Am confused - how to go about buying or building a native house?

Can somebody help me out here please, I have $60,000.00 dollars (Aust) and my dream is to build or buy a native house, but am unsure of how to go about it.

Have been living in Dumaguete for three years plus with the same lady, and have been renting all of that time, so now I think that I have passed my probation and have decided that my life now is in the Philippines.

It was a mutual agreement that me and my lady friend would not marry, nor buy any property until I was sure that I would be  happy to live here forever, which also would be a test of our relationship, as she wanted me to be 100% sure that I could trust her, so after three years I think that we have both passed the test.

Can anybody advise me please whether or not $60,000.00 AU would be enough to buy a property somewhere in outer Cebu, or here in Dumaguete as I need to be not too far from medical help ie Hospital etc in case of whatever?

I would be willing to go on renting but it would be nice to have our own house to grow vegies,and have a dog, with a native hut/house to live in, but am at a loss of how to go about it as I have never gone into buying a property whilst I was renting.

Anyway to cut to the chase... is there anywhere in the Philippines near Cebu, or Dumaguete that would have what we are after?

Thanking anybody who can advise me in advance.

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Hi David ive only been here 3 months from Aus but would be surprised if you cant buy land and build for a way lot less than your budget that you have in mind hey i could be wrong but it will be interesting to see what sort of replies you get here ?? i would just keep in mind % ownership and make sure you have clear title and write it into the contract that you sign dont take local solicitor advice as they only want whats best for them not you ??

Hi David,
60K australian is over 2mm pesos if your dream house is in the province? You should be fine. However it is my understanding, that you can not own more than 40% of a property. (You can own 100% of a condo as long as the Condo building is only 40% foreign owned)

The law is very specific no land can be foreign owned

Hi so does that mean i can buy a condo outright in say Cebu if its foreign owned ??

I don't see a problem with the legalities surrounding a condo. I do advise having a full understanding of any transaction and would talk to a local financial expert at your PI bank regarding your specific objectives.

Foreigners can own 40% of condo. Foreigners cannot buy land at all.
It is possible to rent a land for long term and build a house there.

Here is a more comprehensive answer:

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.

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).

You can buy a condo if the building is less than 40% owned by foreigners at time of purchase

Thank you for replying to my question everybody, but I am well aware of the laws regarding buying a property here, but as I explained I have been with my lady friend here in Dumaguete for over three years now and have decided to tie the knot ( as I think three years is time enough to get to know a person, and her family well enough.) so I am looking to buy a piece of land to build a native house on in my wife`s to be name, as I am now 100% sure that it is time to do so.  Please dont tell me that I am taking a risk in doing this because I am not a stupid person, and I dont intend to be ripped off now, or in the future, so getting back to my original question which was "Does anybody know where I may find some land to build a native house on either in Negros Oriental, or outer Cebu? I would be most grateful.

As I explained that I have $60,000.00 AU but because I/we have always rented I have not delved into whether or not my finances will be enough to either buy some property and build the native house, ( hence the beginning of sussing it out now ) or maybe somebody out there would be able to advise me of any other alternative, or leads on where I may purchase such a thing.

If anybody can give me any contacts,  or knowledgeable advice thank you in advance.

Check out some of your options on Craigs list and contact a local realtor

Thanks for that Dandunn........ will do.

Hello! Do you really opt to have a house or a condominium? :)


If you allow, I suggest Santander place could be a great alternative, just opposite of Dumaguete, under southern part of Cebu island. That is a very good place both in farming and fishing.  Plus I believed cost of living is a bit lower. You can take bus(2 hours) to Cebu City and 30min (by boat) to dumaguete.. I have good local friends both in Santander and Dumaguete, whom I believe can be of help, if you want too.

In addition, just allot half of your budget for rainy season, as we might not know what future will bring.. I think that is more than enough for a decent house.. By the way, if you trust your lady friend to negotiate at first, without disclosing that you are a white man, it would be better, I guess, price would be 200% higher as compared to market value, if Pinoys know you are very interested in them..

Just a thought,
Good luck

Am really wanting a NATIVE HOUSE which is fenced so as we can have a couple of dogs. ( I would not tie a dog up unless for a special reason)

I am wanting to buy some land/property then build a native house on it if possible.

My original question was........ is $60,000.00 au enough to buy land, and then to build a native house on, and if so where do I look that is close to a medical centre.

Thanks Dophened I will look into it.

You want to build the house in Cebu, right? By native house, do you mean like a hut? If so, i think your money is okay. But let me try and talk to some peeps who might be able to help you out. :)

Thank you Reginagrace, yes I want to build a native house/hut in Negros Oriental or Cebu, but I have to buy some land first unless there is a package with land and native house/hut.

