Are Condos a Good Idea?

Is it a good idea to buy a condo in the Philippines? If so, how can one hedge oneself from losing out?

A very good question ?? Am interested also !!

A lot of variables but like anywhere buy low and sell high.

Only if your thinking long term and depends where in the Philippines.Generally not easy to sell. Renting out is an option but rent only to companies. And only buy from developers that manage the building after the sale permanently.

How can one rent to companies?

Either thru agency or do the canvassing yourself, talk to the HR departments.

Andy don't buy a rabbit hutch apartment go for quality finish, with amenities, swimming pool, gym and club house.Make suRe there is adequate parking or even buy a parking space.

I am looking for rental property for months at the moment in puerto princesa city. Does anyone know any good place or can give me some advice on it. I am too confused as I can't find much online.

Unfortunately, there are no comprehensive rental websites in the Philippines, and even worse are the Realtor web sites.  What web sites you find are all confusing with same property listed multiple times and listings not updated for example.  Again there is no comprehensive MLS type website and extremely poor built-in search engines with what websites you may find...

Hi! For me, condos are great idea but it depends if you're gonna live on it or is it for investment?
1. If you're gonna live in the condo, choose the one that suits all your needs such as a fitness gym, nearby restaurant or mall maybe, a pool, a playground for the kids, a pet friendly one, etc. A condo is very ideal for starting families, retirement, or people who are always travelling (perhaps expats too) because you can easily turn off your electricity meter and lock your door without worrying about the security and maintenance of your home.
2. It's always a good idea to invest in real properties because Philippine economy is growing. Real Estate especially land always increases in value every year! It never depreciates. Tip: make sure you get buy condo from a trusted real estate developer that always deliver customer expectations. Check if they bought the land (perpetual ownership) so eventually you also own a part of the land aside from the condo unit you own. Some condominiums are renting the land thus the issue that after 50 years the unit will not be yours. The maximum length of lease in the Philippinea is 50 years so make sure it's Perpetual Ownership / land is bought by the developer too.
Hope that helps! Have a good day.

Tam...   good question:      do not buy...  ::::

1.  the Philippine 'condo sales pitch' is borderline 'fraud'.   Meaning, first of all, you are buying 'air space' not really a building or access/land ownership.   
2.  Secondly, your GF or spouse and their family 'own it' in truth, not you.  While you can have your name on some papers, the native spouse has control.

In another forum question from someone:  "About BUILDING a home in the Philippines"  I gave an extensive breakdown of the costs, both real and 'commercial 10x overpricing' and the means for buying/building sensibly.   Check that out, it's extensive, first hand and accurate right down to the financial numbers.

So to save you time;;;.. here are some basics:

a.  ask yourself, have you 'lived' in the Philippines for 2 or more years yet?   If not, don't rush into buying 'anything' that is only 'semi-permanent'.   
b.  a wise option is to rent a house or high-rise; and with permission, 'decorating it as if it's your permanent home'.  Financially speaking, there is NO good sense or wisdom in buying, least and decorate with exit terms.   Some concrete 2 and 3 story homes; the owners WILL allow you to sign annual lease, and decorate as you wish with no problems.  Just remember, once attached to the house, it's no longer yours to take with you (avoid problems, leave it behind).
c.  a few (very very few) expats 'have' purchased land in 'certain' provinces, to start ranches, retreat businesses, and the like.   These are 'very rare' and to date; 'zero' have reported profit and ownership retention after 10 years.    On this site, 3 of them with under 5 years 'in country with ownership' are still in their own 'development stages'.   So please, don't count on it for yourself.

NOW some 'happier projections' in the 10-17 year timeframe of the future:

Philippine laws for 'JVFE' (joint venture foreign enterprises) within the Philippines changes both with every 'change of the government' and with 'swings in economic alignments' with other nations.

.so... the current ' hate American ' attitudes will one day change, very likely.   The elite Filipino classes have yet to 'catch on' to the fact that this past spring, when the World courts ruled in favor of the Philippines 'rights to waterways and islands' currently under Communist China military control... the current Pres. reverses it.  Once resources are 'ocean drilled' and the losses to the people mount; then the sentiment from pro Beijing and anti Westerns; will swing.

..therefore, there will be a future 'window' of great opportunity....when 'land ownership rights' for foreigners, who do NOT have a Filipino spouse, will be 'permitted' and with a slightly stiff set of fees, clear permanent titles will be afforded non-nationals on a limited bases.

