Could you live in Asia? It’d be likely…

Could you live in Asia? It'd be likely...

The other day a mate and I managed to get ourselves into dreaming up scenarios of living in Asia. That didn’t just come out of nowhere. He currently finds all the time in the world and is taking a stride on the easy side after a reasonably fat company cash payout. So, it’s not exactly credit crunch mood in his department. One thing having the odd grand stashed away in the bank is that it gets your grey matter thinking about what to do with it. As he’s got no reservations against Asia, or Asians for that matter, we came up with the conclusion that combining that extra dosh with some of the savings would either find him a cosy city apartment or potentially doing that notorious morning beach jog on some deserted island.

Not too bad a prospect you’d think, but as with everything, there’s the small print. Of course, while the money we are talking about wouldn’t buy you a house or flat anywhere in our downtown hemisphere – in numerous Asian locations it certainly would. Mentally still salivating over the idea, I started looking at random property sites that cover Asia. While living the illusion of becoming a real estate assets owner, I started coming across some interesting insights and setbacks.

None of us at is a property specialist, but it’s interesting to see what someone suffering from Asian Yellow Fever might be willing to get him/herself into. Personally, being a bit of a Philippines fan, I checked out some related properties and didn’t shy away from the worst of the worst either. Well, got to admit, at times even the ugly side of things has something adorable to it, or maybe it’s just part of the adventurous element. Check out the hole in the shot below – it’s for real. You may not have a problem following someone there to hit up some weird party bash, but to actually live there, more than doubtable. Considering that you may not even make it through the first night alive, this 1 bedroom flat on the 3rd floor in a housing block in Taguig City, a district in Manila, would set you back about £12,000 / 19,000$ / 14,300€. Few splashes of paint should sort it out right?

Hell hole property in Manila

Few splashes of paint and a pump gun will see you survive here.

Personal safety is an issue, so it’s not surprising that you find tons of high risers in the cities, some more exclusive than others. From what friends tell me, the monthly rent for a good 1 bedroom flat in a secure tower block would cost you around £350 / 550$ / 420€, depending on the area of course, so we are excluding High-Roller locations such as Fort Bonefacius. Now, I’d say this is pretty cheap. Imagine yourself in a position where you could work mobile from there. You would be laughing, earning 2-3 times or more the average salary over there.

Residential high risers in Manila

Asia in general has a collection of some stunning high risers, lots of them residential.

True, there are lots of dubious property firms messing investors around and related stories, so any amounts here are of course just average figures. Amongst other locations I guess the same may apply to certain developments unfolding on the island of Carabao, which is next to party haven Boracay. They are really advertising cosy beach apartments that will cost you around £30,000 / 47,600$ / 35,900€ or pay around £500 / 790$ / 600€ for 60 months. It really gets one hallucinating about entering paradise… Sunshine, beaches, parties, great food and cheap drinks – what more do you want?

A private beach on Carabao island in the Philippines

Nothing wrong with a bit of private beach. Behind, a village of apartments. Well, there will be.

However, it may not come as a surprise to some, but would you have expected that a foreign national cannot own land over there? The Philippines is not the only place where this law applies. Digging a bit deeper, it turns out that you can only own 40% of the property. Well along those lines anyway. That kinda sucks, if you’re thinking long term, but I guess it’s a measure to stop the western world buying up all the land in one breath. Of course, you could always get married to a local and put the property in her/his name. You may even enjoy that for a few years, but just imagine what happens when divorce knocks on the door. I didn’t actually bother researching that, I already got the sweats.

Read on for advice and our experiences in the Asian Travel Journal.

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