Author Topic: Ongoing house costs compared to my country  (Read 12581 times)

Offline paulgee

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Ongoing house costs compared to my country
« on: January 10, 2014, 11:48:25 PM »
With all the recent debates about the cost of electricity, aircon etc I wondered what other  fixed house costs would differ when deciding which country is cheaper to live in. This was prompted by various posts I read about the property taxes paid annually by some forum members owning property in the Philippines.

Obviously each country has differing costs relating to property ownership but here in the UK it would make financial sense for us to live in the Philippines, based on property ownership. We currently own a 3 bedroom house in a sub division in Pampanga, and a 3 bedroom apartment in the UK. Below are comparative  annual costs converted to pesos:

                                                                      UK                   Philippines
                                       
Annual council property tax                    106,000                          2,600             

Apartment Service charges
(including insurance)                       88,000                             -


Sub Division monthly charge                          -                               4,800
House  insurance                                           -                               4,000

Water                                                         22000                              NIL *

TOTAL                                                    216,000                         11,400

*   We had a well drilled and pressure tank installed so the capital cost was included when our house was built. This is an ongoing big saving as we have a large lawned area which needs copious watering during the dry season. Guesstimate saving of say P12,000 plus.

The P2600 for our annual property tax seems quite cheap, but our relatives there who pay it for us say it includes P500 penalty for some reason.

One caveat to the above costs, we would spend a lot more on maintenance and improvement on the Philippines house.

Paul
Based in the UK, and part time in our San Fernando, Pampanga house

Offline Lee2

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Re: Ongoing house costs compared to my country
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2014, 01:30:19 AM »
There are a number of items I find much more expensive in Florida US versus our condo in Cebu but we do have to compare why.
Cable in Cebu is much less expensive but other than CNN, FOX, BBC I rarely if even find anything to watch and end up spending most of my time online when home when not sitting out on the balcony or attacking my wife. :D Speaking of online, in the US we Pay $29.95 for over 20mbps down with 6 up and it is reliable and in Cebu we pay p1650 a month for a phone we almost never use and 1.5mbps which rarely ever gets that high and goes off and on all the time daily. We have a Magic Jack VOIP phone in both places that I take back and forth and that I use most of the time for phone calls even to other US expats that live in the Philippines.

Then comes property taxes, in Cebu for 860 sq feet condo only cost p8000 whereas our former house which was double the size was costing us US $2100 a year but we could call the police or fire dept and they would be there in minutes, try that in Cebu and a condo here not the same because in a low rise but larger in size to what we have in Cebu would have homestead exemption, so no property taxes at all if a low value 2 bedroom condo and only extras the govt charge for Fire or schools of around $300 a year added on, so cost more but get so much more in govt services.

Water is less expensive in Cebu by a lot but is not drinkable like it is in Florida but even with buying drinking water it still cost less for both combined in Cebu but at times knowing how things are done in the Philippines I worry about the drinking water in Cebu and wonder if they really test it to see it is clean.

Condo dues are way more in the US but they take perfect care of the place, I only wish that was true of Cebu but we do get great service from the admin in Cebu when we call them for a leak or any other repair that is their responsibility.

Taxis are much less expensive in Cebu.

Where I feel our main difference is the availability of different food and goods at a much lower price in Florida, so overall I find it more or less a wash in costs and if a person was renting instead of owning in both places then I believe it would also be around a wash with much better roads, air quality, availability of items and a better way of life in Florida and much safer food to eat not to even mention much safer drivers and roads which is why taxes are higher. 

I believe the guys who come from the UK or Australia and many other countries seem to find it less expensive in the Philippines but I have a friend from Sweden who stays part time in Cebu and he no longer wishes to live even part time in the Philippines because of items mentioned and especially the air quality.

So guys the Philippines is a great place to live for many but not for all as we all have different tastes and needs and while I enjoy spending time there, it had been my plan to live in Cebu full time once I reached 65 but now that I have, I think going back and forth for a while longer is still the way to go for us. Also remembering that I have medicare and health insurance, a drug plan and hospital coverage from a previous employer and now also from the US govt while in the US. That alone can be a huge deciding factor that many do not seem to take into account, the benefits I and many others would not have if living full time in the Philippines.

