A Boost to the Philippine Economy: Residential Resort Living in the Philippines Attracts the U.S. Market
August 5, 2003, San Francisco, CA — During the past few years, Bay Area Filipino Americans and residents have met Philippine real estate developers marketing their properties to interested buyers and investors. There were companies that studied the U.S. market within the past 10 years by doing roadshow presentations to iron out the difficulties in buying real estate in the Philippines. Some local real estate brokers worked with these developers to make the buying process a â€œone-stop shop in the U.S.A.â€
The collaborative efforts of established Philippine real estate developers and its U.S. partners, who are real estate brokers with Certified International Property Specialist designations by the National Association of Realtors and Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Association (CREBA) affiliations in the Philippines, can now be seen in renewed efforts to attract buyers in boosting the Philippine economy through its new offerings of properties with enhanced benefits.
These prime real estate developments had to be market-ready for U.S. clients who wanted the conveniences of the American consumerâ€™s lifestyle, temperate weather conditions, the availability of property management expertise, world-class facilities and amenities that included health care and assisted living, a relaxed country club atmosphere, and affordable financing arrangements.
As customersâ€™ tastes became more sophisticated, demanding more perks for their consumer dollars, innovative programs mushroomed to accommodate the aging baby boomer market who was thinking about retiring in the Philippines and Filipino Americans who wanted to rediscover their parentsâ€™ heritage in the Philippines. The developers borrowed some successful features from the vacation market. Vacation club memberships and time share ownerships, with the ability to trade vacation opportunities in almost 2,000 destinations through Interval International — a company that specializes in vacation exchanges, attracted the world adventurer. The retirees and investors also found the residential resort lifestyle an attractive option.
Selling foreign real estate in the U.S. market is not for everyone. Susan Barlin of Barlin International Group, the international division of Los Angeles-based Barlin & Associates Realty, who is busy preparing for Canyon Woods Residential Resortâ€™s grand entry into the San Francisco Greater Bay Area market on August 16, explains: â€œThis is more than just a business of selling real estate because if my intention is only to sell and make money, I will not even touch this project. It can be tedious, lengthy, and difficult. It could be frustrating due to time, horror stories in the past where people were burnt by buying properties with non-existent facilities, and the bad publicity the Philippines has had. We are selling pre-existing properties such as Canyon Woods. We are a country that has problems. As Filipinos, we know better. We simply are not exceptions to other countries, even the U.S. This real estate market is for those who are willing to help their â€œkababayan,â€ those who are ready to â€œgive backâ€ to their Filipino heritage, or those who want a second home in the Philippines. This is a clean cause. We are here to remind people that the Philippines is not heaven but it is close to paradise.â€
â€œCanyon Woods Residential Resort,â€ Barlin continues, â€œis reminiscent of San Francisco Bay Area weather. Since the property is focused on the importance of nature and health, its log cabins and country-style homes blend perfectly with the pine trees and foliage of a rustic setting.â€ The 193-hectare master-planned development that is laid out on a gently rolling terrain, classified as tourism-residential, is one of the most prestigious residential addresses in the Philippines today. An additional 100 hectares has also been slated for future expansion. Its outstanding resort club facilities include a 5-story 9,000 square metersâ€™ Main Clubhouse, customary hotel-standard lodgings, a Campsite Pavilion with a lagoon, and a 9-hole par 34 Executive Golf Course.
The developers had also maximized the selling features of its residential lots by preserving the landâ€™s natural contours without compromising the panoramic views of mountains and ridges, Taal Lake, Taal Volcano, Balayan Bay, and Batangas Valley. George Go, the president and CEO of Canyon Woods, who is also in San Francisco for the propertyâ€™s introduction in the U.S. market, points out that the residential blocks had been configured to reduce the need for â€œcut and fillâ€ and to take advantage of the environmentâ€™s characteristic formations. He adds, â€œMost of the propertyâ€™s lots face east so that you can wake up to the warmth of the morning sun.â€
Susan Barlinâ€™s group believes that there is an expanding market for real estate that caters to Filipinos who are planning to retire in the Philippines, whether half-time of full-time. She says, â€œWe have done our job when we help our clients celebrate the retirement years of their lives by offering them the beginnings of an exciting lifestyle.â€
Barlin International Group is extending an invitation to interested parties to attend its exclusive launching of Canyon Woods Residential Resort, luxury membership, retirement, and timeshare at a gala party on Saturday, August 16, 2003 from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at the San Francisco Airport Marriott. An RSVP is required to attend the event. Contact Ora Seyler at (650) 921-2171 or Monet or Alex at (310) 328-5968.
Contributed by: Lorna L. Dietz