Regatta Bay condo, Puerto Princessa, Palawan.
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Well I've bitten the bullet and reserved a condo for the big move over.

Just a couple of questions I need answers for please.

I'll be paying from a UK bank account and already the deposit which was only 25,000 piso worked out at 3 piso to the pound less than the daily rate when the money left my UK account. What is the best way of transferring the big money as obviously I don't want bent over? Are there accounts which match the daily exchange rate with a small handling fee? 

Second question. I've only done a reconnaissance of the exact location over the web although I have been to Puerto Princesa twice and liked the place. Any locals or people living nearby that could give an honest opinion on the exact location and expansion plans for Puerto Princesa please?

I had to jump quick to reserve the condo as there were only a hand full of loft condos with sea views. I grabbed the last one.

All the best

Davy

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15 minutes ago, Snowy79 said:

What is the best way of transferring the big money as obviously I don't want bent over?

Often question snowy, and you will get as many answers as there are members here on  the board. Here is what we do.

We opened a checking account at a local bank, keep about 3 months worth of expense money there. We withdraw our "allowance" in cash once a month, at the same time we deposit a paper check from our stateside bank for that amount into our account. It takes between 18 and 30 days to clear. Repeat, repeat, repeat. We change money at our local exchange shop and get a better rate than at the bank. For large purchaces we can either write a check or use our credit card.

Like I said, there are many different ways, all depends on what your comfortable with. :SugarwareZ-005:

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52 minutes ago, Snowy79 said:

I'll be paying from a UK bank account and already the deposit which was only 25,000 piso worked out at 3 piso to the pound less than the daily rate when the money left my UK account. What is the best way of transferring the big money as obviously I don't want bent over? Are there accounts which match the daily exchange rate with a small handling fee?

I will be transferring money soon and decided to use Transferwise. 

53 minutes ago, Snowy79 said:

Second question. I've only done a reconnaissance of the exact location over the web although I have been to Puerto Princesa twice and liked the place. Any locals or people living nearby that could give an honest opinion on the exact location and expansion plans for Puerto Princesa please?

No but was watching a video last night which shows the first SM in early construction stage so possibly a lot of expansion will come after that. 

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I think his main concern now is the big money for the condo and getting a good rate on that.

The way i would do is to open a pound account in the Philippines and transfer the money there.  Then shop for a good exchange rate.  Hpwever, you need to be in PH to do this.

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8 minutes ago, OnMyWay said:

the big money

I just picked up on that OMW.

A couple of times we needed to exchange BIG money when we were building our house. Pretty much did the same thing as above. We deposited a BIG check in the Phil bank, once it cleared. We withdrew it all in dollars, sat down in the waiting area, the bank then called a local exchanger. He came to the bank and we changed our BIG dollars for pesos right there and then deposited the pesos. If memory serves got 1.5 pesos more per $ than the bank offered. 

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16 minutes ago, OnMyWay said:

I think his main concern now is the big money for the condo and getting a good rate on that.

The way i would do is to open a pound account in the Philippines and transfer the money there.  Then shop for a good exchange rate.  Hpwever, you need to be in PH to do this.

That's correct. I've opted to pay everything up front as they'll give me just over 500,000 php off of the asking price as opposed to paying it monthly. I'll be flying into Puerto Princessa on the 24th of this month and spending one week knocking on doors and speaking to locals before I fully commit. I'll be looking at one big transaction of at least 5,000,000 php so obviously if I'm losing 3 piso to the pound that's some serious money.

 

I'm slightly held over a barrel as currently it's the only condos being built and even then they won't be completed until 2018. I'm gambling on it being a smart investment as they are right on the coast and inside Puerto city limits. I'm working on them holding their price or even being a great rental option due to the proximity to the city. Worst case scenario I'll have somewhere to live without worrying about rent. 

As a side note I use LBC money to transfer small sums to the Philippines and it's worked out at a better rate than I've seen elsewhere and they only charge a couple of pounds in fees. The last transaction their rate was 62.36 piso to the pound sterling yet the official stock exchange rate was 61.72.

 

All the best

Davy

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40 minutes ago, Snowy79 said:

As a side note I use LBC money to transfer small sums to the Philippines and it's worked out at a better rate than I've seen elsewhere and they only charge a couple of pounds in fees. The last transaction their rate was 62.36 piso to the pound sterling yet the official stock exchange rate was 61.72.

Someone will correct me if I am wrong, but I think all of the various transfer services have a low daily limit, so they are not practical for a large amount.  JGF mentioned Transferwise but I don't know what there limit is.  For a large amount, most likely you will need to do a wire transfer, unless you have the time to write a check, as Scott mentioned.

When I bought my house, I wire transferred from my U.S. bank to my BPI dollar accont as early as possible, then I watched the daily rates carefully to try and choose a good day to exchange.

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Use an International Bank here in the Philippines eg China Bank, Bank of Shanghai and Honk Kong, Citibank (but Citibank does not have branches nationwide). These banks give the rate closest to the real exchange rate.

Drop into China Bank and talk to the manager. There will be restrictions though because you are not a resident or an ACR Card holder. But the manager, will advise you. When he/she knows the level of the main transaction, I think they will go out of their way to help you. Possibly even waive any of the usual requirements. Indicate that you are going to maintain an account and do all your banking with them.

As for the condo. Has ground been broken on the project? Is the unit delivered completed ready to occupy? Or it's just the 4 walls with plumbing, electricity and a toilet?

Under President Aquino, the environmentalists lobbied to stop developments, new developments on the coastline of Palawan and I think there was a hold order on that. You might want to check that there's no pending legislation preventing the development from going ahead.

Pre buying is risky. But you did not ask about that.

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ID: 9   Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, chris49 said:

As for the condo. Has ground been broken on the project? Is the unit delivered completed ready to occupy? Or it's just the 4 walls with plumbing, electricity and a toilet?

Under President Aquino, the environmentalists lobbied to stop developments, new developments on the coastline of Palawan and I think there was a hold order on that. You might want to check that there's no pending legislation preventing the development from going ahead.

Pre buying is risky. But you did not ask about that.

The official ground breaking on the tower where my potential condo will be is taking place on the 12th of August 2016 at 10am. I've researched as much as I can on the web and messaged a friend who lives in Puerto Princessa who assures me they have already started work and parts of the development are progressing well. If when I visit if things don't look right they won't see me for dust. The brochure and video for the site explains they come fully completed not just a shell.

The restrictions on development is one of the attractions but I'm sure money talks even in environmentally sensitive areas. From what I can ascertain it looks like it will be the San Vincente area where the fights for development will take place as they've got miles of unspoilt beaches and an Airport that's jpart way through completion.

I'll be heading over this month to do a complete site reconnaissance before signing the contract and doing the legal side of things. I've currently just paid a 25,000 php deposit to reserve the condo. Once I sign the paperwork to purchase I've got three days to sort the money out. I've got a couple of months before I'll be moving over. Initially I'll be renting as the condo gets completed.

I'll be asking about annual fees etc just in case it becomes a cash drain as I've previously owned an apartment in Scotland where the maintenance company tried to extort silly money annually for maintenance. Does anyone that lives in a gated community have costs that they currently incur so I can compare when I ask about the Regatta rates? 

All the best

Davy

Edited by Snowy79
Additions

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ID: 10   Posted (edited)

Please don't pay with Cash money. If you don't have a checking account in the Philippines, you may pay through Cashier's Check or Manager Check.

The Condo Developer should be the payee and NOT the salesman or realty company.

Edited by skyskyper
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