As soon as people back home knew I was working abroad, I was treated like a goose that lays golden eggs. That was something I realized that most OFWs felt. Everybody was selling me or asking me to buy something. I tried to keep my head straight by focusing on investments off the bat. This is something I knew would ensure that all the hard work in the middle of the desert will not be wasted. Buying land or real estate in the Philippines appealed to me most because it’s practical and sensible. Like all investments, it takes a lot of smarts to make sure that money and time is not wasted. From my experienced I realized a few important things when buying real estate which you may find useful.
Inspecting the land
Since I was away, most of my transactions were thru someone I trust. Most of the time we are persuaded easily to buy parcels of land from supposed trusted source like relatives or friends of relatives. No matter what, have the title checked out if it’s clean (not mortgaged) and have an ocular inspection to see if things are as described on the title.
In a perfect world, all lots are ‘square’
I remember an instance when someone was selling this lot measured 300 sqm,, good location, very enticing. The thing was, 100 sqm was allocated as pathway to the main road, what’s worse the lot in front built a series of apartment using the lot as driveway. You can get their cars out of the lot but you have to give them a right of way. There was also this lot that when you plot all the points described on the title is shaped like a ribbon. It’s a typo but it will cost money if neglected.
The price depends on the location, obviously, but if you do some homework by giving it an extra time, you may want to look up if there are any plans in the area that may greatly increase the value of the land. Too much work? You’ll be going to the municipal office to get a tax clearance, the same place where plans of the town/city engineer’s office can be found.
If the lot comes with a house or establishment, it naturally adds value to the land. But if you want to take it down, there are firms who’d do this for you in exchange for the scraps like iron that can be scavenged after demolition.
Time to pay up
There are times when you’ll be paying for a land out of the owner’s sentimental valuation of the property. You’d also have to consider Zonal Value of the land along with the Capital Gains tax that it will incur. The local Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) have this exact info. You will also have to pay some fees when you transfer the title to your name thru the Land Registration Authority. Most people don’t like to be the one doing this part of the sale, so this is a bargaining chip. The work to be considered are the time and effort you may need to dedicate by going to BIR, LRA, and the local municipality. Don’t patronize fixers. They thrive on the guarantee of speedier service. The Government has curbed this thru measures that minimize red tape. Put these measures to the test. Currently the LRA guarantees a swift 4-step procedure for these transactions and the BIR have specific agents that handle this.