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Plan to build your retirement dream home in the Philippines?

The first thing you need to be aware of is that foreigners cannot own land in the Philippines.

land for sale Philippines

However, you can own a condo or a townhouse as long as the complex is 60% owned by Filipinos. The problem is not all of us want to living in a condo or townhouse.

A foreigner can own a building, and this makes it possible to lease land for specified period and build their dream house. A lease period is typically 20 or 50 years but can even be 99 years. More than enough for someone that just wants to build a retirement home. You need to get a lease agreement drawn up by an attorney.

If you have a Filipino partner then you have the option of buying land in their name. There are ways to maintain control over the property even if you cannot legally own it. This usually involves setting up a corporation and again requires drawing up a legal agreement.

You can also buy land in a child’s name. This might be better than entrusting the title to a partner. If put in a child’s name it can be protected against other family members that might want to misappropriate it. This type of situation happens a lot. Again you need an attorney.

If you 100% trust your partner or really do not care about the possibility of losing the property one day you can just purchase the land in their name.

Building your brand new retirement dream home in the Philippines is exciting but this is not something I would jump into. The process can be a highly stressful and frustrating one, or even worse.

If you have not spent a lot of time in the Philippines my advice is not to jump into purchasing anything. The dream location you have in mind might not be where you really want to be after you have spent some time and explored other locations. Renting to start with is always the best option.

See my video about Noise Considerations as an example of the types of things to investigate before deciding where to live.

For an in depth book on Philippines property you can’t go past the Philippines Property Primer by Perry Gamsby.

About the Author

I have been visiting the Philippines for the past 30 years and lived here full time for the past 10 years. I have travelled extensively around the Philippines and lived in many locations. I was married to a Filipina for over 20 years and been with my current girl friend for 8 years. I have also operated businesses in the Philippines including a Dance and Fitness Studio, Restaurant, Family karaoke and disco. My background is IT and my real interest is in online marketing and outsourcing and these are the areas I currently focus on. I have made heaps of mistakes along the way and I have always enjoyed helping others and passing on my experience so that they might avoid making many of the same mistakes. - Chris Bennetts
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