Friday, March 21, 2008

Checklist Before Buying Real Estate in the Philippines

Checklist Before Buying Real Estate in the Philippines

Here are the tips a buyer must remember before buying any property in the Philippines, specially if you are buying a single property from an individual:

1. Make sure the “Transfer Certificate of Title” is authentic. The easiest way to check if the title to the property you are buying is authentic is by getting “Certified True Copy” of the title from the Register of Deeds. This office is usually located at the city or municipal hall where the property is located. Ask the seller of the property for a photocopy of the title -you will need the title number and the name of the owner to get a certified true copy of the title from the Register of Deeds.

2. Verify that title is clean - meaning the property is not mortgaged (no liens & encumbrances on the property). You can see that at the back of the title with the heading “Encumbrances”. This page must be empty if you are told that the title is “clean”. But sometimes the space for the technical description of the property on the front page of the title is not enough and the description of the property is continued on the “Encumbrances” page, this is of course all right.

3. Make sure that the land described on the title is really the land that you are buying. You can validate this at the Register of Deeds or by hiring a private land surveyor or a geodetic engineer. Land titles don’t have any street name and number to pin point a property, it is a must to confirm that the actual property you are buying matches the technical description on the Transfer Certificate of Title.

4. Make sure that the sellers are the real owners. If you are buying from an individual property owner, ask for identification papers like passport or driver’s license, it is also a good idea to talk to the neighbors to confirm the identity of the sellers (you might as well ask some history of the property).

5. Confirm that the yearly real estate taxes are paid. Ask for a copy of the Tax Declaration and Tax Receipts to confirm that real estate tax payments are up to date.

7 Tips for Worry-Free Real Estate Transactions
Real Estate transactions in the Philippines are sometimes a cause for worry due to the many inherent problems in the system. What follows are some tips and rules to follow for a worry-free (or “less problematic”) Real Estate transaction:

Tip #1. Deal only with Titled property.
There are many properties in the Philippines that are not titled, or registered under the Torrens system. If you buy an untitled property (usually evidenced by only a Tax Declaration), you would not enjoy the benefits of the Torrens system, and you will be forced to investigate for yourself the “chain of ownership” from the present owner up to the first, which usually dates back to the 1920’s. With titled property, you can rely on the fact that the owner of the property is that which is stated in the title.

Tip #2. Stick to those properties registered in the names of actual sellers themselves.
Most properties in the Philippines are titled in the names of the grand parents or even great grandparents of the owners. thus, there is still the need to execute an extra-judicial settlement, which has a “grace period” of two years within which an excluded heir can question the settlement and the sale. This type of litigation is fairly common and is the usual source of problems. Thus, avoid properties not titled in the names of the actual seller.

Tip #3. Avoid SPAs (Special Power of Attorney) - deal with the actual sellers themselves.
Another of the common sources of property litigation in the Philippines are those involving special power of attorneys. This is an instrument that empowers a party to deal with the property of another, usually for the purpose of selling the property. Oftentimes, unscrupulous individuals procure a special power of attorney surreptitiously from the unwitting owner who is led to believe that the document being signed is something else. Believe it or not, most of the property owners in the Philippines have finished only primary schooling and cannot read English documents. If you must deal with property being sold through an SPA, verify the SPA by questioning the notary public who executed the same, and even meeting the property owner himself.

Tip #4. Always check the copy of the title on file with the register of deeds.
In the copy on file with the register of deeds are annotated the “involuntary liens” (i.e. claims of third parties and the government, road right of way, etc.). Although the title may still be registered in the name of a person, ownership might have been transferred, questioned, or otherwise affected, and this can be seen at the back of the title on file with the register of deeds. Secure a certified true copy of the title from the register of deeds. Do this yourself or through a trusted party, never from the seller or his middleman.

Tip #5. Always have the property identified by a licensed surveyor to be what is being stated in the title.
Once you have decided to buy the property, ask the seller to allow you to conduct a relocation survey. Although you might be required to shell out additional expense for the survey, then you can actually be assured of the metes and bounds of the property and that the property you are buying is actually that stated on the title. Furthermore, by asking for a relocation survey, the adjacent owners are summoned, and thus if there be any unforseen questions some of them would be voiced out during the relocation survey.

