krimen website of the Philippine National Police, which maps recent criminal activities within specific locations. Just enter the region and province and zoom in towards your prospect property’s neighborhood. Observe if the type of crimes or accidents taking place are petty or serious.

Traffic
Traffic situation can be an indication of either or both development and orderliness in the community. Imagine going to work or school and having to deal with such traffic congestion. Whether you are commuting or driving your own car or motorcycle, traffic congestion takes your precious time and reduces productivity.

How to check: Use Google Maps and locate your property address. Select “Traffic” under the menu bar on the left. Visit the location on a typical day, preferably during rush hour in the morning or early evening to gauge the real situation.

Schools
Good schools and good neighborhoods come together. Take a look at the type of educational institutions around the property area. Are they reputable or infamous for low passing rates? Schools nearby help save time sending and fetching pre-school children as it also helps save money used to pay for transport from home to school and back.

How to check: Take a look at Google maps and search for the property location and filter school information to display schools. Zoom in if necessary. Estimate how long does it take to walk or commute from home to school.

Market
Same as schools, nearby market or grocery shops provide convenience to homeowners and save them time and money commuting to a shopping mall or wet market complete with daily necessities. This may not be much of an issue for those with cars, but whether you have a vehicle or use public transport, time is also a consideration.

How to check: Take a look at Google maps and search for the property location and filter school information to display convenience stores, department stores or shopping malls. Zoom in if necessary. Estimate how long does it take to walk or commute from home to market.

Noise
Hearing noise for an extended period of time can be very irritating and cause tensions. Many forms of noise pollution occur within neighborhoods in the Philippines. Videoke music and barking dogs from homes, machines and industrial equipment from nearby construction or vehicles blowing horns on the road. People hanging out near your target property such as students at the playground after school or workers taking breaks at the nearby canteen from shifts are among the examples.

How to check: Various types of noise occur at various times of the day so to effectively check this issue, you can visit the area in the morning and evening, during weekdays and during weekends.

Public Infrastructure and Services
Do you see potholes on the road while you’re on your way to your target property? Are there piles of uncollected garbage at the corner street? When you leave the place at night, are there sufficient lighting outdoors that help deter crime? Such state of public infrastructure and services are indicative of the fiscal health of the city or community, and this should be considered as a factor in selecting your property.

On the other hand, does the neighborhood have wide breathing spaces for recreation — hiking trails, bike lanes, picnic areas and parks that allow balanced position between work and life that even when you’re home, you can hang out and enjoy the surroundings.

How to check: Observe the community based on the basic infrastructure and services offered by the community.

Conclusion
Our earlier statement says that regardless if you can renovate your home, rearrange the interiors and fix what’s broken inside, the location is constant. However, your ownership may not be forever since your purchase of the property might lean towards investment you can dispose later. But we do hope that with your due diligence, you’ll get a fair if not favorable value of the property when you acquire it, and even better value at time you wish to sell it.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Pre-Selling Properties in Philippines

One of the most attractive property offers are condo or housing units under pre-selling offer. That’s because they feature minimal down payment and interest rates, attractive location and low monthly amortization. The only catch is that when you visit the address, construction is often nowhere near completion stage. So now you’d probably understand why the offers are irresistible.

In real estate, a pre-selling condo or subdivision housing units are residential properties sold before construction, while it’s under construction and just right after the developer launched the groundbreaking ceremony, or even during the planning stages when the area doesn’t have any construction activity. So depending on your research, a pre-salel offer can be hugely advantageous route to snagging a great property acquisition or an offer you must avoid at all costs.

As a cautious buyer who doesn’t want to take high risks especially when investment involves millions, you can make a judicious decision once you have done your homework.

As a guide, here are things to look for:

Advantages of pre-sell properties

1. Promising investment with cheaper prices
If you look advertisement of well-appointed residential units ready for occupancy, whether from renowned or obscure developers, prices are often out of reach for most buyers. That is why they settle with pre-selling unit as its attractive, sometimes even seductive, low introductory price which can be as much as 30% cheaper than a finished unit. Additional sweeteners include up to 15% discount depending on mode of payment. Downpayments of 10% payable within three years isn’t uncommon with remainder payable through manageable terms under Pag-IBIG loans or bank financing.

