Housing in the Philippines: Brick and Pre-Fab Homes

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  1. I put a USB extension cable and hung the modem outside the house, that didn’t help. I then walked around the yard in the open with my laptop and even still, low signal in the province. (sigh) I fitted the USB modem into a metal strainer (kinda like a radar dish) and that actually boosted my signal, but my data transfer rate only improved about 15%. But I’ll take it. Currently getting about 350kbps on average with sporadic 700kbps at times.

  2. I noticed the same thing so for this video I got closer to the mic. I looked for an external mic but none will plug to my LG phone I record with. I’m figuring a workaround to it though.

  3. It’s strange, if I listen to it using the headphones.. it’s fine. But on the main speakers.. it’s low. Hmm. I’ll keep working on it.

  4. I use my headphones, which means I’m all over the place with the volume. I have to turn it down when I’m Skyping, turn it up for spycam porn, etc. 😛

  5. The Philippines belong to the Pacific Rim of Fire where a large number of eruptions and earthquakes do occur. Tsunamis, typhoons, etc…we have them too.

  6. Can you please do a video on leaseing the land for 25 – 50 years? and also about the 40% for a American and 60% for a Filipino about owning land. so you can tie this altogether. showing the different options of leaseing the land or owning a % of the land with your future wife.

  7. I spoke with a Filipina for months on this, since she is married to an American and together they have about 8 homes here in Cebu. She sat with her lawyer several times to ask some questions I had. The lawyer told her that the land is owned by her, the Philippine citizen and cannot be solely owned by any foreigner even though he is on title. Being on title only means his signature is required for sale. Lawyer also said he can’t leave ownership to his foreign kids in a will to be liquidated.

  8. She did say however that a foreigner can own land in their own name, but there is a maximum square meters allowed and it’s very small, just big enough for a 1 or 2 bedroom home basically. Foreigners can however own a Structure such as a condo or apartment, but not the land if beyond the maximum amount of meters allowed by law.

  9. I’m kinda the one in a million situation. My Filipina ex/gf bought me a house on Bohol while we were together. After we broke up, (amiably), she agreed I could keep the house in order to maintain it and she in turn would not sell it for another 5 to 10 years. For most single guys, you can buy a home or condo and lease the land long term.

  10. The porn industry really needs to standardize the volume on their media. Establish one decibel level for loud screaming and use that as a standard. ha!

  11. Agreed. For the long-term, I have to eventually just make a fresh break once I get into a new, committed relationship. For now, being just single she doesn’t give me any hassles from an island away. I’m thinking to relocate to either Panglao or Tagbilaran, but definitely here on Bohol.

  12. Yes, that is the same one. She and I are still good friends, but we broke up last March. We help each other when we can with stuff, but I’m dating a new girl just recently.

  13. cinder blocks hmm 10% cement 90% sand and under half the size from fx europa they fall apart right did see many houses 1 story just colapse and think they some time build like 8 storys high not with me inside it.. they colapse with no earthquake.i am glad for the real earthquake safe house in cement we have (no we are not rich my wife did work 20+years for that).the philippines have some amasing house builders love the ph keep up the good videos i fell like home salamat for upload opo

  14. uhh you know the ph laws? you rent it now right? really hope you have the papirs on it there you can get in really a lot of trouple..no you cant buy a house you can rent lease you can own a flat condo that is legal olso lease rent land but thats it.. you can newer own land housevote on eletion. own gun or knife (a pocket knife folding 2 inch long can cost you 4 to 7 years in jail for a expat be carefuld that is a big nono just so you know)house get that on writing and notorice it by a layer

  15. i mean it is about 320 square meters not sure i am glad you got some prof help glad for that dont worry money go a long way just make it at a lease then there is no problems he can help you with that and be sure to notorice it best of luck hope i coud help a little..(i did try the same olmost with land there i were glad for the layer we have in the famely) olso marry to a philippina so that olso chance the rules for me..but you do the right thing glad for that best of luck and be carefull..

