Buying Property in Thailand can be a dream come true for anyone wishing to retire early and enjoy a tropical lifestyle. This country is also a popular choice for foreigners looking to invest in property or seek housing opportunities, with its diverse range of condominiums, apartments, villas and estates offering an array of options to suit all budgets and needs.
Purchasing Property in Thailand for Foreigners
When considering the purchase of property in Thailand as a foreigner, you will be faced with some unusual and distinctly Thai rules and regulations. As a result, it is important to get the right help from local real estate agents and legal support to ensure you do not make any mistakes.
The first step in acquiring property as a foreigner in Thailand is to secure the necessary financing. Typically, you will need to provide evidence of an income stream and your work history in order to secure a mortgage from a Thai bank. The process may seem complicated but if you have the right assistance and patience, this can be accomplished.
A condominium is the second common type of housing in Thailand and a popular option for expats wanting to buy property in Thailand. A condominium can be a freehold ownership option or a shared ownership (or ‘common ownership’) model where you are able to buy units within a larger development.
Condominiums are a convenient and affordable way for foreigners to buy property in Thailand as they offer a variety of benefits including lower maintenance costs, greater flexibility, more attractive rental options and the ability to easily sell your unit should you wish to move on to something else. However, you will need to be aware that ownership of a condominium is not without its own set of fees and costs.
For instance, you will need to pay a management fee on an annual basis which covers the cost of maintaining your unit and upkeep of other common areas, as well as utilities, staff and cleaning. This fee varies according to the building you are buying in, but generally can be anywhere between 500 and 1,000 baht per square meter.
There are also additional fees and taxes that you will need to consider when purchasing property in Thailand as a foreigner such as a land tax and a structure usage tax. These fees will vary depending on the size of your property, its use and if it is used as a business or private residence.
Another thing to keep in mind when you are considering purchasing a condo is that these are only legal to buy if the building is a 51% Thai owned. Therefore, a majority of the units in any given condominium will be for sale to both Thais and non-Thais.
One of the most common ways to buy property in Thailand as a foreigner is through a Thai-registered company which can acquire the land on your behalf and grant you equity shares, allowing partial ownership of the property itself. It is a popular way to avoid the restrictions on foreign land ownership but it should be noted that it can be complex and requires high-quality legal support as well as an experienced realtor to navigate it all.