I am an OFW, is it okay to buy a condo back home in the Philippines

Personally, I did.

As a first time investor, you have to do a thorough research about investing in condo. Check what are the types of properties, payment options and the credibility of the developer. Investing when you have enough and extra funds is always positive, this also pose an excellent opportunity if you do it in the Philippines. Estimates according to Global Property Guide, nationwide residential price index rose at 9.2% and that condominium spectacularly rise 12.9% increase annually. It’s all good so far and expect a positive appreciation year after year. BUT before you get too excited, examine your finances if in fact you can afford to buy one right now, it’s also important to have sense of purpose on why are you considering this investment. Are you buying to live in the city, to have a passive income by renting it out or re-sell it after some time and get a sensible profit. You need to be certain on what you will do with it so your hard-earned money will not go to waste.
To know if you can afford to own a condo, calculate your annual income and eliminate all expenses. Now, check that extra money left after all the deductions, if it is enough for monthly installments until you settle it all for a certain period, then you can. Bank loan or financing through Pag-Ibig is also an option but it’s the same concept, you still need to include it as part of your monthly bill.
 If you have enough money to buy in cash, do it! You can get a discount and some perks. However, just do this if the property is all-ready to move in and can be handed over to you right away.

I paid in cash ( 1 full payment), the sales in-charge abroad guaranteed that the property will be finish in four months time. It turned out to cause a lot of stress that I had to wait for more than a year before it will be handed over due to many excuses by the developer. I have only myself to blame for not ensuring everything will be delivered on time, I learn that lesson the hard way. Choose an agent who gives you guidance and tells you everything about the property.

Like I said developers credibility is extremely important, ensure that they have proven track of delivering units on time. Unlike in Dubai, most developers build properties and only sell them to public when the construction is completed or almost done. In the Philippines some developers are using the repayments as the main source of fund to complete the construction. As OFW, you need to be careful with this investment, you did not work so hard for almost all your life for nothing. As an example, some fellow Filipinos in Europe was totally devastated with their involvement. I visited some of the community last year with the desire to offer them affordable condo investments, only to be welcomed with negative experiences from run-away Filipino sales agents that was having an office in Monaco and the French Riviera region. All buyers doesn't know where to get their money back.

You can also read and search some ideas from articles and forums online to get more information.

Buying a House Vs. Condo 
Tips Before Buying a Condo in the Philippines
Rants on Owning a Condo
To Buy Or Not - Pre Selling Condo
Is It a Good Time to Invest in Real Estate in the Philippines?

Makati and Taguig (The Fort) is the most preferred area by locals and foreigners, this is because of the convenience in doing business, lifestyle around the area, security and exclusivity of the environment in general. Properties that are close by to schools are also favorable, these properties are the ones that can be offered in a good re-sale value.

Learn from negative experiences of some, including me. If you think you can afford to buy now based on your actual financial situation, go for it! Study the property’s in and out and make a careful planning before finally signing a contract. I still consider this as a good tangible investment.

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