Tip #6. Always see to it that you have a road right of way
Just merely looking at the property and seeing a road is not enough. Check the title and see whether or not it is actually bounded by a road lot, road, or street. The surveyor can point this out to you. Most foreigners like the countryside and coasts, where agricultural lands are located. Thus, most agricultural lands when subdivided into smaller parts do not provide for a road in the subdivision plan. Be sure therefore that you have access to the land otherwise, you might be required to purchase a right of way, oftentimes at exhorbitant prices such that you are forced to enter into litigation to have the court fix a reasonable price.

Tip #7. Never forget to have your deed of sale, contract of sale or other document over the land annotated on the copy on file with the register of deeds.
This should be clear enough to be sure that your records are correctly stored and your property properly transferred to you in official government documents.

Questions On Land Title
Title is a generic term that refers to the legal evidence of ownership one has over a property. It includes such documents as Tax Declarations, Real Property Tax Receipts, Deeds of Sale, and the Torrens Title. What we normally think of as title is actually a Certificate of Title also known as the Torrens Title, which results from the Torrens System of Land Registration. The Certificate of Title is the best form of evidence of land ownership.

The following are some of the most commonly encountered questions on Land Title and/or Land ownership in the Philippines.

1. How can one acquire Land Title?
The easiest is through sale and by executing a document called Deed Of Sale, which shows the legal transfer of title from the name of the seller to the buyer. The Deed Of Sale is then taken to the Registry of Deed to be officially recorded. This type of title is also called Transfer Certificate of Title.
When no title has yet been issued over a parcel of land, Title it can be acquired either through:
Judicial proceedings - by filing a petition for registration in Court
Administrative proceedings – by a filing an appropriate application for patent (e.g. homestead) in the Administrative body (DENR) and registration of this patent becomes the basis for issuance of the Original Certificate of Title by the Register of Deeds.

2. Are there lands with no Land Certificate of Title yet?
Yes and they are called public lands and include the following:
Alienable or disposable (A & D Lands) - those that can be acquired or issued title. The Philippines Constitution provides that only agricultural lands can be disposed of to private citizens.
Non-alienable lands - includes timber or forest lands, mineral lands, national parks. No title can be issued over any portion within this area.

3. Can a foreigner have the Land Title in his/her name?
Unfortunately, the answer is “No”! Land Title can only be put in the name of a Filipino or a Corporation with at least 60% Filipino ownership. As a foreigner, it would be helpful to be aware of this limitation on your right of owning Land in the Philippines. Please refer to the article that discusses land ownership in the Philippines made especially to the foreigners.

Typical Transaction Costs - Purchases from Individuals
1. Capital gains tax - 6% of actual sale price. This is paid by the seller but in some cases it might be expected that the buyer pays. This percentage could differ if the property assessed is being used by a business or is a title- owned by a corporation; in this case the percentage is 7.5%
2. Document stamp tax - 1.5% of the actual sale price. This is paid by the seller but in some cases it might be expected that the buyer pays.
3. Transfer tax - 0.5% of the actual sale price.
4. Registration fee - 0.25% of the actual sale price.

