Buying Land in the Philippines

buying-land-in-the-philippines-001Buying Land in the Philippines

One of the biggest dangers in the Philippines – for the foreigner, is to get the idea to buy land with money he can not afford to loose. Foreigners may not own land in the Philippines – he must find someone willing to put the title in their name when they pay for it.

Sometimes it does work out when it is placed in a spouses name – but if the relationship falters, the foreigner has no recourse or claim to that land. This scenario is played out on a daily basis in the Philippines.

One other scam is that the seller never hands over the title when the land has been paid for. What can the foreigner do – complain to the police? There is a good chance that the policeman is the brother-in-law of the seller and so is the recorder of the deeds at the land office.

Another scam is that the land is sold to several different parties at the same time. Everyone is out of luck!

Land in the provinces often does not have clear title and you will never be able to get 125 relatives to sign off on the deal.

What if you buy some land in the sticks and even have clear title. The squatters don’t want to move. What can the foreigner do? Evict them? They won’t move out anyway and you have a battle that will last you the rest of your life – possibly shortened with a little help from your friends.

What do you do if you buy in a very remote location and have no friends or relatives in the area? Need I ask?

The “business” that has been planned will not work anyway – better to throw away the money on a really big party!

The advantages of renting in the Philippines

It is in the owners interest to keep his tenant alive and healthy. He wants the tenant to stay there as long as possible.

He will make sure that no one poisons the well.

He will help keep an eye on things so they don’t go missing. (At least he will make sure that no one else gets them!)

…good luck : )

dutchpickle logocaveat emptor

Feb 8, 2010

6 responses to “Buying Land in the Philippines”

  1. Well dp u wrapped that one up good and proper, never a truer word spoken and anyone saying any different about this situation has a vacant lot ( between there ears). I like many tried to “buy” land here. Complete waste of good money. Dont even atempt it unless u are 200% sure that your partner is for life or u are 150 years old and realy dont care to sell the land in the future ahahah. U would be better off trying to buy 5000sqmtrs on the moon. Believe me. Great stuff mate . Keep up the good work. Internet cafe is now open ahahaha. BW Dave

  2. I second Dave’s and DP advice on buying land over in the Philippines…

  3. Hi DP

    Well written. It never ceases to amaze me. The number of foreigners who meet the “girl of their dreams”, move to P.I, leave their brains at home and sink their life savings into property that can ONLY be owned by their “spouse”…. Not to mention the 1001 scams property “vendors” engage in.

    Dave’s comment about buying 5000m2 on the moon and being better off is no idle observation.

    I know a guy here in NZ living with a Philippine wife who sent a large sum of cash to to the wife’s family to buy “family” land in the sticks of southern Cebu. He then started forwarding cash to the family to pay for the construction of a house. As time went by and the cash flowed out (around $85,000) he began to wonder why there seemed to be no progress. Finally he went to see for himself…. a couple of rows of hollow blocks sheltering innumerable squatters and not a family member in sight.

    Even more amazing, previously when he married this girl of his dreams he had sent money for the parents to fly over here for the wedding. The father promptly took the money to his local watering hole and drank the lot… Would that not ring any alarm bells?

    I know Bruce can recite endless stories of a similar nature, many of them simply heartrending. But all of them have a common theme – pretty smile and a great body; brains go out the window.



    PS Bought the air tickets last week. Can’t wait for May. I’ll be on that XT and chasing you down for a few cold SMs.



  4. I think you guys can own a condo. 100% yours. You can have it rented out if you plan on a long trip.

    I think foreigners like you should also be given a chance to own land here. My husband’s canadian client told him that the Phil. gov. is afraid of having all the land be bought by the chinese. Haha!

    When it comes to owning a business, I know foreigners are allowed to own 100% of company provided that it is an EXPORTING business.


  5. To Dave, Lindsay and MG:

    If you are afraid to put properties in my country, we don’t care! In defense to my countrymen, you GUYS, better check out in the Philippine Immigration regarding your standing in our country. Before you imagine of buying lands there, you better get a Filipino wife and get married, and let her help you get a Philippine Visa, so you can have the right of whatever land or business you wanted. I don’t find it funny or enjoyable to read comments like you’ve written. You make it looks like foreigners have no right there. If you are afraid that your filipino fiancee or wife will ripped you off, you better have a PRE-NUPTIAL agreement. I hate to say this, but most foreigners talked or write more negatives about filipinos but they keep searching for a wife in the Philippines, hey people.. get a reality check, before you make comments that makes filipino annoyed. As if I know, I been into a lot of places in abroad, as a Filipina, I’ve seen from my own eyes how terrible the traits and life to live in abroad, but foreigners like you.. talks as if.. you are a BIG SHOOT from Wall street! I’m here in the states, and if I would like to.. I can ask my parents to get me a nice house here, but I find this place expensive to live and disgusting, much worst than the Philippines. If your friend encountered other filipino family take advantage of his kindness, I feel sorry for him, please specify or write their names, do not state in general! Oh, Lindsay THANKS for stating that we have great smile, and great are damn right! That’s why American men dream about filipino because women here are FAT.. Arggghhhh!!!!

  6. selling agriculture land 5 hectares in tres cruses cavite 09479222474

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