Itís Your Money > Building in the Philippines

Misadventures buying a house


In 2005, me and my wife sat down and made the decision of where we wanted to live.† We chose the Philippines cause of several reasons, including American house inflation, and the growing American regulatory state.†

My wife had purchased a place in Oolongapo from a developer and have made payments faithfully for many years.† I made the decision that we should finish the mortgage balance and build.† Turned out that the developer didn\'t even have title to the land.† It gets worse when we found out that the area was subject to landslides, and there were no utilities except at the clubhouse (Club Morroco)

We fought tooth and nail with the developer for my wife to get all her money refunded including the interest.† It finally came down to me threatening to hire a roomful of Filipino freelance internet workers to go online and fill the web with thousands of articles about how the developer was ripping people off.† Every time I visited the developers corporate headquarters I met many people in the same predicament.† Many settled for only half their money refunded with the developers employees making the person being scammed to feel guilty like they were somehow at fault.

After a lot of calling around we found a subdivision that was in a new phase of development and had clear titles.† We put a large down payment and building started.† The building contractor we found that we had to watch like a hawk.† He tried to cut corners of everything, including using block that was so weak you could crumble it with your bare hands.† † We managed to keep his scams at bay, although many other homes in the neighborhood, bought by absent expats are showing serious problems, and will prob collapse into a pile of sand the first earthquake.† The contractor was eventually run off by the developer when his embezzling came to light.†

Needless to say, we did a lot of the finishing ourselves, and had to replace a lot of the fixtures, doors, and assorted hardware since the home was completed.

We are now working on the next phase of the house to take it partially off the grid.† With the electricity supply so unreliable, I am in the process of putting the lights, Internet, and computer off the grid and on solar power.† Our other major project is to build a extention to the back of the house for my machine shop.†

We are in a gated community and \"openly advertised\" businesses are prohibited.† However home offices, home workshops, and home studios are plentiful.† We even have a high end dog kennel masquerading as a 500 square meter mansion.

congrats and good luck for the future

So Metz, did you finally build in the Olongapo area?† ???


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