Category Archives: Real Estate News

Amaia Scapes by Ayala Land: Where Your Dream House is Truly Affordable

PREAMBLE: If you are interested in knowing more about Amaia Land properties, please email me at lornadietzpr at gmail dot com.

Here I was, engaged in the marketing activities of the first-ever roadshow of Amaia Land by Ayala Land, Inc. in the United States. For two weeks in August 2013, I was either present at an event or working behind the scenes, helping out with the preparations and implementation of this marketing effort at AyalaLand International Marketing, Inc. (ALIM), the permanent office of Ayala Land, Inc. based at Seasons Marketplace at Landess in Milpitas, California.

Loren Sales, Sales General Manager of Amaia Land, together with Loreene S. Natividad, Associate Manager of Sales Operations more than capably handled the inquiries from interested investors and home buyers of prime international real estate in the Philippines. The questions came in fast and furious. What resonated best with the events’ attendees was Loren’s and Loreene’s mantra, “May dating!” (Loosely translated to “Truly authentic, innovative, and unique!”)

What perked my attention was the immense value for the price. I understood why Amaia Land is the most affordable real estate investment opportunity compared to her sisters, Ayala Land Premier, Alveo Land, and Avida Land. Its business model allowed the buyer to start with the minimun — then continue customizing his or her dream home (comfortably!) maybe to the tune of about US$2,000 in today’s pricing.

When I saw a photo of the interior of a “ready to move in” Amaia Scapes bungalow pod, I visualized the person who would be living there as someone who enjoyed the minimalist lifestyle, complete with multi-functional furniture. I could see a charming, intimate garden that was thoughtfully planted with some choice herbs (for my cooking) and delicate, fragrant blossoms that a gardener would be able to maintain when the occupant was traveling for work or pleasure. I had my hopes set on an expansion to a second floor when I had saved enough money.

What attracted me to Amaia Scapes, the house and lot offerings of Amaia Land, was that home didn’t mean “living inside a box.” The spaciousness of community living continued with outdoor space to enjoy the warmth of the sun or the gentle breeze in the late afternoon. I also liked the built-in presence of a gated community with 24/7 security.

Best of all, although I could visualize this piece of “home” as affordable rental property for one of Manila’s call center professionals, I could picture myself living here. When that day comes, I know I wouldn’t want to trek up and down some stairs (I’ll be older, that’s why.)

When the question was asked, “How large is it?” — I decided to showcase the size of a BUNGALOW POD because, with much will power, I can afford to pay under $200 a month (amortization) for 15 years.

Amaia Land - A Bungalow Pod at North Point (Illustration)

Amaia Land – A Bungalow Pod at North Point (Illustration)

“It’s SMALL!” someone remarked, obviously used to the HUGE homes in the USA.

I said to myself, “SMALL is good! Not much to clean. Saves on energy, too! I can make this work!”

I started my research by asking Bong Gutierrez, ALIM’s Country Manager, if he could showcase some interior designs for the bungalow pod that evoked more of a sleek, slightly industrial “feel” — instead of the tired-looking Provincial French furniture many Filipino homeowners seemed to prefer. Bong, who is a CAD specialist (computer-aided design), replied, “Absolutely!”

Bong, during our training session in Las Vegas, decided to wow us with the new dynamics of “small space living.” We were completely captivated!

He also reminded us that “If you will not be living there 24/7/365, then use enough space for your needs. You can always allocate the rest of your money for your retirement needs.” What this meant to me was that “SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL!”

This week, I was so energized by my Amaia Land roadshow experience that I decided to create my own content curation to help out investors. Yes, I am getting more and more inspired! Check out my curation after this blog posting!

If you’re like me — and you want to explore the world of Philippine real estate investment opportunities through Ayala Land, Inc. — then hit me up for more information. You can email me at LornaDietzPR at gmail dot com. Yes, I’ll make sure someone takes very good care of you!

Continue reading

HSBC Home Loan Sale at 6.99% per annum


Good thing I found out about HSBC latest home loan promo. Right now, the interest rate of my home loan is 9.5%. HSBC is offering 6.99% for 1 year period and 7.99% if you get a lock in period of 2 to 3 years.

For those of you who plan to buy a new home, this is a good rate. I remember the first home loan I got in year 2000 was from BPI Family bank. Interest rate was then 14% then it slowly decreased through the years. Buying your first home or upgrading your current dwellings is an exciting and daring venture for most. After all, buying or building a new home is a process that needs a lot of planning, patience, and most of all, money. But don’t let your financial limitations get in the way of your dream home – especially now that HSBC is offering an all-time low interest rate on their home loans.

If you apply for a home loan from HSBC between July 5 to September 30, 2010, you get to enjoy the following interest rates for 1-year, 2-year-, 3-year, or 5-year loans.

1 year: 6.99%
2 years: 7.99%
3 years: 7.99%
5 years: 8.99%

Aside from these amazing interest rates, HSBC will also waive the standard fees for the following:

Processing fee
Title verification service fee
Appraisal fee
Mortage Redemption Insurance premium *
Fire insurance premium *
Mortgage Registration Fee
Documentary stamp tax
Registry of deeds cancellation fees

* These fees will be waived for the first year only

Ask HSBC how they can help you attain the home of your dreams and achieve big savings in the process! Call (02) 85-800 or 976-8000 (Metro Manila), 1-800-1-888-8555 (provincial), or
+632-8580000 (abroad).
Continue reading

The Year of the Metal Tiger is an Auspicious Year

condo construction

Happy Chinese new year! According to feng shui experts, the Year of the Metal Tiger is a good year for the real estate industry. The earth will be the governing force of 2010, and real estate’s close association with the ground makes it off to a good start this year.

