OFW Guide: Buying Property in the Philippines
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  • A Step-By-Step Guide in Buying a Property in PH for OFWs

    A Step-By-Step Guide in Buying a Property in the Philippines for OFWs or Filipinos Abroad

    Did you find the home of your dream in the Philippines while you're still residing or working in another country? For most OFWs, working in other countries is a stepping stone for a more comfortable living for their families in the Philippines or themselves when they get back. In which having an ideal home to go back to is proof of hard work and sacrifices. While other Filipinos abroad find some level of peace getting back to their roots or dreaming of retiring in their homeland. Whatever the reason may be why one had to be in another country, buying a property in the Philippines seems complicated because you are not physically present to go through the process of it. Thankfully, it is possible, and there are guidelines you can follow to get your dream home.

    Before we dive into the step-by-step guide, it is best to settle your financing plans and back up first to safeguard yourself from bad decisions. Preferably, you have to give your honest assessment of your financial capability— the most comfortable you can put aside for your monthly payment without the feeling of always being on edge. Setting a backup plan to secure your finances is also recommended in case of unforeseen events, e.g., health and employment concerns.

    Step-By-Step Guide in Buying a Property in the Philippines for OFWs or Filipinos Abroad

    Step 1: Do thorough research about the property and get a reliable real estate broker or salesperson.

    Ensure that you did your research, an extensive one, about the property that has your interest. Is the property in good condition? What is it like in the neighborhood? Is it close to public transportation and essential establishments? Ideally, you can get someone you trust to ocular for you to get the full picture and if the property matches your taste and needs. If you're the one who doesn't know where to start, you can seek guidance from a real estate broker or salesperson in helping you find your ideal property.

    Step 2: Assign Attorney-in-Fact and sign a Special Power of Attorney document or SPA.

    You will need to assign a legal representative in the Philippines, also called the Attorney-in-Fact, who will act on your behalf to sign on forms and/or apply for loans. The role requires someone you trust, and because of this, some assign their spouse, child of legal age, or siblings to take the position.

    Your real estate broker or salesperson will provide you with the Special Power of Attorney document or SPA to sign and undergo consularization. It is a recognized legal document that will authorize your Attorney-in-Fact. Consularization can cost about $25 per document and may vary depending on which country you currently reside in. Consularization is a non-refundable process.

    Step 3: Complete the requirements.

    Once you find and reserve the property you want to purchase, you will be asked to provide the requirements, which may vary depending on the property's developer.

    • Signed and consularized SPA

    • Your latest proof of income (3 months)

    • Bank statements

    • Proof of billing (address in the Philippines)

    • Tax identification number or TIN

    • Consularized Certificate of Employment and Compensation (CEC)

    • Employment contract written in English

    • Photocopy or scanned copy of your passport and IDs

    • Marriage certificate (if applicable)

    • Post-dated checks (PDCs) for the down payment.

    Step 4: Send requirements to your agent via courier

    When you complete the requirements, you must send over the physical copies via courier to your real estate broker or salesperson in the Philippines.

    Step 5: Apply for a housing loan.

    Your Attorney-in-Fact can apply for a housing loan of your choice, whether through a bank, in-house (through the developer), or Pag-IBIG Fund.

    Step 6: Set up a checking account for monthly payments

    If you have an existing local bank account, you can request a checking account under the same details through your Attorney-in-Fact.

    The step-by-step guide may vary depending on the developer or bank you are in contact with. The key is to stay involved and monitor every step in the process.

    Check out the OFW Guide: Buying Property in the Philippines for more tips and guidelines.

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