What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
Wish I had brought: Golf clubs, Ecco shoes, long sleeve polos, a few decent wide brimmed hats, and golf shoes (really).
Wish I had left: Scuba gear (no fish, no corals), a few pair of long pants, dress shoes, prescriptions, short sleeve polos.
What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
You can view homes on line! Contracts are usually in English, Most people are polite here. So be polite. Put yourself in their place. They are trying to make a living, too. Choose a place with security. When you find a side of town you prefer, drive around the neighborhood. Our first year everyone on our street had dogs and chickens. Very noisy at night. Subdivisions and condos have animal laws so you can get some sleep!
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
Fairly typical for city life; 2br condo, weight room, pool, kiddie pool, wifi, AC, hot water, furnished, elevators. Most expats have either a decent condo with amenities, build/buy a house or rent in subdivisions. Some choose the subdivisions with clubhouse and pool. Those are more room, usually also furnished with wifi. We had a house for a year. It was nice but more money and it usually takes a car. That means driver's license at the DMV (LTO here), insurance, repairs, gas and all the other goodies. You can taxi anywhere in Davao for $5. It's a consideration.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
We found a corner 2br condo (pool) on facebook under Davao House Rent. The neighborhood is central to most things; malls, easy taxi service, resto’s, Security is a must.
Remember expats cannot own land. That is important if you are going to build.
Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
Housing costs run about 40% of US prices and are usually furnished with linens and silverware (flatware). Most have a few cups and plates to get you going, a rice cooker, micro, fridge and a pot and pan are almost always included!
We buy a few things as we need them.