Best place to look at housing on-line?

I think many of the on-line places I've seen are a rip off.  I have seen a few things on CraigsList.  Can anyone recommend a site where private owners post available rentals and not just big time realtors that are charging a premium and only posting the most expensive places?  Thank you.

Rob G

You can find some long-term renrals on AirBnB

You mean like 5 years?  I thought AirBnB was set up for vacations?

Not just vacations, I'm in one for work now and talked to a couple of hosts that have rented for months at a time, but yes, 5 years is longtime.

Doesn't hurt to ask, might find a landlord willing to take a reduced rate for a steady income.

good idea.  I didnt have any luck on craigslist.  prices were insane.  like $147,000 to $250,000 for a small condo!  I know it cant possibly be that much if monthly rentals run around $200

Hi Rob, Remember google is our best friend, you will find a plethora of adverts on apartments and housing rentals by simply typing in "apartments/condo's for rent in Bohol PH." you can get more specific by using the city/province you wish to be in.
As said boots on the ground is also a winner.
Perhaps find a decent air b n b for a month then look around.
Another option is OLX and always FB as many mum and dad type rentals are available.
We annually rent our car though FB while on holidays, the people we deal with are great and they are far cheaper than all the big companies.

Moving to the Philippines involves a lot of research and hard yards completed before you book your flight, it's the nature of the place and similar to other S/E Asian countries.
As you said you have a few years before the move so plenty of time to google and do the sums.

Cheers, Steve.

Oh yeah.  I never remember that FB is for more that just posting funny pictures and sarcastic comments.  I will check that out.  I have used Google, however it seems like most of what comes up are either scams or just really expensive places where the realtors posting them can make a huge commission.  When I go to Mexico, I have learned to never book a hotel in advance.  I go off-season and just walk around till I find a place because the best deals are never posted on-line. 

I think AirBnB is a great idea.  Especially for when I come over there before I actually move, since I really am not even sure where I want to go yet.


I own an Airbnb in the states and I have people that stay with me for long term at a reduced rate.

wen i came to the phils my gf (now wife) had arranged whit help of her aunty a nice 2 bedroom house that costed 6000 peso a month ,from there we arranged our future housing ,rented a few times and then moved to other rental ,we live almost 3 yrs now in Mati city Davao Oriental love it here ,small provincial town but all we need whit in walking distance ,market supermarkets ATM hospital barangay and so on ,great beach resorts to ,bleu bles beach resort and dahikan ar well known.
i wood NEVER use internet to find a place to stay long term for the reasons you all redy mensioned .
get boots on the ground and do some recon ,take your time  visit the locations at different times of the day and on working days as well as on weekend days .take notice of disturbing things ,have a chat whit the people living there .
that's how we do it,hope i was of help to ya.

greets Dirk

Hey there!  Thanks for your reply.  I have started trying to network with natives to get some info and possibly suggestions.  I thought if I have advice from both expats and natives, I should get a clear picture.

You said you live or lived in Davo.  Isnt that where the Muslim extremists is?  I've read that it is a beautiful area but I also read that you will get kidnapped and have your head cut off if you are American.  What's the truth? 

What areas have you lived in?  I was mostly looking at Cebu and Baguio since they seem to have amenities I need such as a chiropractor.  Do you think $275 per month is realistic for a western style house in the suburbs?  Thank you.

Davao  itself is safe for Americans, but other parts of Mindanao are not.  There are people on here living in Davao, they can give you more info.  Have you ever been to the Philippines?  If so where and when?  You are going to get a better idea of what it is like when you got boots on the ground.  Do you have any friends living in the Philippines?  It may be helpful to take a low rent scouting trip prior to deciding to relocate.

Yes, I know.  Boots on the ground.  I keep hearing that.  I cant go until my dog dies.  He wont eat when I'm not around.  Plus I need to work 5 more years so I am getting the best idea I can from online right now then I will come spend a month or maybe even 6 weeks before I move to explore and decide where I want to live.  Luckily, I am going to rent, so if I dont like where I decide, I can just move again.  Thank you for the advice though...I know it is very good advice.

