Buying property in the Philippines is much like everywhere else in the world. Just the same, it pays knowing your legal rights as a real estate buyer so you can be protected against unscrupulous characters that seek to take advantage of unwitting investors. The country has many laws in place to ensure proper guidance in dealing with properties for sale in Cebu
and elsewhere in the Philippines. Below are things you should know about property ownership in the country and some related laws that you should familiarize yourself with when it comes to property sale and ownership:
- Foreigners cannot legally own land anywhere in the Philippines, but they can own apartments or condominium units in high-rise buildings, so long as foreign proportions don’t exceed 40%. Buying a house is also allowed, but a foreigner cannot own the land on which the house is built.
- Buying land can be a tedious and cumbersome process, but there are several laws that ensure your protection as a foreign or native property owner including, but not limited to:
- R.A. 9646 or the Real Estate Service Act of the Philippines
- R.A. 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act
- R.A. 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 a.k.a. CARP
- P.D. 957 or the Subdivision and Condominium Buyers Decree, which regulates the sale and development of subdivisions and condominiums
- R.A. 4726 or the Condominium Law
- Act 2728 or the Brokerage Law
- B.P. 185 or the law on residential property acquisition by a natural born Filipino citizen
- P.D. 1529 or the Property Registration Decree
- R.A. 9225 or the Dual Citizenship Law
- R.A. 7652 or the law allowing foreign investors to lease private property
- The maximum area that you can acquire for residential purposes as a foreigner in Cebu is 1,000 square meters for urban lands and 1 hectare for rural lands.