If you’re planning to find your dream house in Manila, it’s the start of an exciting but possibly frustrating adventure! People liken it to finding the perfect life partner – you start off with a lot of conditions and expectations, but somehow you’ll know what’s right at first sight. But that’s where the similarity ends.
You can explore the properties in the neighborhoods of Manila through legwork, patience, research and a bit of luck. Or in one just short of perfect you can repair, renovate, rebuild or refurbish till you get it right. Living in Manila can be a wonderful experience, especially when you find the ideal home.
What’s It Like To Live In Manila?
Manila is one of the world’s most beautifully-planned cities and along with Metro Manila, encompasses almost everything you’d want. This is the most densely populated city in the world and features among the wealthiest cities in Southeast Asia. As the capital of the country, most government offices, educational and financial institutions are located here.
You can choose the kind of lifestyle that appeals to you. English is widely spoken, traffic can be nerve-racking, but the beautiful neighborhoods, friendly people, historical sites, shopping, sports facilities, exciting entertainment/night-life, amazing range of cuisines, affordable cost of living, access to house help all make this a great destination to put down roots in.
As An Expat, Is It Possible To Live In Manila?
With nearly 200,000 expats living in the Philippines in 2010, it’s a popular destination for both expat employees and retirees. The average cost of living is estimated to be around USD 1800-2000 per month for a family of four, and USD 600-800 for singles, minus rent.
Food costs are low, ranging from $4 for a meal at inexpensive restaurants to $20 for two at mid-range ones. Food and public transportation are low, utilities for a two-bedroom apartment $135, yearly fees for international school $7000. Rental depends on location/bedrooms, ranging from $565-8000 in the City Center. Average monthly salary after tax approximately $500.
Do’s And Don’ts In Manila
- Respect the country, its culture, history and people, especially elders: Filipinos are highly family-oriented.
- Visit the malls – they are among the biggest and best in the world.
- Enjoy the local food/entertainment/neighborhoods.
- Stay safe, enjoy the weather and diverse, cheaper transportation modes.
- Drink tap water
- Forget to read weather-reports: the Philippines is a tropical country
- Worry about your plans going awry: it’s a laid back country with lots of options: Arriving on time is considered rude.
- Laugh at someone’s karaoke skills: Karaoke is a serious national pastime
- Avoid too much haggling: this is one of the cheapest places in the world
Best Safest Places To Find Your Dream House
- Las Pinas City is a Class-One, highly-urbanized city in the Metro Manila area, with 50% of the land-area allotted for residential and 50% for commercial planning. Most people speak/understand English. It is a safe place as the crime index is quite low. Racial discrimination, hate crimes or religious fanaticism are extremely low.
However, you need protection against vandalism, theft, robbery, and drug-related crimes as these are of moderate concern. There are plenty of day-care centers, schools and colleges, historical buildings, proximity to central business districts, green spaces, good medical facilities. Pollution is low, great regional/international cuisines, and property values are appreciating.
- Quezon City or the City of Stars is the largest and most-populated urban centers in Metro Manila. It has a rich local culture and history, top-class educational facilities and is a shoppers’ paradise. You can avail of an amazing range of entertainment, local and international cuisines, ranging from street food to fine dining.
Quezon is a leader in medical facilities, with great employment and business opportunities. Good transportation and connectivity, convenient access to government facilities and high real-estate values make it an attractive destination. Safety was a concern earlier, but now the government has taken major steps to fix the problem.
3: Taguig City is part of Metro Manila and is best known for containing BGC (Bonifacio Global City) the second-most important business/tourism/shopping/entertainment center here. BGC is known as an upscale area to live in and one of the safest areas in Manila due to heavy enforcement, though other parts of Taguig City are a mixture of low income group housing and traffic snarls.
Taguig is divided into several “barangays” or districts that have their own character and charm. It has prestigious educational institutions, historical sites, a mix of local and international cuisines, great malls, contemporary art and music, thriving entertainment industry, good transportation facilities.
4: San Juan City one of the 16 cities that comprise Metro Manila, San Juan City is known as the Town of Philippine Presidents with 4 out of 16 presidents coming from here. It is also known for its annual St John the Baptist Festival. It has great residential neighborhoods, sports facilities, art and culture, shopping areas, historical sites and educational facilities.
Real estate is affordable and classy, transportation is good and reliable and this is a great place to start your own business. It has a booming economy and is a thriving financial district known to be quiet and peaceful with good safety and security features.
5: Pasig City: The City of Pasig is another feather in the cap of Metro Manila. This first-class urbanized city is primarily residential and industrial with the increasing popularity of commercial enterprises. Divided into 30 Barangays, the city hosts several warehouses, factories, commercial facilities etc. Sports and educational facilities abound here, and the city is well-connected by rail, road and river transport.
Its public safety project has been named as one of the most outstanding in the Asia Pacific belt. The city’s Smart Public Safety Management System project has won several awards. There are thriving, safe and well-maintained residential complexes with top business districts and retail spaces.
You could be living out the dreams of millions of people when you decide to set up your dream house in Manila. The city and its extensions known as Metro Manila that make up the National Capital Region are prime property investments in the country.
Apart from this, the quality of life is great here, with rich cultural, historical and culinary experiences, along with world-class educational and sports facilities, a great blend of busy and quiet neighborhoods, thriving financial/business hubs and excellent medical facilities. Several high-tech, modern smart city projects have been launched here. All you need now is to draw up the plans for your dream home!