If you are into property investment, this offer can be very tempting; once your property is ready for occupation, favorable conditions — infrastructure and accessibility development within the area — finished units can fetch much higher value than your initial investment.

2. More options and flexibility
Since condo unit isn’t completely finished yet, you as a buyer have more options at the construction stage. You can pick the location, floor plan and interior design. This depends on the contract you’ll sign so one thing to bargain with your agent is the ability to make such leverage. You can even arrange to inspect your unit at certain project milestones and notify developer for defects or adjustments. Needless to say, it gives you plenty of freedom to design and customize your future home or investment.

Risks of pre-sell properties
With all the advantages of pricing and flexibility, there must be disadvantages of pre-sale condo housing units. Otherwise, it becomes the only acceptable payment option.

1. Unexpected finished product
Unlike advertised properties that are more pricy yet ready for occupancy, those that are offered on pre-selling are a long way before the owner can take over and make use of them. Having terms such as “more or less” and “subject to change without prior notice,” pre-sale contracts can reasonably make buyers feel jittery as the other side of flexibility sets in: change in unit sizes, features and floor plans can occur outside of a buyer’s knowledge. In the end, a buyer could end up paying for a property whose characteristics fall way below his or her expectations.

2. Delay in delivery
In addition to clauses that allow vague practices within pre-sale contracts, there may also be clauses that allow developers to delay delivery of properties for up to a year or even more. Flexibility options and revisions from the original plan could alter timelines of delivery, leaving a buyer uncertain when he or she will get the keys.

3. No refunds for failed projects
Some pre-sale housing projects went bust as developer were unable to find additional finding to continue the project and went bankrupt. Buyers who made earlier financial commitment were left to write off their investment as losses as they were unable to get refunds.

4. Corrupt agents
Some agents target vulnerable clients such as overseas Filipino workers who are unable to personally visit the location and inspect their pre-sale property on offer and were given false representation of the properties they actually buy. These agents add more layers of fees that normally are not included in list of things buyers need to pay. Even though the project is progressing well, rogue agents don’t forward buyer’s money to developers.

What the public needs to do when planning to buy pre-selling properties
While buying a pre-sale property is an attractive prospect, it’s also a risky business that only those who perform due diligence should accept or reject a certain offer. Here are a few tips one can follow:

1. Get to know the developer behind the project. If you are not familiar with it, check online its background such as past projects, possible involvement in scams and how it’s generally portrayed on social media. Best of all, check the status of this developer with Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board.

2. Only transact with licensed agents and do not engage in people not permitted to engage as agents even if you know them personally such as friends or family members.

3. Once presented with a contract on a pre-selling property offer, consult a lawyer with experience in handling real estate business to help you navigate through the legal jargons to ensure it’s not onerous and disadvantageous on your part.

4. Calculate expenses incurred when committing to buy the property and balance it with your financial capacity, including your monthly income, assets and properties you own. It would be advantageous as well to know the trends — infrastructure projects in the area, fiscal health of the country that may impact interest rates, and so on — to determine the property’s future value.

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BPI Family Loan Raffle Promo

In case you are planning to get a loan for home, auto or business loan, you might want to consider this offer from BPI Family Bank.

PROMO PERIOD
1. The loan of a customer should be availed from February 15 to June 30, 2017.

ELIGIBILITY

2. The BPI Family Savings Bank (BFB) Raffle Bonanza Promo is open to all customers nationwide who will avail of any of the following loan products: BPI Family Auto Loan / BPI Family Housing Loan / BPI Family Ka-Negosyo Term / BPI Family Ka-Negosyo Franchising Loan / BPI Personal Loan.

3. Customer will earn one (1) electronic raffle entry for a minimum loan amount of Php 100,000 and increments of Php100,000 thereafter per loan transaction.

4. Customer will earn an additional five (5) bonus electronic raffle entries for every new loan availed within the promo period, for a minimum single loan transaction of Php 100,000. To illustrate, one customer may avail of three (3) loans within the promo period:

5. The customer’s booked loan should be in CURRENT status during the raffle draw date.

6. If the winner pre-pays or pre-terminates the loan before the loan maturity or within five (5) years after the loan release, whichever comes first, he will be charged with the full value of the raffle prize.

