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Do’s and Don’ts when buying property in the Philippines

In our excitement to buy our first property in Casay, we skipped some wise and important steps in doing the  purchase.  Like all things in life, there will always be snags  so  if you’re already planning to buy, don’t let this list hinder your plans.

1.  Do your research. Know the area of the property you’re planning to buy.  Since not all places in the Philippines have the basic utilities, you need to clear these things with the seller or real estate agent.  If you are like us,  we were not present in the Philippines, when we bought our first property, have someone you trust go check it. Ask about the land you’re buying,  Is it inclined? by how much? Make sure the area you are buying in is not in a fault zone/landslide/tsunami prone area. Visit PHIVOLCS to verify  http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/ . Check out the Fault/Landslide/tsunami hazard maps that they have.

Another thing you can do is go to the baranggay office and ask people about the conditions of the area (traffic, flood, crime, schools, hospitals, and fire). Ask them how many times the place gets flooded in a year and how bad does it get flooded. Ask about recent fires near the area as well and how well the firetrucks performed. You should also want to be near a good hospital so when emergency arises, you know you’ll be taken care of.

2.  Do verify that the seller is the same person in the Land Title. I know you might think it’s kinda dumb to even list down but believe me we’ve talked to people who claim to own the land then later found out that wasn’t the case. Here’s the link to the online registry http://125.22.35.139:8080/TransactionStatus/

3. Do verify that the owner is updated with paying the  Land Tax or “Amilyar”. If you buy without settling this issue, you might be left with a hefty debt. You can also use this info to negotiate the selling price.

4. Don’t hesitate to ask for the technical spec of the land. Verify that the details are the same as what the owner told you. Hire a geodetic engineer to verify the specs.

5. So if you’re decided, sitdown with the seller to propose your offer. Don’t be shy to ask for discounts. Why not? Nothing lost if you do. It would be best if you have a contract to sell and don’t forget to have it notarized. You can download it from here http://legal-forms.philsite.net/contract-to-sell.htm or you can ask a lawyer to create one for you. It’s not expensive so it’s good to invest. Let me tell you why… The owner, Mrs. KidlatDagat (not her real name)agreed with our offer of Php175 per sqm and agreed with letting us buy it in parts but we will have to take care of having the land measured for the technical description and the Title.  After the technical description was finally settled,   she called us and unbelievably wants Php200 per sqm for the rest of the property.  Of course, now that we got the piece of the land that has no right of way, she bullies us with raising the price. Believe me, I have had those thoughts in mind but chose to believe that people are good to the core.

6. Do not pay in cash. Aside from being dangerous carrying that money around, you would want to have a paper trail of the money,  in case, you need it in court.

7. Do ask for a receipt. If the owner doesn’t have one, print one from here http://legal-forms.philsite.net/acknowledgement-receipt.htm Do try to be detailed in the receipt. Don’t be shy to ask for some ID as well. Driver’s license,  SSS or GSIS ID, or the passport should work fine. Do try to have it notarized. It’s only about Php50 (~$1) , It’s a simple way of letting the other party know that you keep everything inline.

Hopefully, you won’t have the same problem that we had. Just keep a good head up your shoulders and always listen to that voice at the back of your head. They’re almost always right.




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