  16. Decades back Spanish houses(rich people) were made from “adobe” and hard wood. The American period change it to bricks and blocks. If your house is built from bricks and blocks. Your rich. Now adays? Block houses with steel beams are common at the same time it’s durable and reliable to last a long time. Because of the low supple of good lumber in the Philippines. A house built with wood materials (not bamboo), just means your rich.
    Again good info… Great job…

  17. Hi Henry,

    I work in the mobile telecoms industry and my wife is Boholana. I met her when I was working in Macao in 2007. She was working as an accountant.
    We have built a house in Dauis Panglao Island. I got involved altering the drawings and made to our specification. Recently we build and extension which gave us about 240 square meters. The land/garden around is quite large. It is solid hollow blocks and we have a lot of stone work decorations especially around the main entrance. Cost 65K US

  18. Henry, following my previous comment, We are planning to spend about 7 months/year in Bohol.
    I will probably be back in February 2014. You are very welcome to visit for some good barbeque and ice cold Sun Miguel.
    Btw I have never managed to stay in the Phils for more than 3 weeks at a time so what about long term visa? I suppose if you are married to a Filipina is not difficult but how can I go about it? We got married in Honk Kong in 2009.
    Also what about health insurance?

    Best regards

  19. Awesome. For long-term, I covered that in detail in an article at the main site. But basically I renew my Tourist Visa every 2 months. After 18 months have to leave for 24 hours, then repeat.

  20. This is what I’m saying, a foreigner can own the ‘structure’.. but not the land. The structure can be a condo, house, apartment, studio, nipa hut.. but cannot own the land, only the structure.

  21. It depends on your goals. If you plan to live here permanently, buy a home once you marry a Filipina. Or.. if you never plan to marry, lease a home long-term. Personally, I don’t see any advantage in leasing long-term since you may want to move somewhere else over the years. I prefer to keep my options open. But it all depends on what your goals are, whether to lease long-term, short-term or buy a home via a Filipina wife.

  22. I think they just recently (August) changed the law for US Citizens. I am going to be there for a month in December and they extended the stay without a long term visa needed to 30 days I believe. I think it was 21 says before. Saves me a hassle.

  23. Eat your words buddy about the earthquakes. Interesting to watch this video 5 days after the EQ. Glad you are safe. My wives family in Cebu and Negros are ok.

  24. Yah, nobody saw a 7.2 coming, total surprise. No Nipa Hut damage to speak of. My neighbors were afraid to sleep in their nipa hut for 2 days despite how flexible a construction it is. As for my own brick house.. not even a single crack. I was expecting at least one wall to cave in for sure.

    1. Sounds good..maybe I will use it is a getaway home..kind of like the cabin in the woods deal…;) What about the jet lag? How long does it take to get used to the 13-14hr difference? And I am one of those ppl that are always cold.I live in TN..known for its humidity…and i wear a hoodie even in the summer..;) lol…

    2. ha!  Even in Calif, I think the wind would wreak havoc on a nipa hut.  And defnitely not hold up under heavy snow.  🙂  But in the tropics you don’t need protection from the cold, it rarely ever drops below 80*F in most parts of the PH, even in winter.  I just did a video on the Nipa Hut Village that I’m uploading later today.  It’s a fun experience but they kinda have a short life and need maintenance more than a brick/mortar home.  The ones with lots of treated bamboo and a metal roof with faux palms on top would be the better way to go.  🙂

  25. First of all I love ur vids very informative and unbiased , I bought a lot and a small house there 2 beds,sala and a room they called a kitchen, 50 mtrs away from a beach in Cebu, my gf and MY daughter live there now, I paid 150.00 peso for it which isn’t a great loss if one day we broke up at least I know my little girl wont be brought up on a dirty unsafe squatter area type place, any way we have had this place now for 3 yrs its still not complete as when I bought it there was a lot needed doing to it, a new roof and beams were put on at a cost of 36000 peso which included the labour, good price  I thought, its a block house single story, I still work in uk so each year when I go back for a few mths I spend a little more, the walls still need surfacing on the outside, doesn’t cost a great deal as a bag of cement is 190 peso, (labour daily cost per guy us around 250 peso) the insides of the house is still being resurfaced as the previous owner being pinoy didn’t realy care about how it looked, possibly due to lack of funds, but bit by bit its coming along nicely now, I was a lucky one I got a pinay whos trustable and very true to her feeling and loves me for what I am, I’m not a rich guy by no means lifes a struggle sometime but she sticks by me 100%, anyway getting off track here hehehe the overall cost of actually rebuilding will probably work out at around the same price which I initially spent on the property and lot, say another 150.000 peso, so for around 300.000 peso I will have a very liveable neat little home by the sea, in the uk a place of the same dimension across the road from a clean wonderful blue sea would well never be available to me and never affordable so it can be don’t there in the phills for a fraction of the price

