Buying a Condo or Land in Thailand: What Expats Should Consider

Due Diligence

This is required when purchasing a property. You should do your research about the property’s history, including the developer’s past activities, its directors and their backgrounds, how successful their projects have been, and whether they have met relevant deadlines on projects in the past. If you do not have time to do this, you should hire a lawyer to conduct a due diligence report for you.

Hiring lawyers

Purchasing property is a major investment that requires a number of administrative processes, so it is best to hire qualified lawyers to handle the transaction rather than conducting it yourself. The process involves several steps including title searches, settling government levies, as well as settling deposit agreements; sale and purchase transactions; and registering titles.

Our team at Silk Legal is highly experienced in Thai conveyancing law and can prepare all the required documents for you in Thai and English. Transactions can also be facilitated at our office with both you and the developer.

For more information, please refer to the ‘Real Estate’ page of our website.

Rookie Developers

There are developers in Thailand who are new to the property development industry, and as a result, they tend to offer discounted rates because there are often delays and problems with their projects. There are several rookie developers in Hua Hin, for example, given that it is currently a lucrative place to build.

Several factors come into play when deciding whether to invest with a rookie developer or a well-established one with a proven track record. These include your appetite for risk, your budget, whether or not the developer offers advice on variations to the development plan, your rapport with the developer, as well as other personal factors.

Making a Last Will & Testament

You must likewise prepare a ‘Last Will & Testament’ in Thailand to incorporate the property purchase into your estate in case you pass away. This is required by Thai Law even if a will has already been prepared in another country that covers the property in question. The will should be drafted by a local law firm like Silk Legal, and has to include details pertaining to your real estate property, vehicles or yachts, bank accounts, and other personal properties.

If you pass away in Thailand, a government official will request a will from your family or next-of-kin, which can likewise be submitted by your lawyer. Your estate will then be settled and distributed after the will has been handed over to the official. Transferring the title will levy a transfer fee; however, unlike most countries, the Thai government does not charge inheritance tax.

A Title Search

Before you place a deposit for the condominium or sign an agreement for a property or land, you will need to the help of a law firm like Silk Legal to perform a title deed search at the Land Department in Thailand. The title deed search will reveal the ownership history of the property and whether there are any legal claims on it such as encumbrances, mortgages, leases, or liens. If you are buying land to build on, then other important information will be revealed such as zoning and height limitations in the area which are common when building within the vicinity of beaches.

Using an Estate Agent

It is recommended for expats to consult an international estate agent with an office in Bangkok as they will adhere to international standards which you may be used to in your home country. The agent can help you navigate the local real estate market, especially in Bangkok.

Expats who seek to purchase properties in Bangkok may not necessarily be aware of the prime real estate areas in the city, particularly those along the upcoming BTS stations which tend to be higher in value. Bangkok is expected to become a mega-city with a population of over 10 million people by 2030. It is also a large and complex city without a clearly defined city center, so it is best to seek expert advice from a real estate agent about the best places to invest.

Purchasing Phase I Developments

When purchasing a condo in a large development, it is often the case that construction work is completed in phases. You might consider purchasing a property during phase 1; but at phase 2, you may experience disruptive noise from construction activities and the view you thought you would enjoy may become obscured by new units being built.

 

It is therefore prudent to seriously consider what you and your family will be able to tolerate in this regard.

How much should I pay for the property?

When it comes to negotiating with the developer regarding the sale price, it is wise to conduct extensive research to find out how much you think the property should be worth. Moreover, you should consider a number of factors including market prices for similar condominiums as well as assessments made by the government regarding the value of nearby properties. Clearly, there will be a number of personal factors to be considered when purchasing properties, notably the property’s location and its distance from your friends, family, or work-place.

If you would like to learn more about buying property in Thailand, please contact David Southern at David.s@silklegal.com.

 



  David Southern

1. World Population Review, accessed 29th October 2018.