Property Conversion in the Philippines

Anahaw stage one

Anahaw Village was agricultural land when we bought it. Property conversion was necessary.

This article covers some steps we had to follow to convert Anahaw Village land to Residential/Commercial.

The process is long and following the process is tedious and difficult.


Anahaw Village is applying for an RETIREMENT ECOZONE from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, not just a property conversion.

However, the process to convert any agricultural land to residential is essentially the same.

The Ecozone, when/if approved, will allow our residents to fully own a business as a foreigner within the Zone. It also allows a fair number of other benefits,

The process of property conversion might also serve as a guide for those that are purchasing properties in the Philippines. It describes a bit about the LEGAL process of conversion.

Hopefully this might give readers an idea about whether the property they intend to purchase is legal or not.

In every country there are ways to get around the law and get “approvals” that should not have been granted. We have not tried, nor intend to try ,that approach at Anahaw Village.

Flow Chart

To assist, we have made a partial flowchart. It shows almost all the places that one needs to go to get documents or make applications to convert agricultural property to residential or commercial.

Please click for a larger view of the flowchart.

At almost every step of the way, the application requirements at one agency needs something from another Government Agency.

Of course, this flowchart does not include all the steps that one has to complete to get that approval. There are a lot of other steps.

They include:

  • Financial projections,
  • Notarized attestations,
  • Detailed discriptions,
  • Engineering reports,
  • Photographs
  • Posting of public signs.


Property conversion is definitely a long and tiring process, but it can be done if one is persistent enough to do it.

At Anahaw Village, we fully intend on following the process. We will do every step legally and completely. We will follow every code. Every rule and law adhered to.

Our goal is to give the residents a Village that fully complies with the law. This will, therefore, result in a safer investment.

Best Places in the Philippines

Beautiful Philippine Beach

With thousands of kilometers of pristine beaches and abundant islands we explore the best places in the Philippines.

The Philippines has a lot to offer to anyone looking for an inexpensive place to retire or to go on a holiday. 

The Philippines is an Asian country and one of the friendliest places on earth. Predominantly a Christian country, the Philippines appeals more to Westerners.

Many people describe the Philippines as the Gateway to Asia because it is an English Speaking Country where English is an official language and all the company signs and road signs are in English.

Finding the best places to visit in the Philippines - A Catholic Church in the Philippines
Some of the best places to visit in the Philippines are the old churches

Full of happy and laughing children and pleasant locals, the Philippines is extremely affordable and has an abundance of places to go and visit. You can choose from so many locations within the Philippines and name them  one of your own best places in the Philippines.

Finding the Best places in the Philippines

With Pristine beaches everywhere, (The Philippines has 7,641 islands) one could spend one’s lifetime just exploring the many Philippine islands.

Visiting just  one island a day, it would take you 20 years to explore the Philippines.

There is definitely no shortage of places to explore!

Cost of Living in the Philippines

The average family income in the Philippines is about 270,000 pesos a year. As of this writing that is about $5,000 a year.

The average family size is 4.6 people per family. Consequently, the average person is living on about $1000 a year.

That is a YEAR, not a month.

Thus, the cost of living in the Philippines is extremely low comparitively. Inside a city in the Philippines, one can comfortably live on $1400 a month and be a rich person in the city.

Outside of the city $800 goes a far way.

But remember, everyone has their own expectations as to lifestyle. Someone living on $50,000 a year in the USA would probably spend at least $24,000 a year in the Philippines.

While the cost of food, accomodation, travel, restaurants, etc. is far lower than in Western Countries, the cost of a laptop, a TV, and what would be considered luxury items in the Philippines could well be higher. 

When you first arrive in the Philippines, being unfamiliar as to where to shop, expect to spend more.

Locals will also charge you higher prices when you are new. Until you start to grasp what the real price should be and can negotiate expect to spend a bit more.


Philippine nurses are known worldwide for their caring and hospitable nursing. One of the top ten hospitals in the world is in the Philippine capital city of Manila.

Medical costs, are extremely low. Should you run into problems in the Philippines, your biggest concern would be getting to a hospital. It will not be the treatment that will be afforded once you get there.

Always have travel insurance. Keep enough money to get from any more remote location to a bigger hospital.

Small country hospitals might be ill-equipped to handle your emergency, so ensure you can get out of there by plane to a larger city.

Holidays in the Philippines

Finding the best places to visit in the Philippines by boat
You can get to some of the best places to visit in the Philippines on a Banca Boat

The Philippines has so many beautiful little beaches and islands to visit making it hard to choose the best places in the Philippines

Popular tourist spots are Palawan and Boracay. But depending on what you are looking for, there may be places that better suit your requirements.