RAFFLE
7. Customer is only allowed to earn a maximum of 150 electronic raffle entries per single loan transaction.

8. Customer will be notified via SMS of the electronic raffle entries earned.

9. Customers will have the chance to win any of the five (5) Grand Prizes and forty (40) Minor prizes.

GRAND PRIZE
• 5 winners of Php 1,000,000 Cash (Tax-free)

MINOR PRIZES
• 15 winners of an Asia Travel Holiday Package worth Php 160,000
• 25 winners of a Local Travel Holiday Package worth Php 80,000

10. The raffle draw will be held on July 14, 2017 with the presence of a DTI representative.
Date: July 14, 2017 (Friday)
Time: 4:00 PM
Venue: BPI Family Savings Bank Head Office
Address: Paseo De Roxas Avenue corner Dela Rosa Street, Makati City

11. All winners will be notified via registered mail. The winners’ names will be announced at the BPI Loans site (http://www.bpiloans.com) on July 17, 2017.

12. The winners will be given sixty (60) days upon receipt of notification to claim the prize; otherwise, it will be forfeited with consent of DTI.

13. A customer can only win one prize during the raffle. In case the customer’s name is drawn twice, the prize with the higher value will be awarded.

14. Winner should present a valid I.D. (i.e. driver’s license, passport, SSS ID etc.) and the written notice from BPI Family Savings Bank in claiming their prize.

15. Winner should sign a conformity agreement in acceptance of the full terms and conditions of the promo prior to prize redemption.

16. The winners will be featured in publicity materials related to the promo.

17. For inquiries regarding the raffle promo, clients may call 89-100. For domestic free calls, dial 1-800-188-89100 (where available), select select “4” for Other products and services, then “4” for Loans.

18. BPI Family Savings Bank may reserve the right to refuse the redemption of raffle prize if found fraudulent.

19. Any disputes will be subject to the decision of BPI Family Savings Bank in concurrence with DTI. Employees of BPI, BPI Family Savings Bank, subsidiaries of either bank, its advertising partners, accredited service providers, media agencies, public relations, including their relatives up to second degree of consanguinity or affinity are disqualified from joining the Promo.

20. Customer is subject to the full terms and conditions of the promo.

PRIZES
Php1,000,000 Cash Prize
21. The cash prizes will be received by the winners tax-free.

22. The cash prize will be credited to the BPI or BPI Family settlement account of the customer in full amount.

Travel Holiday Package
23. The winners of the travel holiday package will receive travel vouchers, commensurate to their prize (refer to Item 9, Minor Prizes). All travel arrangements will be coursed thru Ark Travel Express, Inc.

24. The Asian Travel Holiday Package can be availed in the following destinations: Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand. All the travel arrangements will be coursed thru Ark Travel Express, Inc.

25. The Local Travel Holiday Package can be availed in the following destinations: Ilocos, Cebu, Davao, Bohol, Iloilo, Bacolod, Dumaguete, Coron, Boracay, Siargao. All the travel arrangements will be coursed thru Ark Travel Express, Inc.

26. Maximum of four (4) passengers per trip, inclusive of travel insurance per passenger.

27. The travel holiday package includes the following: 3-day/2-night accommodation, roundtrip airfares, ground transfers and city tour.

28. Rebooking of flights for the trips will not be allowed under the promo.

29. The travel holiday package may be availed from July 14, 2017 – July 14, 2018; except during the travel block-out periods: Halloween, Holy Week, Labor Day, Christmas week and Week after New Year.

30. The travel holiday package prize is not convertible to cash.

31. The bank will not be held liable for any untoward incident that the customer may encounter in view of the promo.

32. Any fees and charges incurred that are not included in the travel holiday package prize will be paid by the customer. All other expenses shall be for the account of the winner including the transportation from residence to airport.

33. Winners from Greater Metro Manila area can claim their prize at the BPI Family Savings Bank Head Office while provincial winners of the travel holiday package can claim their prize at the nearest business center. Arrangement will be made by BPI Family Savings Bank Head Office. Travel vouchers will be awarded as soon as the conformity agreement has been signed.

