Buying Real Estate in the Philippines for OFW’s

If you are an overseas Filipino worker (OFW), you want to have a solid investment as proof of all your hard work overseas. Most Filipinos sacrifice and work in a different country for two things: 1) to get their children through college and 2) to buy a house of their own.

The procedure when acquiring property for OFWs is a bit different than for those who are currently residing in the country. For example, agents who offer homes for sale usually ask who will be the main payor for the house and whether or not he is working in the country or abroad.

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The first thing you would need to arrange is appoint a person who will have legal power to transact on your behalf. This would usually be your spouse or an immediate family member. You would need to sign a document signifying you appointing that person through a Special Power of Attorney (SPA). This needs to be consularized – meaning certified by the Philippine consulate in the country you are working from. These documents are sealed when handed over.

Once the person has legal powers to transact on your behalf, he can now coordinate with the agent and make sure to submit the following requirements:

a. The SPA (Consularized)

b. Income Proof (3 months)
c. Proof of Billing (here in the Philippines)
d. TIN (for verification. If you don’t have a TIN # in the Philippines, the property specialist may do this for you)
e. CEC (Certificate of Employment and Compensation) – needs to be consularized as well
f. Employment Contract (should be in English) – must be with the seal of the employer as well as a signature of the authorized personnel (HR manager, etc.) This can be a photocopy as long as it is certified as true and correct.
g. Post dated checks (PDCs) for the down payment. Requirement may change to some developers. If you don’t have a checking account yet, your attorney-in-fact may open one in his name. If you have a local savings account, you can request for a checking account thru your representative.
h. Photocopy or scanned copy of your passport and IDs

Once documents are submitted, your authorized representative can apply for housing loans. Make sure to factor in other costs when acquiring real estate. If it’s a build and sell house, there would be documentary stamp taxes and registration fees involved. If it has been owned by a private individual, transfer taxes and legal processing fees for the transfer of title of ownership should be factored in as well.

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