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Hello again fellow Expats.

Some of you may recall my original post here ( http://www.expatforum.com/expats/ph...36070-general-filipina-girlfriend-advice.html ) - which for some reason is the most viewed thread in the Philippines section of this forum :eek:

Anyway, things have been going well for us. Discovered the other half was pregnant last May. We were already engaged by that time, but pushed the wedding plans forward and had a nice Civil Service here in Malaysia and then in Feb our super cute son arrived on the scene. Am still madly in love with my wonderful Filipina wife and life on the domestic front could not be better (albeit am still suffering from sleep deprivation thanks to said super cute baby!).

Anyway, my wife is from a Barangay located about 30 mins drive outside the centre of Angeles. About 15 mins drive to Marquee Mall if you know the area.

When I first started to visit I stayed in a hotel in Angeles City itself, but subsequently, as I got more comfortable with the family and various relations, I started staying at the family home.

As Malaysia is not that far from the Phils we are able to visit on a fairly frequent basis for long weekends and holidays up to 5/6 times a year.

Now staying at the family home was perfectly fine when it was just me and the my wife - but now the baby is on the scene we really do need another option as the family home is pretty small and basically equipped.

We could stay in hotels in the centre of town, but its not super convenient for several reasons - not least that its not that cheap if visiting regularly and getting back and forth to the family home (which is the main reason for the visits) is also a pain.

As such my wife suggested buying a small piece of land in her Barangay with either an existing house in place (which would obviously need some renovation) or a vacant lot on which we could build something ourselves.

As this would only be a 'holiday home' for us we are not looking for anything super flash - just a couple of bedrooms, a lounge, kitchen (or combined kitchen/diner) and a decently specced toilet/shower room, which would not need a huge amount of maintenance in our absence.

I don't want to spend a huge amount on this as when I do eventually retire to the Philippine I intend to purchase something much more fit for purpose and would rather keep my money invested until then.

Anyway, my wife's family have highlighted a few plots in the Barangay.

It seems the going rate is 500,000 pesos for a 150 sq m plot - usually with some form of existing accommodation in place (generally not suitable without major rennovation).

Can those of you currently living in the Philippines - particularly any of you living in the Angeles City/Pampanga areas advise on whether 500k for a 150 sq metre plot is a 'reasonable' price for a piece of land about 30 mins outside the centre of Angeles. The area is on slightly higher ground and not prone to flooding. As a foreigner I do expect to get ripped off to some extent - but just need to know if this is clearly excessive or quite reasonable.

Also if we did want to construct a small house ourselves (2 bed, 1 lounge, 1 kitchen, 1 toilet/shower room) - with a moderate spec - what would you estimate a fair price would be if we employed a reasonably respectable local builder (if we can find one). An acquaintance (an American guy who is married to another local) got a small piece of land from his wife's parents in the same Barangay and built a small home (2 bed, 1 lounge/diner, 1 modern toilet/shower) and paid around 400k for this (about 3 years ago). He also suspects that around 100k of this was pocketed by the parents of his wife who managed the building process in his absence.

Also, based on the 500k price for the land, would I expect to see any return on this, if we decided to sell it in 20 or so years (around the time I plan to retire to the Phils and build a more permanent home elsewhere). Is it reasonable to expect land prices in the Angeles/Pampanga area will go up or would I be much better off investing the money (albeit not that much money) elsewhere?

I am aware that any landed property has to be in my wife's name (and that is not an issue for me) but are there any other legal issues I should be aware of with regard purchasing land and any processes that need to be followed to ensure that the deal is legitimate?

I have been advised that the owner has to provide a deed document from City Hall stating that they are the legal owner and that once this is checked it is just a case of transferring that to us and then us registering the new name? Is this correct and are their any scams around this process that I should be aware of.

Many thanks in advance for you answers :)
 

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Even though I don't live in the Angeles/Pampanga area nor have I ever lived there, buying land and putting a house on it is pretty much the sane all over the Philippines. Better that your wife handle any negotiations regarding price, etc., because if they see you, their eyes will flash big money. 150SQM of land area can very easily hold a 100SQM dwelling. That is a good size house. How you want the house constructed will depend on the type it is and how it is constructed. Until you and your family settle in and you finally decide what you really want, consider renting until such time as you are ready to make the final deal on the land and dwelling.
 

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Have you considered constructing a "mini" place on your in laws property? Perhaps even add 1 room to their house with a private entrance & steel door?
 

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The land price you quoted is very high for the area, but it does all hinge on "the area".
Use Google and search "Philippines", "Pampanga", "name of town", "land" and you can get some ideas regarding the prices.

