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A house for $6,000 in the Phillipines??

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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A house for $6,000 in the Phillipines??

Postby Montanaland » Sun Oct 31, 2010 3:09 pm

When you look under the Phillipines section of this international real estate listing guide.. multiple listings pop up under $10 or 20k?

Do you guys know if these inexpensive developments exist and do they look legitimate to you?

I've also noticed a lot of listings on their are at inflated prices.
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Postby ladislav » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:29 pm

The way to get those houses is

1) outside of large urban areas
2) locally when you go and talk to people
3) in the name of a wife or a company etc.

They will not be western style houses at all, and lacking in many amenities/quality. But livable, nonetheless.
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house prices

Postby starkeep » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:05 am

8) Most houses are low compared tothe us but there is a global realestate crisis now. The problem i have is owning a house in the pi since we are lmited tocondos
no houses. If the pi wants a realeste boom it would be good if they change the law that foreigners can own houses there. I know a person can put the house in a corporation or wifes name but if things dont work out with the wife the house is gone with the wind.
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Postby globetrotter » Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:23 am

What ladislav says.

You have to be in a 'normal neighborhood', not in the hi-rises surrounding the Ayala Mall in Cebu City. Get a house, with a compound, a wall, a gate, room to put up another building or two. Room for a small garden, some dogs, pets, etc.

Same in China. You want to buy in Shanghai on The Bund? Bring $500k USD. You want to live in a 5 room, 6 year old house in rural middle-of-nowhere? Bring $10k. Just like the RP, and elsewhere in Asia, houses and apartments are extremely bare bones. No appliances, no fixtures, no tile, no crown molding. Just the bare walls and you need to then spend money to make it nicer.
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Postby momopi » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:10 pm

A lot of foreign buyers don't realize that when they buy a house or condo overseas, it comes "bare". The base price can be much cheaper than the US, but when you buy a house or condo in the US, it comes pre-furnished with all the wirings, kitchen, bathroom, etc.

RE prices in cities like Shanghai and Taipei roughly follows this rule: the closer you are to a MRT station, the more expensive the rent. There are exceptions with upscale communities where owners drive instead of taking public transportation.

In Taipei, you might be able to buy a small condo near MRT station for NT 5 million, if you're lucky. But if you drive out to Yilan, for the same amount you can buy a big house with yard.
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Properties in the Phils - my two cents

Postby xpatwanab » Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:02 am

I just returned to the US a month ago after spending a month in the Phils and I am going back during Dec. and Jan. I was in Manila and in Laoag City. I was rather surprised at the price of rents and properties in Manila. (seemed rather high) I guess you have to know where to look, just as any local would know the lay of the land. In Laoag City the prices of properties were definitely cheaper than in Manila and the US but still higher than I would have expected in a down economy, in a country so economically depressed to begin with. I think there is a lot of wishful thinking by sellers there. Hence your comment about inflated prices, its definitely the case in the Phils. I imagine if you come with serious cash in hand the owners would take a lot less than they are asking. I saw both ends of the spectrum; the typical cement block houses prevalent in the phils, an Asian style house in subdivisions built by Robinson, and some rather nice homes/mansions built by ex pats from various countries. The home I stayed in was rather nice and was told that the filipino owner built the house and bought the land for a total of about $70,000 USD. The home and land in the US, depending on location, would definitely go for at least twice that. I am guessing that one can build a very nice home there with the help of local labor for under $100,000 with no problem at all. Rentals out in the sticks go pretty cheap.($300 and less) A local (your Filipina if you have one) would stand a better chance of scoring a deal (she would have to own it anyway, most likely) than you would as a foreigner. That goes the same for just about anything from food in the open air markets to real estate. When the local business people in the Phils see a foreigner coming they see the money you represent first, for the most part. I did get taken a couple of times (mostly transportation) while there and will be a wiser consumer on my next trip in a couple of weeks. My advice on real estate would be to let your Filipina wife do the bargaining and you be the banker, until you are savvy to the way of doing business in the Phils. I saw prices on new homes listed from about $25,000. USD for a nice simple home with plumbing and all the comforts to $600,000 USD for a full resort on the norther Luzon coast. On the latter, I think the owners are hoping for a rich foreigner to stumble upon their listing.

I looked at the real estate listing you provided the link for. Did you see the description of the property for $6K? IT is very very very small (286 sq ft) and is a row house. That's the equivalent of 2- 12' X12' rooms. A row house in the Phils can be the equivalent of a motel room. Check out this listing service. I think they are more in line with the true prices there. (the asking price anyway)

If you have not visited the Phils or spent some time there, I would say don't buy or get your heart set on any property. One good piece of advice I was given is rent for a few years and then decide if it is your cup of tea to even live there (in the Phils or in any particular city there).

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Postby ladislav » Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:03 am

My girlfriend built a house with my money for 4K in a working class neighborhood in Cebu. It was about the size of a large hotel room but 2 story. It was bare and I had to buy a septic tank. Then she tried tapping into a power line nearby and got away with it for a few months until the Visayan electric company busted them and they had to pay a big fine. But it cost some $200 dollars to put in a real meter and a wire. So it was worth the deal.
In Mindanao you can buy a house in a subdivision for about 5K and in the mountains- 2k will get you a stone house.
In some very far away mountain areas in Luzon, you can get a small house for less than one thousand dollars.
Houses for 70K? That is enough to buy a house in many parts of the US for that kind of money. Why do it in a place where you are not a citizen?
Just buy a house in the US and then from the rents you get, pay rent in the Philippines.
Some guys rented houses in working class Pinoy neighborhoods for less than $100 a month. We go to the Philippines because it is 4-5 times cheaper than the US. Those who try to live 1st world lives there, will have to pay 1st world prices or at least half of them. Why even bother?
And if you have a GF or a wife, just buy her a 5K house and if things do not work out, well, that is all you lose.
Last edited by ladislav on Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby globetrotter » Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:21 am


You have just returned after your first (?) trip. You need to read much, much more. You are taking your USA salary and lifestyle and think that it's a bargain because things are -30% cheaper.

