Choosing the Right House

As an expat in the Philippines, you will not be staying forever in a hotel. You need to start house hunting. In the Philippines, there are many choices of living available. An expat can choose to live in an individual home or an apartment. Each type of residence has its own advantages and disadvantages.

There are some serious issues that an expat in the Philippines must consider when considering the right house or apartment to live in. These issues are location, security, maintenance, expenses, children’s play areas, and pets.

When choosing a house for an expat, the proximity to various services is a major consideration due to the traffic situation in some areas of the Philippines. An expat must consider the distance of the children’s school to the house. Grocery stores must be nearby. If possible, there must be other expats in the neighborhood so that fellow expats can do social activities, car-pooling, and such.

An expat’s time spent each day in the car travelling must also be considered. During heavy downpour, flooding is common especially in the Metro Manila area of the Philippines. Taking note of this issue in choosing an expat’s house will be of great help during rainy months.

An expat in the Philippines may choose an apartment that has a 24-hour roving security guard, elevators with cameras, and concierge. If an expat chooses an individual house, it is better to check the security of a neighborhood. Hiring a security guard for the front door or driveway is also possible. But an expat must be cautious in hiring guards also. Have a background check on the person and agency where the security guard comes from.

An expat in the Philippines must know where to go or whom to call for the maintenance of the house. Ask the contractor of the house or the owner of the house if a repairman is available. An expat must also know how much is the rate of a repairman. Be sure to know the present condition of the house before moving in.

Besides the regular rental costs of the house, check if there are other hidden costs to be paid. For example, power bills, water bills, phone bills, association dues, salaries for the helpers and gardeners, and other costs.

If an expat family in the Philippines has young children, will there be facilities available where children can play safely like a playground. Does the house have a large yard for the children to play in or roam around? During the rainy months in the Philippines, a big covered lanai in the house will be of great help.

If an expat loves to have a pet in the house, make sure the owner allowed it. Sometimes landlords want deposit money for the potential damages a pet can do. Is a veterinary clinic available nearby or is there a visiting veterinarian?

These are some of the issues that an expat in the Philippines must settle in acquiring a house to live in. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages a house has before choosing it. The comfort and convenience for an expat and the family must be satisfied.

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