Buying a land is not as easy as buying your favorite bag or shoes. It requires a huge amount of money. It’s a long-term investment. That is why as a buyer, you should be aware of the things that will affect your investment. It’s better to hassle before purchasing a property than having regrets after paying it because of some problems that you can avoid in the beginning. Practicing due diligence in purchasing a lot here in the Philippines can take a bit of time, but this relatively small delay will save you some headaches in the future.
How do you know if the property is the right one to buy? Here are some tips that will help and guide you before purchasing a land.
Buying from an individual:
Check the authenticity of the “Transfer Certificate of Title”.
Always check first the title with the Registry of Deeds or with Land Registration Authority (LRA). Every municipality has its own Registry of Deeds or LRA. Ask the seller for the photocopy of the title, you will need some information regarding the land. After receiving a photocopy, you can go to the Registry of Deeds to ask for a Certified True Copy of the title. Depending on how fast the officer can find it, this process can take from an hour or 3 days.
Verify that title is clean
After checking the title with the Registry of Deeds, verify if the title is clean. Meaning that the title is not mortgaged, you can see it at the back of the title. When in doubt, you can always ask a staff from the said government agency to read it for you or consult a lawyer. However, if you are interested to buy a land with only a Tax Declaration as a proof of ownership, you have to consult a lawyer if this will be a feasible investment since there are 2 type of Tax Declaration. You can check out the previous post here.
Validate if the land described on the title is really the land that you are buying.
Make sure that the details of the property you are buying and technical description of the title given to you matches. This is tricky, especially in buying a land in the province. You can also hire a land surveyor to verify the technical details of the land. The fee can go up to Php 50,000, depending on how vast and complex the land is.
Make sure that the sellers are the real owners
Do not pay unless you are certain that the seller is the owner of the land and his/her name is the one written on the title. Always ask for a government-issued ID. If the title has yet to be transferred to the seller, better consult with a lawyer about the deed of sale, on what would be the best course of action for this. Transferring a land title, for example, from the parents to their children takes quite some time and involves a few paperwork to be signed.
Confirm that the yearly real estate taxes are paid
Confirm if the seller is up to date with the property tax payments. They should be able to provide you a copy of Tax Declaration and Tax Receipts. If there has not been paid, better discuss with the seller on what arrangements can be done to settle this. In some cases, the buyer agrees to shoulder the unpaid taxes, which in turn will be deducted from the original price of the land. Again, it is better to consult a lawyer on the best course of action regarding this.
If you buy from a developer:
Check for the availability of the mother title
Usually, developers offer pre-selling of properties. This means that the houses or condominiums will have to be constructed based on contract over a period of time. The individual title may not be available as this takes up to three years to have the title individualized.
Check every provision of the Contract to sell that you are going to sign including the annexes
A licensed real estate broker should be able to explain to you in layman terms the technical terminologies inside the deed of sale. A rock solid deed of sale is essential to make sure that the interest of both parties is covered, from the terms of payment, unprecedented events (or Acts of God) which is a term for natural causes such as typhoons, earthquakes, etc.
Make sure that you have a road right of way.
Small detail matters. You should have a right of way and the property should be accessible from the road or else you will have to buy another property adjacent to the land you bought. These cases usually happen in the provinces, in which the land may not be accessible right away because, example, it is located at the back of another property.
If you are planning to buy a land here in the Philippines, always make sure that you are buying the right property. If you don’t want this kind of hassle, you can contact us and our team here at Infinit3Solutions will help you verify everything for you and guide you in purchasing a land.