A few days ago, I announced the big news on my other blog: We bought a piece of land on Samal Island, which is in the Gulf of Davao. We plan to build a house there and semi-retire there in the future. Our plan is to be there 10 years from now. Why 10 years? Because our youngest child will graduate from high school at that time, and it makes it more practical to live in a somewhat remote place at that time.
I don’t like to really duplicate content between my various blogs, and that is not what I intend to do here either. But, the process of buying land and building a house has many different angles. Firstly, since I am buying land here in Mindanao, it makes it a story to put on my Mindanao Blog. However, the process of buying land, going through all the hoops and building a house is something that fits more on this blog, because a lot of you who retire here or just come here to live have an interest in doing something similar. If you are like Feyma and I, you hardly have any idea where to start!
Making a purchase of land here, and building a house is a little different (or is it a lot?) than the process in the States. It’s kind of daunting for people like us who are unaccustomed to the process. Because of the differences, I am sure that a lot of you will like following along and seeing what Feyma and I do and the results. I am nearly certain that we will make mistakes, but it is my hope that we can learn from the mistakes that we make, and also help you avoid similar mistakes when you are ready to make the plunge.
Buying land here is something that I have often said I would never do. I changed my mind, though, which is something that I hope I won’t come to regret.
Some of the reasons why I had not wanted to buy land here:
- As a foreigner, I can’t own land in my name.
- If I ever decide to go back to the States, it might be hard to sell the land.
- If there is political instability, I can just pull up stakes and leave right away if I am renting. It might be harder to do if I have a land here.
- There is an element of fear when you enter the unknown, and I certainly know little or nothing about owning land here and building a house.
Why did I change my mind?
- Although I can’t own land in my name, my wife can own it in her name. We’ve been married nearly 17 years, and I have no doubts about our relationship. I know that I can trust her to have the land in her name.
- I’ve been here for 7 years now, and I really have no desire at all to return to the States. Heck, I haven’t even gone back there for vacation or anything, nor do I have a desire to do so. My long term plans are right here in the Philippines.
- If there were to be political instability in the country, I feel it would most likely affect Manila only, and not have big ramifications in the Davao area, so I am not overly concerned about it. I do feel that such instability is possible, I just don’t think that it will touch us here.
- I have a big enough network of friends and associates who can help guide me through the process and steer me in the right direction when I am clueless!
- We found a piece of land that was too nice to pass up, and also priced right!
So, as I weighed these factors, the right move for us was to buy this land, and start moving toward making the place our home. So, hang around, and follow along. This will be a long term project, but I’ll keep you posted as we make each move.