I see a foreclosed residential lot for just over 78 pesos per square meter on a 1915 SQM lot.
THAT is an incredible deal...so I would try to find out what the "catch" is.
Property For Sale in Santa Rita - Property for sale Philippines : Property24
Make sure that the property you are considering does not have any leans on it and the title is "free and clear". (Other people know more about this than I do.)
I bought some property around 2012 which was in the middle of a zoning transition from rural land-to-residential land, within 30 minutes of Angeles. I paid 500 pesos per SQM which was the local rural land price while 1000 pesos per SQM was the local residential price.

All property belongs to your wife, even if your name is on the title. I have my wife's name and my name on our title, but it may only help me in a situation where she passes away and then it becomes easier for me to claim ownership, at least long enough to pass the land on to my Filipina daughter. I may add my daughter's name to the title to make things easier.
 

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Hmmm I take back my comment about the quoted land price is "very high".
I see huge variations even for a given area.
Perhaps your wife can speak with a local official who deals with titles and/or land to ascertain the area's typical price per SQM for residential land without a house?
 

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All property belongs to your wife, even if your name is on the title. I have my wife's name and my name on our title, but it may only help me in a situation where she passes away and then it becomes easier for me to claim ownership, at least long enough to pass the land on to my Filipina daughter. I may add my daughter's name to the title to make things easier.
Your daughter is in front of you for inheritance so she will get the property anyway.
 

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Your daughter is in front of you for inheritance so she will get the property anyway.
I think if my wife passes, the property is inherited by all her children, three of which are not my offspring. So, if I want just my daughter to inherit the property, then I need to take further action, mostly on my wife's will....or we could just transfer all the property to my Filipina daughter now, before I or my wife pass away.

I should have mentioned that the website prices from the Real Estate pages are usually higher than the price's a Filipina can find by talking to friends, neighbors, and local officials. It is best if your wife (or a trusted Filipina/Filipino) asks residents surrounding a property which you are interested in. Often, one of the neighbors knows land values and/or the owner or has other leads. It goes without saying that the prices are often better if the seller does not realize that a OFW or a foreigner is involved.

As I said, the main thing is to make sure the land is not contested and that you do not discover that you have to pay the back taxes on land, the taxes which apparently the previous owner never paid. So you want a title which is "free and clear".
 

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I think if my wife passes, the property is inherited by all her children, three of which are not my offspring. So, if I want just my daughter to inherit the property, then I need to take further action, mostly on my wife's will....or we could just transfer all the property to my Filipina daughter now, before I or my wife pass away.

I should have mentioned that the website prices from the Real Estate pages are usually higher than the price's a Filipina can find by talking to friends, neighbors, and local officials. It is best if your wife (or a trusted Filipina/Filipino) asks residents surrounding a property which you are interested in. Often, one of the neighbors knows land values and/or the owner or has other leads. It goes without saying that the prices are often better if the seller does not realize that a OFW or a foreigner is involved.

As I said, the main thing is to make sure the land is not contested and that you do not discover that you have to pay the back taxes on land, the taxes which apparently the previous owner never paid. So you want a title which is "free and clear".
Cutting the offer offspring out of their inheritant may not be straight forward and will definitly upset people, especially where free money is involved.
 

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To definitely know the valuation of the parcel of land one will be acquiring go to the City Assesors Office and/or go to the Bureau of Internal Revenue website and see zonal valuations.

And visually inspect the area. Sometimes it looks good on paper but the actual site is full of problems or potential concerns.

Goodluck!

http://www.bir.gov.ph/index.php/zonal-values.html
 

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To definitely know the valuation of the parcel of land one will be acquiring go to the City Assesors Office and/or go to the Bureau of Internal Revenue website and see zonal valuations.

And visually inspect the area. Sometimes it looks good on paper but the actual site is full of problems or potential concerns.

Goodluck!

Zonal Values - Bureau of Internal Revenue
The link provided by Galactic is very helpful.
In this post, I am attempting to attach a pdf-file which shows an excerpt from a spreadsheet found through the linked website.
The excerpt is of the barangay in which Marquee Mall is located.
The code RR stands for "Residential Regular".
 

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Thank you for this article link.
I did not know this about BIR zonal values.
I'm reminded every year when the wife pays the land taxes on the properties how BIR zonal values don't even come close to what titled property is actually selling for in my affected BIR zone.

Titled property is skyrocketing in the PI and BIR zonal values have not kept pace with and don't reflect the increase.
 

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BIR Zonal Values are not an accurate basis in determining a property’s market value. BIR Zonal Values are purely for taxation purposes only!

Read this brief article. What You Need To Know About BIR Zonal Values
Nice article :)

Of course it will all depend on the existing structure if any and the improvements or none at all but at these values are the ones indicated on official government paper.

It is very common to undervalue the purchase amount on the deed of sale so as to avoid steep taxes BUT it will always be on a ballpark figure so that the buyer has a good bargaining perspective.

Im not an expert on these things but I have purchased about 3 properties through the years and the city assessor's office recommendations and BIR zonal values has been a guide.
 
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