Buying a Taiwanese Pad (Take 2)

I am interested to hear if anyone here has decided to take the plunge and buy a place in Taiwan. For long termers it is probably a tempting ploy, as rent for a whole apartment probably isnt that different from a mortgage for one. But clearly there are some issues!! It will basically be in your local partner’s name, so you really need to trust them, right!! And what if there is a crash in the property market and the value of your place goes down - you would find yourself in negative equity. Is the Taiwanese property market stable? I had a friend who bought a place with a roof top above it. He lived in the rooftop place while he rented out the bottom place. The rent for that place basically covered the mortgage.

I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences!!

Cheers

go and see a finance co / real estate agent first. monthly rentals V repayments are not similar. This is the reason we decided not to buy but rather invest in property back home in oz.

the market here is very unforgiving, unless you choose to live out of town. city prices are mad.

for example - we looked at an apartment @ NT$8 million for investment purposes. repayments were NT$45k a month and there was no way this place could be rented for more than 28.

yeah, i will maybe stick to renting!!

We rented a 2br 23ping place for NT$20K a month for 5 years… then when the owner got a shiny new 4WD car, we deceided it was about time to buy.

We now live in a 3br 26ping place, currently paying interest only at a measly NT$6K. After 3years will increase to NT$14K…

My feeling is even if we don’t make any money on the property we will save on rent. Interest rates are so low that when we move oversea will most likely keep it and rent…

So the place is in my wifes name on paper… i trust her, she’s my wife… place in the UK will be in my name only so it all works out… I only wish we had done it years ago… then i would be the one driving around in the new 4WD.

A foreigner can buy property in Taiwan if a Taiwanese national can buy property in their country. The old reciprocal agreement thingy again … what you do to us we’re gonna do back to you!

I am considering buying an apartment here and have started threads in this regard on Forumosa. As with all property, location is the key … the rest is up to your personal perference. We’re thinking of buying in Luzhou which is in Taipei Counyt and still relatively cheap (granted, its not the prettiest of suburbs at the moment). It’s just across the river from Shilin and will have its own MRT line completed by 2009. We’re thinking that property in Luzhou is gonna go the same way as that in Zhong Her has gone in the past 5 years…

Hope it helps and good luck!

teggs

Yeah, I’m having a (luckily good) brush with the reciprocal agreement thing for buying a house. My state in America allows Taiwanese to buy property, so I can buy here. Apparantly I can buy, but not sure about the bank loan. We’re buying a new house from a house company, and they tell us that I can borrow all the money Myself for the house. I was really surprised to hear this. They say I don’t even need a baoren (guarantor). This is news to me…but I’m not arguing.

We decided to go this route because of my wifes slight credit problem. House company seems to think it would be better for us to take out the loan in my name b/c of a better chance of approval.

So question here. How does all of that sound? I never thought all that was possible. Laws changing? Also, if I (we) buy the house this way, does that mean everything (house & property) is in MY name? I’m getting my JFRV in two days; so that’s where I stand legally here.

Anyone’s Wisdom?

oZzo

I’ve heard there is a recipricol agreement Taiwan has with other Nations. Taiwan grants citizens for some countries to purchase land here. What I need to know , is if Canada is one of them.

If not…well… means I have to figure out something else to do with my money.

is joint ownership possible?

Yes. I think the problem comes with getting the loan. Usually the loan will be in your SO’s name, so the house is as well.

When buying from those haven’t been built places (those places with the demo houses), some of them seem to have some kind of group loan thing that anyone is eligible for (at least that’s what I was told at one of them.)

Basically, when you buy a unit, you make a down payment and make monthly payments starting at a certain time. In the 2 or so years it takes to build the house you will have paid up a nice down payment and will have “built credit” with the bank that’s backing the project (or something like that.)

But yes, having a house in your or both names is not a problem (unless it’s country specific, I’m from the US.)

Just don’t use your rules from back home and think everything will work out here. Seems obvious but I fell into the trap anyway.

  1. The deal is not really a done deal until the final money changes hands. Much like the rest of Taiwan, things can shift around until the last moment.

  2. Big one for me. In Australia we sell with fixtures and fittings remaining in place. Simple, if it is screwed onto the house it stays with the house. The Taiwanese take everything with them, I’m suprised they stop at doors and windows and walls. Why not keep going?

The bizarre thing is they strip the A/C’s, light fittings and water heaters and do a merry go round and all have to put them up again in the next place.

The cost of taking them down and putting them up again obviously outweighs the benefit but that’s the system.

[quote=“miltownkid”]
But yes, having a house in your or both names is not a problem (unless it’s country specific, I’m from the US.)[/quote]

But, as stated by Ironman, the house is not yours until the final payment is made; until then, it can only remain registered to the holder of the mortgage and is, effectively, property of whoever you pay your mortgage to. :idunno:

[quote=“citizen k”][quote=“miltownkid”]
But yes, having a house in your or both names is not a problem (unless it’s country specific, I’m from the US.)[/quote]

But, as stated by Ironman, the house is not yours until the final payment is made; until then, it can only remain registered to the holder of the mortgage and is, effectively, property of whoever you pay your mortgage to. :idunno:[/quote]

Sorry, but this is incorrect, Taiwan like most western countries allows the mortgage provider the ability to first claim on the property in the event of non payment or first claim to monies in the event of a sale. The mortgage provider does not own the property, that ownership is held by the morgagee.

