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Buying a Property In Thailand
There are a number of issues to consider when buying a property in Thailand. Purchasing property here is a simple process, but there are a number of factors that you must consider and make sure that all legal requirements are met so that you avoid potential problems and mistakes. This is why it is important to talk to a property professional to guide you through the process and to help you to make the right decisions. There is a lot of misinformation regarding the purchase of property in Thailand, so it is always best to speak to a professional.
•What do you want? – First of all you should take some time to consider what your requirements are. The more information you can provide your agent about what you are looking for, the more likely they are to show you the type of properties that you want.
The main factors to consider are location, budget and property type:
This is one of the most important factors when purchasing a property. The area where you decide to purchase your property will most likely be determined by the lifestyle you want to live, the local amenities, and your overall budget. You should consider what amenities and facilities you want in your local area and make a list. These might include beaches, restaurants, nightlife, parks, temples, schools, hospitals, public transport, golf, etc. You should also consider the type of area you want to live in; for example quiet, residential, central, beachside, countryside, etc. Typically some areas will be more expensive than others and this may affect the area you choose to purchase (see budget). Furthermore, some areas will represent a better investment opportunity than others (see investing). However, everyone who purchases a property here would want it to be a good investment and hope to see a capital gain on their purchase.Therefore it is important to consider which locations are likely to increase in value. This is why it is important to speak to a professional who knows the market and can give you information and advice.
Your budget will ultimately decide what sort of property you buy. There are many factors to consider when deciding your budget. Often, when buying an existing property, it is difficult for a foreigner to obtain finance - a mortgage - so the property you buy will most likely be determined by the funds that you have available. New developments will usually offer finance over the duration of the construction period and offer a chance to purchase property at a reduced rate and pay for it over a set period of time. Some developers offer as little as 5% of the unit purchase price as an initial deposit payment. Whatever your situation you must consider the associated costs of purchasing property here in Thailand, such as transfer fees (stamp duty, transfer tax, business tax and income tax), surveys, legal expenses, sinking funds, maintenance fees, insurance, repairs. Government fees will usually amount to between 3-6% of the sale value, lawyers fees will vary and it is not always necessary to use a lawyer, sinking funds and maintenance fees vary depending on the building and size of the unit. Your agent will be able to guide you and help to calculate these costs in more detail.
There are a number of different types of property you may wish to purchase here in Thailand. Houses and condominiums are the most common although you can also purchase businesses or commercial premises. Furthermore you may wish to purchase an existing property or a new development. Each type of property has its own benefits and drawbacks. Typically condominiums will offer the best location, facilities and security. Houses will provide more space, reduced price per sqm and privacy. Existing properties offer peace of mind, convenience and are ready to move in, while new developments offer substantial discounts, the latest facilities and design, customization and choice. Furthermore new developments offer attractive payment plans helping to spread the cost.
It is very much a personal choice which type of property you want to own and this will no doubt be influenced by the other decision making factors we have discussed such as location and price. Make a list of features to consider when making your decision. For example:
•Existing property or new development
•Furnished or un-furnished
•Style (modern, classic, contemporary, bali, etc)
•Private or social
•Number of bedrooms / bathrooms
•Communal pool /Private Pool?
•Yard, courtyard or balcony?
•North Facing? South Facing?