Interested in buying real estate in Thailand? If this is your first time buying a home, read the tips below to make sure that all your bases are covered and you get the best property for your needs.
1) Know the Difference between Foreign and Thai Ownership
This is definitely the most important tip for those who are looking to buy real estate in Thailand. If you are a foreigner, know that it’s not possible to buy a house on your own, but you can buy one or more condo units, so long as 51% of the development is Thai-owned. If you are going to buy a condo with a Thai spouse, you can do so under Thai ownership or foreign ownership and there are benefits to both. Thai ownership may get you a lower price but this is because it can only be sold to a Thai national. Buying under foreign ownership will give you much more flexibility when it comes time to resell. Asbuying a condo in Thailand as a foreigner can get sticky, make sure you know what you’re doing before making any major commitments.
2) The Early Bird Gets the Worm
The sooner you know that a condo building or new development project is released, the sooner you can start viewing or inquiring about the units and the better unit you can get. Condo units vary in size, number of bedrooms, and sometimes even interior materials so you will want to cherry pick through your options to find a unit that you absolutely love. Take a look and make a decision before the rest of the market gets to it.
3) Predict Who Will Be Holding the Keys Years Later
Will you be the primary resident or do you intend on eventually renting the property out? If the former and the property is strictly for your use only, by all means shop around for the best deal. This may land you in a high-density development with units that are essentially all the same. If you are looking to invest in a property that will appreciate and provide a return on investment, look for more units that have unique selling features and will be faced with less competition when you want to sell or rent. This will also help you beat the market if there is an oversupply or low demand.
4) How Much Time Can You Dedicate to Being a Landlord?
If you are buying a condo in Thailand with the intention of living in it, there’s no reason to renting it out, you should consider the type of unit you are buying and how this will affect the likelihood and ease of renting. For example, a one bedroom with higher square meters will attract a longer term rental, which you can place a minimum of 6-12 months, leaving you with peace of mind that you don’t have to worry about the unit until the contract ends. If you buy a smaller apartment, you will more likely attract vacationers who won’t stay for as long. You also run the risk of having the condo go vacant during low season.
5) Understand Who’s Responsible for What
Before you commit to buying a condo or apartment in Thailand, make sure you are aware of what maintenance fees you will be expected to pay and how much the bills will cost you on average. Some developments require very low fees but expect that you will take care of the property. This is something to consider if you are going to rent the property out on a consistent basis, as a development with low involvement means more work for you. Also make sure you are aware of what the sinking funds are that will require you to contribute to development maintenance such as roof repairs of lobby renovations.
6) Bonus Tip: Being in Thailand Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Need a Lawyer
The above statement is a double negative, and what’s even more negative is not hiring a lawyer to help you with buying a property in Thailand! Make sure you cover your bases by having a professional who is knowledgeable about property laws help you and look over your contracts before signing anything. It could save you a lot of trouble in the future, especially if you plan on renting out or eventually selling the property.
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