Guide when Buying real estate in the Philippines
a. General Information
As a rule, only Filipino citizens and corporations or partnerships with least 60% of the shares are owned by Filipinos are entitled to acquire land in the Philippines.
Aliens can acquire land in the Philippines only on a few exceptions: 1) Acquisition before the 1935 constitution. 2) Acquisition thru hereditary succession -if the foreigner is a legal heir. 4) Purchase of not more than 40% interest as a whole in a condominium project. 4) Purchase by a former natural born Filipino citizen who acquired foreign citizenship & has not applied and granted dual citizenship can purchase up to 1,000 square meters of residential land and 1 hectare of agricultural or farm land.
b. Modes of Acquiring Land:
Private Grant - voluntary transfer or conveyance of private property by a private owner, such as sale or donation.
Public Grant – acquisition of alienable lands of the public domain by homestead patent, free patent, sales patent or other government awards.
Involuntary Grant – acquisition of private party against the consent of the former owner, such as foreclosure sale, execution sale, or tax sale
Inheritance – acquisition of private property through hereditary succession.
Reclamation – filling of submerged land, subject to existing laws and government regulations.
Accretion – acquisition of more lands adjoining the banks of rivers due to the gradual deposit of soil as a result of the river current.
Prescription – acquisition of title by actual, open, continuous, and uninterrupted possession in the concept of owner for the period required by law.
Acquisition is the act of procuring or getting a hold of real estate property. Disposition is the manner of alienation, transfer of possession and ownership thereof as prescribed by the Philippine law. The acquisition and disposition of real estate is embodied in written agreements or contracts voluntarily entered into and subscribed by the selling and buying parties thereof, before a public officer designated as the Notary Public of the City or Province where the subject property is located. Thereafter, the instrument embodying the particular real estate transaction is required by law to be recorded in the Registry of Deeds in the City or Province where the real estate property is involved and located. The Philippines uses the “Torrens” system of real estate ownership.
c. The Bundle of Rights Theory
The bundle of rights theory inherent to property ownership are the right to use (Jus-Utendi), the right to enjoy the fruits of (Jus-Fruendi), the right to dispose (Jus-Disponendi), the right to abuse (Jus-Abutendi), the right to recover (Jus-Vindicandi), and the right to possess (Jus-Possidendi). The rights incident to ownership are, the right:
to enjoy and dispose of a property without other limitations than those established by law;
to file action against third parties to recover ownership;
to use force as may be reasonably necessary to repeal or prevent an actual or threatened unlawful invasion or usurpation of his property (Art. 429, NCC, relate to Art. 312, RPC);
the right to enclose or fence property - walls ditches, live or dead hedges - or by any other means without detriment of servitudes constituted thereon;
to demand indemnity for damages caused to property;
the right to compensation in the event of expropriation;
the right to be restored to possession in case of unlawful dispossession;
the right to the surface and subsurface of the land, right to construct thereon any works, plantation and excavation without detriment to servitude and subject to special laws and without right to complain of the reasonable requirements of aerial navigation;
the right to hidden treasure;
the right to accession and fruits of the property;
the right to “quiet title” to real property or any interest therein.
d. Limitations on right of property ownership
CONSTITUTIONAL - such as police power, eminent domain or expropriation of private property for public use, taxation and escheat when revision of private property to state ownership in case of death of property owner without an heir;
LEGAL - zoning ordinances, regulations on subdivision projects, building code, and other special laws and regulations; and
CONSENSUAL/VOLUNTARY - easements and servitudes, usufructs, lease agreements, restrictions in subdivision and condominium deeds or restriction.
e. The Regalian Doctrine of property ownership
A principle in law which means that all natural wealth - agricultural, forest or timber, and mineral lands of the public domain and all other natural resources belong to the state. Thus, even if the private person owns the property where minerals are discovered, his ownership for such does not give him the right to extract or utilize said minerals without permission from the state to which such minerals belong.
f. The Steward Concept of property ownership
The Steward Concept is a legal doctrine which holds that property ownership presupposes concomitant obligations to the state and the community and that property is supposed to be held by the individual only as trustee for people in general; and that as mere steward, the property owner must exercise his rights to the property not just for his own exclusive and selfish benefit or interest but for the good and general welfare of the nation as a whole.

Monday, January 14, 2008

How to Avoid Marrying The Wrong Person

Each year, thousands of people tie the knot with dreams of living happily-ever-after. Unfortunately, many dreams are short-lived, and one-in-two marriages end in divorce. Why? In most cases, these people marry the wrong person. Here are a few tips to help you avoid marrying the wrong guy or girl.

Step One
Accept the person. With most relationships, "what you see is what you get." In other words, if the person has annoying habits now, they'll likely take those annoying habits into the marriage. Many couples make the mistake of thinking that their future spouse will change for the better. Before tying the knot, make sure that you're able to live with their personality and irritating habits.

