How not to turn property purchase into a nightmare | Inquirer Business

How not to turn property purchase into a nightmare

/ 12:30 AM October 31, 2015


Last week, Inquirer Property began this two-part article to guide overseas Filipinos on avoiding the tricky business of property investment in the Philippines. Coincidence or not, the article’s concluding part today falls on a Halloween. Taking all these eight items into mind, however, OFs’ property investment experience in this country should not be as scary. Here are the remaining five items:

5Get real: Match your finances with your target property. Enrique M. Soriano III, Ateneo program director for real estate and senior adviser for Wong+Bernstein Business, advised buyers to evaluate their goals before making the purchase.


• Consider your short-term and long-term needs.


• Ask yourself: Is what I am buying an investment or for future use?

• Study prices of properties in different locations.

• Choose the size that best suits your needs.

• Is it a masterplanned community?

• What are your payment/

financing options?


• Gather all the information you need.

“Think about the next five years and ask yourself questions that will create a drastic change in your lifestyle in the future. Do you have plans to move in a few years? Are you a young couple or early nesters? Are you based overseas and planning on moving back to the Philippines in the next few years? These questions will help you decide intelligently,” Soriano pointed out.

He added, “If you are looking at two- to five-year investments or are based outside the country and want to make serious money investing in properties, you should learn about the word ‘leverage.’”

6Know what makes a great place. Soriano cited four key attributes that make a location a great buy:

• sociability (the “intangibles”: a welcoming, cooperative, neighborly community; measurements: street life, evening use, volunteerism);

• access and linkages (intangibles: connected, walkable, convenient, accessible; measurements: transit usage, pedestrian activity, parking usage patterns);

• uses and activities (intangibles: fun, active, vital, special, real; measurements: business ownership, property values, land-use patterns, retail sales);

• comfort and image (intangibles: safe, charming, clean, attractive, historic; measurements: peace and order statistics, sanitation rating, building conditions, environmental data).

7Know where to find useful information. Soriano advises OFs to conduct research online, and seek advice from unbiased colleagues when purchasing a condominium or a house.

“Think long and hard when you solicit information from developers. Consider investing in projects where the developer has a long list of completed developments. Ask the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board for advice on developer’s reputation,” said Soriano.

He added: “Finally, ask occupants and neighbors of completed projects. They are the best source of unbiased and objective information. Plan your purchase and avoid being emotional.”

8Prepare a checklist of property documents. Monique Pronove, CEO of Pronove Tai International Property Consultants, pointed out the following property documents that buyers need to have on hand. “After the developer/ownership profile has been satisfied, the buyer needs to conduct due diligence on the property documents itself.”

Pronove’s checklist includes: title (condominium certificate of title or transfer certificate of title for condominiums or land, respectively); tax declaration; tax clearance issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue that the property is up-to-date with its taxes; official tax receipts of the current year; master deed of restrictions; house rules and guidelines; construction guidelines; certificate of management issued by the building manager stating that the seller has followed the sales procedure in the master deed and that the seller is up-to-date with its association dues.

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Pronove stressed: “Hiring a professional/licensed real estate agent to act on the buyers’ behalf makes the entire sales and purchase easier rather than going through the entire process yourself, which can be daunting. Like a medical doctor, we listen and diagnose what the buyer needs, and we prescribe solutions by presenting various development options, identify the pros and cons of each development and implement by transacting. In the Philippines, there is an expectation from both buyers and sellers for real estate agents to do everything. That should not be the case because we are not lawyers, we are not tax consultants or accountants, and neither are we engineers nor architects. As professionals, we recognize our area of expertise and our limitations thus, we collaborate with our clients’ legal counsel and accountant to deliver a best-in-class transaction.”

TAGS: guide, property, Purchases

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