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Why Now Is Not The Best Time to Buy Properties in the Philippines

Investors will always say that the best time to have started investing in real estate would be in the past.

Philippines have experienced an appreciation in the real estate sector a market value by 130% in just 11 years.

If you bought 3 bedroom condominium unit in Makati in 2004 with the total floor area of 100sqm, the total price of your unit would have been ₱6.5 million. With the 130% appreciation, the market value of that unit would have been ₱15 million already. By selling it, you would have made ₱8,500,000 in profits. You would have gotten more of your investment if you had your unit rented in all those 11 years.

We can’t turn back time so you still would be unable to start back then. In fact, those who only started investing in properties in 2004, were already too late also, when compared to those who started way earlier than them.

Building new houses

The minimum low-cost housing unit under government programs costs ₱150,000.Those who started investing in properties in the 90’s have made far more profits than those who just started in 2004. Basically, the earlier you start, the greater your earnings.

The good news is, today is the next best time to start investing in real estate in the country. The Philippines is still underdeveloped for the most part. Because Philippines is a developing country, there is still a great opportunity for progress and the room for growth is still very wide. The recently concluded ASEAN integration also helps the current economy and investment market; it helps open up the Philippines into the whole of Southeast Asia for better and less-restricted trade activities.

The longer you wait, the more you’re losing in terms of appreciation in the value of your property. If you were not able to start investing yesterday when it was the best time, today is the next best time to do so.

More opportunities are opening up to the people right here in our country, which means more income for them. This consequently means more buying power and elevated standard of living. And we know that having a roof above our heads is one of our basic needs. Real estate prices are only going to rise in the coming years and decades.
To start investing, evaluate your finances and yourself, are you finally ready to invest?

Then the next thing to do is to talk with a professional in the industry. A licensed broker is preferable. The job of your broker is to help you with the purchase of your property. He will facilitate the transaction, especially with the documentations and coordination with the seller/developer from whom you’ll buy.

Your broker is your investing partner. You need someone knowledgeable and experienced in this field. He should provide you with after-sales support also. In most cases, there are really concerns or questions that come up after the transaction and your broker should help you with these things.

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Where to Find Safest Place to Live in the Philippines

In buying your permanent settlement location, affordability and convenience are the most important factors to consider. It is advised you look at a very beyond the beauty and price tag and see if it can hold your family comfortable and secure for the whole time you will be living there. Here are some considerations you may want to think about.

Is it safe from earthquakes?
Earthquakes are caused by active faults moving. Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) advised a 5-meter buffer from the fault lines in the country especially since there is possibility of “The Big One” occurring within our lifetime. According to the PHIVOLCS’ detailed Valley Fault System map, the East Valley fault line traverses the municipalities of Rodriguez and San Mateo in Rizal. The West Valley fault line, which runs from Angat Dam to Cavite, touches parts of Quezon City, Marikina, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, and Muntinlupa, as well as certain areas in the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna. The Marikina VFS is composed of the East and West Valley fault lines and can generate an earthquake of a 7.5 magnitude. However, even with the distance from fault lines, factors such as a structure’s age, ground stability, and building code adherence should also be considered.

Davao_city

Is it safe from floods and heavy rains?
Philippines lie in the typhoon belt and gets regular destructive storms from months of July to October. Northern and Eastern Luzon and the regions of Bicol and Eastern Visayas, and the National Capital Region are the most affected areas from damages of heavy rainfall and flooding. Mines and Geosciences Bureau under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) created a geohazard map which is available for public viewing in the internet. It displays the risk levels of flooding of different areas of the Philippines. Some cities that have a low risk of flooding are large parts of Caloocan, Quezon City, Manila, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Taguig, and Muntinlupa. Aside from having higher level of elevation compared to other cities, local government units of many of these locations have flood control programs to keep rain waters from rising to dangerous levels.

Is it safe from crimes, criminals and criminal syndicates?
The PNP’s Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management had recorded a total crime volume of 509,924 for January to June of 2015, a 15.36 percent decrease compared to 602,449 incidents in the same period in 2014. In the same research, the PNP noted that Metro Manila had the highest crime rate with 116,347 incidents, while the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao had the lowest at 2,096 incidents.

