Five things OFWs should take note when buying a new house

Five things OFWs should take note when buying a new house

If you ask overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) why they work hard abroad, majority of them would probably say one of their goals is to purchase a home for their family. And because toiling away far from your loved ones for long periods of time is an incredible sacrifice, you want to make sure purchasing a home for them using your hard-earned money will go as smoothly as possible. To help you out, here are some basic tips.

  1. Hire a real estate broker

If you’ve never purchased a property before, you’re going to need help from an expert, which is why getting a broker is crucial. They can visit the neighborhood you want to move into, find out more about the property you’re looking at, negotiate with the seller, and help you with the paperwork. The best way to find a good broker is to ask friends and family to recommend someone, but you can also consult real estate websites that offer a list of accredited brokers who may be experts in particular locations.

2) Choose a property
Picking a property to invest in will be difficult if you’re out of the country, but you can always start by researching online. Among other things, an ideal property – whether you’re buying as an investor or end user – must be:

*Designed to ‘grow’ with your family (if you’re planning to start a family, having your elderly loved ones live with you, etc.)

*In a neighborhood that is generally safe (has 24/7 security, far from factories or polluted bodies of water, etc.)

*Close proximity to business districts, various establishments, public transportation terminals

*Away from low-lying areas to avoid excessive flooding, and away from the fault line to lower your risk of being affected by earthquakes

*Built by a reputable property developer

Still, you wouldn’t want to purchase a property based simply on a few pictures and details from the Internet, and based on what your broker will tell you. You want to see the property for what it is before making a decision, and this is where your attorney-in-fact comes in.

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3) Select an attorney-in-fact
The attorney-in-fact is someone whom you can trust to properly represent you throughout the property buying process, such as a close relative. Choose wisely; this person has to be trustworthy and responsible enough to handle tasks in your absence, such as processing requirements, talking with your agent, and getting in touch with the developer of the property. If you plan on getting a loan to finance your purchase your attorney-in-fact can apply for the loan for you too.

Your attorney-in-fact will also be viewing the property for you, so ask them to take a lot of pictures, do the measurements, check if everything works, inspect for leaks, and ask all the questions you have. They will be the one to let the agent know about your preferences in your dream home, and will be reporting to you about the progress of your home buying.

4) Get a Special Power of Attorney

A Special Power of Attorney (SPA) is a document that officially declares your attorney-in-fact as your representative in your real estate transaction. To execute an SPA, have your attorney-in-fact ask for an SPA form from the property developer, and have them send it to you. Fill it up and bring it to the Philippine Consulate near you for consularization or authentication, and then send it back to your attorney-in-fact. With the SPA as proof, your attorney-in-fact can now reserve the property by signing the reservation form and paying the reservation fee.

5) Put together your requirements

Within 30 days after reserving the property, you are required to submit the following requirements:

*A consularized SPA

*Tax identification number (TIN)

*Employment contract

*Consularized certificate of employment and compensation from your employer

*Post-dated checks for the down payment

*Photocopies of your passport and other IDs

*Proof of income for the past months (the number of months will depend on your developer)

*Proof of billing in the Philippines, such as water, electricity, cable, and phone bills

Send all of these requirements to your attorney-in-fact so they can pass it on to the developer.

Depending on the developer’s terms, your down payment can range from 10% to 30%. Since you won’t be here to join the property inspection, your attorney-in-fact can go in your behalf and let you know about the condition of the home. When everything is set and you’ve made the purchase, it’s just a matter of paying the monthly amortization on time. Once you’ve paid off your loan, you can truly claim the home as your own.


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Lamudi Philippines is one of the leading online real estate market platform available in the Philippines. It is one of the ventures of Rocket Internet, which operates several popular websites including Foodpanda, Lazada, and Zalora among others.

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