No, that's not cheap.

Cheap is 50 TIMES cheaper. That's what you are looking for.

As Ladislav has posted if you want a lifestyle as on 'Friends' it will cost you the same anywhere on this planet.

I live in a 5 room house and rent is free. I could rent for $100 a month in the countryside, far from any city or town. My total cost of living including frequent luxury spa treatments, massage, acupressure, acupuncture, etc are about $375 a month and that is living absurdly, obscenely well. Living on $150/mo is easy if you are busy and don't travel.


That puts you at retired and with a hot girlfriend in all locations in China but BSG. You can rent forever at that price, equip your place for $5,000, buy a car, a motorbike, and kick back.

You don't have enough experience yet, but you do have money.

You can make your cash go 20X as far. Don't think of -50%, think in terms of -95%.
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Postby The_Adventurer » Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:56 am

BSG is Beijing, Shanghai Guangzhou? How big of a difference re you experiencing out where you are? I couldn't make $150 a month happen even in the Philippines, and I lived in the province and almost never ate out. Living on $375 a month would be a dream. Don't think that'll happen for me in SHanghai though.
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Postby globetrotter » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:25 am

I live in a 4th tier city

Tier 1 Beijing
Tier 2 Xian
Tier 3 400k
Tier 4 40k

I live in a city you have never heard of, in a county you have never heard of, next to a bigger city you have never heard of, in a province most have never heard of, that is 450 miles SSW of Beijing.

Food is my major expense. $6 a day when I go crazy and live it up. After that there is nothing to else to buy. Rent, Utilities, Internet are free. Mobile phone is $5 a month. Additional expenses include travel or taking friends to dinner. Massage, facial, backrubs are $1.50 to $3.00.

In order to spend more than 2500 Yuan I need to actively go at it. Buy lots of stuff, which I don't do, want nor need, travel twice a week, take taxis and not the bus (50CNY per trip for 28km), buy clothes, electronic toys, a motorbike, a car, an e-bike, fly to Japan, things like that.

Even a girlfriend is cheap. Buy her a few things and she is happy.
Take her out to dinner. 100 Yuan, very nice and expensive.

If I were living in Shanghai I would be making about 36k CNY a month working freelance lessons and such. Now, a nice place in SHG is going to cost 5,000 CNY, tho I do know people who have one for 1,500 near the subway, and food and commute is more expensive. I know folks who can get by on 4k a month in SHG, many insist that 8k - 10k is bare minimum. On 36k I would still clear major dollars.

What I would do with it, I don't know. Send it to my mom, maybe.
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Postby zzzz » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:07 pm

How exactly do you get free rent, utilities, internet, etc? Sounds like a special situation, I imagine most people will have to pay for that which makes a big difference.
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Postby Rock » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:26 am

zzzz wrote:How exactly do you get free rent, utilities, internet, etc? Sounds like a special situation, I imagine most people will have to pay for that which makes a big difference.

I think a lot of the schools in China offer teachers a package deal - a salary + furnished apartment which may include utilities and Internet. Not sure whether or not you would get A/C in the summer though.
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Postby keius » Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:47 am

I guess T4 cities are ALOT cheaper than T2/T3. Not sure if i'd rate Taishan City T2 or T3. I lived in Taishan City, Guangdong most of the time when i was there. 4 years ago, foot massages were 60 rmb. I went to restaurants and almost always got a small private room with tv and AC...mostly for the AC. Had a min spending reqmt of 160 rmb for a private room though, so if you only bought 100 rmb of food, they'd still charge you 160. Maybe it's all the McDonalds and KFCs scattered around that inflated all the prices :) Or get a bowl of congee for a couple rmb at a side stall.

Where you are staying seems to be quite a bit cheaper than where i stayed. My monthly expenses were much higher than yours and i didn't have to pay rent either.

How are living standards in T4 cities though? Same or close to T2? The way things are going in the states, retirement in China is almost a definite thing. That won't be for awhile though :P
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Postby globetrotter » Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:32 am

It's not for those who need latte's and upper middle class services. T4 is far below T2. Not even close. There IS a T3 nearby that has a grocer with cheese and peanut butter, and one pizza parlor.

I don't need nor want such things so I fit in. Most who are posted here are 23 and they don't last 9 months. I am the only long term teacher.

Schools will give you a free place to stay and live. I have a 5 room house which is a great deal. Utilities, a/c, heat, internet, computer, furnished, all included.

Lunch here is 5 rmb, dinner is 10 or 20 rmb. The most expensive restaurant in town is 300 rmb for 4 people. Mobile phone is 30 rmb per month. Beer is 2 rmb. Hot cocoa is 3 rmb. Street stall food is 1 to 3 rmb. Anyi is 40 rmb a week.

Foot massages here are 15 or 20 rmb.

I spend 30 or 35 rmb per day. More than that and it's hotels, travel, electronic toys, motorbikes and such.
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Postby yatterman1 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:48 am

How fast in the internet in a T4 city though?
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