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Buyer's Guide

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As a service to my clients, I'll use this page to offer informations they should know.

1. What are the financing schemes or manner of payment available?

Generally, you can choose from one of the following:

(a) In-house financing
(b) Bank financing
(c) Pag-ibig loan (HDMF)
(d) Cash purchase with discount

Availability of financing would depend on which type is conveniently adapted by developer. Some developers are superior on one financing scheme and appear to be disadvantageous on other types of scheme. It is ideal that you contact me for more detailed information of each developer's financing scheme offer and I can disclose to you the advantages as well as the disadvantages.

2. How much is the down payment?

This would depend on the developer concerned. Normally, developers offer easy down payment such as 20%. (Others go as low as 10%) if the project is pre-selling. Pre-selling is an offer to sell when the construction of the Subdivision or Project is on-going and your unit will be scheduled for construction upon full down payment and will be completed at a time frame disclosed to you. Some developers offer one year to pay for the down payment of 20% for on-going projects and the monthly amortization for the balance will only take effect after the full payment of this down payment.

3. Do I have to pay Value Added Tax? (VAT)

Under the law, all prices shall include the VAT and should not be indicated separately in the pricing, thus, the prices quoted herein will not necessarily require you to pay for the VAT.

4. How much is the lowest price available in the area? The smallest lot available? Availability of lowest price and smallest size may change everyday. It is ideal that you contact me through email so I can send you a subdivision map showing availability of lots of different sizes as well as the lowest price in the area.

5. How much is the monthly amortization?

This would depend on the amount of loan approved, the rate of interest, and the terms of payment you have chosen. The most common is the diminishing balance method. This is ideal and equitable to the borrower because the interest will only be applied to the remaining balance of the loan.

6. How much is the monthly association dues?

This would depend on the Subdivision you have chosen. Association dues are usually very minimal which would normally range between P300.00 to P500.00 per month. This represents your share of the maintenance of the subdivision which includes salaries of the guards, garbage disposal, repair and maintenance of amenities and facilities. But the developer does not impose this on the residents. Once the project is completed, the residents shall form a homeowners association and you being one of the members/officers, will be among those who will govern the subdivision and determine how much association dues to impose on each homeowner. Condominium maintenance fees are usually higher and are based on the floor area of the unit occupied. You may contact us for a more specific amount of maintenance fee for each condominium.

7. Is it possible to avail of a loan with Pag-ibig? What if I am not yet a member? How much can I loan and what is the maximum amount of loan?

An existing Pag-ibig policy requires that you have paid at least 24 monthly contributions before you can avail of any housing loan, but a new amendment to this policy opens the gate to non members to apply for membership and then avail of the loan right away by just paying the 24 monthly contributions at one time. For example, if you want to avail of P1,000,000.00 loan, your required monthly contribution for this is P800.00 and by just paying P19,200.00 at one time, you shall be entitled to a 1 million loan. The amount of loan you can avail of will depend on four requisites:

a) Actual need
b) Capacity to pay based on net disposable income. Monthly amortization should be no less than 40% of your net disposable income.
c) The value of collateral (appraisal will be conducted)
d) The monthly contribution of the member. A member is allowed a maximum of P125,000.00 for every P100.00 monthly contribution. The maximum loan amount is P2,000,000.00 based on P1,600.00 monthly contribution of a member.

8. Are these units presented on the website already built? Or still undergoing construction?

Some are already built while others are undergoing construction. But most of the projects have model houses that you can personally inspect while the actual unit will be built at a specific location of your choice to be completed within the time frame agreed upon by you and the developer. Many of the lands presented on the site are ready to build with a house of your own design. Please contact me for the most current status of each project.

9. Can a foreigner own real estate properties in the Philippines?
Foreigners do enjoy absolute ownership of a condominium unit. Ownership is evidenced by Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT). The ownership of land and house and lot are allowed only to Filipinos and foreigners who are formerly natural born Filipino Citizens. If a foreigner is married or related to (for example) a Filipina, the title shall indicate the Filipina name "married to (name of a foreigner)". Whatever happens along the way, there are ways to get back the money invested by the foreigner.

10. As a foreigner, can I apply for loan with your local bank even if I am not permanently residing in the Philippines? How much is the interest rate?

There are banks who do not allow if you are permanently residing abroad but there are banks who will. For example ChinaBank allows provided that you submit the needed documentary requirements and the credit check will be through phone. The rate is between 10.5% to 14% interest depending on the bank of your choice and also depends on the number of years fixing. Yearly fixing offers lower interest than a 3-year or 5-year fixing.

11. How can we make a reservation?

If you are abroad, you may appoint somebody you know here, a friend or relative whom you can trust and send to him the money for the reservation through any courier. A notarized special power of attorney is required duly authenticated by the nearest consul in your area. Since it normally takes one month for the authentication, you may fax the notarized copy just to process the reservation. The authenticated copy will follow later. If you choose to pay not though somebody, you may pay "bank to bank" direct to the developer's account. We can send you the bank account of the developer as well as the developer's contact numbers for your confirmation of the authenticity of these numbers and personalities. As soon as you make the deposit, please notify me right away so I can trace the incoming deposit and immediately issue an official receipt. The copy of the Official Receipt shall be attached to an email right away while the original shall be sent via post mail.

12. Do these projects have title on the land?

All of these projects have title on the land and in cases of new project development, most developers only have a mother title. Although some projects do not have individual titles yet and shall be titled upon full payment of the land. Your protection shall be based on the sales contract between you and the developer. On the other hand, there are developers who as a matter of policy, do not sell land unless it has individual title. It's ideal that you contact me to give you a more detailed information of each developer.

