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Expat Guide to Building a Dream Home in the Philippines

Updated on September 19, 2017
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Hi! I am a content creator and blogger. My niches include love, dating, fashion, beauty, fitness and health.


Moving to a tropical country and settling can be an exciting adventure for any expat who has thought long and hard to spend years in a different country. There are so many exciting possibilities that await you as you start a new life in the Philippines. one of them is building your dream house.

Building this dream home is a very exciting task but drawing the plan can also be one of the most challenging stages as with anything new.

In deciding which style and kind of house, it would benefit you in the long run to consider not just your personal preference but the nuances of the new place as well. Living in a third world country has its own pros and cons, make sure you have carefully thought about it since all these factor into the structure you intend to build.

For one, majority of the population falls below the median earning capacity and this could present added challenges to a home owner. While others would like a more lavish home which would stand out from the rest, this might not be such a good idea if you live in a third world country.

Choosing to live a modest lifestyle in the midst of middle class community is a good strategy if you intend to live a peaceful and secure life. This rings all the more true in a third world country. Try to build a house that will not attract more than your fair share of attention.

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.

5 Tips in Building Your Dream Home

1. Location is key

Choose a location that affords your lifestyle. If you have the money to burn, you can always opt to buy real estate in a prime, 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.

2. Incorporate minimalist design for the exterior

It is safe to err in the side of caution. Making your home exterior more on the minimalist side will be your best bet. Your home's exterior should be modest and ideally be appropriate to the local community.

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

Other equally important consideration is to address security issues. One must build a concrete fence high enough to ward anyone from entering it. But do not make the mistake of making it too high that you would risk people thinking you are hiding something illegal inside.

The house must be locked safely from inside and outside. Much better, install a home security alarm system and security cameras in and around your home. Sufficient lighting around the house is also advisable at night.

4. Blend in with the rest of your community

While many would opt to live in 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 who come to settle in the Philippines chose to stay in the provinces due to the environment. In this setting, it is tempting to build a mansion and stand out.

When it comes to building your dream house, it is well-advised to try to blend in or at least don't build something that will make you stick out like a sore thumb. The key is to keep your house looking as simple as possible in the outside. 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.


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    • gmmurgirl profile image

      Gei Moore 5 years ago from Pilipinas

      Hi Dave! You are right, a solid foundation will make it withstand natural calamities like storms and earthquakes (hopefully). Thanks for reading!

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Make sure you have a solid foundation and the rest will fall into place.