Non-feng shui experts also have favorable business forecasts for the year 2010. The Philippine real estate industry was fairly resilient in the face of the global financial crisis, and a number of developers boosted their budgets and launched a number of developments this year – many of them high end. For instance, Metrobank Group of Companies’ property arm will be constructing projects such as the third and fourth sector of the Marquinton Garden Terraces in Marikina, three more high-rise buildings in Binondo, Makati, and Fort Bonifacio. Eton Properties will be launching four to five new projects this year, including the Centris condominium, 8 Adriatico, and Eton Tower City. Finally, Robinsons’ Land Corp has the Signa Designer Residences in its lineup as well as affordable units at Gateway Regency.

Over the next four years, over 5,000 residential condo units will be completed in the Makati Central Business District. Outside this, around 20,000 condominium units will be available for selling and occupancy. With so many options and so many affordable payment schemes available, now is definitely a good time to invest in your own condominium!


Optimistic Real Estate Outlook for 2010

2009 was a year of calamities and the usual political turmoil, but the Philippines’ real estate sector remained resilient despite the financial crisis and developers continued to start new projects as a response to the market’s increasing demand. In fact, chairman of CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) Philippines Rick Santos says that most Philippine real estate companies remained profitable during the first three quarters of 2009, with SM Prime Holdings and SM Development Corp being the biggest players of the year. The latter group is SM group’s middle income residential condominium development, which reported a 1.3 billion net income during the first nine months of 2009. Other active players include Ortigas & Co. Phinma Properties, Rockwell Land, and Greenfield Development DMCI Homes.

The passage of the Philippines REIT Act of 2009 sees the accelerated growth of the property section as more investors come to the country for new opportunities. There are also a number of income generating assets that can be converted into real estate investment trusts, such as residential condominiums, office buildings, apartments, and tourism related facilities. As far as new business districts are concerned, CBRE Philippines vice chairman Joey Radovan says that BPO (business process outsourcing) companies are looking for cheaper office spaces. Cebu might be the next big thing in terms of the development of business districts, with major developments starting in Cebu City, Mandaue City, and Lapu-Lapu City. Ayala Land will also be developing a new IT park in Cebu City, in addition to the existing Asiatown IT Park and Cebu Business Park districts.

Getting Your Pag-Ibig Calamity Loan Approved


If your home was damaged by this year’s super-storms, you probably want to rebuild and make your house liveable once more. But you don’t have enough funds, so you approach Pag-Ibig and ask for their help. After all, they are the biggest calamity loan provider in the country. 600,000 Filipinos have turned to Pag-Ibig Fund to request for calamity loans and the good news is that most of their applications were approved. P9.3 billion has released by the home financing institution to date, and they anticipate disbursements to reach P10 billion by end of December 2009. So if you’re a card-carrying member of Pag-Ibig Fund, it’s very likely that you’ll get your calamity loan approved unless:

1) You have given less than 24 monthly contributions. This is the minimum number required for borrowers to qualify for a loan.

2) You have not been remitting your Pag-Ibig contributions and have become an inactive Home Development Mutual Fund Member. In order to qualify for a calamity loan, you should have made at least five monthly contributions in the last six months. If your loan gets approved, you and your employer need to keep remitting contributions throughout the duration of the loan term.

3) Your monthly net pay is lower than P3,000

If you do get your calamity loan approved, remember than the maximum term of loan repayment is 24 months.

Good luck!

Ondoy’s Aftermath: Implications for Philippine Real Estate Buyers

provident village

Aside from making sure that your home insurance covers the Acts of God clause, Typhoon Ondoy has one more important implication for Philippine real estate: from today onwards, new homebuyers will only consider elevated properties. People will now be more conscious about the safety features of the properties they plan to invest in, not so much safety from robbers and pollution, but from natural calamities.

Floods from previous typhoons usually affect marginalized sectors of the city and other areas located near rivers and creeks. In the news, we’ve seen how riverside neighborhoods in Pasig, Marikina, and Cainta were most heavily damaged by the flood. However, not all of these neighborhoods were poor; in fact, many middle-class villages like Providence were among the most badly hit by the flood. Even upper class neighborhoods in Metro Manila like Corinthian Gardens, Loyola Grand Villas, and North and South Forbes Park took their own hit from the flood. In other words, the city’s inferior drainage system, lack of urban planning, and increasing amounts of non-biodegradable wastes now make formerly flood-proof areas susceptible to flood damage.

Those who are looking to buy properties should make sure their new home is located on hills and elevated roads, or neighborhoods far from rivers and creeks. Although living in a condominium will generally keep your home and personal belongings safe from the flood, a condominium located in a flood-prone area will eventually accumulate structural damage and weaken over time. Make sure you verify that a property is flood-free before you buy or rent them, so that you don’t have to worry about losing your belongings or the lives of your loved ones.

Photo credit