I read through the postings here and every so often see mention of someone having a house built while they’re still overseas. Everybody’s circumstance is different but it seems unwise to not be on hand to make regular inspections during construction. I had a house built here in the States and had I not be watching the construction closely things would have been messed up worse than they were anyway. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have 7000 miles separating me from the contractor. Another thing I come across is people building “western” style homes in the Philippines. Excessive floor space, central air conditioning, maid's quarters, swimming pools, etc.. Wouldn’t it be better to build something more modest? 1. It attracts less attention. 2. It’s cheaper 3. It’s easier to maintain I could come up with more reasons like more energy efficiency, sustainability, etc. but that’s a start. The money issue should be a big consideration. Maybe these people feel like they have plenty of money or they’re confident their homeland government will always be able to pay their pension, social security or whatever you want to call it. Under the present global economic conditions I can’t put faith in any government’s ability to make good on their commitments in the upcoming decades. If things go completely loco how long will your savings last living this way? Like I said, everyone has different circumstances and perspectives but for me these things don’t make sense.