Getting to go abroad to the Philippines was an experience that provided me with a new perspective and appreciation in the real estate world. When I travel I like to explore real estate as that is how I get to learn the culture best. Many people like to focus on food or vocabulary, but real estate, I believe, is the best as it provides insight into values as well as principles and practices of people regarding business and lifestyle. 

As a realtor in the states, the overarching principles of business revolves around governance in all that we do as a central aspect of the business. When in the Philippines almost the opposite feeling is present where there is limited governance and ethics guide at any given time. 

The world of real estate in the Philippines doesn’t have the central multiple listing services, a title to their own property, protection from trespassing and squatters, or ownership even after settling and paying for a property. 

It is a common practice in the Philippines for lawyers to also be real estate brokers. The brokers have their own listings and focus on selling those properties only.  The brokers typically facebook as the only means of conversing and selling properties without an online or phone presence. There is something called a runner who holds a large role in walking around an area to find properties for sale and report back to you. The costs per sq foot can range from $1 a sq foot to $50 a sq foot depending on who you talk to. 

The Philippines has some of the most beautiful land for sale in the world. Affordable beachfront properties and mountain forest properties that would have any vacation seeker drool over the opportunity to experience its splendors. The people being ranked by many publications as the most hospitable people in the world— buying into this paradise should be any western’s dream. 

To buy land without it being improved requires citizenship and it may be difficult to find a property for sale in the first place, but once finding a property for sale chances are it’s a great opportunity that is worth the leap. Another option where it is easier to find and manage for foreigners would be to buy a condo which can be rented out and kept for vacation use for years to come. This is truly a country that believes in year-round Christmas traditions as well as being giving to those that can find themselves seeking real estate.