Have you recently been relocated to the Philippines, because of your job? Or are you exploring the idea of taking up permanent residence here for your retirement? Whatever the reason that brought you to the country, you’re in luck, as the nation’s property boom has resulted in the construction of many new projects, particularly in Metro Manila.
Most of the top developers of the country are working on a new residential construction, and not just stand-alone properties but townships—cities within cities that bring together residential, office, and commercial elements.
This means you get a lot more flats to choose from, ranging from houses to condos to townhouses, and from older but good-quality units to newly built ones. On the other hand, it also means you’ll have to work a bit harder to sort through all of the available properties to find one that will best suit your lifestyle. If you’re confused about how to start your search for a flat in Metro Manila, here are a few tips to help you out.
Choose an expat-friendly neighborhood
Staying in a foreign land, especially if you’re making the move alone, can make you feel isolated, so it’s necessary to seek out fellow foreigners who can offer you a sense of being welcome. Look for locations that have a large community of expats, such as Makati and Bonifacio Global City. Their presence won’t just make you feel comfortable and safe, but getting to know them means you can get tips from them on living in a new country.
Stay close to the places that matter
There’s no rule that you have to live in the same neighborhood as your workplace, but if you want convenience, this is the best way to go. Choosing a home that’s only a few minutes from your office, whether by car or on foot, will ensure that you won’t get stuck in morning and evening traffic on EDSA and other major thoroughfares. If your office is located in one of the country’s central business districts like Makati and Ortigas Center, living within the area also means living close to places like your country’s embassy, major malls, hospitals, banks, schools, restaurants, and other places that you frequent so you can get to them easily anytime.
Work with a real estate broker
Granted this is your first time in the country, you most likely don’t have the lay of the land yet, which means you’ll need the help of an expert. A real estate broker can give you an idea of which locations are best for you, whether in terms of proximity to your job, how close it is to essential establishments and institutions, and its safety. Brokers also have a lot of connections, so they can present you with more available properties, and they can also help you strike a deal with the lessor come negotiation.
Browse real estate websites
If you can’t take time off from work to drive around or go on foot in search for a rental, the quickest way to search for an available property is by going online to our Manila Angloinfo property pages and browsing through real estate classifieds. Property portals like Lamudi and MyProperty.ph contain thousands of listings all over Metro Manila (as well as the rest of the country), so options are never sparse. Even better, these websites are also designed with filters, so you don’t have to waste time looking at properties that don’t fit your requirements; you can narrow down your search based on criteria such as location, price, and number of bedrooms. And while you’re online…
Consult online expat communities
… try to search for online communities of expats living in Metro Manila. If anyone can tell you what it’s like to live here as a foreigner, it would be the moderators and participants of these forums. Feel free to ask them for advice on the cost of living, the best school for your kids, and everything else you need to know about. If you’re lucky, they might know of an available property that would be perfect for you. They could also recommend brokers who they worked with in their own home hunt and can therefore help you find a home to lease during your stay.