Tips in Buying a Condo Unit in the Philippines – if you’re a Citizen or a Foreigner

How to buy a condo unit in the Philippines? Are you one of those people who want to buy a condo here? Where is the best place to buy a condo? Looking for rent-to-own or just wanna buy in straight cash deal? Whatever is your purpose and reason, these tips are for you. Consider the following:

How to Buy a Condo Unit in the Philippines

Your reason in buying a condominium or pad

The first question you should consider is why would you want to purchase a condominium unit? What’s the reason behind it? Whether it’s temporary or permanent, it is essential that you know why you’re buying, where to buy, when to buy and how to buy.

Your budget in buying a condo unit

Estimate the possible investment and then decide whether you can afford it or not. If not, it’s advisable that you switch to your plan B, in which condo unit is no longer your choice. But since you’re reading this article and it seems like you’re eager to buy one, let’s talk about it.

Are you a resident citizen or a foreigner?

There is a specific law and government rules as to ownership of real estates, properties, land and buildings in the Philippines. So you better check them. If you are a citizen, all you need are money, proof of income, identifications, and submitting the required documents in buying your condo, either cash or thru bank finacing.

I have no idea if you’re a citizen or foreigner, but I am delivering this message to whom this may concern, for all those who are aspiring to have their own location for personal comfort.

how to buy condo philippines


A major factor that should be on the top of the list is location. When it comes to buying a Philippine condo or real estate property, let’s say you need a location for your business venue, it always boils down to a good location. For those who don’t have a car or any personal transportation, or so-called service, you should really consider its distance from the transportation area. Distance could affect your schooling or your place of work.

Accessibility and good surroundings

Is the condo located in a quiet area and yet accessible to the commercial area, schools and hospitals? If there are any emergencies, can you be assured that you can immediately rush someone to any nearby hospitals? If you want to hang out and go anywhere you want to, does the distance bother you or not?

For the typical balikbayan the usual question is, how many minutes is the condo from the airport? Or if you’re a foreigner looking for a place to stay in, is the place comfortable enough for you to purchase? Is it near to those beaches you’ve been longing to see? These are just some questions you need to consider. You won’t regret it in the end that you spent some time over analyzing what specific condo unit fits for you, depending on your schedule, taste and budget.

One of the wise decisions you can make is to make a masterplan like asking how will the surrounding area look like 5-10 years from the time you bought the condo?


Also consider the security and traffic management. Does the building have security guards and strict protocols? They must have lobbies, and admini office, too.


Designation of areas for open spaces, parks and landscaping, reliable utilities (presence of reliable telecommunication facilities, drainage systems, reliable water supply).

Types of condos and spaces

In general, condominiums will fall under two unit types: the flat unit or bi-level/loft units. Flat units a.k.a studio types are the typical condo unit wherein all bedrooms, the living room, dining room, toilet and baths are all located in one level. This is usually what people buy because it feels much more comfortable.

Bi-level/loft units are those condos which has a staircase leading to the loft or second level where the bedrooms are located. So this is usually what couples buy, those people who want more space than just a flat condo unit.

Income opportunities of having a condo

Some condo and real estate properties like SM Prime Holdings and Ayala Land offer income opportunities to owners of the rooms and spaces by giving them the rights to allow tenants, rent and lease their space.

So tell yourself, right now, what kind of plan do you have? Are you ready to buy a condo? If not yet, let’s continue. Truly, the model unit looks awesome. The model units looks great in the brochure and in the CD presentation promoters usually illustrate to you. It’s hard because it’s very deceiving. You can’t just choose it just because the place looks stunning. Condominium developers work continuously to make people see the profits or living in or investing in a condo. They use colorful and noticeable flyers, hire popular celebrities and invade malls just to get their message across, and a lot of people do get swept by their claims. You just can’t depend on that part.

Final Thoughts:

See? Buying a condo can be really tough. You have to consider a lot of things. If you don’t, then you wouldn’t feel like it’s worth your money at all. The Philippines is a tropical country and during summer, the loft-type units have higher possibilities to be exposed to sunshine, which irritates many because of the heat it brings. For a condo dweller to be comfortable, you should invest in a good air-conditioning system.

In a condominium ownership, several problems can occur or take place, which you have to consider, again. There are many dishonest agents, and they usually take advantage of those OFWs who are out of the country, with no one staying at their purchased condominium. They sometimes claim that you haven’t given your payment yet only to find out that agent’s robbing cash out of you. Be sure to be in accompany with an agent who works in a reputable company, because that gives you an assurance, although it still depends on people, how they would be honest to anyone, both amateur and professional workers.

Remember that advertisements are only for public display purposes only, just to get your attention instantly because that’s their job, to catch your attention so you would purchase their condo unit, which is an accomplishment for their part. On the other hand, you need to be cautious and alert as there are many illegal agents scattered nowadays pretending to work in a prestigious company, diligently hiding behind a fake identity.

