Comparing Real Estate Prices in Philippines and Florida

A home for sale in the Philippines costing  around $85,000.
A home for sale in the Philippines costing around $85,000.

Many Americans seek refuge in the Philippines during their retirement years in order for their pensions to last longer, tropical weather, and friendly people. Most automatically think everything is cheaper there, and for some things, this is true. The cost of living is cheaper in the Philippines but keep in mind, so is the quality.

Foreigners cannot own land there unless married to a native citizen and it is legally theirs also, however, they can own the structure on the land. This limits foreigners in being able to own just condos and not single family homes. The Filipino government does not want foreigners to own their land.

Keep in mind, the quality of construction is never up to US standards for many developers and will probably not last for 20 years. That is not to say it is bad, it is just use of cheaper materials and different building codes etc. Many developments want you to buy into the development before the home is actually built. Crazy, I know. Many developments fail or languish for years for funding issues etc. Always buy when the development is completed.

Space is a premium and most new homes have very little yard space. Nearly all condos are in high rise buildings, something very different than in the US. As far as values, well a modest new home of just 1000 sq. ft can cost you over 3,500,000 pesos or $78,000. Most new homes tend to be two story because land is precious. In contrast, many condos sell for this price in Florida in the Tampa and southern Florida area. For many, a better option not available in the Philippines is buying a manufactured home because the prices are much lower. The same square footage would sell for only $20,000. Sure, you do not own the land it is on, but most mobile home parks are a community with pool etc. If you find one that seems more like a house than mobile home, its a great deal. But, homes in Florida of decent quality do seem to cost more, but then you do own the land, while in the Philippines, your Filipino spouse owns it.

Some new homes in the Philippines that are only 600 sq. ft. could run you $55,000. A nice place to rent with all the amenities and perks could go for $1000 a month, which is cheap by American standards.

All things considered, if you are seeking tropical weather and beaches, Florida is way easier and quality remains good and always better than the Philippines. The same goes for the quality of life.

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