Anyway to each his own and I know many people love it in the Philippines and I sure cannot blame them because of the many smiling faces, the beautiful women and for me it is for my wife.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2014, 02:06:56 AM by Gray Wolf »
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline iamjames

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Re: Ongoing house costs compared to my country
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2014, 04:50:17 AM »
This is where you can best compare costs between countries. I use Ireland here but you can compare any by changing the country name for the search. It simply depends on how one adapts to different conveniences which we sometimes mistake as essentials. If one cannot improvise then the Philippines is not the place to live. (but it is more fun!)

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?country1=Ireland&country2=Philippines


Offline Lee2

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Re: Ongoing house costs compared to my country
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2014, 05:59:13 AM »
Whoever did that chart either has no idea of prices in the Philippines or they are referring to 10 plus years ago which even then I doubt or they are a total idiot, that I can tell you for a fact just on the electric prices in Cebu, which were 2 times and now are around 3 times what they are in Fort Lauderdale.  Many of the items they listed are total bs, so any American who goes by that chart is dreaming and will have a sad awakening when they arrive. Now if the guy had said LA California and Cebu then maybe he might be more on target.

Also my wife and I had shopped in Florida early last year and then shopped in Cebu when we got there in Feb for the same items only local brands whenever possible and hardly any were less expensive in Cebu. Here is what it said for Fort Lauderdale FL and Cebu :o :o :o
http://tinyurl.com/k7r9nka   
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am

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Re: Ongoing house costs compared to my country
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2014, 10:39:47 AM »
Fort Lauderdale seems to be up to par with California, but the price of energy in the Philippines takes the cake big time, but other things makeup for it like their inexpensive labor work force, lower HOA dues and property taxes, but the 12% VAT and SIN tax are the least to be desired, but that's life here for all of the Filipinos and resident foreigners alike!   
Anyways, with all that said, we still left California right after I retired and immediately moved to the Philippines where our prospective retirement lifestyle had greener pastures and after 16 years of living here in the Philippines, we're still here by choice without too much complaints! I also like it here, because all of my fay fever allergies has disappeared completely and we live in an area with less pollution in the air! As long we can afford our comfortable lifestyle here in the Philippines for years to come, we plan to stay indefinite! I guess there's no returning to California anytime soon other than the occasional visits once every 3 yrs or so!  ??? :o :)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2014, 10:53:21 AM by Art Re(tired) Fil/Am »
"Life is what we all make it to be"!
"It's always a matter of money"!
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Offline fred

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Re: Ongoing house costs compared to my country
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2014, 11:12:04 AM »
Whoever did that chart either has no idea of prices in the Philippines or they are referring to 10 plus years ago which even then I doubt or they are a total idiot, that I can tell you for a fact just on the electric prices in Cebu, which were 2 times and now are around 3 times what they are in Fort Lauderdale.  Many of the items they listed are total bs, so any American who goes by that chart is dreaming and will have a sad awakening when they arrive. Now if the guy had said LA California and Cebu then maybe he might be more on target.

Also my wife and I had shopped in Florida early last year and then shopped in Cebu when we got there in Feb for the same items only local brands whenever possible and hardly any were less expensive in Cebu. Here is what it said for Fort Lauderdale FL and Cebu :o :o :o
http://tinyurl.com/k7r9nka   


Just converted the list to UK.Phil and although I haven`t been in the UK for 7 years,the R.P list looks surprisingly accurate..
My electric bill never usually exceeds 3k here in the visaya`s..  We use no A/C as with our native house with 2 meter wide eves shading the walls its simply not necessary. We have two 1Hp units but found we dont need them.
When we stay in our apartment in Manila though,its a different story! I personally need the A/C full on for most of the time with fans on full.. Single walled hollow blocks are a great storage battery for heat.. The heat from these batteries is constantly being transferred inside.. Add a metal un vented roof with 12" wide eves to that equation and...Sus Maria Osef!! Sobrang Innit naman!
« Last Edit: January 11, 2014, 11:15:08 AM by fred »

Offline iamjames

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Re: Ongoing house costs compared to my country
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2014, 02:00:22 PM »
Whoever did that chart either has no idea of prices in the Philippines or they are referring to 10 plus years ago which even then I doubt or they are a total idiot, that I can tell you for a fact just on the electric prices in Cebu, which were 2 times and now are around 3 times what they are in Fort Lauderdale.  Many of the items they listed are total bs, so any American who goes by that chart is dreaming and will have a sad awakening when they arrive. Now if the guy had said LA California and Cebu then maybe he might be more on target.