I used the following sites to help me find a place … apartment#

I had good luck on rentpad


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It is possible that you may not find what you want in the traditional manner that we see with private owners in other countries.  The use of the internet here compared to other countries is not the same.  Many rental properties may not be listed by the private owners and when they are, the listing may have just a few pics.   

It may be better to search for a licensed broker that handles rentals in the area of interest and have that Broker's office send you selected rental listings based on what you want and how you would like to see them.  This will be more expensive and most likely result in the office returning to the property to take decent photos. 

Most of the rentals here in Tagaytay, that myself or other expats obtained, are private but were not listed publicly at all.  We had to drive to the actual areas we liked and ask at the local stores (Sari-Sari) or Brgy halls to find the hidden gems.  Good luck!

fixfireleo :

good idea.  I didnt have any luck on craigslist.  prices were insane.  like $147,000 to $250,000 for a small condo!  I know it cant possibly be that much if monthly rentals run around $200

Take what you read with some flexibility and remember it is a different culture you are dealing with.  Some people state cost in total contract length and the cost might be in PHP not $ at that point those are not bad prices depending on what and where those condos are located.

Thanks man, That's what I was kind of figuring.  Did you find that prices were quite a bit lower this way than using the online sites??

I didn't have much joy finding rental info from online sites, my destination isnt a heavy tourist or relocation area so not much out there.  Even had a local real estate agent give me inflated info.  Got good info from 2 expats though, 1 who just rented a 3br new construction house for $300 US a month and another who said my target of 10000PHP/mo furnished is doable.

Awesome.  That gives me hope.  I am thinking of buying a condo.  I have heard that, if you rent, they will frequently jack up the rent every year if you are a foreigner just because they think you can afford it.  I just need to make sure that, when you buy a condo, it at least stays even in value and doesnt go down every year.  (Under normal conditions of course.)

fixfireleo :

Awesome.  That gives me hope.  I am thinking of buying a condo.  I have heard that, if you rent, they will frequently jack up the rent every year if you are a foreigner just because they think you can afford it.  I just need to make sure that, when you buy a condo, it at least stays even in value and doesnt go down every year.  (Under normal conditions of course.)

Hi Rob, I thought we already had this conversation and you agreed given you only plan to be in PH. for 5 odd years the cost of buying a condo verses renting verses trying to sell. You agreed that renting was sensible and I couldn't agree more.
As for jacking up the rent, though I might be the odd man out here as we rented a 3 bed 3 bath condo in a 2 year old building in San Lazaro Sta Cruz for 12 months at PHP 25K per month, (no association fees). When the lease came due for renewal the owner contacted us and offered the same deal as she said we were good tenants. We declined as we were moving back to OZ, we moved our belongings to the parents house in SFC. We found this and other properties on OLX. We always hire our wheels through FB.

Property ie; Condo's, land, house and lot and even commercial and industrial properties mostly sit on the market for years and one has to simply watch and take advantage of a situation when it may arise (or may not). We purchased a property 18months ago that we liked when we first saw it some 4 odd years ago but I thought the price didn't reflect the area we were looking for, San Juan, La Union, surf centre, somewhat cosmopolitan, closer to SFC and as we looked and searched the prices skyrocketed and then some in San Juan,,,,,,,, talking absolute beach front which is what we were searching for.
That property we purchased started at nearly 12 million, a year later was 9.5, a year later was 6.5 and we bit the bullet and secured for 5.7, house and lot. The vacant lot next door came on the market (slightly smaller than what we purchased and no house) 8 months ago for 13 million. Go figure, we are sure that lot will be on the market for years,,,,,,,,, lol we will be watching. Patience is a virtue.

Rob our aim is long term with sensibilities in place. Short term investors watch and know the market to the last dollar with astuteness and then some. OMO but given your predicament I would simply rent and keep your cash in sound investments in a first world country (that you are familiar with) definitely until you taste the flavours,,,,,,,,,, boots on the ground etc. You talk 5 years before your potential move, yes I know your best friend (dog) won't eat if you go to L.A. for the night. Perhaps you should reinvent the wheel, fly your non eating best friend and yourself to PH. for 2 or 3 months and smell the daisies together? I seriously doubt it will be what you expect. Perhaps hard but honest. OMO.