  26. LOL. I like to think of myself as mostly reasonable with your videos since they uncover the unfortunate reality behind the white sand beaches of the philippines, but to think of an american remarking upon the integrity of a concrete house. LMAO!! My family has had the same house for 15 years, made only of iron and stone. That will last forever compared to the average american wooden shed (essentially what an american house is).

  27. Wow.. I have a lot of questions..I could ask..I met a nice filipina thru a classmaye married to one on facebook..she is from lanao del norte.. wr are meeting in manila in first june. To spend time.. then maybe I prepare to move there ..maybe september.. she wants to open a business in her city..a internet cafe..also..I am a respiratory therapist by trade.. however..she claims.. if I dont find a job we can live simple and live off earnings.from the business..
    All the info I am seeking is so overwhelming from.shipping a few goods and personal items.. to..healtcare..am a diabetic….wow..so much to.take in.. she does not want any money.from me..she wants to do this on her own.. I might need to get some tips from you.. maybe my life as expat.will work.there..so I can retire.at 53..lol.
    I appreciate any advice.

    1. I have a friend I can connect you with.  He owned 4 net cafes in Mindanao.  He finally sold them because he was working almost 10+ hours a day to keep down any embezzlement from employees.  In the end, was only clearing about $1,800 USD, which is good money in the US.. but he could shut them down and get the same from his disability check without working.

  28. But when buying a house and lot as an expat, how would an expat get around that 40/60 percent property purchase issue without having to marry a filipina?

    1. If a person is dead-set on buying a house as a single expat, they can first get a 50 year lease on the land with the owner and then buy the physical ‘home’ separately.  Expats can own personal property but not real property (land).  Or they can simplify and simply purchase a condo.

  29. Yes, a brick house is great; but I still prefer a nipa hut. My husband bought a land in a little village of Carmen, Cebu in 1995 for $2000 CAD and built a cement house on it. We hope to retire there when I finished my job in 8 yrs. A few years ago we also bought a land on the mountain of Danao, Cebu for $2000 CAD. We spent the same amount to get the land titled but it’s all worth it. My family planted dwarf coconuts, bananas, mangoes and other fruit trees and vegetables. Can’t wait to see this land again with a nipa hut on it.

  30. i gotta search more of your videos for updates on this topic i am thinking of this too but when i think of getting land then building a home it might be a bit much for a person like me just starting out 🙁 

    1. @ace24680 i haven’t done another housing update, but after i take another trip to cebu i plan to go in detail on the cost of a condo downtown, as another option.  i’ll post that vid after my trip in a few weeks.  🙂

  31. hi we have plan to move  Cebu Phils…when  i get my dual citizenship….is there a easy way for my husband to stay there long term without  all government red tape?

