OFW, How to buy a house in the Philippines

I’m an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), How can I buy a house in the Philippines?

This is a frequently asked question to agents from a Filipino who’s currently working abroad for his/her family. According to the recent survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority, there is 43,000 family with family members working overseas [Source]. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) called as the new heroes of today gives the highest remittance to the Philippines. Last March 2017, OFW remittances hit record $2.91 B [Source] making them the hot buyers of real estate in the Philippines today. Remittances from overseas-based Filipinos largely fuel household consumption. They play a crucial role in the economy’s growth.

OFW search online and look for properties that they can purchase for their family. And because the properties are hot selling today, OFW has the urgency to purchase their dream home as soon as they can for their family. But their usual question is how can they buy a house in the Philippines while they are out of the country? Let me answer that question here in this article. But before you through with the purchase make sure you already have your set budget, purpose, and preference. To help you with that read this tips from realtors for first time home buyers and also know this basic real estate terms of home buying in the Philippines. If you have all this ready here’s your next step.

BUYING A PROJECT BASED PROPERTY [FROM A DEVELOPER]

  1. Assign a trusted representative to act on your behalf, we call it SPA or Special Power of Attorney. In documentations, you will see it as Attorney-in-fact. This representative will basically sign all documents under your name and will probably do the leg work for all the requirements in the Philippines. Preferably, your parents or siblings if you’re single or your wife/husband if you are married. Your children can also act on your behalf if and only if they are already of legal age and already working. It is not advisable that you set your real estate agent or broker unless otherwise there is an absence of the entire immediate family or you have a strong connection (preferably by blood) with them. For security and ethics purposes, it is best that you set your Attorney-in-fact to someone you really trust to act on your behalf.
  2. Complete the registration or reservation process with your SPA and your chosen real estate agent. It is also advised that you work only with one real estate agent from the start, to avoid confusions and problems between realty too. Your SPA should bring the following during reservation.
    • Reservation Fee
    • Buyers Information Sheet (should be under your name)
    • Authorization Letter from you for your assigned SPA
    • Your 2 valid Government Issued ID’s with 3 specimen signature
    • SPA’s 2 valid Government Issued ID’s with 3 specimen signature
    • Proof of Income (Scanned copy of your Job Contract or payslip)
  3. Check the reservation receipt issued to your SPA, make sure it is really under your name.
  4. You and your SPA will be given 30 to 60 months to complete all the documents required to secure your purchase. One of the requirements that you need to prepare overseas are the following;
    • CONSULARIZED Special Power of Attorney (to be processed at the Philippine Embassy in the country you are in).
    • Certificate of Employment with Compensation (if available)
    • Your current/active Job Contract (in English)
    • Scanned copies of your Passport entries (up to the last entry)

FOR BROKERAGE PURCHASE [RESELL]

  1. Assign a trusted representative to act on your behalf, a SPA or Special Power of Attorney. They should be able to inspect the location and property for you.
  2. Choose the property you want to purchase. Make sure the property has the following; LAND TITLE, PROPERTY Tax Declaration, and Vicinity Map.
  3. Secure a Certified True Copy of the Property Title of Ownership. Make sure that the person you are dealing with is the owner listed in the title itself. If he/she is a relative or a representative of the owner they should have the Authority to Sell.
  4. If the sale is final, your Attorney-in-fact will sign on your behalf (on your name). The Deed of Sale should be under your name and not the name of the SPA.

For purchases that prefer financing or under a housing loan, the financing institution like banks or PAG-IBIG Fund may request more documents from you to have the loan approved.

I hope this answer helps you in deciding on when to purchase your desired home. If you have further questions feel free to comment below. I will try to answer all questions as much as I can.

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