Numbeo, a community-driven statistics site, has recorded a “crime” survey; visitors describe a city’s crime rate through concerns like level of crime, worries about robbery or being attacked, and problems regarding corruption and bribery. The survey recorded Makati at the top with the highest safety index of 75.66. According to contributors, Makati has a “low” level of crime at 22.81, and its residents feel a “very low” level of worry of being attacked for their ethnicity. Valenzuela in Metro Manila ranked second with a safety index of 74.6, while Davao City is in third place with a safety index of 73.16. Fourth and fifth on the list are Cagayan De Oro City (53.52) and Cebu (51.10), respectively.

Is it safe for foreigners?
The Philippines is a regular on the lists of retirement-friendly countries for foreign nationals wanting to retire in another land. While Philippines may be in the bad light because of crimes against expats, there are many locations where foreigners can safely while away their days, whether as senior retirees or as young individuals. For those who seek residence in the country for leisure and retirement, Tagaytay City, Subic Bay, and Baguio City offers certain degree of acceptance and safety. Websites also suggests Dumaguete City as an ideal retirement place for ranking well in categories such as crime and existing expat community. For younger expats, some of the places with a large foreign populace where they can feel safe are Makati, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, and Cebu City.

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Procedure in Transferring Land Titles in the Philippines

Buying and selling a property, unlike most people think, is not an easy task.

The process of transferring the ownership of land from seller’s name to buyer’s name is quite complicated. If you are the buyer of any land then your ownership of the land is not complete until you do not register the land title under your name. As a buyer, you can face legal, technical and financial problems if you have not registered the land title under your name. Here is an insight into how you should buy and/or sell your property in Philippines.

Where does it start?

Paying money to the seller does not mean that you own the property. The task of buying a property is not complete until you transfer the ownership of the land under your name. The deadlines of tax payment are already in effect once the Deed of Sale is signed and notarized. If you fail to meet the deadlines then you have to give penalties. These penalties can be even more than the cost of the property if the delay is for a long time.

Steps to be followed for transferring a land title

  1. File and secure the documentary requirements at the Provincial Assessor’s office or the registry of deeds and municipal.
  2. Secure the transfer taxes at City Treasurer’s Office or at BIR i.e. Bureau of internal revenue.
  3. File documents at Bureau of internal revenue for the issuance of BIR clearance or CAR i.e. Certificate Authorizing Registration.
  4. Secure the Tax Clearance after paying the transfer taxes.
  5. For the issuance of new land title file the documents at the registry of deeds.
  6. File documents at the Provincial or Municipal Assessors Office for the issuance of new Tax Declaration.

After the Land Title Transfer of ownership of Tax declaration should be done as the name indicated on Tax Declaration should coincide with name on Land Title.

To follow all the steps states above the buyer need to go many government agencies multiple times and the whole procedure can take several months to be completed. The number of months could be more if there is any problem in property’s existing documents. If you think that you need assistance then don’t worry as there are duly registered companies with expertise in handling the buying and selling processes of properties that are ready to help you out.

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13 Things to Check if Land Title is Authentic or Fake

It is everybody’s knowledge that documents can easily be faked in the Philippines. From birth certificates to college diplomas, such documents can easily be passed off as true copies.

In fact, it has been well-known not just in the country, but also overseas. Workers from the Philippines lead in the number of submitted bogus documents in Saudi Arabia that POEA has been reminding job applicants to use genuine documents.

In the property sector, there are regulations in place to deter scammers who prey on legitimate property owners, there are still cases reported where property buyers are lured into buying lots but receive fake certificate of land titles. Part of the problem is that buyers are unaware of the tell-tale signs of a fake document being presented to them. As an example, a news release by Inquirer told early 2015 about the arrest of members of a syndicate engaged in sale and mortgage of fake titles.

Before you could get trapped by similar bogus sellers, Ms. Ruby Valdez, a land registration examiner from the Land Registration Authority of the Philippines advises on the following quick-check items to verify if a document is fake or genuine.