You should do a research at home or anywhere where you can access an internet and start looking for a company that offers a condominium unit that is less expensive (you need to be practical too) but elegant. Never ever take a risk at something you’re not sure at. Be prepared, do a research, consider people’s testimonials about that condo unit, write down important details regarding that person you should contact, be in the right mood as you need to choose the right one and most of all, be wise. You’re probably going to take our thousands of cash, and it should benefit you thousand times better.

She calls herself 'The Skywriter'. She is adventurous, competitive, creative and talented who finds writing and traveling both charismatic and irresistible. Cate is also into fashion, music and photography. She looks up to Nicholas Sparks, an International Screenwriter and Best-Selling Author.

17 thoughts on “Tips in Buying a Condo Unit in the Philippines – if you’re a Citizen or a Foreigner”

  1. This is very helpful for people like us, overseas & ex-citizen who wants to buy their first condo but do not know where to start. As most of the Agent just want to sell but not explaining very well what are you buying!

  2. This is so interesting. Thanks for giving some guides and tips before buying a condo. Thanks a lot for this. Now, I’m thinking to write an article about what to know before buying the condo.

  3. Philippines has been one of the top choices to be your retirement place or perhaps a place to your business as well. Owning a house here could be bothersome for foreigners only to find out that they are not legal to own by themselves and so the ideal shelter for foreigners could a condo somewhere in Greenhills for easy access of main roads.

  4. Hi!

    I am Fritzie Mae Agor of Vivaldi Residences. To anyone interested to buy a condo unit in Davao City, please contact me 09219858987 or email me at . My pleasure to be of assistance to you.

  5. Rules for Buying Condo Units in the Philippines

    These are just some of the rules when buying condo units in the Philippines. Please add more in the comments to this post. The recent land title scheme not being turned over to the condominium corporation with a lien placed on a property causing the building to be worthless in Makati from what I was told is just another lesson learned.

    Buy and read Armando Ang’s book, “Guide to Homeownership.” It was revised in 2009 but is still valuable giving important information and critical opinion.

    Do not buy if immediate streets around the building flood.

    Do not buy prebuilt.

    See seven to nine units in different buildings before deciding.

    Get a copy of the By-Laws.

    Get a copy of the Master Deed.

    Who is on the condominium corporation board and who controls the board? Have there been elections and read Valle Verde vs Africa (Philippines Supreme Court), a decision made after Ang’s book was revised? How did board members obtain each seat?

    Get copies of the architectural/engineering plans at the city engineer’s office of your unit and the floor the unit is on.

    Check for columns in the unit and shared balconies.

    Measure the unit for square meters.

    Get a certified true copy of the land title and check for liens on the property from Registry of Deeds.

    Have all ads signed by the broker and company officials printing the name and title under the signatures.

    Here is a story to make everyone think very carefully about all the potential problems. A good friend was told about his friends’ purchase in a well-known area that many see as an oasis in Makati. When they walked into the duplex (2-floor) unit for inspection it was lacking one critical element. They were told the critical element was optional. This story was told to others who buy and care for condo units around Metro Manila and they did not believe the story. I asked him again and he explained in detail what his friends experienced and the gathering they were at with others who almost coughed up their food during dinner being told the story while laughing.

    The optional critical element in the highly regarded oasis development with an upscale mall were the stairs. Yes, you just cannot make this stuff up. They had to hire someone to put the stairs in afterward.

  6. As a foreigner you can purchase land in the Philippines. However, you can purchase condos instead. I would recommend looking at Makati and Ortigas.

    For those looking foreigners thinking of purchasing condos in the Philippines, you can browse my ads at

    • I’m planning to buy a condo unit. And I give 20k for reservation already. Do I have to get any copy of that title? I am not in the phil. So I’m just wprried to pay everymonth without any ducuments in my hand. So what should I do?

      • Did you submit any requirements prior paying the reservation fee of 20k?

        Hi, I am Arnold Dayuno Paquera, Licensed Real Estate Broker, Division Manager in Bachelor’s Realty and Brokerage Inc. Our office is Located in Jones Ave. Cebu City, Philippines. I’m offering condominiums, house and lot for your personal use or for investment use. If you need assistance or if you have any questions regarding acquiring a property here in the Philippines please feel free to contact me. You may reach me through Facebook, just search for my full name.

        Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines, with Cebu City as the main center of commerce, trade, education and industry in the Visayas. In a decade it has transformed into a global hub for shipping, furniture-making, tourism, business processing services, and heavy industry.

  7. When you are planning to buy a condo, first set your budget, then finds the perfect location. Since most of the condos are located in the cities, I prefer the condos in the Bonifacio Global City


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