Real Estate Vocabulary In Tagalog: Everything You Should Know – 30+ Best Vocab

Real Estate Vocabulary in Tagalog

The real estate industry can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the terminology. And if you’re in the Philippines, knowing the real estate vocabulary in Tagalog will come in handy, I can assure you. Whether you’re a buyer, seller, or simply a bakasyonista (visitor) looking to get the best deal possible for your vacations, knowing your way in the real estate vocabulary in Tagalog is definitely a plus. Let’s learn about that here!

Planning to retire to the Philippines? Unlike in the U.S., where closing a deal for your desired real estate property can be done within two days or less, purchasing a piece of land (depending on the region) can be more complicated in this country. Usually, you’re not just dealing with the property owners but also with associations where they’ll discuss the fair market value of the land, local transfer tax, capital gains tax, and the type of deed available. And if this is your first time, trust me when I say I know how you feel!

As someone who has been through the process of finding accommodation in the Philippines, I can attest to the importance of understanding a few words in Tagalog related to real estate. I remember that, during my last trip to Coron, Palawan, I wanted to book one of those paradisiacal houses on stilts hanging over crystal clear blue water, wholly isolated from the world. I bet you’ve seen that on the internet somewhere. Thus, I wanted to live what I’ve seen on Instagram.

Luckily, I had locked and loaded a few words in Tagalog about this type of accommodation to rent one for myself. I was also helped by a lovely Filipino lady that made everything she could to get me what I wanted, but I want to believe that a big part of her effort was because I impressed her with my Tagalog!

To help you during your next trip to the Philippines, or even if you’re planning on calling this beautiful country home, we’ve compiled a list of essential vocabulary in Tagalog related to real estate that you’ll definitely find useful. From common terms like lupa (land) and bahay (house) to more specific phrases like kontrata (contract) and pagbabayad (payment), this guide will give you a wide view of several real-estate-related terms.

As you embark on the Filipino journey, keep this vocabulary list handy to help you get the best deal possible. 

How To Say House/Home In Tagalog

Ready to ace your real estate transaction in the future? Here’s the first set of translations to learn!

This should be the start of every article about real estate – the two most important words about this topic are bahay and tahanan. Both these words are associated with house or home, but they are used to express slightly different situations.

The word bahay is used to refer to the actual physical structure where people live in. It can mean house, but it is also associated with any other accommodation type, such as apartments, villas, or other types. As an example, the phrase “ang bahay ko ay maliit” means “my house is small”.

The word tahanan is used with a more emotional and sentimental connotation because it refers to the place where one feels a sense of belonging, where you have friends and family, or home. For example, “ang tahanan ko ay sa Pilipinas means “my home is in the Philippines”.

It’s important to note that you can use them both in the same context and that it would still make sense, “ang bahay na ito ay magiging tahanan ko,” which means “this house will be my home.”

Can You Buy A House In The Philippines?

Well, this is a somewhat complex question to answer. The short answer is yes, foreigners are allowed to buy property in the Philippines. However, there are certain restrictions that you have to have in mind.

Under Philippine law, foreigners are not allowed to own land. However, they are allowed to own personal property in the form of condominium units and other types of property, such as apartments, townhouses, and commercial spaces, as long as these properties are located in buildings that have been registered with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).

Another way foreigners can own land in the Philippines is through corporations. These corporations are called “Philippine Domestic Corporations” or “Filipino-Owned Corporations” and must be registered in the Philippines, with at least 60% of the corporation’s shares being owned by Filipino citizens.

As you can see, there are ways you can own land in the Philippines. However, I advise you to consult with legal professionals and real estate agents familiar with the laws and regulations regarding foreign ownership in the Philippines to ensure that you comply with all laws and regulations.


30+ Useful Real Estate Vocabulary In Tagalog

Let’s now look at some other vocabularies that might be useful if you’re looking into getting accommodation in the Philippines. Keep this list next to you if you need to check it quickly during a conversation with your real estate broker.

BedroomSilid tulugan
Home InspectionInspeksyon ng bahay
Lawyer /AttorneyAbogado
Mortgage LoanUtang sa bahay
Square-MetersMga metro kuwadrado
WineryGawaan ng alak
Wire TransferWire Transfer

Let’s Put These Into Practice: Conversation Examples

These are a few examples of a conversation where several words are used in Tagalog.

Example 1

Person 1: Hello, binebenta ba itong bahay? – Hello, is this house for sale?

Person 2: Oo nga! Mayroon itong 3 silid-tulugan at 2 banyo. Mayroon ding hardin at garahe. – Yes, it is! It has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. There’s also a garden and a garage.

Person 1: Oh, mahal na mahal ko ito! Available din po ba itong paupahan? – Oh, I love it so much! Is it also available to rent? 

Person 2: Oo! Kailangan mo lang magbayad ng 2 buwang upa nang maaga bilang paunang bayad. – Yes! You just have to pay 2 month rent in advance as a down payment.

Person 1: Perpekto! Kakausapin ulit kita bukas! – Perfect! I’ll talk to you again tomorrow!

Example 2

Person 1: Kakalipat ko lang sa bagong bahay. Grabe ang nangungupahan ko, hinayaan pa niya akong dalhin ang aso ko! – I just moved into a new house. My tenant is so good, he even let me bring my dog!

Person 2: Galing! Naghahanap ako ng bagong bahay ngunit hindi ako makaalis hangga’t hindi ko nababayaran ang aking sangla. – Awesome! I’m looking for a new house but I cannot move out until I pay my mortgage.

Person 1: Ay masama iyan. May isa pang bahay na available sa tabi ko. Mayroon itong malaking sala na maaliwalas! – Oh that’s too bad. There’s is another house available next to mine. It has a huge living room with so much natural light!

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