We’ve done it. Reached our first milestone on the Journey to Samal. No, not the first milestone on the blog, but the first milestone on the actual journey to living on Samal Island.

What is it? Well it’s the ownership of the land we committed to buying back in 2008, which in turn was the impetus for this blog. We don’t have the title yet, that’s another story and I guess might be milestone 2 or maybe 1A, but we have finished paying for the land where we expect to build our home. Our last payment was sent this weekend.

I’ve always found it funny here in the US when they ask you if you rent or own your home. Almost nobody actually owns their home, the bank or lending institution does, but that’s how it’s termed here. I actually do own my home, for a second time but that’s another story, too. I won’t own our home on Samal. By Philippine law I can’t.

We’ll be picking up all our physical receipts and paperwork when we visit. We already have copies of the receipts, as the seller has been scanning those and emailing them to us each month, along with the outstanding balance. For the most part that arrangement has worked out pretty well. Communication hasn’t been perfect, but as businesses seem to go there, it hasn’t been bad.

Our title has been in processing for quite awhile now. There have been a few hurdles, but since we didn’t have the land paid for I wasn’t too concerned. I also understand that it can take quite some time to get the a title processed in the Philippines. I still hope that ours is complete by the time we visit and we can get the whole thing wrapped up. There is still the matter of the title transfer fee, which is quite a bit more than I had imagined.

We also hope to have the land surveyed and partially cleared before we arrive. If not before, then shortly there after. We’d like to put up a barb wire fence to help keep people off, and to give us an idea of the boundary lines. We’ll see if all that is too optimistic for the short time we are there.

Now all we need to do is start saving for the house we want to build!

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/atoach/1433809857/

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