Step Two
Share common goals. For a marriage to work, both parties have to share common goals. It is okay to have different likes and dislikes. However, couples ought to agree on major factors such as kids, money and career. Couples who do not share the same goals will find themselves drifting in different directions.

Step Three
Know the person inside-and-outside. In some instances, a person will marry someone who is excessively controlling, jealous and insecure. In turn, the marriage becomes a nightmare for both persons. While dating, look for tell-tale signs of a undesirable personality trait. Most people display these signs throughout the courtship. However, it's your responsibility to recognize the signs and decide whether you can live with them.

Step Four
Look beyond physical beauty. The most beautiful or attractive guy or girl may also be the most crazy guy or girl. Rather than pick a mate based on physical features, get to know the person. Are they mentally stable? Do they have a negative attitude? Are they cocky?

Step Five
Heal from past relationship. After ending a long-term relationship, some people immediately jump into a new relationship and rush to the altar. Re-bound relationships can help get your mind off an ex. However, rather than allow time to pass, some people are afraid to be alone and choose the wrong person.

Step Six
Be suspicious. You new boyfriend or girlfriend may have something to hide such as another relationship, kids or addiction. Whenever you suspect a secret, listen to your gut.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


hi to all,

I think this topic will help you decide where to invest your money while working abroad.

Last topic I share my tips on how to saving and manage your money, so now let's think on where can we invest our savings.

Here in Dubai or others emirates it is easy to apply for a personal loan from your bank (if you have one). usually they need a leter from your company with salary certificates, 3 months payslip, and length of tenure from your company. Then you can avail a loanable amount of 20 times of your gross salary or more than that. maximum of 250thousand dirhams for expats but it still depends on your salary.The terms will be maximum of 5 years or 60 months that will be debited to your salary on monthly basis. Interest rates is 10% which is much lower than a loan rates from phil. banks (range 12% or more) also the hussle and bunch of required documents just to apply a loan from phil banks. here abroad after you give your salary certificates and payslip in 3 days time the money will be trasnfered to your account.

If you required to finance a property o you need a emergency cash, my advice is to take a loan from here rather than in phil bank or going for a 5-6 loan. If you don't have a bank account here you can apply now. just bring your labour contract, labour card, passport copy and id. here some banks for you to check into;
1. dubai national bank
2. standard chartered bank
3. emirates bank
4. rak bank and others

So if you have a bank account already you can ask your bank thru phone if you can apply a personal loan and ask how much is your loanable amount and terms as well. then you can think of where can you invest this money so that it will gain interest. or you can purchase your dream house or car.

But for now let me give you an advice to invest in property because it will not depreciates unlike cars and other things, remember you need to pay that loan for the length of your agreed term so make it sure that the money will be used in a good investment so that the interest your paying on the bank will be worth it.

So why we need to invest?..if you put your money on the bank the intrest rate is much lower even though you put it on a time deposit. remember your loan is 10% rate per year but in time deposit 3-6% per year is the range of interest so you lose some there.

Its better to invest your money into Real Estate Property - why? coz property will not depreciate it means than when you buy the property now for a 1000, tomorow or after a year it will appreciate to 1200 or more..but it depends on the location of the property how it will appreciate than fast.

Also if you want to built your house its better to do it now coz the cost of materials and labor keep of increasing. Atleast if you took a loan here and spend it by buy a property or building of your house, you can use it already while your still paying your debts here.

But keep in mind that you should assess your finance capability before taking a loan here then decide a good investment for that money.

I hope this tips will give you a good idea on where to invest your money.

Next topic will be on how to buy a property..and what are the taxes need to be paid to transfer the title to your name.



Monday, December 24, 2007


Mga kababayang OFW, gusto kong ishare sa inyo ang isang way upang mamanage o makaipon kayo mula sa inyong kinikita sa abroad...lahat tayong nag abroad ay nais lamang makaipon at kung maaari ay makabalik na sa ating bansa...sabi nga nila, masarap pa din mamuhay sa pinas basta't may sapat kang pera pangtustos sa araw araw na pangangailangan ng pamilya mo.

