You know the Philippines and you are planning to settle in this country to sink a happy retirement under the sun. The construction costs are ridiculously low, no binding standards and you plan to build the house of your dreams, on the seafront or in the mountains. Yes … but … attention!


I put these words roughly, bold and in capital letters so as to inform people who want or may be tempted to buy land in the Philippines. Party wall agreement Builders Aldershot


It’s clear, clean, precise and definitive. You are a foreigner, you can not own a land in the Philippines.


Let’s try now to see what we can legally do. There are some possibilities, quite limited and more or less binding.



You have the option of renting land for fifty years with the possibility of increasing the lease term of twenty-five years. This is a solution very often adopted by a foreign company investing in the Philippines. Not really the ideal.


One option is to buy one or more apartments in what we call here a ” condominium ” or condo.

Provided that 60% of the building complex (building or real estate) is owned by Filipino citizens, the remaining 40% can be bought by foreigners, under their own name. It is also possible to acquire a house with the land if the whole is covered by a title of condominium (RA 4726).


The majority of foreign pensioners who live here are married to a Filipina. They choose, most often, to build on land they bought from the family of ” Asawa ”. This avoids a number of problems, including the frequent occurrence of false title or lack of title. It is estimated that about 50% of the title deeds are false or tainted with errors that make them worthless.  Not to mention property taxes, which in many cases have not been paid for, sometimes for decades and the new owner will have to pay!


Before buying. Buyer, especially for those whose first purchase is made, never make a proposal for the property you have in mind before your lawyer or council verifies information about the property and the seller. In the event that you have been asked to make a proposal outside the presence of your board, do not ever sign a paper or document and do not under any circumstances make any money. Invoke that not understanding the laws of the country well, you need the assistance of your lawyer.


Once your lawyer has given you the green light, especially make sure the names on the documents are spelled correctly. Many mistakes on official documents and it is difficult, or impossible to make changes later. If your name is Dupont with at and the document says Smith with an ad, you can do “Tintin” on your title.


Generally, you will have to pay 10% of the amount of the transaction, this amount is stipulated in the preliminary contract which will also indicate a date when you will have to pay the balance as well as the taxes and sign the final contract. The deeds will then be recorded in the register of deeds, thus making the transaction perfect.


As a buyer, you will have to pay taxes and other expenses. Namely, 0.5% for transfer tax, 0.25% registration tax, 1.5% for tax documents and stamps. As a percentage of the amount of the transaction or the amount estimated by the administration if this amount is higher.


If you resell your property, you will have to pay all the unpaid taxes of the property, the agent if you go through an agent and 6% of the price of the sale of the property (capital gain). In the majority of cases, the agency fees are of the order of 5% of the amount of the transaction. If you buy or have built within 18 months of the sale, you are exempt from the 6% capital gain.