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BUYING LAND, REAL ESTATE AND THE FILIPINO CULTURE

You can't own anything other than a condo outright here in the Philippines. That said you can own 40% interest in a Filipinas company, sit on the board of directors, and split the remaining 60% ownership up amongst as many Filipino citizens as you like, preferably Cebuanas. I recommend 12.5 x 4 separate people. That way you only need one of the four to vote with you and the rest can be kicked to the curb if there's an attempted uprising.

Also you can have a 25 year lease, with the option to extend for another 25 years and setting up a lease where you pay 10 bucks a month or 100 bucks a year is not a problem here. I recommend talking with a lawyer and seeing about putting a secondary person on the lease, just in case you get your self kicked out of the country for whatever reason. Then even if they get rid of you, they still have to deal with you when they try to sell the real property.

Honestly I've seen enough of the Filipino culture to know that you have to cover yourself the whole way through a real estate deal. Don't let the Filipino religion, or the fact that they are 80% Catholics fool you.

Buying Property in the Philippines

Filipino religion won't stop them and Filipino culture says that every white guy or other foreign man is made of money and its their duty to get a chip off the old money tree. Also Filipina women are great! And I'm talking about love and marriage here. But Filipina women, even with the best of intentions aren't hardened business professionals. They don't know what things should cost because they and their families have never purchased a piece of property.

That said a Filipina woman can be a great addition to your land purchase. I recommend doing as much of your business in the Cebuanas area of the Philippines. No Muslims here, and since its not the capital, there's not any of the religious or ethnic tensions you see in other parts of the country. Cebu was listed as #10 on Asia's most business friendly cities. Manila the capital was number 18 on the least friendly.

So what kind of tricks will the Filipino culture pull in its attempt to rob you blind and put money in the pockets of the Filipinas? Remember the base IQ here is in the 80's. Stuff that leaves us scratching our heads and looking for a deeper meaning, is really just the Filipinas entire play. For instance if you are buying property, the caretaker might tell you he owns it and try to sell you the piece. Many a foreigner has woken up to find the real owner demanding to know what you're doing on his property. Always use a lawyer here, there is no title guarantee, there is only the bank and a lawyer to do due diligence.

The Filipino culture will also try to trick you this way. The official owner of the land, has all his Cebuanas relatives living with him. In the this county any Filipinas living on your land without pay for a number of years can sue the owner in court to have the court give them a couple acres of your land, they call them hectares here and are a bit bigger than an acre. So if the ownership is a family concern you need to get all the relatives to sign on to the deal or you risk them coming to shake you down later, for a second payday. Also use a video camera with all signing events. The Filipino will take your money, spend it, then come back and say it wasn't him who signed and so you have to pay for his second holiday from work and life. Filipino religion, won't help you, it doesn't matter if they are the most pious person on earth, Filipino culture teaches that we are here to provide money to the Filipinas not the other way around. So get everyone to sign, use a video camera, research the title, and don't EVER let squatters live on your land. If they don't have a rental contract then they are just making time until they can legally steal the land by squatting it right out from under you. Your Filipina woman may or may not know about any of this. So whenever you're buying a property use due diligence. A real estate agent is legally allowed to take money from both sides. They aren't there exclusively for you. If you have any questions contact me and I'll help you navigate Filipino culture and warn you away from the worst of their blatant tricks.


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