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Foreigners Guide to Real Estate in the Philippines
What foreigners should know about Real Estate Ownership in the Philippines
If you are thinking of acquiring land in the Philippines here are some few things that you should know. Many Americans and Europeans are surprised when they cannot simply buy house and lot packages in the Philippines and have the Land Title placed with their names. Unlike in their countries, anyone who can afford to buy real state can easily do so regardless of citizenships. In the Philippines, real estate ownership is confined to Filipino Citizens, corporations with at least 60% Filipino interest, and Dual Citizens or Former Filipinos with some limitations.
Citizenship Issues and Land Ownership
The Law of the Philippine states that, "former Filipinos or those who are natural-born Filipinos but lost their citizenship are still entitled to own real state properties in the Philippines" but subject to some limitations. Below is a few guidelines to former Filipinos.
- The land must be use for business and residential purposes only.
- Acquisition of Land may be through sale, donation, for closure, tax sale or execution sale.
- If land is for Residential purpose, their is a maximum of 1,000 square meters of urban land or 1 hectares of rural land allowed.
- You can acquire either Urban or Rural lots, but not both.
- If land is for Business Purpose, a maximum of 5,000 square meters of urban land or 3 hectares of rural land is allowed.
- A maximum of 2 lots not exceeding the maximum limit in total combined area is allowed. Lots must be located in different cities or municipalites.
- Either one or both spouses may avail of this privilege, but the above limits must be observed.
Holders of Dual Citizenships are allowed full rights of possessions of real estate in the Philippines
Some Tips For Foreigners Who Thought of Staying in the Philippines
Many foreigners had moved to the Philippines for different kinds of reasons. They would thought moving to the Philippines because they find the place wonderful, good for business, unexploited nature and beaches, hospitable people and many move to marry Filipinas and settle permanently.
Most Americans are the ones who tend to stay longer and some stay permanently right after they got married to Filipina. Koreans move to Philippines to take english lessons and eventually venture to business such as Travel Agency and Korean Restaurants. Japanese find the place like home sweet home for them and they tend to stay and enjoy diving on an exotic beach resorts.
For whatever reasons those foreigners have, don't you think it would be nice to know and learn the places they are thinking of moving like the Philippines? Here are some tips for foreigners who thought of staying in the Philippines.
- The Filipino Culture - it is very important to learn about Filipino culture. Filipinos are family oriented and respectful to their elders. They speak a number of dialects such commonly used are Tagalog and Cebuano. Filipinos like foreigners a lot and they love imported goods rather than their own products. So whatever what foreigners brought, I'm sure they would love it. Filipinos like to go out with families, friends and even the entire community for a special gathering. So if you are thinking of going out for a date expect someone close comes along.
- Learn a few native words - learning to speak a few words isn't that hard and it is a plus to learn a few like "Salamat", "Mabuhay Filipino", "Magandang Gabi" and "Magandang Umaga". But the first thing you should know is to learn how to speak "Salamat" means "Thank You" and "Magandang Gabi" means "Good Evening". They would definitely love to here you speaking their own language eventhough you sounded terrible. It would also be nice to have an interpreter beside you to quickly learn the dialect.
- Get to know them - hospitality are among the great qualities of Filipinos and you would never had a hard time of knowing them infact Filipinos are very friendly to foreigners. One way of knowing them is to get along with them during occassions and gatherings. You will have all the attention.
- Familiarize the place that you want to stay - the only way to familiarize these places is simply going there. Stay in a hotel or pension house in a couple of days and move around the city. Bring along with you a Filipino guide or friend. If you find place that you think its a good place to stay, rent an apartment for a couple of days to see more of that place. Take a bike and stroll around the places. You will enjoy and will be amazed of what you'll discover.