Many Filipinos opt to work abroad for various reasons. Employers love the idea of hiring workers from the Philippines due to their English proficiency and incredible work ethic. Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) also get to enjoy better pay and work in a multicultural work environment. Of course, being an OFW doesn’t come without any tradeoffs, the biggest one being, unsurprisingly, long stretches of time away from home and family. Holidays and vacation days might be less enjoyable if you’re celebrating alone in a faraway country. Even worse, you miss out on major family and social activities back home. However, the sacrifices are often worth it especially if you make wise decisions with the income you earn. Among the best things an OFW can do with their hard-earned money is to get into property investment.
The Joys of Being a Homeowner
According to Business Mirror, most Filipino workers still cannot afford to buy homes, especially one near their workplace. Despite the availability of properties for sale, many are struggling to include mortgages in their monthly budgets. OFWs, with their higher salaries and bigger saving opportunities, are often in a good position to buy property. After all, there’s no better feeling than taking a plane ride home to the Philippines and going straight to your own house. The benefits of owning a home extend beyond merely having a place to stay. Psychology Today, in a July 2021 web article, reported that owning a home can provide a positive outlet for a person’s mental health. Being in charge of your home allows you the freedom to perform acts of self-expression. Apart from fostering a sense of control, owning a home allows people to share a part of their identity with others. When home improvement leads to a more comfortable place to live, owners naturally feel much better.
Buying a Home for Property Investment Purposes
Many OFWs are already homeowners themselves. However, that doesn’t mean they should immediately look elsewhere for investments. It so happens that property is one of the best and safest investments out there. Think about it, with enough time and population growth, the property you own today can only become more valuable as demand for shelter continues to increase. After all, humans can only thrive in about 14.6% of the entire planet since a little more than 71% of the Earth is water and the remaining land mass consists of mountainous ranges that are largely uninhabitable.
Note, however, that demand for property depends heavily on location. Urban centers and central business districts in the Philippines largely hold the priciest real estate because these areas are generally well-provisioned, have excellent transportation systems, plenty of commerce and retail centers, and are the preferred locations of many companies. Having a place within or near these districts provides owners rent and lease opportunities for employees who prefer a short commute to and from work.
Why OFWs are in a Great Position to Get Into Property Investment
Overseas Filipino Workers are in a great position to turn their hard-earned money into long-term property investment opportunities. Workers are poised to earn a windfall whenever currencies such as the US dollar or the Euro strengthen against the peso. Upon conversion, OFWs stand to earn a bit more from currency conversion. Presently, the US dollar is hovering well above P56 while the euro is going for P60. Wise OFWs should take advantage of the high exchange rates to better afford the most attractive properties in the Philippines. Working abroad also means being eligible for OFW-exclusive home purchase programs. These “New Heroes” contributed $36.44 billion in remittances last year, which is nearly 10% of the country’s GDP. As a result, a grateful government is more than willing to pull out the red carpet for OFWs to park their money home in the form of property investment purchases.
Home Loan Programs from Government Agencies and Banks
Atop this list is the Home Development Mutual Fund, the government’s housing department that offers affordable loans to homebuyers. As long as the OFW manages to contribute for at least 24 months, they can immediately avail of low-cost and long-term housing loans. Alternatively, the government’s Social Security System (SSS) also offers direct loans to OFWs, with preferences for low-cost housing or socialized housing programs. The SSS program also makes it easier for borrowers to pay their monthly mortgages via partner banks in the foreign countries where they work. In addition to government loans, OFWs can also take advantage of special rates from local Philippine banks. The intrepid OFW can easily shop for the best rates and more affordable terms among the many institutions operating in the Philippines. Workers can do it the hard way by asking each individual bank for their rates and OFW promotions, or they can do it easier by getting help from a property tech platform. Using this second option, the interested party can simply call a hotline and receive the latest information on each bank’s rates.
The Current Philippines Real Estate Market
Colliers’ Q2 2023 Residential Property Market Report shows that demand continues to climb in the Philippines’ local property market. As more companies are back at their pre-COVID pace, demand for nearby residences is increasing. In fact, Colliers sees a big comeback for the real estate property market in 2024.
At the same time, Colliers foresees an increase of 3.3% in housing prices later this year. This is mostly due to rising demand from improving business and consumer confidence. OFWs still on the fence about going into property investment might want to pull the trigger sooner rather than later.
Looking to Make Your Next Property Investment?
OFWs do have certain disadvantages when searching for the perfect property investment. Visiting individual developer websites is not only time-consuming but it also leaves lots of questions unanswered. Instead of aimlessly wandering developer sites, let Ohmyhome help you find the perfect property. Ohmyhome’s property tech platform is home to over 80,000 units in over 1,000 properties in the Philippines. We partnered with over 200 of the country’s finest developers to amass this large collection of real estate opportunities.
To know more about how Ohmyhome can assist you as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), here’s a heartfelt testimonial from one of our valued OFW clients and their inspiring property journey with us. With Ohmyhome, we can simplify the real estate process, even if you’re working overseas. Discover how Ohmyhome can empower your property journey just as it did for our satisfied OFW client.
Ohmyhome’s staff of real estate professionals are more than happy to help you look for the best available properties. We’ll make sure to show you homes that suit your preferred location, budget, and type. The Ohmyhome team will also guide you on the best financing deals and help with your legal and documentation requirements. This means that while abroad, you can sit back and choose the property you want. Ohmyhome will gladly handle everything from here.
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