13. How much is the monthly maintenance fee of your condominium?

It depends on the type of condominium. Hilton Cebu for example charges P45.00 per square meter floor area per month, so for a 100 square meter floor area, that would be P4,500.00 per month. Citylights Gardens charges slightly higher with P50.00 per square meter per month. Other condos with much lesser amenities also charge less.

14. If I buy a house and lot for construction, how long will it be completed?

This will depend on the specific developer of subdivision you have chosen to buy from. The fastest developer here like Crown Asia and Nexland Inc. can finish a house construction in 6 months while others would take about 12 to 18 months to finish depending also on how large the project is and the type of facilities/amenities to be built.

15. How does in-house financing compare with pag-ibig and banks?

The advantages of in-house financing are:

1) Simplicity of documents required. You need not be subjected to thorough background/credit check as compared to banks or pag-ibig. A Filipino wife who has no or inadequate income for herself can be approved for in-house housing loan if she has a husband such as a foreigner who can support the monthly amortization. Since the title does not bear the name SPOUSES ..... but only the name of the Filipina married to ..... (foreigner's name), banks do not approve loan nor Pag-ibig if the wife does not have enough income to pay for the monthly amortization.
2) Maceda Law or R.A. 6656 - mandates the developer to refund 50% of your payments if you have paid at least 2 years installment even if you are delinquent. Refund is not applicable in mortgage with banks or Pag-ibig.
3) Interest charges remain constant no matter what happens to the economy. If contracted to 16%, it shall remain at that throughout the period of the contract. Bank interest rates on the other hand are floating. In times of crises, it can shoot up.

The prime advantage however with Bank financing and Pag-ibig are that of lower interest rates which range from 10.5% to 14% per annum but there are also fees such as processing fees and appraisal fees which are not existing in the in-house financing.

16. Do I have to pay for the capital gains tax? What sort of fees shall I pay for the transfer of title?

You don't have to pay for the capital gains tax. All developers/sellers are required to pay this or an equivalent of creditable withholding tax. The transfer tax however will be on your account which is usually of 1% as well as registration fee which is also about of 1%.

17. Are there hidden charges?

There are no hidden charges. All charges will be disclosed to you before you sign any contract.

18. Can a foreigner be allowed to be a mortgagee or a lender to a Filipino offering his real estate property as collateral for loan?

Yes, a foreigner is allowed with the same rights and privileges of a Filipino.

19. What is the procedure of buying a property when I don't have the time yet to come over to the Philippines?

You can purchase without necessarily coming over. First, you select from this site the specific property you are interested in. I can send you an updated map of the subdivision (and in the case of a condo, its floor plan) From the map, you can choose the specific location you want to reserve. Upon receipt of your payment "bank to bank", or through your SPA, the unit of your choice will be reserved for you in 30 days. Within this 30 day period, all documents required will have to be submitted and a contract shall be signed. The original shall be sent to you for your original signatures and to be sent back for notarization here. After notarization and after receiving your down payment "bank to bank&", one of the notarized copies shall be sent to you again for your copy. The reservation is always deductible to your down payment.

For your monthly amortizations, there are two possibilities:

(1) There are developers who require issuance of post dated checks for at least one year. In this case, your SPA here is required to open a bank checking account here in your name and post dated checks shall be submitted to the developer. Before each check becomes due, you can fund this check by again, depositing the money bank to bank. Or, you may want to come over personally, open a bank account here, and issue post dated checks to the developer.
(2) When a developer allows, you may just at your own option, send the monthly amortization bank to bank direct to the developer's account.

20. For house and lot package, can I inspect while construction is going on? Can we suggest changes in plans such as color and designs?

Very few subdivisions disallow this. Normally, these are the one who develop large projects and cannot allow delays due to changes of plans. There are developers who are moderate about this and entertains changes in plans by sitting with the buyer one time and agree on changes of plans. But majority entertain changes by buyers from time to time and without much restrictions.

21. Is the reservation refundable? Is it deductible from the selling price?

Reservation which is usually a very small amount ranging from P10,000.00 and up will entitle you to 30 days hold of your unit in your favor. Since the developer refuses to sell this to anyone interested within the period of reservation, the reservation is equitably not refundable. All reservations are deductible to the selling price.

22. What are the deed of restrictions to the use of the unit?

Deed of Restriction would differ from one subdivision to another. Generally, your use is restricted for the well being of all homeowners such as the height of the house is limited to prevent the blocking by neighboring houses of a nice view. It also limits the use to residential purpose and disallows livestock, poultry, the building of factory. Also, it covers easement on each side etc. The Deed of Restriction for each project is made available to you upon request before signing any contract.

23. What is the assurance that the project will be finished?

The first step is to choose a credible Developer with proven track record of developing projects that are finished on time. I can help screen out these developers and recommend to you those whom you can trust. I am accredited by virtually all developers in Cebu, and being not exclusive in any one of them, I can disclose everything for you positive or negative about the developer. If the contract is already signed and payments already made and still eventually, the project is not completed on time, I can impose a provision of law in the Philippines that if the Principal/developer fails to complete the project on time, 100% of all payments shall be refunded less penalty interest plus interest legal rate.

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Unit 4, Ground Floor, Geson Building, D. Jakosalem Street, Cebu City 6000, Cebu, Philippines.