Pros and Cons of Building a House in the Philippines

Whether you’re a native Filipino or an ex-pat, building a house takes a lot of time and consideration. It’s not something you should jump into without considering your other options, as well as the pros and cons. 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many people decided to move to different areas. In doing so, you might think it’s time to build your “dream home” and settle down. But, there are questions to ask yourself before taking the plunge and building a house in the Philippines. First, is it cheaper to buy or build? What are you really looking for out of a new home? What kind of timeline are you prepared for? 

It’s also essential to give those questions, as well as the pros and cons, some weight. Doing your research and being confident in your answers ahead of time will make it easier to decide whether you should build, buy, or rent in the Philippines. 

To help you get started, let’s go over some potential advantages and disadvantages when it comes to building a house. 

Pro: You’re in Control

One of the biggest benefits of building your own house is that you’re in complete control of everything from the design to the surrounding property. If you’ve always wanted a beautifully landscaped outdoor living area, you can finally have it. 

Customizing your house the way you want is a major draw for some people, especially if you plan on settling down in the Philippines for many years and want to make sure your house feels like a home. 

In addition to customizing things the way you want, you’ll also be in charge of “quality control”. You can work with a contractor you trust, but since the property is yours, you have the freedom to go one step further. If you oversee the building operations, you can ensure everything that’s being done meets your standards, so the home will be safe to move into right when it’s done.

Con: It Can Take a Long Time

Building a house can take several months and even longer if you have unique specifications and additions. Every step can take several weeks, including: 

  • Obtaining a building permit
  • Pouring foundation
  • Framing
  • Plumbing, electricity, insulation, roofing
  • Finishing touches

Buying a house is certainly more convenient if you have a time restraint, or if you don’t have anywhere to live while you wait for a house to get built. 

Of course, you could consider renting in the Philippines while you wait for your home to be constructed. The cost of living in the country is relatively low, so renting is typically an affordable option whether it’s short-term or long-term. 

The best thing you can do is to consider your timeline and how long you’re willing to wait for a home to get built. If you need a place to live right now, buying or renting may be a better option. 

Pro: You’re Less Likely to Deal With Maintenance Issues

When you build a new home, you’re using brand new materials, installing new appliances, and staying up-to-date with the latest building codes necessary to keep things safe. 

Because of that, you’re less likely to have maintenance or renovation issues anytime soon. If you’re someone who doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of upgrading, renovating, or “DIY” -ing projects in your house, having everything new will help you to avoid that for quite some time. 

Additionally, new building materials and appliances are more energy-efficient than ever before. If you move into an older house, you might immediately have to replace certain things so everything is up to code and running efficiently, including:

  • Windows
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Water heater
  • Washer/dryer
  • Furnace/air conditioner

Even though building a home can be expensive, take into consideration the updates you might have to make if you were to purchase one. The cost might be closer than you think.  

Con: Location is Everything

Location, location, location. 

It’s a common real estate term, but in the Philippines, it really matters. 

Land in the metropolitan areas of the Philippines is known for being outrageously expensive. Most residential lots are affordable, but they come with their fair share of issues. Many are on the outskirts of the cities and don’t have a central location. 

So, you might have to endure a long commute to work or to get your kids to school, and even something as simple as getting groceries can feel like a chore when you’re that far away. 

If you’re considering building a house in the Philippines, understanding what to expect every step of the way will make the whole process easier for you. This isn’t meant to deter you or encourage you. It’s meant to inform you. Building a house is nothing to take lightly. Do your research, take your time, and decide what’s best for your needs now and in the future.