  32. Hi there!  I’m from Belgium, Europe.  In 2000 I married a Filipina from Ormoc City, Leyte.  We got married in Belgium and lived here, but spent our vacations in Ormoc.  After one or two years I bought a 500m² lot outside Ormoc City, which I later expanded with the adjacent 500m² lot.  Then I decided to build a house on it.  Because my wife had parents and four siblings who all had children and lived on variable incomes, I conceived the idea of building a 7 bedroom / 3 bathroom mansion so I could accommodate the whole family and save them rental expenses.  I will not expand in this post about how this is not a good idea.  Anyway, according to the Philippine Constitution, foreigners cannot own land. No problem!  I had a wife who was Filipina, so I put it in her name!  HAD!  In 2014 I divorced her after I found out that she was bedding Pinoy seamen.  Now she has the mansion, car in the garage and all, and I’ve taken a loss of anywhere between 4 and 5 mio. Pesos.  Now my advice to anyone who wants to live or have a vacation house in the Philippines is: RENT, DON’T BUY.  Not only for the reason I just explained, but also because the Philippines – and especially the Visayas (Cebu, Leyte, Bohol, Samar) – are on a typhoon belt and every year catastrophes happen in different places in the country: typhoons, flash floods, landslides, etc.  If the roof gets blown off of your rental house, you move.  If the roof gets blown off of your own house, you pay!  Need to say more?

    1. +BelgianTuber I’d say burn the damn place to the ground and as the house (not the land) is in your name collect the insurance and haul ass. IF it’s an international company it certainly shouldn’t be a problem. Not like they are going to have the money to litigate. 😉

    2. @LifeBeyondTheSea – Philippines You’re right!  My wife and I also signed an agreement that the property was mine for 50 years, which was officially added to the title of the land.  Actually, she stays the owner but I’m entitled to use it.  Neither of us can sell it without the signature of the other.  That sounds all right in countries that uphold the law.  In the Philippines, however, there is so much corruption that almost any governement official can be bribed.  If I take this to court, the judge MAY decide that the property has to be sold and we each get half (which is better than nothing), but legal expenses will run so high that, combined with the possible corruption, I don’t think it’s worth the battle.  The only thing that comforts me is that the typhoon Yolanda blew away 2 of our 3 roofs and damaged the other one.  According to my information that is still not fixed now that she lost her sponsor.  Karma???  I understand what you say about the widow being left with nothing, but that is not necessarily the case.  I have property in Belgium too.  If she had been a faithful wife she could have sold that and bought a house in the Philippines after I died.  I understand from your videos that you also have property in California, so your wife can do the same.  But if your marriage doesn’t last until you die, she gets nothing!  That’s only fair, isn’t it?

    3. @BelgianTuber i very much agree. an expat is literally “betting the farm” to purchase property in the PH under his wife’s name. some men ‘know’ and have vested their wife over the years, and are married to a good woman who would do him no wrong. and then there is what happened in your case. it happens way too often. some have suggested getting the house structure in your own name, the property in her name.. but then a lease in your own name for say, 40 years and you’re covered in case things go south. all i can say to that is that here in the PH.. what is legal and documented is not what the police or even the courts are willing to honor when the time comes. if her and her family ‘squat’ in the house, a guy is in an uphill battle. and if by some miracle they get evicted. expect they will destroy that house before they leave. why? because anyone selfish enough to steal a house is spiteful enough to destroy it if they can’t have it. so.. i agree with you, renting does have it’s advantages. the only one big disadvantage is that when we’re gone there is no home for the widow. a bad thing if she’s a good woman.

  33. Thanks for the valuable info.My wife and i plan on retiring in the Philippines in about 8 years but its time to start looking ahead.We are considering the Gensan area as her family is from Serengani.

  34. earthquake is not much of a big deal there? are you kidding me? it may seems like that because the people are used to it but it’s actually a bigger concern there if you’re not like most of the people there who don’t give a flying f**k about it. even though both california and the philippines are in the same “pacific ring of fire”, the philippines is far more prone to earthquakes due to not only the the movement of tectonic plates, but because of dozens and dozens of volcanoes. i’m not even talking about under the sea volcanoes, which is like all over the philippines.

    1. @negawut™ in the last 3 years i’ve had one ‘decent’ quake at around 3.5 while on mactan, and then the huge one of 7.2 while i was on bohol. anything else was below 2.0 and hardly worth noticing, not even worth getting out of the chair for. but google on the north-west coastline of north america… they are due for some very severe quakes that will wipe out millions when it happens.

    1. +Our Philippine Life i doubt i’ll be settling down for quite a while. too much still to see before i choose a permanent location. 🙂

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