FOR THIS reason, I strongly advise you 'lease only' in 1 year terms with first right of refusal to renew annually, with exit terms...  a house or condo as you wish...

and... after 3-5 years, watch administrations, policies, laws and therefore title declarations change in favor of 'limited whole foreign ownership' with clear titles.

For those unfamiliar with changing laws and policies.. I'll share a few 'likely' terms when these changes take place:

1.  ownership of 'limited amounts of land' and 'single dwelling homes' will be permitted to non-nationals.
2.  there will be a 'stiff' closing cost, permit, certs and so on, required. 
3.  one key rule will be the 'requirement' of the present owner to 'release or sell' the property ONLY to a Filipino native born national, should they decide to 'sell' their property.  This means that ownership will 'NOT' pass on to any family or estates what so ever.  Upon death, the property reverts back to 'state ownership' of the province in the Philippines for which it is located; who can then 'sell' the property.   ((there 'may' be a very limited window to 'sell' the property before death or post-mortem, but this is unlikely))
4.  This may come with very limited licensing of a foreign owned/operated business on the land or building premises bought and owned with clear title.  This area, I'll not go into until someone asks later.
5.  A good news to all this, is the 'clear title to the non-national', can not be 'seized upon or assumed upon' by any future Filipino spouse, family or others.  This is a minor 'incentive' that cancels out the rather notable 'stiff titling charges' for which there will be 5 or more to get final title.
6.  Property taxes; this issue is 'likely' to be a part of the new legislation policy once 'foreign limited sole ownership' is passed.   in this area, a foreigner will pay 'slightly higher taxes', due the 11th month prior to each anniversary in full.   Partial taxes will come with penalties, and if taxes are not paid for 3 consecutive years, the property/title will 'end' and be liquidated back to the local government (provincial).
7.  there will be limits on both 'ligation' and 'negotiations', if any allowed at all.

... our point:   lease or rent.. do NOT buy... wait until you live there 3 or more years, and wait a while longer for 'the above policy' to be introduced and enacted.   It will be a 'hassle' but for the wise who jump upon the opportunity... a great new world of 'clear foreign title' to a house or parcel.

Now a side word to expats looking for a 'cheap good life AND house ownership titles'...  Cuba has been working with 'mega corporations' for over 2 years now, making deals and re-negotiating ...  one has to really watch the corporate news on cuba to realize this.   SO....  it is VERY likely that in 2-7 years (depending on delays to public offerings by US corporations who want most of the deals)... Cuba will allow under certain terms 'foreign title ownership' of again, house and small parcels or possibly a farm/ranch/orchard plot(s).   
.... honestly, while the west island inlet area is promising; who'd want the financial risks with the ongoing weather patterns?   (( although the black-tobacco area gets less of it ))

May you let the Lord bless you and yours!

Condos are good to buy now because a lot of them are for sale.  If you can buy one at the lowest price and use it as primary residence or you can rent it out (or AirBnB it), you're already ahead.  And, if you're a foreigner, condo unit is the only allowed property you can own in the Phil.

I'm a Filipino-American New York based.  If you're interested, my family there is selling an Eastwood City Condo with 2 bedroom + 2 full bathroom and parking space included.

Since this is our own family property, we're selling it as a 'direct seller'.  The price is Php 5,990,000 and it's advertised in this website.  If your not familiar with Eastwood City, Quezon City (I think I'm not allowed to put a website link here), please Google it.

It's like a City within a City where you can work, live, play and not even have to go out of the Complex for everyday life's needs.  Almost everything are in the Complex like a shopping mall, supermarket, gym, 7Eleven, restaurants, banks, repair shops (except for cars) and lots more.

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Actually, this was not a question whether someone had a condo for sale. There are huge numbers of ads. I was asking if it was a good idea ( for a non citizen as it is an expat forum). Apparently, not so at this point; and I was suggested to lease/rent and look which way the wind blows.

Any business in the Philippines is risky at best. Property "ownership" by a foreigner most definitely falls into this category.

Yes, fortune favors the bold, not the foolhardy. I think it is a better idea to lease and buy only if you have a kid. And even then, if one has a kid, it's better to buy him/her a house and lot.

I am in the process of buying a condo which currently is under construction as part of a high rise complex in Cebu City.  I am planning to live there on a full time basis in a couple of years' time. 

I have been in PI on eight occasions over the past 12 years, so I have a reasonable idea of what to expect from the people and the environment. 

Having said that, I would not recommend that anybody should move to the PI without first hand experience of living in the islands.  Even though the islands have a lot to offer, it can be a super culture shock to the unprepared (depending on your background).