With regard to renting or owning i would say location is the key, if you want to live in mid taipei then renting is likely to work out far cheaper, but if you are prepared to look slightly further afield then often buying is no more expensive than renting, plus you get the benefit of an asset that may appreciate in value.

[quote=“Traveller”][quote=“citizen k”][quote=“miltownkid”]
But yes, having a house in your or both names is not a problem (unless it’s country specific, I’m from the US.)[/quote]

But, as stated by Ironman, the house is not yours until the final payment is made; until then, it can only remain registered to the holder of the mortgage and is, effectively, property of whoever you pay your mortgage to. :idunno:[/quote]

Sorry, but this is incorrect, Taiwan like most western countries allows the mortgage provider the ability to first claim on the property in the event of non payment or first claim to monies in the event of a sale. The mortgage provider does not own the property, that ownership is held by the morgagee.[/quote]

Exactly the reason I qualified my statement by saying effectively; if being able to say that you own something that someone else has first claim over gets you through the day, well whatever make you feel good, I suppose…The point, in keeping with Tempo Gain’s question and miltownkid’s answer, is that the mortgage holder cannot transfer or share ownership, say with a spouse, until all mortgage payments are finalised.

I talked to my bank…they said since I am an employee at a Taiwanese company, and am a US citizen, make stable income, there is no problem with them giving me a loan on a house. I don’t need any guarantor or anything. They will ask for 15% downpayment and will give me 85% of the house cost for mortgage.

That’s great, but make sure you get a decent interest rate.

Having recently bought a house I agree with AWOL and Traveller that generalyl it will be cheaper to rent than to buy. But if you pay a mortgage for 20 years, you;'ve got a house. If you pay rent for 20 years you’ve got nothing. Taofangs can be good investments though. We own one which pays about 150% of the mortgage and has gone up about 30% in 3 years.

Yes, it is possible to get house and mortgage in your own name, but you are almost certain to end up paying more interest and having to pay a higher deposit. Try Fubon bank if you want to get a mortgage a sa foreigner. Although we ended up using my wife’s name, Fubon seemed the most promising for foreigners. You’ve really got to shop around for mortgages the bank might say one thing one day (“sure we’ll lend you 80%”) and one thing the next (“the most we can lend you is 60%”). A bit of guanxi really helps withthe mortgages. Ask around. In the end we only managed to get one, in the nick of time, through a recommmendation from my boss.

Brian

[quote=“wayneowen”]I am interested to hear if anyone here has decided to take the plunge and buy a place in Taiwan. For long termers it is probably a tempting ploy, as rent for a whole apartment probably isnt that different from a mortgage for one. But clearly there are some issues!! It will basically be in your local partner’s name, so you really need to trust them, right!! And what if there is a crash in the property market and the value of your place goes down - you would find yourself in negative equity. Is the Taiwanese property market stable? I had a friend who bought a place with a roof top above it. He lived in the rooftop place while he rented out the bottom place. The rent for that place basically covered the mortgage.

I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences!!

Cheers[/quote]

We have bought and sold property here on a limited basis. It has always been profitable but the timing is key. We just sold a place near Monkey Mountain and while we made a profit it would have been much better if we had sold a couple of years ago. It didn’t help that the man we were renting to died in the apartment.

We have lived in the same place for about the last 12 years and have outright owned it for 9 (three years of grief and it was all over). The value of the place itself has dropped but rent free for that period of time is nice. Plus we use the place to finance other projects…ie. second mortgage.

I have done two very stupid things in the real estate market here. I didn’t buy in Kending when it was nothing and I didn’t buy a place that was rentable to a business.

I still kick myself with that Kending business…we thought about it and knew that it might be something but we just didn’t follow through. I should know better than to ignore the little voice inside my head. :doh:

Most importantly, if you don’t mind… which bank, and what do you do?

Yesterday, we went to look for houses across the river in san xia, near the new location for Taipei University. Great area, Taichung like wide roads and sidewalks! Sidewalks I say! And still 10 minutes from the school.

Seems like a good area to buy now, as the MRT will go right through the property in 5-10 years.

The next question: have any of you home buyers gotten a home owners’ loan, using your newly purchased/mortgaged home as colateral?

I bought an appartment in Taipei city, with a mortgage from HSBC. No guarantor, I have an ARC…needed to be quite persuasive though. House goes into your name before the mortgage is agreed…I put a clause into the contract giving myself an exit if the mortgage didn’t come through. I was also asked to write an IOU for the balance in case I disappeared with the deeds before the final payments were made. Funny kind of negotiations indeed.

My advice is find a friendly, trustworthy real estate agent…most seem to be sharks…I was lucky.

Best bet is to put some money down too, so rental income can cover the mortgage if necessary, although we don’t always have the luxury of the spare cash. Yields on a full mortgage won’t cover the mortgage.