Condo buying guide for foreigners (外國人公寓購買指南)

Date: Apr 12, 2021

4 things foreigners buying condos must do

Overseas buyers are able to purchase condominium units in the Philippines, however, the process isn’t always smooth. There are several things foreigners buying condos must do before the sale is complete.

The first step is to be aware of the basics. These basics include the fact that international buyers are not allowed to own more than 40 percent of a condominium building and buying a plot of land as a foreigner is not possible.

And this is only the beginning. Here are four other things you will need to do before purchasing a condo.

1) Search for the right property

There are no shortage of condominiums in Makati or any other areas and finding the right one can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to look.

Among the initial things foreigners buying condos must do is complete a thorough property search. This search should take into consideration what you’re buying the unit for and what locations you deem to be most suitable.

Many investors begin their search by looking for new build projects on Dot Property Philippines and then sort by price, location and developer. Others already know the area they want to buy and start a very narrow search that focuses around that place.

Popular areas such as Century City or Rockwell Center can prove to be a good starting point for your search.

2) Transfer money

It’s important to transfer enough of your foreign currency into Philippine peso. You'll need an amount at least equal to the purchase price or deposit of the condo you want. This will be investigated and you must prove you have enough pesos for the purchase.

In order to prevent delays in payment, do this ahead of time instead of waiting until after a deal has been reached.

3) Hire a lawyer and/or agent

This is arguably the most important thing foreigners buying condos must do. These real estate professionals will be able to assist you with issues you may have no knowledge on such as taxes, fees and contracts.

It may be possible to take care of some of these on your own, but many overseas buyers run into problems during the process. It is not unusual for a real estate investor to try and go it alone only to hire an agent or lawyer later on in the process.

In most cases it is easier and quicker just to hire one from the start.

4) Complete due diligence

Working with a trusted real estate agent or lawyer is a good start, but you should not only rely on their feedback.

Does the developer have a good reputation and who will be managing the project?

These are two questions you will want to have answered before buying.

Also, look into rental management programs. Is it offered by building management or do you need to outsource this?

This can save you a lot of time once the purchase is complete.