So paano mo magagawa ito kung di ka magiipon at magpaplano para matustusan mo yung pangangailangan mo kung babalik ka sa pinas.

Marami na akong kilalang kapwa OFW dito sa dubai, na kung magpadala ng pera sa pamilya nila sa pinas ay halos buong sweldo nya kada buwan.Ang tinitira lang ang panggastos nila dito sa abroad sa pang arawaraw.Wala pong masama dun pero yun eh kung mahahawakan o ma-manage`yung pera na pinadala mo.Sa aking pananaw kasi pag pinadalhan ka ng higit sa inyong kailangan eh di ka matutotong magtipid..kasi alam mo na may dadating ulit sa susunod na buwan..tama po ba?..sorry to say pero totoo po yun..karamihan sa pilipino pag nasa abroad panay ang bili ng kung ano anong gamit, na di naman kailangan. Dapat i maintain pa rin natin ang low profile dahil hindi habang buhay eh nandito tayo sa abroad.

IPON BATA yan ang goal mo kung ayaw mong tumagal dito.

bibigyan ko po kayo ng ilang tips upang makaipon kayo o ma-manage nyo ang inyong pera.
1. mag open ng bank account sa mga remitance center sa abroad..(pnb, banco de oro, bpi, etc.) mas mura po dito mag open kasi maliit ang maintaining balance dahil sa OFW tyo..o kung magbabakasyon kayo sa pinas dun na kayo mag open kung saan malapit na banko sa inyo.
2. mag open kayo ng 2 saving account isang passbook (tawagin natin acct 1) at isang yung may atm (acct 2)..yung atm eh iiwan nyo sa pamilya nyo para mawithdraw ng remitance nyo.. yung isa ang saving account nyo( take note isang bank lang ang accounts nyo ha)
3. i enroll nyo sa interbanking yung 2 account nyo (itanong nyo sa bank clerk kung paano mag enroll sa internet banking) para maaccess nyo sa abroad yung mga accounts nyo gamit ang internet.(huwag po kayong matakot sa internet banking dahil matagal ko na pong gamit ito at wala naman po ako na encounter na problema)
4. kapag nagpadala ka ng pera, ideposit mo sa acct 1 mo para maipon dahil walang makakawithdraw nun kundi ikaw lang dahil na syo ang passbook.Tapos mag online ka sa internet at iaccess mo yung internet banking mo. Makikita mo yung balance ng 2 accounts mo at pwede mong itransfer yung pera mula sa acct 1 papunta ng acct 2 na may atm para mawithdraw ng pamilya nyo sa pinas. Wala pong bayad ang pag transfer ng pera mula sa accts nyo dahil perahong nasa pangalan nyo yun at pera nyo yun. Ang advantage nito ay mali-limit at macontrol nyo yung withdrawal ng pamilya nyo. At kung kailangan nila pera isang click lang sa internet matransfer nyo agad ang pera at di na kailangan mag remit o mag door to door lagi.
5. Dahil naiipon sa acct 1 yung pera nyo (dahil dun lang kayo magreremit) at sa acct 2 kayo mag transfer gamit ang internet banking. Kayo mismo ang magiipon ng pera nyo. Di po sa wala akong tiwala sa pamilya ko pero mas maganda na ikaw mismo ang mag ipon ng perang pinag hihirapan mo. Total isang click lang eh matra-transfer naman agad ang pera kung kailangan nila.

Sa ganitong systema ikaw ang nagkokontrol ng perang pinaghirapan mo.

Sana po ay may maitulong ako sa inyo sa blog kong ito.

itong pong mga links ng bank na may internet banking


Sunday, December 23, 2007


We just organized a High School Batch 1994 reunion who are residing and working here in Dubai UAE..We meet and eat at Pizza Hut Karama Branch in Dubai UAE last Dec. 21, 2007..Everyone of us shared their experience (good and bad) here in dubai and also stories from our past high school life..We will organized to have a repeat of this reunion again soon and hope those who are part of Meycauayan College High School Batch 1994 could participate and post their contact nos. here in my blog..or you can contact me 050-8274023