Cheers, Steve.


We did have that conversation however I keep reading and asking opinions and that is when I read that rents get jacked up.  I'm still weighing my options.  There is also the issue of my condo in Florida.  I would prefer to keep it and rent it out so I have income but there are some problems at this complex and sometimes I decide it would be better to sell before all (financial) hell breaks loose.  Luckily, I convinced them to raise the fees $19 a month the other day at our Board meeting.  (But not after getting pissed off and slamming my fist into the table and saying "if you dont agree to raise the fees to start saving to replace these roofs when they need it in 5 years I am selling my condo and I advise everyone else to do the same thing because disaster is coming!"  lol)

There are just so many variables.  If I can buy a condo and at least get back what I paid for it 5-7 years later, it will be cheaper to live every month and I will still have my money to buy a new place when I get back in Florida, although I wont have the rental income.  But I will be protected if the place in Florida goes bankrupt.  It isnt about investing, it's about protecting my money as best I can.  So many decisions.

Rob, I've got to go along with Steve on this.  For one, if you aren't going to move for 5-7 years you will drive yourself crazy just comparing areas and watching prices.   Best to make a trip with your dog and narrow down areas.  Don't start watching prices until a year before your move, much can change. 

Steve's purchase was on the market for about 4 years before they bought it.  If you are going to move back after 5-7 years you almost need to put your purchase on the market after about a year to get it sold by the time you want to leave.  Also, Steve's purchase was a lot and house, you are considering a condo, much harder to sell - flooded market.

Regarding jacked up rents; Filipino owners like to rent and keep foreigner renters, we tend to do upkeep and minor repairs.  I have heard that isn't necessarily true with locals.  Because of that I have heard they tend to keep rents fairly steady.

That's good to hear.  Yes, I know I need to go there.  I just cant right now....well, unless I hit that $1.6 billion megamillions jackpot.  Then I wont be going to Philippines, you can buy a private island in Tahiti for about $5 million.  Another $5 million for a house and you are all set!  ;-)

Dream on. Back to reality, sit quietly, watch and learn, you Rob have many years before a  definitive decision needs to be made. Dog or no. Goolies or no. Very few here, expats suddenly decided......... the philippines is my utopia, most retire there because of a partner, myself included.

BTW if you win the  1.6 billion prize send a few bob our way.

Cheers, Steve.

Steve, I'll throw one HELL of an "all expenses paid" week long party!  :)  On a more serious note, someone sent me this link.  It isnt what I wanted to read since I want to spend a moderate amount of time on and in the water. … e-beaches/

Essentially your link shows government corruption brought to light.  From info in the article that article is 5 months old, Boracay reopens in 5 days.  Where and what has the EMB been doing?  Did you notice the mention of monitoring stations?  They've been monitoring and doing nothing?

The environmental concerns of Boracay and other places is being addressed by Duterte.  Panglao and other places are starting to police and enforce before Duterte makes another example out of them

That article was given to me by another expat in the Philippines.  I hope the government is doing something but what can they do on such short notice?  If it is an established practice to dump sewage into the sea, waste treatment plants can not be built overnight.  It takes probably at least 2 years to build a plant.  Then there is the problem that none of the houses are piped into that treatment plant.  do you run pipes all over the island from people's houses and nipa huts to the plant?  maybe eventually but that will likely take decades.  In the mean time, what happens to the sewage?  It has to go somewhere.  It is GREAT if they are addressing this problem but it is a HUGE problem that can no more be fixed in a few months than if they decided to wipe out all mosquitoes or cobras.

Read up or watch YouTube vids of what they have done in Boracay in the last 6 months.  They have demolished hotels, and not just small ones!

There ARE treatment plants and waste water lines, it was just easier and cheaper to pay off the officials and inspectors.  It was all done on the local level before without federal verification and enforcement.  Not anymore.  Also overpopulation is being addressed, atleast in Boracay.  Both tourists AND workers.

