WHEN I WAS beginning to write this article, all I could ask myself was whether I was the most qualified person to talk about this since I am the only one left in my group of friends who has yet to invest in a property in the Philippines. Considering the economic stability of our country in the last three years and the countless constructions of condominiums in our capital of Manila, I have yet to budge out of my ‘reluctant’ rut. See, I grew up in Riyadh all my life so I hardly envisioned myself to be living in the Philippines any time soon. My mother has always been whispering to my ear about this ever since I started working and yet, seven years later here I am, with nothing (tangible and even a wee-bit of majestic) to show for in all of my years of being an official OFW.
That is why I realized that I should take this topic head on; an exercise to convince myself to finally take that next ‘adult’ step. If you are anything like me (young, fabulous and “home-less”, LOL), or if owning a property in the Philippines is your long time dream and OFW-life’s purpose, then I present to you the Top 5 Reasons to Invest in the Philippines!
1. It’s profitable.
Did you know that real estate investments are second to gold in appreciation value? If you buy a piece of land today, it can only be worth more than it is a year later. In 2013, the cost of a residential condo unit in Makati rose to almost 13% from its previous price. The worth of real estate always increases and hardly ever decreases. A unit that was bought in 2010 can be worth twice its price in this present day. That shows a high return of your investment (if you were to sell it, that is). Other than selling your properties, you can also choose to have them rented out. The rent business is one of the easiest avenues for you to become an entrepreneur even if you have very minimal background on business management. You just need to be knowledgeable in local BIR and municipal policies, basic property management and have your capital on hand and you’re good to go! I’ve known a couple of people who have bought condominiums in the University Belt in the Philippines, not for their own personal use, but to be able to rent them out to students who would want to reside nearby.
2. Have Something To Show For Yourself. Literally and permanently.
The fruits of your years’-worth of hard labor (at least not all of them) shouldn’t be splurged on a daily dose of Starbucks, the latest iPhone or a Louis Vuitton bag. These things are a mere trend and eventually, their value wears off. Just think if you have allotted your money into investing in a property instead, then you could easily and proudly say that you have something you have worked hard for and it’s not going to be replaced that easily. Just imagine that satisfaction of standing and staring at your fully-paid housing unit. Owning your own place is simply, a symbol of stability.
3. It’s affordable. And manageable.
Acquiring your own piece of real estate is more budget-friendly now than it was in the past because of the payment schemes offered by developers. They give you the opportunity to pay off your down payment (usually 30% of the total price) within a time period at ZERO interest mind you, while the construction is already taking place. For example, a unit in Century Properties’ Commonwealth towers can let you pay its down payment in five years. By then, it’ll be turned over to you to handle the rest of the 70% payment but it’s already furnished and livable. And with very comprehensive financing services from private banks and even government support like the PAG-IBIG fund, the payment options that are currently available virtually allows anyone to be able to fully pay off his own home within his own budget.
4. You need it for retirement.
As OFWs, we’re all genetically engineered to go back home in the Philippines sooner or later. Whether we want to or not, we are Filipinos and the Philippines is our country. Majority of the senior OFWs I know here talk about retiring in the Philippines where they can enjoy the rest of their lives in a free and normal environment. At some point, we just have to simply stop working and RELAX. Live comfortably with our immediate needs and leisure activities just within your reach (and with all the time in the world). If you’ve seen the man-made beach property in Paranaque called Azure, man oh man, wouldn’t I love to wake up to have a view of the city on one side and enjoy the feel of the beach bum’s life on the other. And I wouldn’t even have to commute!
5. If not now, when?
I know most of our money here abroad are meant for something back home. Whether its for a relative you are helping to put through school or for medical bills for your elders, I know it’s important. But for me, now that I’ve gotten older, I have quite the simmering regret of not investing as early as my other friends have. I don’t want to reach the 10-year mark of my career and still live in my parent’s or relative’s house in the Philippines. And besides, what if something unexpected happened to my job? (God forbid). Perhaps making that firm decision to help yourself as well is integral variable in investing. I’m beginning to see that security is something you have to build yourself. And as the question postulates, if not now, when?
Overall, every property expert advises that you only invest as soon as you are ready (mentally and financially). And just don’t forget to do your homework on your developer and their track record before embarking on a deal. Choose wisely and choose what suits your needs the most.
As for me, the peer pressure is kicking in. Not to mention the simple rationale of it all (especially after researching and writing for this topic). Hmmm, the Black Eyed Peas’ catchy lyric of “I’ve got a feeling!” is playing through my head right now. 😛 Does this mean I’ll be investing in real estate soon? Well, just like I’ve said earlier: If not now, when? You should consider it too.