If a new member, sorta assume new resident. Strongly second the idea of renting for a year or so. We visited in 2015 for a month, moved here in mid-2016, and although researching since day one, didn't get serious until after 12 months. I heard about a guy who spent 12 million on a small lot and junk one storey house that he found on the internet, then dumped another couple mil into renovations (probably just a rumor or more money than brains)... A few notes: Valencia will be nicer than Dmgt, better gummint, services, and 5 degrees cooler and cleaner air and less traffic... BUT be prepared to pay for that. Be careful about Bacong, the mayor had a hand grenade tossed into her front yard... FIRST; decide how big a lot, 100 square meters, 500, 1000, 5k, 10k, >1 hectare ?? Be VERY CAREFUL ABOUT TITLE OR TENANTS. If an agricultural tenant exists, RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN. Be sure to pay for a good real estate attorney to look at everything. I know people who bought a lot soon after arriving and before they even built, decided it was too small. It will be a hell of a lot easier to buy an existing house, then renovate it, than to try to build from scratch. Be careful about contractors, and never pay for anything except some materials up front. Look for good layout and good location. SET your budget and how much you want to put into a property. ASSUME that once you are there, you WILL NOT be able to sell it ever, unless it's a nipa hut. Also, we never looked at a subdivision except for tierra alta. If you do, be prepared to pay higher per sq mtr than raw lots. We found a nice lot for 400 per sq, but it broke some of the above rules (long story)... I'm sure people can add to this.