looking to buy land in Philippines and build my house

Hey guys! We have lots available for long-term lease (50 years, renewable for another 25 years) to foreigners here in Coron, Palawan.  Also, you don't need to marry a Filipina if you like to stay long in Philippines. You can apply for a Special Resident Retirees Visa (SRRV) from the Philippine Retirement Authority. This visa will be for indefinite stay.
This is the visa of my partner here.
You can email me at *** for more information and assistance.

Regarding house construction, you can have it done by a contractor or do it yourself after securing all the required permits.

Thank you.

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You better learn about buying land, and how Americans can't actually own it, except through a Filipina wife, etc. Where are you from?


its called a 50 year lease.. you cant take anything with you when you die.. as long as you dont spend millions of pesos building a dream will be cheaper than renting if you plan on staying in the philippines forever (also depending on your age).. and you can extend the lease for another 25 yrs ... for me, i put my home/land in my 2 yr old sons name. and it states i lease the land from him for up to 50 yrs.. i will never live to 112 yrs old

Either way, a foreigner cannot own land here, except through hereditary succession if you are married to a Filipino and she dies before you. Either way, make sure that you and your wife have a good will!

you own it until you die.. whats the difference?  you cant take it with you.. leave it to your child or your wife.. property taxes here are so low, its cheaper to own than to rent as long as you live in a province and you dont build a mansion

here is the copy-paste of official law in the Philippines regarding real estate sale to foreigners. Here is the website where you could find complementary info to your research :
There are other conditions you could buy and own for exemple opening an export factory. Search further info thru' google for the conditons.

I am not sure you would really like living here, better think twice.  The culture is completely different, comfort is not really present, traffic and pollution is terrible not unless you live out and far from big cities. I came to invest in makati and had visited so many condos with about 10 different real estate agents I did not find what I really want. Most of the condos for sale is found in the highrise  buildings, you pay a fortune for the monthly dues because of useless facilities (in my taste) 2 swimming pools, function room, gym etc. If ever you buy a condo with a terrace and mezzanine, you pay exactly same price the floor area of the terrace and mezzanine your living room and bedrooms. I asked the agent why is this as I would never live in my terrace. The agent said that developers are not guided by detailed laws here and they do what pleases them. Know that if the condo is worth more than 3 million pesos you are oblige to pay the TVA!! Philippines is a beautiful country if you only come as tourist but if you stay and live here it another sad story.  One cannot even walk on the pavement here simply because there is no place to walk as there are big trees planted on the pavement, there are vendors and electric posts so people walk on the same road as the cars!!  Drivers never stop to let pedestrian traverse the road, it is so dangerous. This is just a small glimpse  and I need not enumerate the rest.
Of course each person has his own proper criteria of comfort but me concerning I would come here every year as a tourist and would never invest.

Bon courage to you.

Real Estate Buying Guide in the Philippines for Foreigners

Home Guide

General Information

For Balikbayans

For Foreigners

Retirement Visa

Tips Before U Buy

Taxes & Registration

Foreigner's Guide

By law, foreigners don't have the right to acquire land in the Philippines. Only Filipino citizens can own land (there have been many proposals to amend this law but of this writing, the law remains unchanged.) The simplest way for a foreigner to acquire real estate properties is to have a Filipino spouse purchase a property in his/her name.


Corporations or partnerships that is at least 60% Filipino owned are entitled to acquire land in the Philippines. An exception to this rule, is foreign acquisition of a Philippine real estate in the following cases:

* Acquisition before the 1935 constitution.

* Acquisition thru hereditary succession if the foreign acquire is a legal or natural heir. This means that when you are married to a Filipino citizen and your husband/wife dies, you as the natural heir will become the legal owner of his/her property. The same is true for the children. Every natural child (legitimate or illegitimate) can inherit the property of his/her Filipino father/mother even if he/she is not a Filipino citizen.

* Purchase of not more than 40% interest in a condominium project.

* Purchase by a former natural-born Filipino citizen subject to the limitations prescribed by law. (natural born Filipinos who acquired foreign citizenship is entitled to own up to 1,000 square meter of residential land, and 1 hectare of agricultural or farm land)

* Filipinos who are married to aliens who retain their Filipino citizenship, unless by their act or omission they have renounced their Filipino citizenship.

Owning of houses or buildings is legal as long as the foreigner does not own the land on which the house is build.

Setting up a corporation with 40% of the stocks in the foreigner's name and 60% to Filipinos is a good alternative. There must be a minimum of 5 stockholders, and foreigner can have the Filipino stockholders sign blank transfer of the stocks for security. 


The land can be leased by the foreigner or a foreign corporation on a long term contract for an initial 50 year period and renewable every 25 years. A foreigner can rent a lot and at the same time legally own the house on the rented land.


The Condominium Act of the Philippines, R.A. 4726, expressly allows foreigners to acquire condominium units and shares in condominium corporations up to 40 % of the total and outstanding capital stock of a Filipino owned or controlled condominium corporation.

Those who claim that foreigners can own a house & lot in the Philippines have a condominium title to their property. There are a very few single-detached homes or Townhouses in the Philippines with condominium titles. Most condominiums are mid to high rise buildings.

Please see our condominiums for sale in the Philippines.

