Filipino Consumer Alert

May 27, 2006

Still Interested In a Pre-Selling House and Lot ?

abandoned quadrillion land

I was web browsing and found these sites. It might be of interest to you. I just want to make sure that you're aware of actual incidences where Filipinos lost their hard earned money when a housing developer in the Philippines failed to deliver and then are nowhere to be found.

These are just samples because there are more developers who previously failed to deliver and some new and maybe known developers or builders that will fail to deliver.

pre-selling house and lot

abandoned development

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Buyers Beware !

I saw this helpful article of the same title and would like to pass it on to everybody. Below is its full text :

Buyers beware!
By Marcos de Guzman Jr.
Inquirer News Service

HOW CERTAIN ARE YOU THAT THE property you are buying with your life's savings will not go to waste? How confident are you that the developer you are dealing with can complete the job as promised?

Sure, the brochures are attractive! The prices are reasonable. The entrance gate is impressive. But are you sure the development will be completed and that you will get to live in the house you paid for with your sweat and blood?

Preselling

Since the cost of money is so high, most developers resort to preselling. That's marketing the lot or house or unit even before starting the project or while it is still under construction.

A lot of people buy during this preselling stage because the prices are lower and the rates are better since the developer need not add a premium for the cost of his money. But the trade off is that the risks of noncompletion are higher too.

To clarify the issues and identify checkpoints in protecting prospective buyers and investors, I met with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) main man, Commissioner and chief executive Romulo M. Fabul. Having served the board since 1982 and handled various offices under the past five presidents, he is the best person to speak to us about the field of housing in our country.

He recommends that even before giving a downpayment on the lot, condo unit, townhouse or house of your choice, one must be aware and take steps to minimize the risks.

Suggestions

So, in summary, he suggests that the prospective buyer must do his homework.

· Check if the developer has a permit or license to sell issued by the HLURB. If the developer has not fully complied with the HLURB requirements, such a permit will not be issued. This ensures that the developer has the capacity to complete the project.

· Check the track record of the developer. Established developers will not compromise their names with incomplete projects. Try to find out if there were instances when the developer was not able to complete a project and why.

· Have an expert check the product or the construction plans if at all possible. Or if there's an ongoing construction, ask a knowledgeable person to look the site over. The most important items to look at are not the finishes but the structural, plumbing and electrical systems. Plumbing issues could prove to be a nightmare for the hapless homeowner. Electrical problems can be very dangerous and weaknesses in the structure will not only be expensive to repair, but can be extremely disastrous.

· Buying lots in old or existing subdivision are even trickier. Consult the neighbors and homeowners' association. Verify the records from the register of deeds for back taxes and ownership.

· Listen to your intuition. There are pieces of property that emit good vibrations and some just don't. Remember, this is a house that you would probably live in for the rest of your life and maybe pass on to your children, so it is important that you feel good about it.

There are no shortcuts. Don't jump off the plane without a chute thinking that you can fly. No one can do all the above for you. You must get involved and be satisfied that you have done the best spade work possible. Only then, will you rest assured that your investment is an acceptable risk. Good luck!

Philippine Developers’ U.S. Roadshow : A Philippine Embassy Initiative

The Philippine Ambassador to the United States Albert Del Rosario announced the dates and venues for the "Bayan Ko, Bahay Ko" road show.
The "Bayan Ko, Bahay Ko" program is an initiative of the Philippine Embassy and Consulates General in the United States to bring the Philippine property developers and Filipinos in the U.S together. This was formally launched last March by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo in Washington D.C..
The participating developers are Ayala Land, Burgundy Realty Corp., Cityland Development Corp., Crown Asia Properties, Inc., Daiichi Properties & Development, Landco Pacific Corp., Ledesco Development Corp., Federal Land, Inc., Filinvest Land, Inc., Megaworld International, Pacific Concord Properties, Inc., Tagaytay Pacific Heights, Inc. and Lakeshore Development.

