Buying a house? It pays to know these things

Finally, one stumbles upon his dream house that is perfectly located near everything. It’s exactly what he’s looking for. He is excited to buy the house and is ready to pay to have it. But wait!

There are important things that one should know before buying a property, according to Hardy Lipana, president of Conveyance Realty Services, Inc., a company specializing in solving a wide range of land and property issues.

Lipana says knowing these “tips” will not only save one his precious time but also his hard-earned money, thus making that dream property really worth the wait.

Here’s the list of questions one should ask before buying a house:

Who are the real owners of the property?

Are the ones selling the property the actual and legitimate owners or just a representative of the owners, or worse posing as the real owners? One should be sure he is dealing with the rightful owners before making the purchase as he might find himself caught up in a legal battle for ownership dispute later on. There are also cases of “double sale”, wherein the owner has already sold the property to a previous buyer but sells it to another person because the first buyer failed to register the sale and transfer the title to his name.

Is the land title authentic?

In the Philippines, there are various ways to detect fake land titles. One is to thoroughly inspect both the Owner’s Duplicate Copy which is given by the actual owner and the original copy at the Register of Deeds. The data indicated in the Owner’s Duplicate Copy and the Register of Deeds copy should exactly be the same. Another is to check the guidelines issued by the Land Registration Authority (LRA) in detecting fake titles.

Is the land title clean?

Be aware if the property has liens and encumbrances, be it financial (if it is mortgaged) or legal (like easements, private restrictions, etc.) as these burdens might be transferred to the buyer.

Also check if there are problems with the technical description on the title such as the boundaries do not close, the actual area of the property is different from the area indicated on the title and the location of the property is not the same with the location described on the title.

To know these, the buyer has to conduct due diligence before buying a property. A proper due diligence could save one a lot of money and potential headaches in the future.

After buying the property, the buyer has to register the land title under his name.

How to transfer land title in the Philippines

Land title transfer in the Philippines entails a lot of time and effort. It requires going back and forth to various government agencies to secure and file the requirements and pay the appropriate taxes and transfer fees. Also, if the correct taxes and fees are not paid on time, there will be additional penalties and surcharges.

These things take time and require expertise. But the question is, do you have the time and expertise for all of these?

Lipana says when it comes to this stage, the buyer usually might not have the time and expertise to do this. He adds it would be advisable for a buyer to seek the help of experts or a company that deals with such issues and concerns.