Getting started

How to prepare your search

Finding property in the Philippines can be difficult for foreigners unused to the system. If your company doesn’t provide housing then this guide will help you find the best accommodation for you.

Preparing your search is crucial, the more research you do the less time it will take with lengthy phone calls and meetings with agents and landlords. The first step is to identify the area you want to live in. Many expats live in the same compound or condominium or in the same area of a city. There is a large disparity between the rich and the poor in the Philippines. As an expat you will probably be able to afford to live in one of the wealthier neighbourhoods where only well-off Filipinos would live. Many expats choose to live in temporary housing or hotels while waiting for their possessions to arrive, this could take anything up to 8 or 9 weeks.

Most expat areas are close to good international schools and convenient for shopping malls and other amenities. The best way to find good areas in your city of choice is to ask other expats, join online forums or network within the Philippines itself. The cities tend to be more expensive than the provinces, where houses can be rented for as much as a small condo in a city.

Cost of Living

The Philippines is considered cheap to live in compared to western countries, it also compares favourably with other south east Asian countries. Things can be cheaper in the provinces but it is likely you will be working in one of the major cities such as Manila or Cebu. An average single expat can live very comfortably on €600 per month in a city, this includes rent of a 1 bedroom apartment in the city centre, food, transportation and leisure activities. Of course you can live much more frugally or lavishly depending on your lifestyle.


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