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Overseas Filipinos Guide to Buying Properties

PropertyAccess Team |

Consider this: there are around 2.4 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) around the world to date. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) estimates that this number will continue to increase in the next few years. These are hard-working individuals who uproot themselves from their homes to provide for their families back home, so buying a condo in Makati or a lot in Nuvali can be the biggest gift one gives one’s self. Land and real estate are also deemed good investments. Additionally, these purchases imply that OFWs have a place to retire in after their stint overseas.

Before any purchase, however, Ayala Land has listed three questions all OFWs must ask.

What kind of property am I looking for?

Most OFWs families prefer a house and lot, for example, in Laguna as their primary residence. This space will be the “family home” where generations can live and grow up in. Yet, there is a growing number of more entrepreneurial OFWs who are deciding on an income-generating real estate asset. This would make selecting a BGC condo for sale or even a condo unit in Cebu preferable.

From a practical perspective, a home purchase makes more sense. The property would meet all the requirements of an OFW famly (e.g. location, type, size, etc.). Deciding on passive forms of income can also yield to a more financially-secure future. Recent statistics suggest that the Philippine real estate market will continue to grow at a rapid rate; renting out a unit in key areas -- Makati and BGC in particular -- can potentially be a lucrative endeavor.

What is my budget?

This does sound rather obvious, but surprisingly, a great number of OFWs do not take this into consideration. Potential home buyers need to recognize the exchange rates between currencies and base their decision on that. Still, OFWs should not rush into the process. Even if they feel the have a “lot of money”, purchasing a house is an endeavor that requires a lot of forethought and research. Remember that there are other expenses that OFWs need to prepare for.

For example, they would need to have a representative reserve the unit for them. This is usually a legal professional who acts as their attorney-in-fact. These experts will sign all the necessary forms as well as pay the reservation fee. Property agents will also need to send OFWs the Special Power of Attorney (SPA) for the OFW to sign and consularize. This usually costs around US $25. There are other requirements that the OFW need to fix; all of which have a fee. This must be included in their budget as well.

Which developer should I choose?

When it comes to milestones (such as finally providing one’s family with their own home), it is best to go for a company that is reputable and well-established. Ayala Land, and its associated home divisions, consistently delivers on their promises. Buyers are assured of excellent quality and location space. But more than that, choosing an established developer is a safer, more financially-practical choice. There is an almost non-existent risk of them defaulting. This means that OFWs never have to worry about a financial crash affecting their home purchase.

When buying real estate, remember that the most important thing is doing one’s due diligence. Research is not only encouraged, it is necessary. OFWs should be able to relax and enjoy the fruits of their labor with a seamless real estate transaction. It is recommended to speak with a trusted real estate professional for a more detailed discussion.