The expat population in the Philippines has significantly grown in numbers in recent years. Tessa Salazar released a report in Philippine Daily Inquirer stating that the Philippine Bureau of Immigration had 65,155 foreign resident registrations as of March 2012, an increase by 5,123, since 2011.
Settling in at a foreign country may present some daunting challenges for expats from all walks of life. An expat’s unfamiliarity of one’s surroundings in a different place makes him struggle to enjoy his life on a daily basis in his temporary new home.
One of the challenges expats face is condo-hunting in the Philippines. Opting to buy a condo is usually out of the question for many expats, since most of them only plan to stay in the Philippines for a short period of time.
Expats need to be extra resourceful when conducting a search for condo spaces in the Philippines. Among the difficulties expats may encounter when searching for a condo for rent in the country include, but are not limited to, becoming victims of rental scams and rip-offs, and purchasing the wrong choice of condo.
Match Your Income with Your Rental Fee
Don’t overlook the costs when choosing a condo for rent in the Philippines. In spite of the obvious low cost of living in the country, it would still be nice to save considerable amount of money you can fall back on during emergencies. Get a condo with a rental fee that does not cost too high, so that saving is still possible even after cashing out your money for rent. You'll never know when you’ll need some cash when rainy days come around.
View the Actual Condo Unit Itself
The only way to see for yourself if your future condo’s cost of accommodation for rent is worth the money you’ll be paying for is viewing the condo unit personally. You'll never know if the quality of the condo you wish to purchase lives up to your standards if you only view the sample showroom. A showroom is still significantly different from the real thing any way you look at it.
Don’t Overlook Rental Immigration Requirements
Before you check out the top condo living locations in the Philippines, make sure that you have not forgotten about checking the documentary requirements with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration that a foreign national need to furnish, in order to rent a residential property in the country. Getting into trouble with lawful authorities is the last thing you’d want while indulging yourself in a perky condo lifestyle.
Be Wary of Shady Rental Advertisements
Take extra precaution in putting your entire trust in condo rental advertisements. Sometimes, the rental prices advertised as low or reasonable may actually be far from the truth. There are many condo owners who advertise false information about their property just to deceptively trick the rich and the innocent potential renters.
When analyzing a rental advertisement, calculate and weigh the property sales value in balance with the rental price of a unit being offered. Doing this will give you an overall idea if the rental price offered is accurate, or if the condo owner may be trying to rip you off of your money.
Keep a Keen Eye on Copy and Paste Rental Advertisement
A condo rental investment costs a considerable amount of money, even though it’s quite lower than the rental amount you usually pay for rent in your home country. Don’t get fooled by individuals who post advertisements online and in newspapers or magazines that don’t rightfully belong to them.
Condo living in the Philippines is prone to fraudulent rental advertiser identity theft. Many cases have arisen involving people who delete the names and contact numbers of the real advertisers, replacing it with their own names and contact numbers. It’s better to be safe by not getting involved in this type of modus operandi, rather than risk getting entangled in a legal process in the long run once you’ve settled in to your new condo.
Watch Out for “Colorum” Agents
Double check if the real estate agent or broker who may approach you is licensed. There are many fake or “colorum” agents who give false offer for a large property for rent, and in the end, running off with your money without presenting any condo you can rent.
Don’t easily get trapped and believe the flowery benefits fake brokers may offer. Always check if the license of the broker is registered with the Philippine Professional Regulation Commission to avoid being the next victim of a rental fraud.
Don’t Waste Your Money on Information Brokerage
The growing condo rental market in the Philippines spurs the trend of information brokerage. Avoid wasting your money paying the commissions of information brokerage of dual or multiple agents or dealers. Always make sure that you only pay for the services of one lawful broker or agent. Immediately turn down a rental transaction involving shady dual or multiple brokers.
Make Sure That Your Future Condo Unit Is Actually Available
Many fraudulent individuals rent out condominium units that they are not authorized to sell, because there are still residents living in them. Rental advertisements announcing that a unit is available for rent, when it actually is not, is one way scammers rip off people’s money.
These advertisements usually advertise condos for rent in a certain location where many people are unfamiliar with, so they can get away with their dirty work. For an additional security measure, ask the person responsible for the advertisement for the condo’s certificate of vacancy to prove to you that the unit is truthfully available for rent.
Take Time to Learn More about Filipino Condo Culture
Living in a condo in the Philippines may have several differences with the condo lifestyle you’ve become used to back in your home country. Avoid acquiring culture shock during the process of conducting your condo rental search by talking to local people and doing some research as well, to learn more about the Filipino condo culture. You may be surprised, but at the same time, come to appreciate the beefed-up condo security most residential buildings offer in the country, which may not be typical in the country where you originally come from.
Relocating and living in a condo in the Philippines presents an experience that is ultimately unique on its own. Sure, there will be some downsides in doing it, which are normal, given the fact that you’re a newbie in the country. If you’ve got the determination and willpower though, you’ll surely be able to prominently outweigh the advantages against the detriments that you may find while living in a condo in a foreign country.