It Can Be Done — Rental Real Estate Philippines — Part 2

Rental Real Estate Philippines

Gosh am I on a Living in the Philippines roll here, or what?

I was doing some checking into the fellow who owns the two apartment complexes I wrote about recently (he’s still not set up for an interview and feature here, but I’ll keep trying) I found out that the project currently under construction isn’t his second project, it’s building number three.

How to Move to the Philippines Manual

You can visit the first article in this series here: 

Here’s a snap of the very first project, located right behind his home, right around the corner from me in our little “part-time-water” community.

Rental Real Estate Philippines

The Original Multi-unit success

Money Is Not The Only Motivator

The way the story was told to me, the investor had a grown son thinking about moving out.

So rather than let the son move off to the wilds of Manila, the father built this three door  (Philippine lingo for a three unit rental house) complex on the side street behind the main home.

The son can live in one unit, collect the rents on the others and if the son really does decide to move up scale some day, he’ll collect on all three.  Not shabby.

You Might Be Mistaken For a Drug Dealer

On the local news channels there is always one scandal after another trying to capture headlines.

A real estate noteworthy piece of info came out of one of the latest scandals yesterday.  The case involves some young men arrested on suspicion of being drug dealers, in part because they seemed to have more money in their pockets to flash around than most of their peers.

As part of the ongoing Senate hearings into this issue, one of the boys’ fathers was asked to testify, under oath, where the father’;s income and the son’s spending money came from.

According to the doting dad, back a few years ago when a condo development like this one was ‘pre selling’ , that is when the developer sells reservations to buy condo units at an agreed upon price, before ground is even broken,  the father reserved four units … similar to the picture.

Rents at #2000 USD?

Rents at $2000 USD?

Today, he claims, those 4 units bring in PhP 400,000 a month … more than $8500 USD per month ,… more than $2,000 USD per month for each unit.  Sounds incredible, no?

Well to paraphrase Mark twain, there are three kinds of lies here in the Philippines … lies, damn lies … and politicians … but I surely am not going to call the man a liar.

I know of condos in upscale developments like this one being rented on long-term leases by foreign corporations who use them for employee housing for their expat employees for prices in the US $2,000 per month range.

There’s Money in Real Estate Bought Right

Several years ago a fellow American friend who lived in a smaller, but nice, condo near the US Embassy wanted to go back to the US for a time.  He listed his home with the on-site rental/property management office and it was leased for $1200 USD a month in the same week to a new US embassy employee who was just checking in for a tour of duty,

Like anything else involving business, and especially real estate, here in the Philippines or in your home country, use common sense and competent advisors, but do not overlook the possibilities here in the Philippines for foreigners making money with rental real estate and building for the future even if we can’t own land outright ourselves.

There are many more ways to profit than by buying a building lot and putting up a one family house … in fact investing in your own home is one of the worst real estate investments you can make.

A real estate investment should bring in a positive cash flow from the beginning .. not just be a huge debt load that serves mainly to impress your friends and neighbors.

People used to argue with me about that, but not many Californians stuck with a property now worth less than half what they owe will argue with me today.

Contact me direct with your Rental Real Estate Philippines questions.


  1. says

    Hi Dave – not sure if I’m agreeing or disagreeing on the housing as an investment, but if I had the money I’d buy up everyone of those California homes that are worth less than half of what they were a year ago. That coupled with the interest rate, makes them ripe for investing the way I see it. It might take awhile to get the value up, but people buying at these prices are going to do well in the future. At least that’s what it looks like to me. I believe that’s what’s happening in many places. Homes sales are up despite the recession.

    • says

      Well in many ways this might be a good time to pick up bargains, that’s for sure. On the other hand, who knows if it has bottomed out? All the government programs that have so far put money in anyone’s hands has been to banks and investment firms who have acted, at the least, foolishly. A lot is promised to home owners, but little is so far actually forthcoming. Myself? I am so, so, so grateful I “bailed out” of the home “owing” market more thna 3 years ago when I saw the massive over valuations and under capitalization in Colorado Springs. I actually sold my house and got a check at the closing table … the guy who bought it couldn’t sell two years later for half what he owed, but like lemmings people still flock to the “American dream”. My best wishes to all.

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