If you wish to stay permanently in the Philippines or if you frequent the Philippines and stay for long periods. Avail of the government's Special Resident Retirement Visa (SRRV).

Hi Carie

Excellent piece. Many dream of living a wonderful life here in paradise, but many have also learned that dreams can become nightmares too. My advice to any westerner planning to live permanently here is to think seriously about how different the culture is and especially how different the laws are. Do lots of research and visit many times before making a final decision.

jonnyboy :

Hi Carie

Excellent piece. Many dream of living a wonderful life here in paradise, but many have also learned that dreams can become nightmares too. My advice to any westerner planning to live permanently here is to think seriously about how different the culture is and especially how different the laws are. Do lots of research and visit many times before making a final decision.

Agree.  Also realize that living in the provinces is not like living in Manila.  I have gone to Ilocos Sur for 3 weeks at a time and not seen any other westerners, enjoyed the time there, met many friendly people. Some westerners find life in the province boring, but for me it is relaxing.

hI Johnny boy,

I know extremely well this country, the mentality, the culture, etc as I was born here and come twice a year 2 to 3 months, I left the country for London and went live in France longtime ago. I noticed majority of the foreigners feel and think as foreigners. To be able to  really feel and see the true colors and smell the perfume of the country one has to live long enough here, speak and think like the locals, this is the only way to be able to read in their thoughts and be integrated and discover further who they are. They are hospitable and warm persons, smiling, easy to talk to, but...will leave it all to you to discover the rest.


Hi Carie

Everything you say is valid. You are indeed fortunate to be able to "really feel and see the true colors and smell the perfume" of the country although having driven down Cavitex towards Cavite on Thursday, the "perfume" was not pleasant.

hahaha,Jonnyboy what happened?

Hi Carie

I live in Tagaytay. Planned to spend the day at Mall of Asia last Thursday; four hours to drive the 55Kms to get there - nose to tail traffic all the way. Thought we would come home via Cavitex to avoid the Imus traffic - still took 4 hours - the 'perfume' :o from Manila bay near Kawit was NOT to be recommended!

jonnyboy you had the long version, 4 hours, of the luxurious vegetation of the flora scene, which you could consider the "perfume". Seriously it was the "perfume" with bad smell you had. I appreciate a lot the flora scene going to the south, in some parts it is so dense and luxurious very pleasing and relaxing indeed.

The most important aspect is finding a piece of land that is flood free then drainage must be considered land with a clean title with tax paid and no accumbency's on the copy of the title is what to ask for.. An elevated plot is ideal though not one on a great slope as one has to consider landslide. Think about where your house will sit on the plot and can you run drainage pipes off the building to take the water away.
Also what may not be visible is has it been used as a rubbish dump so ask the locals more than one opinion.
Do not jump at the first offer look around at your choices.
Your budget needs to consider the land the house and off course the wall and gate and furnishing it and a pool if you can afford one.
Land is now selling in places like Dumaguete for 3000 pesos sqm not far from town and house build varies between 15,000-19,000 sqm..Get at least 3 quotes and beware of agents who bring a builder/engineer with them whilst selling you your plot stay in control. Building in the Philippines is nor stress free and not for the faint hearted.
Payments must be made in stage payments to protect your interests as work can be substandard and you may want to sack the builder unfortunately it does happen and be around whilst the build takes place.
Some builders even try it on and try to keep you off site that's rubbish do not entertain that. Get a contract wrote up. Hollow blocks with no concrete content are without a doubt the biggest headache so hammer it into your builder you want quality special order blocks. They do show you one thing and give you another so ask to visit the supplier.
If you have a good pension banks like the BDO will finance the house build if you have bought your land already and you can go online to check payments and if it fits your budget but you will need your 13A visa and the first year probation visa seems to suffice.
The Philippines is a great place but be really sure on the area you want to live in before committing as its a lot of money. Maybe rent for 2 years and settle before building only my opinion, considering a risk threat assessment for your own personal safety is paramount for the area you select.
When considering the roof it will either be sloping or flat with a roof top. Sloping roofs have normally steel or coloured asphalt recycled from old car tyres which is now taking off as it cuts down on rain noise.
Its worth doing some research on the internet about all aspects of your project so good luck.



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My name is Stella.

If you're not married with Filipina, you can apply for  Special Retiree's Resident  Visa (SRRV)  for you to buy some property here in the Philippines.

Best regards,

This only applies to buying some condos

stella calumpang :


My name is Stella.

If you're not married with Filipina, you can apply for  Special Retiree's Resident  Visa (SRRV)  for you to buy some property here in the Philippines.

Best regards,

Misinformation is worse than no information. Please check your facts before posting.  As johnnyboy stated.  You can buy a condo or a house buy not the land on which it lies.

The SRRV allows for the use of the deposited money in the purchase of a condominium but not for a family home.

If you wish to purchase a single family home as a foreigner you would need to secure a lease agreement with the owner of the property before buying or building a home. This also needs to be checked with the Register of deeds office to insure that the seller is indeed the sole owner and the land has no encumbrances against the property and is not listed for agricultural use only.


Stella, foreigners still cannot own land its the law no matter what visa they have but they can own a condo but not the land its built on. Getting a retirement visa or a 13A resident visa allows one to borrow funds from the bank though after a few months proving income then again why not rent a decent period whilst one gets the feel of the place.

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