If you have a half Filipino kid the real estate would go to the kid anyway.

What I can recommend about buying condo is to buy the condo NOT under construction, but after the condo is finished so you know what you buy. It could be more expensive, but is better. We had so bad experience. The condo you see as 'show condo' will be different than the condo you will get. In time you face this problem, as foreigner you have only 2 options: 1. You will redo all their work all over again 2. Get an attorney so you can cancel your deal. Attorney is not cheap there (have my experiences in other cases). Remember, you fight against BIG COMPANY there who build those condos with big capital. I decided for option 1 since we are not living in Cebu. I spent almost 2 months in redoing  the condo, only a 24sqm Studio condo! Must control every few days whether 'my contractor' was doing good job or not. They always promised you, but seldom kept. Believe me, so rare to find someone you can trust and rely on, all about money only. If you are staying in Cebu and will buy the condo there, it might be less problem, not like us. We must stay in hotel or place close to the condo to control the redoing inside the condo. I bought the condo that time because I visited Philippines twice a year and  liked to reduce headache looking for room via or airbnb.

An idea's effectiveness depends on its gestation period. In an emerging market context, one has to think about what the catalysts to the upside will be. Be it FDI liberalisation kicking off in 2018 or federalization slated for 2022, one also considers the growing middle income segment of the nation. Due to the cyclical nature of the system, there will be various opportunities to enter, though as the old saying goes.. The early bird gets the worm.

Regarding the 12% VAT on Condo purchases. Last year I read that the Tax reform package made law this year that the VAT threshold would be reduced from 3.3 million to 2 million. However reading current publications on the Tax reform package I do not see this change. Does anyone know if it was dropped from the Tax reform package, delayed or not clearly identified amongst the other VAT changes?


Renting a Condo/apartment or using a hotel?

I have looked into the figures and have found the following:

That to rent a Condo at 30,000php a month your monthly costs, when you add in Elect, Water, Cable TV, WIFI, laundry and other small things such as a cleaner.  Would total about 48,000php per month, this equates to about 1,600php per day.  Plus the headaches of paying bills, and add on maintenance (headaches).

I would think that many hotels would offer a similar rate.

Any thoughts?

I pretty much agree with the rental advise of David4Jesus. Can't speak for building a house however. Definitely not jump in to buying anything until you have lived there for a bit.

I have some experience with leasing. First off, after my experience, real estate brokers and unit owners, unfortunately, will lie thru their teeth about relevant leasing matters that westerners care about but maybe the locals do not.

Water Leaks:
SMDC's Mezza Residences for example in Quezon City leaks water whenever it rains. SMDC and unit owners have know about this since the complex was built in 2007 but have never done anything to fix the problem. When it rains, rain water seaps from the exterior walls in to the interior and drips from the ceiling. This problem is never disclosed when you lease and I doubt SMDC disclosed it to the unit buyers the first time. And this is SMDC! A large developer in Manila. How many other condos have similar issues??

Every high rise condominium has a no smoking policy but associations and property managers do not enforce it. So, if you do not like inhaling smoke in your unit, good luck. Smoking coming from other units will travel to other units. This may sound like a minor matter but it will get old quick. More critical is the fire safety matter. Practically all condo are strict with not using any gas cooking appliance for this reason. What do they think a cigarette is?

pej1111 :

Renting a Condo/apartment or using a hotel?

I have looked into the figures and have found the following:

That to rent a Condo at 30,000php a month your monthly costs, when you add in Elect, Water, Cable TV, WIFI, laundry and other small things such as a cleaner.  Would total about 48,000php per month, this equates to about 1,600php per day.  Plus the headaches of paying bills, and add on maintenance (headaches).

I would think that many hotels would offer a similar rate.

Any thoughts?

Php30k is on the high side but also depends on location. I would at least check AirBnB or VRBO. You will find them more reasonable. Other places to check is OLX which is similar to Craigslist but Craigslist is also a good one to browse. There are also other lodging that are much cheaper that may have minimal amenities. But again, lodging cost is very dependent on location, location, location.

