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Old Aug 17th 2017, 1:58 am   #1
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Default Build or Buy ?

As mentioned in another thread have been here 4 months already and presently rent a home in Angeles.

As we are here 'for ever' I will be looking to own a home after 12 months rent or maybe realistically 24 months. But would like to open a discussion on what is the best route to do this - should I build or buy.

Buy some land and build a house or search for a suitable house and buy. Obviously location is key but would like to pick the groups brains on any experiences anybody has had in this.

Cheers
Chris
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Old Aug 17th 2017, 3:11 am   #2
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Default Re: Build or Buy ?

I broke all the rules and had a house built here 10 years ago while I was in the UK. The structure is good, the electrics are good, the woodwork ( only have doors and wardrobes in wood ) are good, the plumbing leaves a bit to be desired but is livable with. So all in all I think I got away with it very well.

I produced the floor plan that I wanted for both floors and gave it the architect and he produced the final drawings with all the curvy bits etc. The build was on a lump sum basis, everything from materials to typhoons were his problem. The contract between us had two points which I would always have and that is any substandard work found and everything after that will be removed and replaced at the architects cost and the other was with holding P200,000 until I had done my final inspection, a few things had to be replaced/repaired but the P200,000 was the incentive enough for him to do it.

Remember light bulbs have to be changed so get them placed where it is easy, I have some under the overhang around the upstairs veranda, these are 7m off the floor and require scaffolding just to change a bulb.

Only know 2 people who have bought a house and both have had nasty surprises a few months down the line.
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Old Aug 17th 2017, 9:55 am   #3
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Default Re: Build or Buy ?

Chris I take it that this will be in your partners name who is a Filipino citizen? foreigners cannot hold freehold land but they can own a house sitting on the land etc.

When we bought ours it went into my wife's name and that was not an issue for me, we have lived in this one for 16 years. We bought from the bank and renovated to deal with all the nasty problems that one can expect to find and we have not had any major issues at all, just usual wear and tear with home improvement issues etc.
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Old Aug 18th 2017, 4:12 am   #4
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Default Re: Build or Buy ?

Don't think there is any hard and fast rule. We have two properties at present....one we had built and the other bought from a developer. The one we had built developed major electrical problems on the ground floor after 5 years. Have had to do some untidy "work arounds" to deal with them, while we await funds to have some major re-wiring done. My wife did her best in supervising but obviously that area of the job was not done well.

We have recently sold a Beach House, construction of which was supervised by my brother-in-law, who had family connections to a construction business, not qualified himself, but a very sensible and trustworthy person. Only negative thing was that too much was spent...a safety first approach. Given he is not a building professional and was scared of the wrath of his sister!

The developer's house has been fine in terms of construction. Another story with regards to getting the Title. They asked for P200,000 plus, to include some unpaid taxes.I refused to pay and that was some years ago. We have no desire to sell, it's in a good location and will be useful for the next generation.

Think looking at foreclosed properties is a good idea. People just get into money difficulties with those, rather than want to sell because termites have eaten most of the woodwork etc.
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Old Aug 18th 2017, 4:51 am   #5
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Default Re: Build or Buy ?

We bought from the bank not just because it was a heavy discount but the title was clear which was the most important aspect for us. Far too many dodgy dealing attorneys making ''mistakes '' on the paperwork that see you part with cash which you never get back when the deal falls apart as it is ''infirm''.
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Old Aug 18th 2017, 12:02 pm   #6
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Default Re: Build or Buy ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemike View Post
We bought from the bank not just because it was a heavy discount but the title was clear which was the most important aspect for us. Far too many dodgy dealing attorneys making ''mistakes '' on the paperwork that see you part with cash which you never get back when the deal falls apart as it is ''infirm''.
You are 100% correct in that the 'free title' is the most important regardless whether it is a new build or existing house. A friend has owned his house and lot for 28 years and is now being asked by the guy who he bought it off for twice what he originally paid for the plots to pay off the outstanding loans and give him the free title.
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Old Aug 19th 2017, 9:41 am   #7
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Default Re: Build or Buy ?

We bought a piece of land on the edge of a small fishing village on the island of Panay paying P1,500/m2 complete with own beach front and large beach area. I designed every aspect of the house from foundations to plumbing and did all the drawings on a laptop using MS Paint then had my drawings converted to 'standard' drawings for the permit to build application. My main structure was checked by my son who has experience in structural engineering. My wife's brother, a good builder, was appointed our site manager on a good pay rate and he basically did everything, hiring labour, material etc. You MUST constantly check the work against your drawings as Filipinos have a tendency to do what they want regardless of your drawings or verbal/written agreements or building regulations/codes. We had actually built our house and moved in before getting our permit to build, it took nearly 6 months to get the permit and only 5 months to build our house (not the right order of dong it!). Our house, single storey 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms large lounge/dinning/kitchen cost around P3m, including land, in 2016. My advice is do lots and lots of research, check everything 5 times, get good legal advice, trust no one and be sceptical, don't assume workers will work or do what they say they can do, check and double check everything, don't pay the 'bribes'!! Our house is brilliant and we got fantastic value for money. Would I design and build another, probably not as it can be very stressful. I wish you well.
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Old Aug 20th 2017, 5:14 am   #8
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Default Re: Build or Buy ?