Hello. My friend replied already. She said it's possible, but again it depends where exactly you want to be and the materials that will be used to build the house. Do you have a specific place in mind, like where exactly in Cebu? And if you have a bit of plan how the house would be like that would be good as well.

Thanks but I think that I will be able to work it out myself.... it was a simple question that I asked in the first place  but apparently it has become complicated, so I will follow up on the leads that I have been given and put feelers out in other places.


Darling, I think the question was verification if 60,000au, would be enough to buy a land, and build a house into it. Preferably just so near in hospital and within dumaguete area or outer of Cebu..

Not necessarily asking for help on finding the location, since he can managed that himself.. Glad to hear you want to be of help, anyway.

Go David, try it yourself, you will know in the process, if it is too much or not.. It's a matter of being diligent anyway. Good luck

No problem. I just have a contact in Cebu who might help out. I just skimmed on the thread and I didn't realize that it was just a simple question. Lol. Anyway, sorry for complicating things. :)

dophened :


Darling, I think the question was verification if 60,000au, would be enough to buy a land, and build a house into it. Preferably just so near in hospital and within dumaguete area or outer of Cebu..

Not necessarily asking for help on finding the location, since he can managed that himself.. Glad to hear you want to be of help, anyway.

Yeah, I just asked the location because it's relevant in weighing out the matter. The Southern part of Cebu is more affordable according to my friend, that's why I asked. :top:

I think the fund is not enough for the land and the house which is near the medical center. A native house is as costly as the concrete and the maintenance of the native house after only few months is too much.

DavidWF :

Am really wanting a NATIVE HOUSE which is fenced so as we can have a couple of dogs. ( I would not tie a dog up unless for a special reason)

I am wanting to buy some land/property then build a native house on it if possible.

My original question was........ is $60,000.00 au enough to buy land, and then to build a native house on, and if so where do I look that is close to a medical centre.

in short YES it is more than enough ,look around ,take your time and as all redy suggested let your future wife do the first negosiations .also be sure of the title on the land and be sure that there are no unpayed taxes on it or at least know how much those taxes will cost you .
for the rest go a head man and congratulations on your to come wedding .

greets Dirk

Thanks Dirk..........

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Well folks I have decided to pack up and head back to Australia because since I have lived here in the Philippines for the past four years my health has deteriorated, and I am going downhill fast.
Four years of continuous noise, screaming neighbors, loud head banging music, the same food day in day out, helping people and getting shafted for doing so, and endlessly keeping ones guard up.
I have lived in four different places and no matter where I live it is the same, or maybe more barking dogs so it has gotten to me and I am heading back home.
I took my fiancee to Australia last October and since she has been back a change has come over her also, and she wants to leave here with me.
She cant get over the traffic  (In Australia) not beeping their horns for no reason, food that has taste and not full of sugar and salt, clean streets and roads, no idiots riding motorbikes, traffic actually stops at pedestrian crossing to let you cross, road rules that are enforced, no poor bloody dogs kept in cages or tied up to trees with no shade 24 hours per day, and if somebody does not have the answer to a question they will tell you so, not like here in the Philippines if they dont know they will make something up.  I could go on and on and I know that I will get criticized for what I am writing but enough is enough, I have surrendered to this country, and that is after I spent three years fighting in Vietnam without a thought of surrender.
The people in this country just dont care about anybody except for themselves, hospitals dont want you if you cant pay, and take a look at 90% of the foreigners, all overweight and always have a young girl tagging along behind them, which really sells the country to the very few Tourist`s that come here.  ( That will get the 90% )  But I honestly cant say something good about this country, and when you make a suggestion that may help out  people just dont want to listen unless money is brought into play.  In fact they dont even want to learn. (Ever see a Filipino reading a book?)
Well I`ll sign off now and get ready for all of the replies from you people that dont like to be criticized........... but maybe somebody will agree and understand what I am about, but if there isn`t I will not lose any sleep over it, my opinion is my opinion and wont be changed.
See you in OZ.
Oh I forgot to mention that I have to come back in six months time ,my Fiancee`s brother is getting married and it needs to be paid for.  lol.  and yes  am still going to get married one day but in Australia.

PS.  None of the above is meant to be pointed at those who do care, and I apologize to those who are happy here and contented, so to them please dont take my remarks to heart.

Well good thing you did not buy your property ;)  I hear you, but have found the issue is usually me not them. Do you speak cebuano?

What would you know dandunn, you have only been in the country for five minutes, and yes I can speak Cebuano ( whatever that has to do with it ) and I can also speak a little Tagalog.
Does that help you out to analyse me?

i tooght this was about buying or building a house,mus be getting senile hehehe

greets Dirk

5 years my Aussie friend Manila, Cebu,Tacloban, Ormoc, Dulag and Belen. My point was Embrace their culture don't expect them to embrace yours. Your frustrations will be less.

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