5 things OFWs should consider before buying real estate in PH
Inquirer.net by Matikas Santos, 08-29-2014
MANILA, Philippines - What are the most important things that an
overseas Filipino worker (OFW) should consider when buying real
estate property, like a house or a condominium, in the
International real estate services firm KMC MAG Group
Inc. gave several factors that Filipinos should consider.
Ironically, money isn't the most important
1. What is the purpose for buying a
According to Angela Manese, Residential Division Manager
of KMC MAG Group Inc., OFWs should first think
about what they intend to do with the property once they have
"Are they buying it so they can eventually live in it or are
they buying it to eventually use it as an investment opportunity
which means to rent it out or to sell it," Manese said in
an interview after a round table discussion with
"Generally among our Southeast Asian neighbors, acquiring a
property in Manila is more affordable per square meter than buying
[in other countries]," she said.
When they know what their ultimate goal with the property is,
then another set of factors will have to be considered.
2. Does the developer have a proven track
"The factors they need to consider if they intend to live in it
is, who the developer is and does that developer really deliver
what they promise to deliver," Manese said.
The usual practice when it comes to residential units is they
are sold through pre-selling which means the buyer does not
really see yet what they are buying. This makes it important to
consider the track record of the developer.
"If they intend to live in it, it's all a matter of personal
preference. What matters to them, like do they want to be close to
a mall or is that too noisy, do they want it more private, do they
want to be near hospitals, do they want to be near a school? It's
more of a lifestyle choice," she said.
3. Will the property be offered for rent? How and for
"It's a different story altogether if they're buying to
eventually have it rented out," Menase said.
A crucial factor that many OFWs forget is who will
take care of the property while the OFW is still out of
"Their families are in the province and the property is
in BGC or in Makati so when a tenant wants to
have a look at the unit, where is the key?" she said.
"It's very crucial who looks after the property while they are
away. The logistics is one thing that they forget and it's sad
because some agents are only looking to make a profit. They inform
a buyer that they will take care of renting it out but after the
property has been sold, the agent
disappears," Menase added.
The second thing to consider is who do they want to rent it out
to like office workers, expats, or possibly students?
Most tenants who are looking for a place to rent are office
workers or expats so the location should be considered as to which
business district they have to cater to; whether
inOrtigas, Makati, or BGC.
4. Buy low and sell high is not as easy as it sounds in
the real estate market.
For some OFWs looking to buy real estate in
order to sell it again a couple of years later when the market
price has appreciated, Manese warned that it's not as
simple as it sounds.
"A lot of the selling points of real estate agents is 'buy from
me now and two years later I can help you sell it at a higher
price.' Its very ideal, you buy at P1 million then sell at 1.5
million two years later," Manese said.
"Technically it's easy and it's doable. But the challenge, and
what is not put into consideration is, when you buy now for P1
million, two years from now you try to sell it but there
are still other properties for sale at that time at P1 million
which you are competing with," she said.
The simplicity of the transaction is overstated because
properties are not as easy to sell as most people
expect, Manese said.
"Our suggestion about that is, you buy, but your timeline has to
be expanded a little. It's not like tomorrow you will be
able to sell it immediately. It's a matter of managing
expectations," she said.
5. What do foreigners think about the Philippine real
Many foreigners have bought residential units in the country
because they like it here, Manese said.
"In general, some Singaporeans invest in the country because
they like it. A lot of them enjoy the Philippines," she said.
"They think 'I enjoy the country and I visit it a lot. Why not
buy a property [in the Philippines] instead of buying [in
Singapore].' It's like a win-win situation for
them," Manese added.
Many foreigners also come in to buy property which they either
rent-out or wait a few years then sell it.
"If not for investment purposes, it's their personal preference.
They just like the country that much, or they have a family here
and plan to settle down. It just makes sense to invest in property
here," Manese said.