Mikemike,

*foreigners cannot hold freehold land but they can own a house sitting on the land etc* This is an age old question. As far as I am aware a foreigner cannot own a house unless they have built it. Condos have their own rules. Yes, a clever lawyer may work the wording on the title that the foreigner has legal title but I suspect an even clever lawyer could unravel that. Foreigners can buy a house but not own it seems the general consensus.

Regards

Pete
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Old Aug 20th 2017, 6:17 am   #9
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Default Re: Build or Buy ?

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Originally Posted by springsteen11 View Post
Mikemike,

*foreigners cannot hold freehold land but they can own a house sitting on the land etc* This is an age old question. As far as I am aware a foreigner cannot own a house unless they have built it. Condos have their own rules. Yes, a clever lawyer may work the wording on the title that the foreigner has legal title but I suspect an even clever lawyer could unravel that. Foreigners can buy a house but not own it seems the general consensus.

Regards

Pete
Pete yes it is a curious situation. Some town houses are freehold!! whilst majority will have some form of leasehold/commonhold arrangement.

A nightmare for the unwary
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Old Aug 20th 2017, 8:36 am   #10
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Default Re: Build or Buy ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by springsteen11 View Post
Mikemike,

*foreigners cannot hold freehold land but they can own a house sitting on the land etc* This is an age old question. As far as I am aware a foreigner cannot own a house unless they have built it. Condos have their own rules. Yes, a clever lawyer may work the wording on the title that the foreigner has legal title but I suspect an even clever lawyer could unravel that. Foreigners can buy a house but not own it seems the general consensus.

Regards

Pete
My lawyer told me he was putting in a statement on the title that I was married to Mrs X and as such the land could not be sold without my signature, nor could I be prevented from entering the property. Not too sure how it would hold up in court.
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Old Aug 20th 2017, 1:54 pm   #11
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Default Re: Build or Buy ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stokkevn View Post
My lawyer told me he was putting in a statement on the title that I was married to Mrs X and as such the land could not be sold without my signature, nor could I be prevented from entering the property. Not too sure how it would hold up in court.
I suspect that ensures that the land can not be sold without you being aware, you probably can not legally withhold your signature should the other party wish to sell. Also my understanding of the house and lot arrangement, you can only own the building if built on a clean lot. If you buy a lot with existing house you may be able to claim for improvements but not the house.
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Old Aug 20th 2017, 2:08 pm   #12
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Originally Posted by Gazza-d View Post
I suspect that ensures that the land can not be sold without you being aware, you probably can not legally withhold your signature should the other party wish to sell. Also my understanding of the house and lot arrangement, you can only own the building if built on a clean lot. If you buy a lot with existing house you may be able to claim for improvements but not the house.
Mine was a house built on a clean lot. The lawyer ( now a judge ) is one of the few here that I would say is well educated, hard working and honest and I struggle to make him take payment for the little jobs he does for me. Having said that I am sure that a court ( where he is not the judge ) will make their mind up as to what they think the law should be. Shall try and investigate and if I find anything out will revert here.
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Old Aug 21st 2017, 11:30 am   #13
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Default Re: Build or Buy ?

Our house was architect built and designed. He checked everything, in addition, many of our relatives were employed as masons, carpenters and labourers.
We were always fair with our workers. They were never paid under. If something went wrong declare it, and rectify. No comebacks; no penalties.
The architect used to give a list of materials that were needed. Which we ordered and had delivered to site.
We used a local hardware store, and when we ordered cement in batches of two or three hundred sacks. They were delivered by the factory direct. Much the same with other materials.
Give the delivery workers a small gratuity. It pays when it's late in the day. They can always fit you in. Knowing they will have money for cigarettes or drink that evening.
If any workers stayed on for a delivery, pay them the rate for each half hour or part thereof. Happy workers, that are treated fairly, do good work. Alternatively: If anyone is willing to wait for the delivery, here's a bottle of rum, chilled Sprite, some ice, and a pack of cigarettes. To kill time whilst you're waiting.
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Old Sep 3rd 2017, 11:27 pm   #14
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Default Re: Build or Buy ?

Thanks to all for the feedback !
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