I wouldn't think about a condo if it is over two stories ,fire and rescue are non existent

It is painful to try to speak to real estate agents about what you want, for they have been more concerned about what they want.  Explained to two different agents in Tagaytay that we want to take a year lease startIng this October at the earliest and then consider year round living and purchase.  Told them we want the cool weather, at least 500 meters above sea level.  So the woman hands me a brochure and starts explaining the required down payment and financing available.  I remind her we are looking to rent for at least a year, and the papers she gave me claim the elevation of the properties are between 10 and 350 meters, NOT ACCEPTABLE.  So she gives me another brochure about a place 20 km away, elevation is 70 meters. Told her to email me with possible rentals and elevations of same, and she started another why we should buy now sales pitch.
             We did check out a more rural barangay house for rent for only 10,000 pesos a month, but we saw many dogs, heard roosters and the owner was not available to show us the 3 bedroom house.  Looked quite worn from the outside.  So we are doing more research and email questioning before October, but I am sure this will have to be investigated in person.  I believe little of what I see and even less of what I am told.  It is hard to tell these people I am NOT looking for an investment, just a place to live for a few years.
               Any advice or info would be greatly appreciated.

Mugtech,. What advise or info are you looking for? How to deal with realtors? Where to look in Tagaytay?  ????

samahantayo :

Mugtech,. What advise or info are you looking for? How to deal with realtors? Where to look in Tagaytay?  ????

Both, thank you

If you look at the " cost of living" topic there are many posts about this.

Your recent experience with the realtor is very typical. Switch realtors if you do not like the one you are dealing with. Filipinos like to "refer" someone whether its a realtor, insurance agent, travel agent, etc... who they will say is good to deal with or is God-fearing, or is a relative, etc. That may work in the other countries like Australia or the US but I have found those relationships do not mean anything. They are just tactics to get business. I can tell you a lot of first hand stories related to this. Part of what you are dealing with is the superstitious nature of Pinoys.  You are the holder of the purse so stand your ground and trust your instincts. Nothing binds you to anyone until you say so. And don't commit to anyone or sign anything.

When you find a house, drive around and look at the neighborhood. The house may be beautiful but if there are squatters nearby, good luck. The better ones are usually the ones in gated developments. It really depends on how particular you are.

Tagaytay is in the province of Cavite.

There are many nice developments in Tagaytay. Check Craigslist or OLX. below is a link on houses for rent on CL in Tagaytay. You can filter CL anyway you want. … =all+dates

this one is from OLX. I typed "house for rent" to search. … for%20rent

This topo map will give you elevations. Find the Philippines and zero in on Tagaytay. It looks like there are plenty of areas at 500m and higher. … s-5442398/

There are many other resources online.

Also, if you go to google maps and search for "housing developments, Tagaytay, Cavite, Philippines" you will see an overview of the housing developments. … authuser=0

I dont know. But I bought one already. And Waiting when it will be constructed. % years to wait.

The condo market is extremely saturated in the Philippines. Reselling it will be a problem. They are also not well constructed. Mezza residences for example leaks water in all floors whenever it rains. Residents do not comply with the no smoking policy risking fire and contributing to cigarette smoke odor not only in the unit but the entire floor. Property managersand maintenance are incompetent. Watch out for unscrupulous builders and brokers. They will say anything to make a sale. So my answer is - not a good idea.

If you have a Filipino wife and she dies her part of the condo is controlled by Filipino law you will be the last one to have control you might have her children or parents as partners

In the land of Laglag Bala, you will never find me buying any real estate. Unfortunately, that fiasco gives you a glimpse of local mentality. And it was happening under the nose of the leader of the country who was aware of the shenanigans. Why would he not know! His cousin managed the airport. They will never live down that terroristic act. Terroristic because it terrorized travelers by extorting money or the threat of being jailed!!! And everyone from l airport security to the courts where in on it 👿😠

Try Facebook . Lots of real estate on there nowadays .

pej1111 :

Renting a Condo/apartment or using a hotel?

I have looked into the figures and have found the following:

That to rent a Condo at 30,000php a month your monthly costs, when you add in Elect, Water, Cable TV, WIFI, laundry and other small things such as a cleaner.  Would total about 48,000php per month, this equates to about 1,600php per day.  Plus the headaches of paying bills, and add on maintenance (headaches).

I would think that many hotels would offer a similar rate.

Any thoughts?

Interesting comparison, only that 1600p hotel room isn't going to come close to the roomy condo I rent for 30K up on the hill in Cebu, with great views, gardens, beautiful pool and a nice balcony. Maybe Marco Polo would compare to it.. at 5000/day. But not an average hotel in the city.

I personally think nothing beats renting for us expats. It's a great value and you can keep your money invested in the States or wherever. There are many empty condos in Cebu and Manila purchased for investment that rent only a few days per month on AirBnB. The only way buying makes sense to me is if you are going to live in it. And don't do that unless you've made a few trips and spent time here to know if you can take it.

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