Most of you who are reading this article probably begun your house search using the Internet. That’s the cheapest and probably the best way to go. At the very least, it will give you an idea of the prices of houses on different areas in Davao — making you a self-taught real estate appraiser. Just remember that it’s really different when you actually see the property.
One of the easiest ways of finding a house to buy or to rent is through a real estate agent. A good real estate agent is a treasure if you are serious about getting the best house the fits your needs and within your budget. There are hundreds or possibly thousands of houses for rent or for sale in Davao. Getting to view each one by just driving around, for example, will drive you nuts. Knowing what you really wanted and being honest about your financial capacity are a real time-saver.
As a foreigner, it is important for you to realize that, in general, the Law of the Philippines prohibits you from owning a piece of land in the country. With that information in mind, the question to ask next is, “Should I buy a house or just rent?”
In this article, we will explore the possibilities other foreigners have taken. If you look closely, you will find that answer depends a lot on one’s priorities and attitudes towards real estate ownership.
1. Rent A House
This option is highly recommended for new comers who are just starting out with their lives in Davao or those who are still in the process of getting to know the place, the people and the culture. When you rent, you also eliminate the responsibilities that goes with ownership like maintenance, dealing with property taxes, paying the mortgage, etc. And unlike buying a house, renting is always open to all foreigners.
2. Buy A Condominium
A foreigner is allowed to own a unit of condominium here in the Philippines. And recently, the real estate developers of Davao City have responded to the opportunity of constructing condominium buildings for foreigners and locals alike to own. This is likely to continue in the future as the prices of land escalate in this part of the country. And for an expat, this could be your best option if the restrictions on land ownership is runs counter to your point of view.
3. Buy A House…
…and put the Land Title in the name of a Filipino. For some foreigners, that Filipino is most likely the wife or the girlfriend. PERIOD. (Capitalized for emphasize.)
If that sounds like complicated to you, remember you always have a choice or two. You can either just rent a house or buy a condominium.
You Can Find A House
Sure, there is no question about that. Davao is big you can always find a house. If you allow this article to be of help, remember the following points:
1. Know What You Want. How many bedrooms? Low cost or high-end? Gated or open community? Make your own list of priorities.
2. Know Your Budget. House features and amenities come with a price tag. How much can you afford for the down payment? Can you pay it in cash? Can you get a loan? Don’t start looking for a house until you start looking at your bank account.
3. Find A Home. A house is not a home when __________. Try to fill-in the blank. The words you use to fill that space in a way determine that kind of life you want to experience here in the Philippines as an expat. The people who will live in your house or condo unit will contribute greatly to the quality of life you can have here. They are even more important than the house or condo unit that you will eventually occupy.