August 18, 2022

OFW FORUM

Jun Concepcion

More often than not, overseas Filipinos are in a much better position than their local counterparts to acquire their dream house while earning double or even quadruple what they used to earn back home.
Remy M., 45, a single mother of three, and who now works as a domestic helper in Hong Kong, is a typical success story. Five years ago, she rented a small apartment in Payatas, Quezon City for her children. The overcrowded living condition in the area wasn’t really conducive for her children. But they were close to her sister’s family who agreed to take a close watch over her children and assist them if and when necessary.

Though not as good as having her own house and being spared from paying rent indefinitely, Remy settled for the arrangement then, especially because her children were close to schools that they were attending.

But her dream and desire of owning her dream home one day in the future never left her mind. Her desire was stoked by enticing tales of close friends, who also work as domestics in Hong Kong, of one day settling down in comfort in one’s dream home after quitting overseas work.

“If they were able to do it [put up their dream home], why can’t I,” she told herself from time to time.

Her lucky break came one day when a neighbor posed a question which immediately brightened her day.
“BFF, do you want to own your dream home near Quezon City? I know of a townhouse that’s being offered for sale in San Mateo, Rizal for just ₱1.5 million on an ‘assumed-balance’ basis,” her friend said.

The news immediately put Remy’s mind on overdrive. Without letting her immediate family and close friends know, she had quietly built savings of about ₱500,000. After communicating with a real estate broker in San Mateo, he used her savings as down payment for the two-story townhouse and agreed to pay the balance by installment over five years.

Jericho C., another Filipino in Hong Kong, has achieved much more than Remy, putting up three separate houses in Quezon City. But it’s mainly because he started investing in real estate more than 20 years ago and he continues to earn much more than the ₱31,000 net monthly salary that Filipino domestics currently earn in Hong Kong.

Two years ago, he assisted his daughter to purchase a condominium unit in Manila from a large Makati-based developer. He plans to rent out the unit on a daily basis, thus creating a new revenue stream.
But he never expected or anticipated running into various technical difficulties with the prominent developer which employs certain practices which appeared irregular and even questionable, thus prompting him to consider seeking the advice and assistance of government regulators.

Jericho’s bid to make his son a co-owner of his sister’s condo unit so his son can take out a bank loan to pay off the condo’s balance was promptly rejected by the developer. The developer’s stance? Co-ownership comprises change or transfer of ownership, thus subjecting the condo buyer to a transfer fee that the developer charges apart from the buyer having to pay capital gains tax to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

But the condo buyer isn’t giving up or transferring ownership of her condo unit! She is simply bringing in her only sibling as co-owner? Why regard this as giving up or transferring ownership and being forced to pay a transfer fee to the developer and capital gains and a second tax to the government which amounts to eight percent of the purchase price?

Who will resolve this technical impasse? Not the prominent Makati developer which stands pat on its position no matter how ridiculous and questionable its stance. Not the harassed homebuyer who’s being pressured to pay off the balance though her bid to raise bank financing is being stymied by the developer which is anxious to collect the balance.

What lessons can and should be derived from Jericho’s predicament?

1] Don’t rely solely or too heavily on a prominent corporate name and stature of a developer.

2] Check the developer’s track record on customer service. Scour the Internet for any negative threads or feedback from homebuyers, especially about the developer from which you plan to buy a housing unit

3] Ask around for useful advice, especially from those with actual real estate investment experience.

4] In the absence of people who can provide reliable advice, simply go to Google or YouTube and type “tips on real estate investments in Philippines.” Chances are you’ll find lawyers who can provide sound advice. Be selective and discriminating though.

Why is real estate excellent for OFWs, especially for those with plans to return home for good? Jericho’s tale should inspire.

Last year, he sold for about ₱3 million a house and lot in Batangas that he bought for only ₱250,000 over 20 years ago.

Contact writer at jchk94@yahoo.com

OFW FORUM

Jun Concepcion

More often than not, overseas Filipinos are in a much better position than their local counterparts to acquire their dream house while earning double or even quadruple what they used to earn back home.
Remy M., 45, a single mother of three, and who now works as a domestic helper in Hong Kong, is a typical success story. Five years ago, she rented a small apartment in Payatas, Quezon City for her children. The overcrowded living condition in the area wasn’t really conducive for her children. But they were close to her sister’s family who agreed to take a close watch over her children and assist them if and when necessary.

Though not as good as having her own house and being spared from paying rent indefinitely, Remy settled for the arrangement then, especially because her children were close to schools that they were attending.

But her dream and desire of owning her dream home one day in the future never left her mind. Her desire was stoked by enticing tales of close friends, who also work as domestics in Hong Kong, of one day settling down in comfort in one’s dream home after quitting overseas work.

“If they were able to do it [put up their dream home], why can’t I,” she told herself from time to time.

Her lucky break came one day when a neighbor posed a question which immediately brightened her day.
“BFF, do you want to own your dream home near Quezon City? I know of a townhouse that’s being offered for sale in San Mateo, Rizal for just ₱1.5 million on an ‘assumed-balance’ basis,” her friend said.

The news immediately put Remy’s mind on overdrive. Without letting her immediate family and close friends know, she had quietly built savings of about ₱500,000. After communicating with a real estate broker in San Mateo, he used her savings as down payment for the two-story townhouse and agreed to pay the balance by installment over five years.

Jericho C., another Filipino in Hong Kong, has achieved much more than Remy, putting up three separate houses in Quezon City. But it’s mainly because he started investing in real estate more than 20 years ago and he continues to earn much more than the ₱31,000 net monthly salary that Filipino domestics currently earn in Hong Kong.

Two years ago, he assisted his daughter to purchase a condominium unit in Manila from a large Makati-based developer. He plans to rent out the unit on a daily basis, thus creating a new revenue stream.
But he never expected or anticipated running into various technical difficulties with the prominent developer which employs certain practices which appeared irregular and even questionable, thus prompting him to consider seeking the advice and assistance of government regulators.

Jericho’s bid to make his son a co-owner of his sister’s condo unit so his son can take out a bank loan to pay off the condo’s balance was promptly rejected by the developer. The developer’s stance? Co-ownership comprises change or transfer of ownership, thus subjecting the condo buyer to a transfer fee that the developer charges apart from the buyer having to pay capital gains tax to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

But the condo buyer isn’t giving up or transferring ownership of her condo unit! She is simply bringing in her only sibling as co-owner? Why regard this as giving up or transferring ownership and being forced to pay a transfer fee to the developer and capital gains and a second tax to the government which amounts to eight percent of the purchase price?

Who will resolve this technical impasse? Not the prominent Makati developer which stands pat on its position no matter how ridiculous and questionable its stance. Not the harassed homebuyer who’s being pressured to pay off the balance though her bid to raise bank financing is being stymied by the developer which is anxious to collect the balance.

What lessons can and should be derived from Jericho’s predicament?

1] Don’t rely solely or too heavily on a prominent corporate name and stature of a developer.

2] Check the developer’s track record on customer service. Scour the Internet for any negative threads or feedback from homebuyers, especially about the developer from which you plan to buy a housing unit

3] Ask around for useful advice, especially from those with actual real estate investment experience.

4] In the absence of people who can provide reliable advice, simply go to Google or YouTube and type “tips on real estate investments in Philippines.” Chances are you’ll find lawyers who can provide sound advice. Be selective and discriminating though.

Why is real estate excellent for OFWs, especially for those with plans to return home for good? Jericho’s tale should inspire.

Last year, he sold for about ₱3 million a house and lot in Batangas that he bought for only ₱250,000 over 20 years ago.

Contact writer at jchk94@yahoo.com

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