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Buying Property

Foreign Ownership - Condominiums

The relatively new condominium law allows 49% of the units to be owned by foreigners in their own name (freehold) and the remaining 51% has to be owned by Thai's, meaning a condo unit cannot be sold to a foreigner (except foreigner to foreigner transfer) if the total foreign ownership level is over 49%. Buying in foreign name is the best route to take and requires little legal advice providing you submit all the correct paperwork at the Land Office on the day the condo is transferred into your name. Some developers will offer you large discounts to buy in company orThai name however you must view this discount over the long term. If you are buying the condo to live in yourself and may wish to re-sell in the future you are best advised to buy only in foreign name as it will be far easiier to sell, however if you are buying with income return from rental in mind, over a long period of years, then may be it is worth consideringbuying in company or Thai name to obtain as much discount as possible for your outlay.

Land Ownership

Basically, Thai law does not allow a foreigner in any way to own land in Thailand but they can own or lease the buildings upon the land plot. There are two exceptions to this law. (1) If a foreign company has Board of Investment ("B.O.I.") approval and the land is part of the project (usually manufacturing) but still the ownership is tied in with the overall B.O.I. terms. (2) A new law (Land Code Section 96, 2002) allows a foreigner to buy up to one rai plot of land for his or her residential purposes in areas such as Bangkok or Pattaya, providing they invest a minimum of 40 million Baht in government bonds for five years into recognised property, mutual funds or B.O.I. projects. Permission for such a land purchase must be obtained from the Interior Ministry and the ownership is closely scrutinised the Lands Department.

For more detailed information on foreign ownership for condo's and land, please check our Legal Advice section.

Land Measurements

Thai land measurements at first look a little confusing but are fairly simple - a combination of both imperial and metric measurement systems. All title deeds here (Chanotes) are in Thai and all measurements are made using the Thai system also written in Thai, therefore it is beneficial for you to be familar with the system if you are thinking of buying property or land here. Below you'll find a quick comparison between the two and this will help you gain a better understanding.

  • Wah = 2 Metres
  • 1 Sq Wah is called a Talangwah = 4 Sqm
  • 100 Talangwah = 1 Ngan = 400 Sqm
  • 4 Ngan = 1 Rai = 1600 Sqm = 400 Talangwah

Buying Property In Thailand

You have decided to buy your dream home in Thailand - but what next? The maze of legal bureaucracy, the sales negotiations and worrying about your deal falling through, on top of actually searching for the home of your dreams from the thousands available on the market is enough to make anyone's life a nightmare.

Here in Thailand the real estate agents services and advice are FREE (yes free!) to the buyer or the tenant, you do not pay and commission or fees to the agent acting on your behalf to secure the sale or rental, the seller or the landlord are responsible for the paying any commission due to the agent.

Buying a property, to most people, is one of the biggest financial decisions that you will make in your life. It can be a lengthy and complicated business, which while exciting is often fraught with stress and worry. But luckily there is a lot of good professional advice around and we here at Pattaya & Jomtien Property will be with you all the way through the buying process to make your home-buying experience as easy and problem-free as possible.

After finding a home you like the process from having your offer accepted to completion of the sale can take from as little as a couple of days to a week or two, depending if all the documents required by the Land Office are readily available. This is a far cry from most other countries - home-buying in Britain is a notoriously drawn-out business which can take as much as three months to complete!

It is important to have a good understanding of the buying process and bureaucracy here in Thailand, which is probably totally different to your own country.

After reading this you should have a better idea of what to expect and how to set out to buy a home feeling prepared and ready to go!

Affordable

You have decided that you are buying a property, but exactly how much can you afford? On top of the cost of the house itself, there are other one-off expenses involved in buying a home in Thailand before moving in. In order to get a good idea of what sort of property you can realistically hope to buy, you also need to take these extra costs into account. Our staff can go through the different possibilities with you so you have an idea of any extra costs that may be involved.

Location, location, location

It is important to research a particular area before viewing lots of properties or making an offer on them. If you decide it is not the kind of neighbourhood you would enjoy living in, then you could save yourself a lot of time and effort by doing so early on in the process. Even if you can get a bigger home for your money in an area which isn't so nice, make sure you really are doing the right thing. Remember that you can always make changes to a property but not to the neighbourhood.

  • What kind of amenities are there locally? Check out the leisure facilities, activities for kids, shops, public transport and so on.
  • If you have children, look where the nearest local international schools are. Do they have a good reputation?
  • Will you have enough car parking space or will you have to park on the road?
  • What kind of condition are the other properties nearby? If they are in a state of disrepair, or look as if they are falling into one, it could bring down the value of your property.

Simply touring the area can give you a good idea of what it is like. Gentrification is a key indicator of an area which is improving and where property prices are more likely to go up. Key signs of gentrification include an abundance of restaurants, cafes and trendy design shops.

Remember, it is equally important to consider before committing yourself just how easy will it be to re-sell the property in the future should you need to. Properties that are in an excellent sought after location, well maintained, furnished and decorated in light neutral tones and competitively priced will always attract more interest when offered for re-sale.

Do you want a new or an older condo or house? How much decorating or improvement do you wish to make to a property? If you are buying an old one make sure you have looked into what this can entail. Older properties can look lovely but cost a lot to keep up in terms of maintenance and general running costs. Newly-built properties can also have drawbacks, such as higher prices than 'secondhand' ones, and in the case of buying ‘off plan’, the requirement to buy before they are fully built, but advantages besides a likely substantial appreciation in the immediate value include less maintenance and decoration costs, and often complimentary extras thrown in by the builders such as curtains and fitted kitchens (though you will not necessarily get to choose your own).

Key Tips

Once you have found a property you feel you like, make sure you learn as much as possible about it. Even if it seems perfect at first glance, try to think about it from all angles. And write everything down - the best home-hunters take notes and photos of each property they view which they can compare later. Make at least two visits.

General Condition

  • Check what fixtures and fittings will be left by the seller.
  • Consider the layout of the house - are there any unusual shaped rooms that it would be difficult to fit furniture or appliances into? Are there are enough power points?
  • Don't be put off by the seller's choice of decor - try to imagine the house with your own furniture and style.

Structural Problems

  • Subsidence: look for cracks in ceilings, walls and the roofline, doors that stick or don't hang correctly
  • Termites: Has the woodwork or floors been treated against termites?
  • Root damage to foundations: Are there any big trees nearby that could cause problems

Buying Off Plan In New Projects?

Confused By The Vast Choice, Unsure, Uncertain?
Which developers and projects really do offer the best value for your money? Before you buy, talk to us for unbiased advice on the best buys available from these new projects.