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I'm just wondering since when did the Philippine Embassy or the Consulates General get their realtor license ? I know that they are not selling real estate properties but the importance and significance they give to these developers and event are incomprehensible. They said that they just want to boost investments and remittances coming from the Filipinos in the U.S. There is nothing wrong about that but the kind of investment they're pushing is not the stable and truly value appreciating kind of investments. These Filipinos worked hard for their money and I hope that the Consulate Generals should just respect that.
Assuming that those condominiums are good investments (which again they are not), would the Philippine Embassy and the Consulate Generals help you get your money back in case the developer was not able to build and run away with your money ? Would they even help you resolve your problem with the developers or banks in case it arise ? One should know that these developments they're pushing are mostly pre-selling or pre-construction. What if the property looks good only on catalogs, flyers and slides and looks and 'feels' different after it is built ?
I totally agree that Filipinos overseas should increase their investments in our home country. But it has to be something truly good for the country long term and should definitely be good for the Filipinos also in the long run. Not just for some selected developers and builders.

May 15, 2006

Serendra Condominium : What They Will Not Tell You (Part I)

If you will buy a unit from Serendra (joint effort between Community Innovations Incorporated and Ayala Land), try knowing from your salesperson about what you're actually getting when you purchase a unit.

If you're getting one from the cheaper "district", parking spot is an additional cost. But if you'll buy a parking space or two, there is no guarantee that your parking spaces will be side by side as you would expect. There is also no guarantee how far or how close your parking space will be from your unit. The salespeople will say that it should not be a problem and your spaces will be side by side and close to your unit. But they will NOT put those in writing. The exact location of your parking spaces could not be guaranteed ! If it was never part of the contract, then they have no obligation to fulfill whatever they told you.

Remember that some of their sales managers are very hungry for a commission so they will tell you anything you want to hear whether it is true or not.

Again buyer beware as this applies to other condominium companies as well.

May 14, 2006

Problem with Serendra Condominium (Community Innovations Inc.)

My cousin working currently in the U.S. had a bad experience with how Serendra Condominium handled her account. Serendra is a joint effort between Ayala Land and Community Innovations Inc. I guess they're both well known in the Philippines.

She was told by Serendra that she has not paid some additional charges after making paying her monthly payment for about 6 months. She tried to get in touch with Serendra via email but nobody responded to her. She tried making long distance phone calls but the person is either not in the office or out in a meeting somewhere. She did not get any answer back.

Time went by without any resolution and they took over the condo unit and never refunded back all the payments she made.

She still makes phone calls at Serendra but is being passed from one person to another. She is not giving up though.

Seems like once they made the sale, nobody wants to listen.

Beware : Buying a ‘Pre-Selling’ Condo Unit or House in the Philippines

Filed under: Balikbayan, Filipino, OFW, Philippine Real Estate, Philippines, Pinoy, Robinsons, Serendra — filipino360 @ 12:00 pm

Salespeople from real estate companies in the Philippines have been visiting the States to make Filipinos more aware of recent real estate developments back home.
They'll entice people to purchase a home or a condo unit at a supposedly 'pre-selling' price. That pricing scheme is being offered when no actual development has been started yet. It is supposedly cheaper compared to when the housing development gets started.
That could be true but you entail a greater risk.
A lot of our kababayans from the States were conned into making the purchase only to find out after paying their monthly mortgage for about two years that the builder has not even broken ground yet. Hopefully the builders still have intentions of building and not run away with the money.

March 7, 2006

Philippine High-Rise Condominiums are High Risk

There are various high-rise condominium units in the Philippines being presented and offered to OFWs.

Imagine if you are occupying a 30th floor unit and there is a fire in your floor or in one of the floors below you. What if the sprinkler system does not work and the fire escape is blocked ? The most likely choice is to rely on the extended ladders of the local fire department, right ? Wrong ! They do not even have a reliable fire/emergency system. Last time I checked, they do not even have a ladder that could reach that high.

Live at those higher floors at your own risk.

February 16, 2006

Philippine Real Estate Advertisements are Everywhere

If you read our local newspapers, you see a lot of real estate ads. If you browse most Filipino web sites, you see more real estate ads.

Who are these ads really targeting? Who is their major prospect?

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