Also my wife and I had shopped in Florida early last year and then shopped in Cebu when we got there in Feb for the same items only local brands whenever possible and hardly any were less expensive in Cebu. Here is what it said for Fort Lauderdale FL and Cebu :o :o :o
http://tinyurl.com/k7r9nka   


34 people contributed the figures from Fort Lauderdale in the past 18 months while 79 contributed the figures from Cebu in the same period. You must be just shopping in the wrong places Lee or else they just see  a cash laden tourist!! 

The numbeo figures are constantly updated with hundreds of contributers from every country. Figures older than 18 months are discarded so they are the most accurate reflection of actual costs. 
« Last Edit: January 11, 2014, 02:05:57 PM by iamjames »

Offline Lee2

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Re: Ongoing house costs compared to my country
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2014, 12:14:19 AM »
If you guys wish to believe those figures then more power to you, my wife and I go back and forth every year to Cebu City from Florida and while there we travel to some of the provinces on Cebu and every other year we travel to Mindanao. All one has to do is look at the power prices to see the figures on that chart are totally wrong, so my guess is that many of the people who contribute are contributing bs. Garbage in garbage out.

Prove me wrong on the power costs alone. I just pulled the December bill (the last one I had a bill for) on my former home in Florida $63.33 with 649 kwh used which works out to about 10 cents per when dividing the total bill including all taxes by the total kwh used, so how much per kwh do people in Cebu or other parts of the Philippines pay when the total bill is divided by the kwh used? I leave our Cebu bills in Cebu but I remember doing this a few years ago on another forum and at that time our per kwh was over p11 before all the add on taxes charges. I can be more exact once we get back to Cebu in Feb and then get our first months bill of use by March. P11 does not equal 11 cents I believe it is more than double 11 cents, am I wrong? and the cost has gone up much more since then.

If one of the main numbers in a survey are skewed, then all totals are and the whole chart then becomes bs. Garbage is subjective to where a person lives, some places pay nothing for garbage since there is no pick up. As for water, yes it cost less in Cebu but I sure would not drink it when I look at all the garbage that collects in the aerator.

Oh and my wife and I have shopped at Colonade down on Colon as well as Fooda and the mall supermarkets and as I wrote before, we go back and forth each year so we should know how much the difference in food costs are between the two places when shopping supermarket to supermarket. Try it yourself and then let us know who is correct.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 05:29:05 AM by Lee »
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline Lee2

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Re: Ongoing house costs compared to my country
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2014, 01:22:36 AM »
Could those of you who have Philippine electric bills please look at your total bill and divide that amount by the amount of kwh's used and see what you are paying per kwh in pesos?
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am

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Re: Ongoing house costs compared to my country
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2014, 01:56:00 AM »
P14.65 per kwh in Dec 2013 and I'm sure Jan's bill which we haven't yet received will probably be more! :(
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 01:57:48 AM by Art Re(tired) Fil/Am »
"Life is what we all make it to be"!
"It's always a matter of money"!
"Do on to others as they would do on to You, but do it first"!
"Different strokes for different folks"!
"Que Sera Sera"!

Offline Lee2

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Re: Ongoing house costs compared to my country
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2014, 07:17:37 AM »
P14.65 per kwh in Dec 2013 and I'm sure Jan's bill which we haven't yet received will probably be more! :(

Thanks Art, so if I am calculating that correctly  :-\ and using 44.5 to 1 as the exchange rate, then it appears to me that electric in your area was about 3 times what it was in Florida and from the news I have read online Cebu should be around the same this year, so the difference would then be more than enough cover difference in Water and Garbage in Florida with money left over and there is no heating necessary in either of my areas of Florida or Cebu to concern ourselves with.

It is all going to be about a persons needs and wants but I will agree that it can be much less expensive in Cebu or most parts of the Philippines if people wish to do without many of the items that have become part of our daily lives back home.

« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 07:20:13 AM by Lee »
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline fred

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Re: Ongoing house costs compared to my country
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2014, 11:23:41 AM »
Could those of you who have Philippine electric bills please look at your total bill and divide that amount by the amount of kwh's used and see what you are paying per kwh in pesos?

