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5 Factors to Consider When Building a House in the Philippines

Updated on December 7, 2018

Moving to another country to build a life can be an exciting adventure for any foreigner. The new experiences and new culture brings so many exciting possibilities. You must have thought long about your move. A new life in the Philippines could include you considering building your own home in the Philippines.

Starting your project can be a very exciting task but can be one of the most challenging things to do of all your settling in the Philippines.


In deciding the style and kind of house, try to consider not just your personal preference but the context of the new place as well. Living in a third world country has its own pros and cons, make sure you had carefully thought about it since all these factor into the design and features of the house intended to be built.

First thing to consider, a big chunk of the Philippine population falls below poverty earning capacity and this could present added challenges to a foreigner. If you have the budget to splurge on a mansion, it is wise to find an a gated community. Building a mansion in the middle of a low income neighborhood might attract the wrong attention and could endanger your life one day.

Live a Modest Lifestyle

Choosing to live a modest lifestyle in the midst of third world poverty is key to living a peaceful and secure life. Of course, it would be a totally different scenario if you choose to build a house in one of the secure and gated communities, think Ayala Alabang, Forbes, Dasma, etc.

1. Location, location, location

Choose a location that affords your lifestyle. If you have the money to burn, you can always opt to buy real estate in a secure and gated community. If you want to build a mansion, make sure that you choose a community that will not make your house stand out above the rest.

In the provinces, there are gated communities you can choose from depending on the area. If you prefer to be near the cities where facilities would be better, it is better to choose a gated community although it would be more expensive.

2. Keep a simple exterior design

It is safe to err in the side of caution. Making the house exterior with a minimalist design would be a good choice. Your home's exterior should be modest and ideally be appropriate to the context of the community in the area.

Do not try to stand out too much from the other houses in the community. As it is always true everywhere (not just in the Philippines), times are hard and it would be safe to not display your wealth.

3. Install security equipment (CCTV, fire and smoke alarm)

Address safety and security issues at the onset of building a house in the Philippines. It is suggested to build a concrete fence high enough to ward anyone from entering the property. Too high that and your neighbors will think there is something shady going on inside, make it too low or without one and you are inviting trespassers of worst robbers. It really depends on which kind of neighborhood you are in.

The house must be locked safely from both inside and outside. You will be well-advise to install a home security alarm system in and around the home. Sufficient lighting around the house is also advisable at night or when you leave the house for long periods of time.

4. Don't stand out

Some just want to live the big life and prefer a grand manner by building the house they can afford, the wise thing to do if you are living in a third world country like the Philippines is to keep a low profile. Many foreigners coming to the Philippines chose to stay in the provinces due to the clean or pollution-free environment. In this setting, it is tempting to build a huge home.

When it comes to building your dream house, it would be better to blend in with the neighborhood. Avoid designing your house in such a way that will make it stand out like a sore thumb.

The way to have a peaceful life is to keep a low profile particularly if you are not familiar with the neighborhood background. If you live in the provinces where the houses are either made of wood combination of concrete and wood, try to use the same materials for your construction. The same should be kept in mind when it comes to the design of the house.

If your choice of area is in the city, you may have more leeway but still err on the side of caution. The key is to keep your house looking as simple as possible in the outside not unless you live in a secure and gated community in the Metro Manila area. Although anyone who has the means to build something should follow their heart's desires, it would be best to blend in and keep a low profile wherever you may be.

5. Mind the weather and seasons

Remember that the Philippines is a tropical country with only two seasons; rainy and summer. There are also months (October-December) when typhoons visit the country. Apart from these, earthquakes also occur in the country.

It is better to keep all these factors in mind when choosing the material and design for your house. As much as possible, make your home sturdy to survive the strong winds common during tropical depressions.

It is better to find out if your area is prone to flooding. Either choose a different site or make your house design to avoid it from being submerged during floods. Find out as well if your area is near an earthquake fault. Make sure to keep your house foundation strong to withstand a tremor.

If you keep all these factors in mind before you build a house in the Philippines, you will not only have a livable space but more importantly, a house to keep you safe and secure.

© 2010 Shan Moore


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