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For overseas Filipino workers, real estate takes on a different meaning with a worldwide health crisis in the backdrop. For one, a home is indeed a basic essential: it’s one’s strongest defense and the surest refuge from an aggressive virus on the loose. Secondly, the home that was once just a dream looks to be within reach all the more now, as sellers and developers have been offering flexible payment options. In essence, buying a property makes total sense now more than ever.
The challenge in going about this huge financial move in the middle of a pandemic, and while you’re overseas, is you can’t see houses or settle payments in person. You can’t go to property viewings or meet your agent in a coffee shop to sign contracts. But here’s the thing: it’s possible to buy property — safely and securely — even though you’re at home, miles away from the Philippines. Do it online.
Various developers, including trusted brand ISOC Land Inc. (I-Land), offer contactless transaction services to help OFWs who want to buy a home during this time. Here are some of the steps you can take:
For the Property Hunt: Use Online Real Estate Marketplaces
The first step in the home buying process after you’ve sorted out your finances is checking out properties. While you can’t go to open houses, you can certainly drop by real estate marketplaces, such as Lamudi. Here, you can see images of the properties that match your needs and wants, from budget to location down to the number of bedrooms.
I-Land has a dedicated page on the Lamudi platform. One of its prized projects, I-Land Residences Sucat, a six-tower condominium development in San Antonio, Parañaque, offers units ranging from 28.72 sqm to 50.73 sqm, which comes with one to two bedrooms. In terms of location, it’s close to different key establishments, from shopping centers such as SM Hypermarket Sucat and SM City BF Parañaque, to hospitals like Medical Center Paranaque and Unihealth Paranaque Hospital, and even road links, such as the Skyway.
In terms of amenities, you can use the lounge, lap and kiddie pools, themed gardens, fitness station, jogging paths, bike lanes, pet park, and playground. It’s also worth noting that 60% of I-Land Sucat’s land area is dedicated to open spaces. All of these amenities and features prove to be essential when coping with cabin fever during prolonged quarantine policies in the future.
For the Site Visit: Take a Virtual Tour
The units of I-Land Residences Sucat are complete with the essentials and add-ons. There’s a telephone line in the living area and master bedroom, as well as a cable TV line. Window-type air-conditioning units are provided in the bedrooms, while split-type is in the living room. In the bathroom, you can expect hot water provision, on top of the toilet, sink, and shower fixtures.
All of these look good on paper, but it will be even better if you can see them for yourself. Want to schedule a property viewing but can’t go on-site anytime soon? During a health crisis, or because you’re overseas, digital means of visiting the property are of great help. In the case of I-Land, a virtual tour is possible thanks to the video they have uploaded on their property’s listing on Lamudi.
For the Reservation: Log in to Your Bank App or Digital Wallet
Once you’ve settled on a property choice, it’s time to reserve that unit. On the Lamudi platform, you can contact the developer directly with the phone or mobile number details provided. I-Land has agents ready to accommodate your reservation. They will give you a computation sheet, outlining the property’s list price, any discounts, value-added tax, and other charges. They will ask you for your chosen payment scheme as well. The agents may arrange for a video conference call with you, say over Zoom or Skype, so you both can discuss matters better.
For the payment itself, I-Land allows buyers to settle using bank apps and digital wallets. For one, you can use your BDO Mobile App. Once you’re logged in, choose “Send Money” and then “to Any BDO Account.” Type in the amount and I-Land’s account number. After hitting Submit, the app will show you if the transaction is successful. Once you get the summary, take a screenshot and send a copy to I-Land’s official email address.
GCash is another app you can use. Choose “Send Money” or “Bank Transfer,” then select BDO. Key in the correct account information, snap a screenshot of the receipt, and send the copy via email.
Aside from bank apps and digital wallets, you can use international remittance apps, such as Western Union, Paypal, Remitly, and WorldRemit. Send money to the Philippines by typing in the same account information. The official account name is ISOC LAND INC, while the address is 6th Floor Hanston Building, F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Attach the copy of the receipt in the email you’ll send.
Even with the pandemic and the distance from the country, it’s possible for OFWs to buy property. The key is in trusting innovative brands that adapt to the times and embrace modern technologies — the new normal in property buying. Consider choosing I-Land in your first online property purchase.