Are you an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) with a strong desire to give your family back in the Philippines a comfortable life? And to achieve this, is it one of your goals to buy them a place to call home back in your homeland? Or, is buying your dream home rooted in personal reasons such as plans of retiring in your home country? Whatever your reason for residing in another country, buying a property in the Philippines can appear confusing since you are not physically available to undertake the process. In addition, the process of how to buy a property in the Philippines can be daunting when you are separated from your loved ones. Many times, the task or lack of understanding of how things work involved how to buy a property in the Philippines is the only impediment to achieving this dream.
What if you do not have enough time to do all the nitty gritty processes of purchasing a home on your vacation back in the Philippines? Will it be possible to accomplish the process on how to buy a property in the Philippines while residing in a different country? If so, how will you make certain that the individual you authorized to do the process on your behalf does not get the brushoff from the various agencies for that you are required to safeguard forms? These are just some of the frequently asked questions on how to buy a property in the Philippines by aspiring Filipino homebuyers that reside overseas. Matter of fact, this issue is not a matter of how much money you will have to spend, but of how much time you will have to exert. Because of the time differences and misunderstandings, you would frequently have a hard time communicating with property agents in the Philippines while working overseas. Fortunately, it is entirely possible to buy a property in the Philippines even if you are abroad. In this article, we will look into the different steps of how to buy a property in the Philippines that can guide you to achieve your ideal home.
Here is a rundown on how to buy a property in the Philippines if you are an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) or a Filipino residing abroad:
Conduct extensive research on the property you wish to purchase and the home developer you plan to hire.
Prices of properties will greatly vary depending on their location. Make sure to check your ideal location for your property. However, if you plan to go around and tour every available house and lot for sale in the Philippines, then expect that your whole week or month of vacation would not suffice. Lucky for you, there are available technological and advanced platforms available now that could enable you to see updates and trends available on the Philippine market while you reside abroad. These platforms will help you get a taste of what the properties and communities these listings are in reality like just by visiting the developer’s website and social media pages. One trusted developer that you may want to consider is BRIA. BRIA Homes primes itself on developing affordable house and lot packages and easy-on-the-pocket condominium units that cater to ordinary Filipino families who aspire to acquire their own homes. It had become the perfect choice for average Filipino workers who wanted to invest in a high-quality and affordable home. Moreover, timezone differences are not an issue to know more about BRIA. Interested homebuyers can access BRIA’s 24/7 online customer service chat on their official website with a few simple clicks. In addition, BRIA’s official Facebook page and project pages are managed by mobile-ready agents, ensuring a steady line of contact. Online payments and reservations are also available through BRIA’s bank partners and e-wallets. Interested property seekers can check out BRIA Homes developments through virtual tours on the BRIA website. You may also send inquiries via the official BRIA Facebook page, or reserve a property online through the BRIA reservation page.
Read also: BRIA Homes Makes Homeownership Accessible to OFWs
Designate a trusted representative to handle the homebuying process.
Take note that the home-buying process often takes at least three months to a year! By having a trusted representative accomplish your home purchase you will not need to be physically present in the Philippines all throughout the process. You will have to appoint a legal representative in the Philippines, also identified as an Attorney-in-Fact. This legal representative will be responsible for signing relevant forms and can even apply for house loans on your behalf. Since the position requires somebody you trust, some people assign the role to their brother or sister, husband or wife, or any family member (18 years or older). Your chosen real estate broker or salesperson would then hand you the Special Power of Attorney (SPA) document to sign and submit to the consulate. This is an acknowledged legally binding document that will give your Attorney-in-Fact authority. The cost of the consularizing per document varies depending on the country you are presently residing in. Consularization is a one-time fee that cannot be refunded.
Prepare your documents.
After you have chosen and secured the house and lot you wish to buy, you will then be requested to complete the requirements. These requirements may depend mainly on your chosen home developer. However, the basic requirements are:
- Consularized Certificate of Employment and Compensation (CEC)
- Signed and consularized Special Power of Attorney (SPA) document that must be authenticated by the Philippine consulate
- Photocopy of important IDs (passport, driver’s licenses, etc.)
- Your latest proof of income (3 months)
- Bank statements
- Proof of billing (address in the Philippines)
- Tax identification number or TIN
- Employment certificate or contract (written in English)
- Photocopy or scanned copy of your passport and IDs
- Marriage certificate (if applicable)
Once you have completed the requirements, you should submit the hard copies of the needed document to your real estate broker or salesperson in the Philippines. Send the documents through a reliable shipping company.
Look into available financing options.
Another important responsibility that your chosen Attorney-in-Fact will do is to apply for a housing loan of your preference. A housing loan is one of your best bets that would help you buy your dream home. Housing loans are also known as “mortgages” in some aspects. Housing loans in the Philippines are provided by Housing Development Mutual Fund (also called Pag-IBIG), different banks, and in-house (available from the developers themselves). There are two types of housing loans available for Filipinos to choose from. First is public, in the form of Pag-IBIG, and private, in the form of banks. BPI, Metrobank, and Security Bank are among the major banks that offer home loans. Make sure to compare their mortgage rates to have the best financing option.
Read also: Affordable Housing Programs in the Philippines for OFWs
Set up payment terms.
After the purchase of your brand-new home, you will then be required to make monthly mortgage payments. As you are going through the payment transaction every month, it will benefit you to set up some type of planned schedule or digitalized payment. It will indeed be more practical, and that will prevent you from paying extra charges for making missed payments or making purchases from abroad. Post-dated checks, or checks that can only be cashed on or after a specific date, are one of the most common payment terms chosen by Filipinos residing abroad. You could indeed forgo processing and/or late fees by opening a local account and issuing such checks to help mitigate your home loan transactions for the years ahead. Check with your local banks on how you could open a checking account for this purpose.
Going through the process of how to buy a property in the Philippines is no longer as challenging as you thought it would be. By maximizing the use of technology, reading reviews from other homebuyers, and having good preparation, your hard-earned money would soon provide you with a comfortable home back in the Philippines even if you are residing in a different country.
Written by MC Sanchez