Just did that.. 9.54 per kwh.

Now 15 Pence which seems to be the average cost per KWH in the U.K  = 11 pesos (ish) ??
Cant be right,can it?
That would mean that my power costs here in Bohol are cheaper than the UK?
I`m shocked!!
I`ll have to buy a bigger fridge.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 11:36:57 AM by fred »

Offline FMSINC

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Re: Ongoing house costs compared to my country
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2014, 01:10:26 PM »
Last Bill here in Roxas City

14.45 KW Hour for house

25.90 KW Hour for RIce Mill based on 1000KVA transformer

Water is 13 piso cubic meter


Tom / Roxas City

Offline Gray Wolf

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Re: Ongoing house costs compared to my country
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2014, 11:45:39 PM »
Our December electric bill in Manila was P12.35 ($0.28) per KWH, compared to $0.12 per KWH on our current electric bill in Louisville making the Manila electric bill slightly more than twice the cost per KWH as our electric rate in Louisville

The December water bill was P30 ($0.67) per cubic meter, not including drinking water compared to $0.014 per gallon in Louisville, which is rated in the top 5% nationwide for it's water quality.  We never have to buy bottled water in Louisville.  When I convert cu m of water into US gallons, 1 cu m equals 264 gallons, making the water cost $0.0025 per gallon for the CR.  Drinking water is an additional $0.16 per gallon.

Comparing other costs:  1.2 pounds (1/2 kilo) of good bacon cost P320 or $7.19, compared to $4.99 per pound for thick sliced Hickory smoked bacon in Louisville. 
I paid P1434 ($32.25) for 1.5 kilo (3.3 pounds) of ham, for a cost of $9.77 per pound for decent ham.  In Louisville I paid $7.99 per pound for a Kentucky Legend double smoked ham, what I consider the best ham in the world.

Further comparisons of food costs:  a typical grocery bill ran P2,539.52 ($57) for 4 plastic bags of groceries ($14 per bag) including meats, veggies and fruits, with a comparable grocery bill in Louisville of $35.53 for 4 plastic bags of groceries, ($8.88 per bag) including meats, veggies and fruits.   

Fruits, veggies and meats at the local palengke were relatively cheaper, with corresponding cheaper, and sometimes questionable, quality to match.
Louisville, KY USA - Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, PH

Offline Lee2

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Re: Ongoing house costs compared to my country
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2014, 12:48:11 AM »
Thank you Jack for more or less proving my point, at least in the area you experienced. It would never be my wish to discourage people from moving to the Philippines, it is just that I would like them to go there with their eyes wide open, so that they may need to make some adjustments in their eating habits in order to live there at a much lower rate if they come from lower cost areas of the US.

Since many people from many countries move to the Philippines, I cannot in any way speak to costs from their countries so I just suggest they do their own comparisons, so they too will have their eyes open to actual costs which I believe will be lower in the Philippines for people from many other countries but not from many less expensive areas of the US.

I believe that the difference in costs of food in the Philippines may be attributed to the buying power and especially competition of supermarkets in the US as well as the many superstores which apparently work on even less profit per item.

Let me add that I am by far no expert on costs of items, I can only judge on the foods that my wife and I regularly eat. I will attempt to do better comparisons once we get back to Cebu next month and do some shopping. Most people can do their own comparisons if they wish by going to Publix.com or WinnDixie.com as well as Target.com and Walmart.com by checking the weekly flyers where they often run two for one specials which then makes food even lower cost for those of us who have access to those stores as well as Costco.com which does not seem to show many food items it has online but has many in their stores often at better prices than any of the others when on sale.

My wife just bought chicken breast already divided into servings with no fat on them for $2.99 a pound at Costco, I have not been able to even find an equal to that in Cebu at any price. Also at Costco we buy whole cooked chickens which are at least 2 or 3 times the size of the ones we buy in Cebu and cost around the same, so we need about 2 or 3 chickens in Cebu to equal one US chicken bought in Costco.

I am not sure where that online price site actually gets its prices but now you have Jacks and my opinion showing they may be questionable. I hope others will now compare their prices so people have many different views to look at.

One other item besides prices is availability of items in many areas of the Philippines. While in the Philippines my wife and I cannot find many items we would regularly buy in the US or even local items which would be close.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2014, 12:52:46 AM by Lee »
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.