It is a public knowledge that the Philippines is in a midst of a property boom. This means there are plenty of opportunities to buy or lease investment properties in many forms: condos, office spaces, beach front resorts or farmlands. To many OFWs, owning house is among the first things that come to mind. One of the reasons many Filipinos seek employment abroad is because they cannot afford to buy their own houses. So as they start to save more while working overseas, the dream of owning a house gets closer to reality.
But OFWs also face challenges and face a tough question to answer: should they buy a ready-built residential property OR should they plan and build this dream house on their own?
Why buy a residential property
There are plenty of reasons why buying residential property is a practical approach.
- OFWs are mostly based abroad and do not have enough time to oversee a residential project back home.
- Building on your own involves several parties: architects, engineers, foreman, painter, electrician, not to mention the paperwork to be filed in your local engineering office.
- Finding the right people — reliable, skilled and trustworthy manpower — to do the job can be a challenge. Maybe many of the sought-after builders have also found jobs abroad.
- Building on your own requires you to select materials, accessories and equipment used in house construction. You may find these products abroad, but are unavailable or outrageously expensive in the Philippines.
- Building on your own requires not only expertise but the right tools. Many carpenters, masons and painters do not own the equipment needed to build your house. This could mean the owner has to shoulder the cost of buying jig saws, drill bits, planers or welding equipment.
- Unless you hire top-notch architects — something big developers can afford — the house may be built with outdated, energy-draining technology. You might end up paying more for energy and maintenance costs.
As a result, costs easily add up with procurement of equipment that is not necessarily needed when you buy a house off a developer. Building your own house enables you to select the appropriate materials, but if workers lack expertise or dedication for the job, a shoddy outcome is not unexpected.
Why build your own house
As mentioned above, the country is experiencing a property boom. This should drive more interest in owning properties but also easily spike the price of your dream house property.
- As OFWs are less likely aware of costs, price of a typical family house can skyrocket much more than cost of the same when commissioned by the OFWs.
- House price on offer may be low but OFWs from distant workplaces abroad may not realize immediately that the house he is buying is in a remote location, flood-prone or other disadvantageous position.
- Limited budget — and high loan interest from supposedly helpful Pag-IBIG or other lending agencies — can hinder your ability to get a higher-scale model. Building your own allows you to plan the house construction according to financial ability.
- There are plenty of cases when uninformed OFWs were left deceived, wiring money to agents they never met, signing contracts that were later found to be fraudulent or simply falling for deals that are too good to be true. Building your own house may not keep you from avoiding such scams but at least you are taught diligence as you manage the project yourself — or someone you trust.
- Building your own dream house allows you to choose the right materials, right people with appropriate skills.
- Condo units are paid as residential properties, and obviously does not include the lot where the building is erected. If something unfortunate happens — fire, quake and other instances that lead to destruction of the house — owners have to go back to square one. If the same thing happens to house and lot owners, they still have the tract of land available to rebuild the house.
Buying a tract of land allows OFWs to build a perfect home that suits his or her lifestyle and needs, as opposed to buying an established dwelling that does not exactly match one’s needs. But since OFWs are mostly based abroad, another challenge is to build a house without micromanaging the project.
Enter Holcim’s Help-U-Build (HUB) scheme.
The nation’s largest cement maker, banking on lofty brand appeal, partnered with reputable architects and contractors to offer the following services:
Custom and Pre-designed house construction.
Based on budget and other preferences, HUB offers an array of home designs so you don’t have to reference that glossy magazine or a featured property at a lifestyle TV show. You directly talk to the professionals who eloquently elaborate the home designs and which one suits best for you. They have technical expertise in designing and building your home, and not that random family friend with a degree but does have experience. HUB offers FREE consultation and advice on home building needs. It even offers FREE initial schematic design for you to get started.
They’re there so OFWs don’t have to be bothered from their work abroad. From planning to construction and from inspection to turn over, these professionals take the tough job so you don’t have to. And since this is their field of expertise, the top-notch quality of work is assured.
Home renovation or makeover.
You don’t have to build a new home to avail of HUB as it can also assist in your home renovation or transform an old form to an appealing new one. And since you’re dealing with Holcim, you are assured of the quality home building materials such as Conwood, paving wood and hollow blocks at prices not inflated by middlemen.
- With no hidden fees, contract price includes materials, labor and all other costs as dictated by your budget.
- If you need home financing, HUB also has partner banks who can help.
- HUB will assemble the construction team, equip them with necessary tools, secure permits and procure materials to take the burden off from you.
- HUB’s Home Advisers will monitor and inspect the construction phases and will update you until the final inspection just before you move-in.