Certainly, Boracay and Palawan are set up to accommodate your typical tourist. However, if you really want to get to know the Philippines, explore out of the way places.

Rather than going to the standby favorites, spend a longer time here and go and find those quaint out of the way places.

Find those places less populated by tourists and more populated by the charming and friendly locals.

Moving to the best places in the Philippines

Upon visiting, many people decide to live permanently in the Philippines to enjoy the weather, the friendliness and cost of living.

If you decide to stay, there is no better place to live than in somewhere like Anahaw Village.

Anahaw village is positioned near three international airports, and several large cities on the island of Luzon. 

With easy access to modern highways, the village is being built to Western Standards.

Take a look through our website. See how perfect Anahaw Village is to retire or move to the Philippines.

Have you decided to retire to the Philippines? Have a look at the government retirement requirements at the Retirement Authority of the Philippines

Buy Philippines Property- A Guide for Expats.

Do you want to buy Philippines Property?

If you have not yet had the idea to buy Philippines property, you should start thinking about it now. If you are living in the Philippines or planning on retiring to the Philippines, now is the time to invest and buy property in the Philippines.

The Philippines is at the bottom of what will become an explosive curve in Real Estate prices.

Land in the Philippines is currently priced extremely low compared to other countries.

But don’t expect these low prices to last forever. During 2017, the nationwide residential real estate price index rose by 5.7% (2.3% inflation-adjusted), according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the country’s central bank.

Condominium units saw year on year prices increase by 14.2% (inflation-adjusted 10.6%) in 2017.

Duplex house prices rose dramatically by 17.3% (13.5% inflation-adjusted) in 2017 while Townhouse prices rose by 8.1% (4.6% inflation-adjusted) over the same period.

The Philippine economy expanded by 6.7% in 2017.

The economy is expected to continue seeing strong growth.

The  automotive industry ended 2017 with a 17.66% increase as sales totaled 473,943 units.

All of these facts point to the Philippines being on the verge of a surge in Real Estate prices that could last for years to come. And the potential for profit makes that good for anyone interested in investing in Real Estate.

Can Foreigners buy Philippines Property?

Yes. There is definite opportunity for foreigners to invest in real estate in the Philippines, but there are a lot of restrictions. A foreigner is prohibited from owning land directly. However, a foreigner can own up to 40% of a company that can own land. Filipinos must own the other  60%.

A foreigner can also lease land for up to 25 years and the lease can be renewed for another 25 years. A foreign Corporation can lease land for 50 years and renew for an additional 25 years.

A foreigner can own a house, but not the land it is built upon. This allows for a multitude of different ways that a foreigner could possibly have a home in the Philippines to call their own.

Of course, if a foreigner is married to a Filipina, his wife can own the land. However, he can (and should) own the house.

The different scenarios mean that one should really understand your options as a foreigner before purchasing or leasing land in any fashion.

There are stories of foreigners buying land in the name of their wife only to have that wife leave shortly afterwards and keeping the land. There are also a multitude of different pitfalls and scams that a foreigner can walk into and lose his investment.

When you Buy Philippines Property – Pitfalls.

There are a number of pitfalls to buying/leasing land in the Philippines so here are some areas to consider:

Leasing property

a) What can go wrong

b) types of agreements

c) what to look for in the lease, etc.

How to Buy Philippines Property

a) Buy through a corporation with friends.

b) Buy Philippines Property in wife’s name

c) Consider buying into a corporation 60% owned by Filipinos and 40% owned by foreigners and then leasing the land from the same corporation in  your name resulting in extra security in the event of a breakup in the marriage.

Owning property in the Philippines

a) Titled property vs. non-titled property

b) Verifying titles

c) Rights property – what can be titled, what cannot be

d) Property that has restrictions

e) Determining restrictions

f) Condominiums

g) Types of rights.

h) Condominiums vs. houses.


a) Types of mortgages

b) How to acquire mortgages

Other  Property issues in the Philippines

i)   Commercial Development

ii)  Types of land rights

iii)  Zoning restrictions.

iv)  Taxes

v)    Other government departments which are involved in the purchase/sale/ownership of property in the Philippines.


When you buy (or lease) a property in Anahaw Hills Village, all of these concerns are addressed and you can sleep comfortably  knowing that your investment is safe.

Property in the Philippines is very definitely worth looking at right now, but don’t go into it unprepared. There is a lot of profit to be made, however there are also a lot of ways to lose your shirt.