Buying property as a foreigner in any country is a challenge. Different cultural norms and traditions can make it tough to communicate with sellers and negotiate prices. Not being familiar with cities, districts, or neighbourhoods can make choosing where to live tough to say the least.
Despite these challenges, making the break to live in a new country is an exhilarating and exciting experience. It’s even more exciting if you’re choosing to make Thailand your new home. The country’s exotic culture, beautiful landscapes, quaint towns and modern cities make Thailand a hugely popular choice with overseas buyers. If you’re thinking about buying a house or condo in Thailand, check out this list of the five biggest mistakes you should try to avoid.
Acting as Your Own Agent
Trying to buy a home or condo in Thailand without the help of a real estate agent or agency is a bad idea, especially in Thailand. You are probably unfamiliar with the culture, and you also aren’t likely to know what the legal restrictions are on foreigners purchasing property in Thailand.
There are actually many restrictions on what foreign buyers can and cannot do in Thailand. For instance, only 49 percent of any condominium development property may be owned or leased by foreigners; the other 51 percent must belong to, or be leased by, native Thai residents. Navigating restrictions such as this one requires an experienced Thailand Real Estate agent or agency. There are ways to protect your investment, and even purchase land. Using a Real Estate Agency with the know-how and the legal contacts to help protect your investment will pay huge dividends in the long-term.
Choosing The Wrong Real Estate Agency in Thailand
While you may choose to visit Thailand to view a property before buying it, it’s important to still choose a real estate agent or agency that can assist you with making your purchase from overseas by using their own initiative and knowledge. Travel to and from Thailand can get expensive. Whether you’re travelling from Europe or closer locations such as Singapore, Hong Kong or China, flight costs can rack up, as can the time it takes to travel to Thailand multiple times.
A quality Thailand Real Estate agent or agency will handle the majority of the process for you, while also allowing you to visit the property before you buy, if you so choose.
Being Narrow Minded
When you first start looking for property in Thailand, it can be tempting to look only at the least expensive properties, or to look only at properties in a single area, such as Bangkok. But limiting yourself in these ways could be a mistake. Thailand is full of unique, interesting cities and towns, and it’s a good idea to keep your mind open to many of these areas.
For instance, if you know that you’d like to live in a city, rather than considering only Bangkok as many new expats do, try looking for properties in Chiang Mai and Pattaya as well. While not as large as Bangkok, both areas offer similarly convenient modern amenities. Chiang Mai has beautiful diverse scenery and Pattaya has the beach! Keeping your options opens might allow you to find an awesome property in your price range that may not have been available in the first location your searched in.
Ignoring The Surrounding Infrastructure
While you don’t want to limit your search too much in the beginning, when it comes time to narrow down your options, it’s important to take a good look at the surrounding area. If you’ll be bringing children along, look at the local schools and the family-friendly activities available in the area. If you’ll be working in Thailand and need transportation, look to see if there are any BTS Skytrain or MRT stops nearby. These details may seem minor compared to finding your dream home, but once you make the big move, you’ll regret overlooking them.
Forgetting The Finer Details
Simply finding the perfect home isn’t enough for long-term satisfaction. You’ll also need to furnish and decorate it. But moving to Thailand can be expensive if you’re not savvy. Moving furniture from another country to Thailand adds further expense. It’s often a better idea to buy new once you get to Thailand, but when you’re already in the process of moving, this can be a challenge.
It’s a good idea to consider purchasing a furniture package prior to making the big move to Thailand. This allows you to focus on the move itself if you are relocating, or reduce the hassle when fitting out an investment property.
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