The power of modern technology is undeniable, and it’s revolutionizing how we handle finances. We now have online payment schemes, mobile wallets, digital banks, and this guide to help you invest in real estate—completely remotely.
Traditionally, real estate investing requires searching and visiting properties in person, which may limit one’s options. This limitation is particularly obvious among investors currently abroad and planning to invest in Philippine properties.
OFWs and foreign investors would significantly benefit from remote investing. But this process can also help locals who want to maximize their time when looking for and buying properties.
Everything can now be done online, and here are some steps to get you started in long-distance real estate investing:
Pick a Location
The great thing about remote investing is you can invest anywhere. But to ensure you’re putting money in the right place, you should give special attention to the property location.
Which cities, provinces, or towns interest you the most? Do you think these places will see continued population growth and development? Would you be interested in investing in a vacation destination?
When you search online, it’s easy to get information about the locations you’re considering. On the Lamudi website, you can find city guides that will tour you to some of the must-see areas in the Philippines. Lists of property hotspots are likewise available to help you choose an investment-worthy location.
Know Your Options and Go on Virtual Tours
Feeling overwhelmed with so many options? Take note of these suggestions:
- Residential or commercial properties if investing in an urban area
- An agricultural lot if investing in the countryside and starting a farming or for agro-tourism business
- A condo unit for a low-maintenance and well-located option
- A property near schools and universities, malls, or transportation networks for guaranteed price appreciation
- A vacation home if you plan to rent it out to tourists and retirees
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, time to tour them in the comfort of your own home. Here’s where you can find virtual tours:
- Lamudi website: check out listings with photos and videos of properties for sale
- Dedicated development pages: on Lamudi, some of these pages have links to the video walkthroughs of properties
- Facebook: watch live property tours by developers, agents, and real estate platforms
- Online property fairs: Lamudi’s Online Housing Fair is one example of an event where you can view properties, interact with sellers, and score discounts.
Connect With a Trusted Agent
A real estate agent can professionally guide you through finding and buying property online. Each agent specializes in a particular location, so they can offer helpful information about neighborhoods, vacancy and absorption rates, property taxes, and more.
Further, a real estate agent can connect you to a home inspector (if buying a house and lot or a unit in a residential condo). Depending on the assessment, you have the option to accept the property as-is, renegotiate, or explore other properties.
Even with the help of a trusted agent, keep in mind that online transactions still carry risks. To protect yourself and your finances, document everything, ask for the complete list of fees, and be wary of “red flags” along the way.
Research Financing Options and Prepare Accordingly
Using a loan calculator, you can determine the interest rate you’ll have to pay to lenders, compare loan offers, and find the best deals.
Pro-tip: the larger your down payment before getting a loan, the better. You can have a lower loan balance and possibly pay for a lower monthly amortization fee.
Create an Exit Strategy
After making a purchase, what’s your endgame? Having an exit strategy means minimizing forthcoming risks and maximizing profits. It also means that your property can serve more than just one purpose. For example, a condo unit mainly used for a rental business can be sold at a higher price after a couple of years.
Another way to sell a property at a much higher value is through the fix-and-flip strategy. It usually involves buying a foreclosed property, renovating it, and selling it for more than the original investment costs. Meanwhile, other investors choose to put their properties under a rent-to-own scheme when they’re ready to leave the investment journey.
With the help of digitalization and techie real estate professionals, remote investing can be as easy as you want to make it. No matter where you are, you can get started with the above steps.