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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 10 Things to know before buying luxury property in Thailand - The allure of owning a piece of paradise
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Joanna James Joanna James
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10 Things to know before buying luxury property in Thailand - The allure of owning a piece of paradise

Investing in property in Thailand sounds exotic and adventurous. The process, however, isn't easy especially if you are a foreigner. You need to have a game plan. Here are some tips.

1

Let's clarify - can foreigners buy property in Thailand?

Foreigners do not have legal rights to own land in Thailand on a freehold basis. There is provision for leases to be in multiples of 30-year term limits. The most popular means to gain investment control is through a limited liability company despite outsiders being allowed only 49%, while the balance 51% is through Thai ownership. The control can be gained through directors' majority rights.
So, while as a foreigner you cannot buy land, you can purchase condominium units and apartments, though foreigners cannot constitute more than 40% of a condominium's unit-owners.
On a larger scale, if as a foreigner you are prepared to invest at least US$1.21 million in a Board of Investment approved project, you're entitled to purchase up to 1600 sq. meters of land.

2

Why invest in property in Thailand?

Thailand is a highly cosmopolitan location offering the best of east and west and with its massive tourism industry is a first-rate locality for property investment. The potential for rental income in the luxury real estate sector is huge.

3

First steps

As with any project do your homework first. Why do you want to invest in property in a foreign country? What is your budget? Are you looking for high-end luxury? What is the purpose of your real estate purchase - to live in, rent, grow as an investment?

4

Find a great real estate agent

As a foreigner, it is vital to avail yourself of a qualified Thai agent who knows the trends in the real estate market and is thoroughly familiar with the area you are considering, especially if you are not in the country initially. Look for an agent with a proven track record in acquiring and facilitating foreign property investment strategies. Talk to other foreigners, get recommendations. Meet with a few until you are sure you've found the right person because he or she will be your rock during the entire negotiation and purchase process.

5

Do a full investigation of the Title

If buying land, the title search tracing the land to its first owner is an absolute must. It's through this process that one discovers any registered interests on the land such as mortgages or liens. The results of this search will also reveal the rights to access the property, residential zoning, environmental/planning codes and most importantly whether you can build a structure on the land.

6

Get good legal advice

You must get yourself a qualified local lawyer with expertise in foreign investment transactions. He will have to ensure that the title deed recorded at the Land Department is in good standing. Next, he must verify that the Seller is indeed the legal owner of the land, before any deposit agreement or contract of sale is agreed on.
Meanwhile, you should familiarize yourself with all legal aspects of the purchase and your rights as a (foreign) property owner. A good lawyer will remind you that it is essential to adhere to the legal process for a foreigner to acquire property in Thailand.

7

Get your Contract of Sale reviewed and re-reviewed

Typically, the Seller's lawyer will draw up the Contract of Sale, so it is important for your Thai lawyer to review the terms and conditions as a measure of protection for you in the event of delays in the property transaction or at the building stage.
As a further safeguard, it is advisable to have your Contract of Sale scrutinised by your own lawyer back home, wherever that may be.

8

Always visit the property and see for yourself

As a foreigner located halfway across the world, technology can only do so much for you. No matter how brilliant the internet is it cannot show you the actual ground situation, which is why you should never buy a property without viewing it with your own eyes and getting a feel for the lay of the land.

9

Is the Thai property market a promising investment opportunity for great capital growth?

Thailand's luxury residential real estate market continues to grow with branded residences proving to be the new trend across South East Asia. Japanese investors see the Thai real estate sector especially the condo segment, as a new, promising investment opportunity.
Thailand's coastal area, Phuket in particular, is considered Asia's leading holiday destination and experts forecast excellent prospects for the luxury property market. In Phuket luxury villas for sale look like they belong in glossy magazines. The range in price, design and location is phenomenal. Infinite Luxury, for instance, offers iconic luxury real estate in Phuket. Overall Thailand's stable economic growth is expected to continue to create demand in the luxury property market which is good news for investors seeking capital growth.

10

Think out of the box

Look beyond the traditional and popular areas of Thailand. Reports indicate that in 2018 developers are planning condominium and housing projects in provinces such as Chachoengsao, Chonburi, and Rayong.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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