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Philippines/UK citizen leasing land in Philippines

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Question
Hi Bill and Lorna,
         I've visited the Philippines several times and i'd like to buy (lease) some land to build a small beach house on. The house would be used by myself for vacations, as I would still be spending time in the UK. I've seen land for sale, would the normal course of action be to ask the owner if he would lease you the land rather than sell? Do you have any experience with non Filipinos buying (leasing) land.
       The lots I'm interested in are in Cebu would you know anybody locally who could assist me.
        Many thanks
         Charlie.

Answer
Charlie the best form of ownership for foreigners is first to pay an accounting firm to register a Philippine corporation which requires 5 persons ( cost P20,000 to P30,000 ) then after building the house apply for a Tax Declaration for the house only as proof of ownership.  Cebu's a big island and Cebu is the 2nd biggest city in RP so no shortage of accountants ( lawyers will charge about 3 times more for incorporation and just sub-contract to an accounting firm anyway ) . The Tax Declaration is applied for through the local municipal land office and may take several months up to even a year depending on the staff and their willingness to do their job or delay it hoping to collect extra "facilitation" fees if you know what I mean.  

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Bill and Lorna Collings

Expertise

Feel FREE to ask us about traveling, living, relocating, retiring and investing in the Philippines. Guests from 93 countries, the latest being a female PHD from Uganda, make our place in Manila an incredible meeting place for world travelers who exchange travel stories. We understand both the joys and the hardships of living and traveling in the Philippines.

Experience

I arrived in the Philippines in January 1980 to travel for 2 months; I stayed 4 months before reluctantly leaving. I met my Filipina wife, Lorna. an incredible stellar, "one in a million" individual in 1983 in Seoul and we moved to the Philippines in 1986 and opened our 3BR house to world travelers on a budget. After welcoming thousands of guests from 93 nations our place has grown to 38 bedrooms in 5 townhouse units, 4 of which are attached but will never lose its "Home away from Home" atmosphere. Almost everyday at The Townhouse Hotel there's a party-like social scene with vibrant, almost magical energetic conversations between our guests who have the pleasure to meet each other and share their life's many experiences.Often three groups with conversations in different languages are going on at the same time. So we've been exposed to every kind of person from all over the world and shared their experiences. Since arriving back in the Philippines Nov 2011 from traveling for 8 months my wife and I have been busy buying land, building houses and expanding our Boracay beach front resort, Casa Camilla for 16 months. Hopefully we'll be finished by the end of 2013 with a total of 50 apartments, 44 units for yearly stays and the six units in our house to be saved for short term stays.

Publications
Suite101.com, eDreams.com, expertcentral.com who asked me to apply with allexperts.com

Education/Credentials
some college 2-1/2 years - no degree - I've been traveling since I was 18, almost 30 years.

Awards and Honors
Luckily, my wife and I have been semi-retired since we were 30 years old, almost 30 years.

Past/Present Clients
3000 to 4000 world travelers and guests on a budget pass through our guest house style Townhouse Hotel / Hostel each year since 1986 so we do get a lot of feedback and share a lot of experiences with people which we can then pass on to help others with their questions and problems

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