Physical appearance of land title 

  1. Paper used for authentic certificate of land titles is of special kind and supplied by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas so its texture is different from those commercially available paper.
  2. Texture of genuine title is similar to that of a bank check.
  3. It has a watermark that says “LRA”.
  4. The color of an old version of the title is light yellow while that of an e-title is pale straw.
  5. When subjected to UV light, tiny fibers in the paper emit small fluorescent effect.

Text characteristics

  1. “Judicial Form No. 108-D” appears on top of an Original Certificate of Title.
  2. “Judicial Form No. 109-D” appears on top of a Transfer Certificate of Title.
  3. Serial numbers are printed in red color while owner’s duplicate should display black digits.
  4. The last two digits of the page number in the upper right hand side should correspond to the last two digits of the TCT number.
  5. The red/blue border should be slightly embossed and not flatly printed.
  6. For e-Titles, all entries should be computer encoded and printed, unlike the old versions which were manually type-written
  7. The seal on the lower left hand side should be dark red and does not blot when a litle water check is done.
  8. Signatures:
  • for Judicial OCT, it should have 2 signatures present – the Administrator and the Registrar; while for TCT, only the signature of the Registrar is present.
  • for Administrative Titles: one signature from a PENRO or CENRO officer and another from the registrar.

Having these preliminary tests should give you an idea of the type of document you are receiving: original or fake. If you have verified from the above list that the document appears genuine, it does not mean it is 100% authentic until you verify it with relevant agencies such as the Land Registration Authority, the Registry of Deeds and local and municipal offices where the properties are located.

Although the step is straightforward and the amount of time to invest in verifying this document’s authenticity is barely a minute, it is not a guarantee the certificate of land title is genuine. A modern and convenient way to secure your ownership is through e-titles.

Why you should consider converting your paper titles to e-titles

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Philippine Real Estate: Taxes for Buying, Selling and Inheriting Property

Buying, selling or inheriting a real property can be a big challenge especially if you do not know how to go about the tax remittances required of you. Well, just like the case with other business ventures, evasion of real estate related taxes is not tenable. While you would want to engage in some scrupulous dealings to acquire house or property cheaply through underhand tactics, the transfer of property which must be official as well as legality of ownership are some things which will automatically keep you within the rules that define property acquisition, selling and inheritance.

Always, before property ownership is transferred, you must make sure tax returns are filed. For many years and in a bid to help real property buyers cope with tax hurdles, Lamudi which is a company based in Philippines, has helped with listing real property taxes and especially the most common ones as well as guidelines for calculating them. In this post, we take a look at some of them.

Capital Gains Tax
Abbreviated as CGT, is a tax that is usually imposed on profits that accrue from sale of property or capital assets. However, before this is imposed, any property must be evaluated if it meets the criterion of capital assets and in which case it must fulfill such conditions a property traded, property held as stock by a taxpayer, and that it must be utilized in business in which case taxpayers claim depreciation. The value of capital tax is always calculated as six percent of property market value. This is always determined by Bureau of Internal Revenue with the help of city/provincial property evaluator or assessor.

Real Property Tax
In Philippines, local government authorities have been given the discretion to generate impose their own taxes and one main source of such revenue is real property tax, abbreviated as RPT. Fundamentally, this is the tax that is imposed on anything in the name of real property and examples include machinery, land, building and many others. In this case, tax to impose is always calculated on the basis of property use and it is always just a fraction of the prevailing market value of such property. An instance is the twenty percent tax levied on residential real property. Tax levied on commercial property goes up to fifty percent of any of such asset.

Documentary Stamps Tax
Well, sale of real property is usually accompanies by some documents such as loan agreements, papers and instruments which basically serve as evidence of property transfer. Documentary stamps tax is therefore that which is levied on such documents.

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Photo credit: Philstar.com

Transfer Tax
Real property transfer is done on many different ways such as donation, sale, and inheritance or through barter trade. Transfer tax is therefore that which Bureau of internal revenue levies on such transactions and it always less than one percent of the total property value.
Other property taxes include donor’s tax, estate tax. Well, before buying property in Philippines, it is important to know what type of tax you are required to pay.

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