Thailand is one of the most popular destinations in Asia for foreigners to rent and buy a property.
The laid back, relaxed, exotic lifestyle, friendly population, and fast-growing economy make it a great investment opportunity.
Of late, the property market has seen enormous advancement, especially in places like Phuket, Bangkok, and Pattaya.
Thailand is a strategically-located business hub, and Bangkok is within convenient flying distance of other emerging investment hot-spots in the region.
There are stringent controls on buying and selling the property by foreigners. It’s important to have a thorough understanding of these before you rent, buy or sell property in Thailand.
Pitfalls you can fall into while:
Renting a property
- Phishing via fake credit worthiness check.
- Not researching the property’s title deeds.
- Fake estate agents or those who pretend to work for a reputed agency.
- Putting down a deposit without seeing the property.
- Duplicate ads by multiple estate agents.
- Could be a sub-let property.
- Renters don’t have to pay agent’s commissions.
Buying a property
- Foreigners cannot purchase land.
- Condo purchase by foreigners is only possible if more than 51% is Thai-owned.
- Dealing with unknown/smaller builders/developers is risky.
- Poor quality construction materials may be used.
- Re-sale values in the area may plummet.
- Condos don’t have property tax, but you have to pay annual management fees.
Selling a property
- Property sales are not well-regulated in Thailand.
- Not using a qualified, experienced real estate agency/agent poses risks.
- Not including liens or debts that the property may have exposed you to litigation.
- Not knowing the correct and complete fees involved.
- Not drawing up a water-tight contract.
- Second-hand condo units don’t attract top prices.
Steps to follow to avoid these pitfalls while:
Renting a property:
- Never share credit-card/personal details till it’s mandatory
- Hire a reliable, reputed, professional property-agent
- Research the agent/agency thoroughly, get recommendations from trustworthy sources
- View the property personally and check title-deeds
- New tenancy laws in force since May 2018 cover landlords owning 5+ properties.
- They ensure fixed advance/move-in fees, return dates for security deposit
Buying a property
- Don’t believe scammers who say they can help you get round the rules
- Ensure that the building is complete before paying out any money
- Get a third-party construction-expert to check the quality of materials
- Do your own research on property values in the area before buying
- Hire a qualified, reliable, experienced, well-established real-estate agent
Selling a property
- Get recommendations from trusted sources to find a reliable, reputed property consultant
- Get all your paperwork in order before you advertise
- Be aware of the current, correct Seller/Buyer fees
- Don’t get into deals that involve part payments. Collect the entire payment in one lump sum transferred to your bank account. Hand over papers only after you receive the money.
Best places to rent or buy a property in Thailand
There are several sub-markets and centralized neighborhoods, each with its own property-values, occupancy-rates, prices, amenities, etc.
Bangkok: As one of the most important business and leisure focused cities in South Asia, renting or buying property in Bangkok is a great investment.
Most people prefer purchasing property closer to a BTS Skytrain or MRT station and property values decrease with increasing distance from these.
Pathum Wan: Great for shopaholics: Siam Center, MBK, University, and Jim Thompson House.
Watthana: Most developed area in Bangkok, located between Sukhumvit and Khlong Saen Saep, with many expats and commercial establishments, hospitals, entertainment, shopping.
Khlong San: West bank of Chao Phraya river, has the tallest condo building in Bangkok. Well-connected via rail, canals. Great for shopping, local experience.
Phuket: Probably the best-known holiday destination in Thailand, Phuket is the country’s largest island.
The stunning beaches, laid-back lifestyle and the tropical climate make it the expat’s retirement favorite.
It is well-connected via air, sea, rail, but has retained its local color and culture.
Thalang: is where the Phuket International Airport is located. Tropical climate with protected rainforest. Has distinct on/off tourist seasons when investment values of property fluctuate.
Kathu: location of famous Patong beach. Has high levels of water pollution. Hectic nightlife with risks to safety posed by criminal gangs.
Karon: has the third longest beach in Phuket. Good dining, shopping, entertainment. Excellent resorts and nightlife.
Popular tourist destination and good for investment in tourism-related projects.
Pattaya: Purchasing real estate in Pattaya is considered to be a safe and lucrative investment, as one of the most famous resort cities in the world.
Tropical wet/dry seasonal climate, popular with expat retirees as the cost of living is relatively low.
Investments in infrastructure, airports, high-speed highways etc of more than US$45 billion are pouring into Pattaya. It has a cosmopolitan ambiance.
Nong Prue: is a very popular expat destination for retirees. Attractions include museums, international cuisines, beaches, an elephant village, gardens, etc.
Na Kluea: Affordable rentals and properties for sale, cheap local markets, fresh produce, good for shopping, local sightseeing.
Huai Yai: Attractive, affordable option for expat retirees. Huai Yai provides the typical easy lifestyle, pleasant tropical climate and cheap standards of living.