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Medic Mike

Buying Condo - New vs Used - Recent Perspective

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Hi Guys,

I thought I would share my latest purchase experience with my forum family. Well this is my 3rd purchase, - 3rd condo I have purchased in Cebu, with one difference, this is the first time I have purchased a new one.

The biggest difference I found in buying a new condo was one of lot less paperwork, and also stress on my part with all my hard earned peso, that I was actually going to end up with title in my name :). We have all heard of the horror stories where expats have loss everything. Since in Cebu there is really not a conveyance service, so if you are worried about money transferring hands, you need to find a lawyer that you can trust, and that is familiar with Australian wire transfer procedures etc. On my first 2 purchases these were condos that were owned privately, and I must admit both owners seemed a little dodgy, so I was always worried until I got my title back from Manila in my name, and we all know that procedure can take up to 6 months.

The first 2 purchases I researched myself and found them. For my new purchase I employed a very "hungry" real estate person, in this case it was a woman I was referred to from another friend. I can tell you that having someone like this makes all the difference. The only way they get paid is when the condo developer sells and gets paid, and then after that...some real estate people also have to give a cut of their commission away to their boss as well. I was dying to find out how much her cut was, but I thought it would be disrespectful to ask...so I never asked.

Anyway, my real estate woman found several condo's that fit what I was looking for, one thing I did not know, when you are buying a new condo in a new tower, the higher the floor you are, the more peso it is going to cost you. She was very patient with me, and over the space of 2 weeks took me through many, until I found one I really liked. A small 40sm 2BR in Cebu City proper. The next stage was to find the developer office, and make a contract for purchase, and also with the initial Ernest peso that the developer required. Now the next stage, which was very different from my other experiences, this is when we negotiated on the final price for the condo, so to include all extra title, transfer and admin fees etc etc. Which was really great...so they gave me the exact price all up I was to pay, when I bought private...I had lots of trouble in this area.

After that, very straight forward, I paid the Ernest money, was given a receipt. Made the rest of payment in regards to a wire transfer, was given a receipt that was then reflected by another receipt and noted on the contract. I forgot to mention, I also had a number of problems with the property that I wanted fixed before transfer, which were also addressed in the contract, to which the construction contractor agreed to fix before I move in. At this stage, I am back in Australia, just taking care of a few things before I make the final move on the 30th of this month.

So all in all...2 big thumbs up for ease of purchase, only 1 downside:  that I am responsible for organizing getting power, water, and cable/internet installed...fiber internet available in this development - which  I am excited about. Finally, I made a SPA with my real estate woman so she could get the said power/water/ etc organized for me, which totaled for 25K peso, which was substantially more than used condo, on account these services are already installed, and you just need to transfer names etc.

There was one new thing, last time when I purchased used condo, I never had to get a TIN, this time it was required, I don't know why I didn't have to do this last time. However, was very painless, my real estate girl organized everything.

Looking forward to moving into my new digs and setting everything just the way I like from scratch :)

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I agree with your comment about buying used property, I found it impossible to find out all of the fees and costs up front (and some amounts weren’t small).  Our title took ages as well.

Edited by GeoffH
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2 minutes ago, GeoffH said:

I agree with your comment about buying used property, I found it impossible to find out all of the fees and costs up front (and some amounts weren’t small).  Our title took ages as well.

I had the same experience for both my first 2 properties.

 

 

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The first lot we bought the title was almost immediate,this property is taking longer but I still owe money and the agreement signed by all parties and the notary is that I pay the outstanding when I get the title.We own the property but will not be able to sell so easily until we get the title.

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