Beware of: Lancaster Suites Cebu, PCPI, PPGI, Pacific Concord Properties Inc, EGI

30Nov06

There are many developers and sellers that will quickly make your hard earned money disappear in Cebu (like many places around the world). You will get lots of promises and claims…

Therefore, we have put together a simple guide to buying a condominium apartment property in Cebu. If you follow these simple steps you will minimize problems:

1. Retain a reputable lawyer

2. Make sure that you have a copy of the CCT (cond0minium certificate of title) when BUYING the property.

3. If buying in an existing development for investment purposes, see if the developer is willing to give you 5% + as a guaranteed return per year on your buying price. If not, walk away. As there are developers / operators in CEBU that offer guaranteed returns.

4. As to speak to at least 3 EXISTING clients of the person / company you are buying from to hear there comments on the performance of the developer/ seller, and whether or not they have received a TITLE in their names.

5. If the developer/ seller is NOT willing to pay for late delivery of the unit – DON’T deal with them. A company that pays for being late IS one you can trust.

6. Make sure of the quality of what you are getting. Be careful if the developer is selling apartments with furniture/ fittings and can back up important claims. Go see their final product at the project and look for the warning signs below:

Warning signs:

a) Usage of contact laminate (sticky back wood veneers) on doors, walls, kitchens, cabinets etc. This is the cheapest method to make something look good but will quickly bubble and lift; making it an expensive “after sale” improvement at your expense.

b) Use of wood veneer flooring (as it will lift, is easy for termites etc. to penetrate and make noise when you walk on it.

c) Curtains – make sure that they are not thin and without a separate backing to reduce sunlight.

d) Coffee tables, side tables, wardrobes etc. make sure that these are made from solid wood that is lacquered – to avoid scratches. A cheap trick by developers / sellers is to provide the cheapest, thinnest wood and stain. Needless to say, you are buying something that looks good on the outside but you will pay for it later… Also take note that wardrobes are painted on the inside.

e) You should ask to see a show flat. Ask how long the show flat / apartment is. Check to see if any: paintwork is flaking, cracks in walls/ ceilings, etc. Check water pressure and visually inspect flooring.

f) Ask for workmanship guarantees. There should be a standard 2 year guarantee (with a clause stating how long before the problem will be attended).

g) Always pay money to a lawyer’s escrow account. Not a bank account with ANY relationship of the developer/ seller or that they claim is “escrow”.

Escrow by definition is a third parties account and normally this is done via a lawyer’s bank account NOT A BANK ACCOUNT with a bank – a bank cannot be an escrow agent, unless their is an independent party involved (usually a lawyer). A true escrow account has specific instructions about the release of funds which are usually administered by a lawyer. These should be NOT NEGOTIABLE once agreed. Anything other than a lawyer’s account is a BIG warning sign.

h) If the developer/ seller claims to have rental returns or “condo-tel” operations, ask to see their other rental operations returns. Chances are they will be all based on future operations. If a developer / seller cannot show you an existing operation – Walk away from the deal. Chances are you are being led down a very dark path…

7) If the developer/ seller claims to have facilities or is selling you an existing project note the following:

a) Carefully check their marketing material and what the pictures look like and compare it to what is on site. If there is a gross difference – be careful – ask the seller/ developer when they first started marketing the property. If the property doesn’t look like the pretty pictures you have been shown and the time frame they have been selling is more than 6 months… THINK TWICE about investing. Chances are that your developer / seller is under financed.

b) Check for newspaper articles (or do google searches) and claims that the developer / seller has made on completion dates of facilities etc.

8) Our best advise of all is that if your buying for an investment return – buy from a company that gives you the option for guaranteed rental returns in writing.

9) Another important check: see if your developer has made any past claims (promises) or has negative reports in the newspapers, tv, internet, checking with other people on the site etc. Most importantly, a very bad sign is pending legal action against the company. You can quickly validate any claims by asking around via your lawyer, past buyers, etc.

Other Important Notes:

We have already found many negative media and ongoing buyer reports and/ or pending legal claims (both criminal and corporate) against the following companies below (we also advise checking with the H.L.U.R.B.) to see if your developer/ seller has had any action against them. :

Primetown Property Group Inc., (PPGI), E.G.I. Properties, Pacific Concord Properties Inc. (PCPI) which also operates/ trades under “Lancaster Suites”, or “Lancaster Cebu”,

As a responsible blog, if you wish to clarify the multiple cases filed against the above companies, pending legal claims or you have a potential claim against them; There are a number of lawyers in both Cebu and Manila that are handling multiple cases against the above companies and maybe able to help you.

In Cebu you could contact: Atty. Ronald Bacquiano ph. +63 32 422 6165 email: rsb_lawyer@yahoo.com in Manila: Atty. Rosario Ganitano ph. +63 919 481 6450

We would welcome you to list any other companies that you have had a bad experience with so we can check and if validated, we will also post on this growing list.

In the meantime, we hope to have shined a light on some of the darkness that unfortunately exists in some developers/ sellers in this market.

Happy condo hunting.

Thanks, Cebu Property

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One Response to “Beware of: Lancaster Suites Cebu, PCPI, PPGI, Pacific Concord Properties Inc, EGI”

  1. Hi, this is a comment.
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