Expert Info

on 16 Feb 2016
Hello, I am retired. I am from the USA, but I live in Japan. I want to have a vacation condo in the Philippines. However, I am not sure if I should rent or buy a condo. Could anyone give me advice or to help me decide what I should do. I want to stay in the Philippines during winter time because I don't like the cold weather in Japan. I stayed there last winter, but it cost a lot; I paid over $1,000 USD for 16days. I was thinking that I could rent a condo, but If I buy a condo then I do not have to worry about finding a place to rent. Also, I could rent it out whenever I'm not staying there, but it is not my sole purpose of wanting to buy a condo. What do you recommend? by the way, the city name is Makati. I am willing to pay up to $500.00-$700.00 for monthly payment. But, if I do then I think it is best to buy instead of renting. What do you think?
AlexL on 26 Feb 2016
Hi Eric

I would urge you then to speak to a real estate agent or someone on the ground in the Philippines to help you with your decision.

Kind regards,
I don't want t… on 23 Feb 2016
Submitted by Anonymous person wrote,"Aside from that I dunno if it's possible for an expat to own a condo in Phils". foreigners can buy investment condo, but foreigners are not allow to buy land.
I don't want t… on 23 Feb 2016
Hi Alex, Thank you for your reply. I understand that foreigners are not allow to buy land in the Ph. However, one can purchase or buy investment condos. I have met all of the requirement to buy a condo, but I am not sure if i should buy or rent. if i buy, then I will rent it out during the time that I am not staying in the Ph. But, I have read comments on the internet or blog that there are many empty condos for rent in Manila. If i rent, then i will be paying about 15-20k a month for rent, but if i buy, then i can pay 15-20k a month for rent to own. I just don't know what to do. I only want to stay about 4 month in the Ph and 8 month in Japan. I live in Japan and I hate winter time in Japan. so, i want to stay in the Ph from from dec-mar every year.
AlexL on 23 Feb 2016
Hi Eric,

As you will see on our Accommodation in Philippines page, most expats choose to rent rather than buy accommodation, because of the strict laws in place about foreign land ownership.

You will find that renting is therefore probably the most feasible option. 

Kind regards,
Anonymous (not verified) on 21 Feb 2016
Hi Mr.Eric Thank you for choosing our beloved homeland to have a vacation condo. Well Makati is one of the beautiful City in Phils but a bit expensive to live in there. Aside from that I dunno if it's possible for an expat to own a condo in Phils . If your on tight budget,you can check Davao City,one of the best City in Phils. All the best and enjoy your vacation.
Anonymous (not verified) on 28 Jun 2016
I wouldn't dream of buying now if you need to rent. I was in Makati briefly December of 2013 for a couple of weeks. 6 months later, condos that were selling for 120,000 US dollar were all of a sudden going for 80,000 to 90000 US dollars. You cannot believe anything any Phillipine realtor writes or tells you about how great the properties are of high high they go up every year. I am seeing 1 bedrooms in makati renting for 450.00 to 600.00 a month....and they were renting for 800 to 1000 a month in 2013. There are so many condos that have been built, there is a huge glut. Many are purchased by Phillipines who live overseas. They want to rent them out, and guess what, there aren't enough renters. If you have money to blow, you can buy....but do NOT pre-buy. Do not put money down for a building that will be finished 5 years from now. That would be insanity. Many of those projects are on hold now. Good luck getting deposits back. If you buy a condo in a building that has few renters, or many for sale...good luck with that monthly condo association fee. It is cheap if the building is fully occupied, it is way expensive if not. Again, you will not regret renting. Rates are falling. I wouldn't buy now even if the price was 50% less than it was in 2013. There is just too much risk. If you are wealthy...and can lose 80 to 120 grand and really not care....well, I say good luck. Go for it. Go on ahead and buy. Take the plunge. Just know that the property manager for your condo will probably live in your unit rent free when you are not there.....or the property manager will use it to throw parties while you are gone. And gosh....for some reason, your unit will never be rented. By the way, even if you don't try and rent it, plan on the property manager for the building living in your unit for free while you are gone. Of course they won't tell you but they will expect you to pay for the electricity. Cheers, Jim
Anonymous (not verified) on 28 Jun 2016
Jim, Thank you for the insight. so far, I agree with you. maybe it is better to rent. All of the agency keep trying to sell me a place, but I don't see anyone renting buying those place. I only see a few people buying a condo in the area that I want to live. i guess if i want to stay 6 months in the PH, i better just rent. I want to stay Jan-Jun every year and return back to Japan.

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Aetna Global

Aetna is an award-winning insurance business that provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. Their high quality health insurance plans are tailored to meet the individual needs of expats living and working abroad.

Get a quote from Aetna International


Cigna Global

With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.

Get a quote from Cigna Global