OK, good.  I am glad to hear that.  I hope the President gets re-elected.  I know he is heavy handed but it sounds needed.  I wish we could have a President like that in USA but there are so many idiot liberals who suck up to criminals and hate law and order that it just can never happen here.  The USA will just keep getting worse and worse until it collapses in on itself and becomes a 3rd world nation or just splits into several new nations.

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Sorry.  I'm new.

before buying property consider this ,at one time in 2015 we rented a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house whit big garden (4 mango trees ,carpark and party corner) les than 5 minutes walk from the beach for 5000 peso the price now is 6000 peso.
buying and selling will loose you money.becorse of the short time between the buy and the sale.
this property was in Astorga -Santa Cruz near 15 minutes drive from Davao city.and the beach was tourist free hahaha.
now we live in Davao Oriental in Mati city .very safe small provincial small city were we have very nice beach resorts ,our location is whitin les than 5 minutes walk from ATM,public market,nccc mall,police off,barangay and the bus terminal .the hospital is 10 minutes walk.newly build house ,rent 6000 peso.
this is a very quit location ,between sun down and rise no street or other noices.
we found this by just walking around and talking to ppl in the street and sari saris.
this quind of deals ya never find on line.
greets Dirk

Actually, I am fairly sure I have decided to travel to 8-10 different countries over an 8 year period, so buying would be out anyway unless I decide I love someplace so much that I dont want to come back to the USA after my 8 years.


Accidentally posted twice because page wasnt loading.

fixfireleo :

Actually, I am fairly sure I have decided to travel to 8-10 different countries over an 8 year period, so buying would be out anyway unless I decide I love someplace so much that I dont want to come back to the USA after my 8 years.



So the story changes Rob. I used to dream, when I was 15 and yes working,  reality hit by 16 and I purchased my first property, a mere 23 acres in a back water town and never looked back, and my reason 40 plus years on after a 23 year marriage and 2 children (divorced now) is a partner that I love and will suffer gladly the likes of PH. as we will have that as a base to be close to his family, my family very much too. Unlike the "western democracy" we put up with in Australia. Perhaps similar to most 1st world countries. Many countries run rife with freedom and choices and providing one can put up with the carp that PH. offers up then it is easy.
As contributed by myself in another one of your threads You don't have the money given your introduction and follow up posts to try to find the cheapest place to live in the Philippines and now you are travelling the world?

God help the serious posters that bother to follow your retinue but hey it's only an opinion from a humble bloke that has observed you and, obviously has little else to do, as said only my observation mate. Good will to the plethora of countries that you wish to visit but cannot or will never do, even after your faithful friend passes? Where will your life be? Relying on a 401? hope you contributed extra as we do in OZ.

And for the moderators  I dearly hope I am not being too harsh but as you can see some people can't see the forest for the trees.

Cheers, Steve.


I understand your post however part of the reason why we plan is because we dont have any facts.  What I am doing right now is fact finding.  Due to some of the facts that I have discovered, my plans are not changing so much as evolving.  When I retire, I should have about $81,000 cash in the bank as well as $250,000 in my 401K plus I own my condo outright.  I'm not wealthy but my plan is to rent out my condo for $1300 per month, that will give me a profit of about $800 per month.  Then I can subsidize the rest with the $81,000 I have in cash.  That is why I am trying to find places where i can live on no more than $1200 per month.    I am trying to not touch my 401K so the money will continue to grow.  Once I turn 62, I get a pension from the US government because I worked for them as well as Social Security and I can begin taking withdraws from my 401K.  I will make more in retirement (after 62) than I made working.  ALL of this hinges on getting the best information I can in advance however.  These are not unrealistic dreams, they are well thought out plans.

I simply refer to my earlier posts where I and others suggest you firstly find a country, the escape perhaps? Why not simply stay where you are, we/I move for a certain future and one that was definitely researched after we found love.

Because it's expensive here so I would have to work until 62.  I HATE WORKING.  Plus I have always wanted to travel, so if I can travel on $1200 per month then I can accommodate both goals of not working plus traveling.  I have been very good with money but I have no one to leave it to, so I might as well enjoy it while I can.  Before I am too old and too sick to enjoy it.  What better way than to travel the world and not have to get up and go to work everyday?

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