Buying a property in Thailand can be a joyous time of your life; it can also be one of the most stressful ventures you embark upon too! If you are considering purchasing a property in Thailand or simply moving to a new part of the country, it is advisable to prepare yourself and arm yourself with knowledge. The more you understand, the smoother the process will be and the fewer problems you should encounter. The following provides a plethora of information relating to the property buying process in Thailand.
Identify What Property You Want
Before you even consider looking at a property in Thailand, you should first have a clear idea of exactly what you want, what you can afford, and what you hope to achieve from this venture. The list below constitutes some common considerations to make when purchasing a property in Thailand:
– Budget: What can you realistically afford and what is your top end budget?
– Property prices: What are the current average property prices in Thailand – what will your budget buy?
– Location: Where do you want to live? What does the local area offer?
– Amenities: Does the local area have sufficient outlets for shopping and recreation?
– Finance: Do you require a mortgage? Can you secure a loan with a Bank of Thailand?
– Property type: What type of property would you prefer? A condo? A townhouse? A villa?
– Cost of living: what is the average cost of living in the area?
These are all fairly logical considerations, but it is surprising how many people would overlook simple aspects of the property purchasing process. Consider making a list of your property requirements and include the above pointers – this will help you choose wisely and not jump into anything hastily.
Buying Property in Thailand – The Process
The basic steps to buying a property in Thailand are straightforward but as the property purchasing procedure is largely unregulated, this process may vary depending on individual circumstances. The following is an approximate outline of what steps you should take to secure a property:
1. Consider selecting a property/real estate agent to help find a property
Not everyone uses a real estate agent in Thailand. However, doing so can greatly quicken the buying process and ensure that you view only suitable properties that meet your requirements. Once you have chosen an area you wish to live, you can find a local real estate agent and ask them to assist with your property search.
2. Consider hiring a lawyer/solicitor to check title deeds and contracts
Aside from an estate agent, many people also hire a lawyer to aid with the purchasing proceedings. A local lawyer can help translate and check any contract of purchase, and also check the title deeds of a property. As the Thai property purchasing process is unregulated, a lawyer can ensure you do not fall prey to a scam or purchase a property with outstanding debts for example.
3. Choose a property and have it inspected
This is the fun part! Use your estate agent (or your own investigative skills) to find a suitable property in your desired location. Thailand has a range of property websites full of properties available for purchase. Furthermore, you can look through newspapers and social media. Once you have found your dream property, arrange a series of viewings – a property may not always look the same in person as it does online or through photos.
4. Make the initial deposit payment
If you are happy with your property and you wish to proceed with the purchase, you can arrange to make the initial deposit payment. This deposit payment is required in order to continue with the process and to prove to the seller that you have the means to make the purchase. Once the deposit is made, the seller should reserve the property and take it off the market. A lawyer can help at this stage by creating a deposit contract or by reviewing the deposit agreement to ensure you do not end up out of pocket.
5. Review the drafted contract and finalise
Once the deposit has been paid, the seller should then prepare a contract of purchase. It is vital that your lawyer reviews this contract and discusses with you in detail the terms and conditions listed. If a lawyer checks this contract, your interest and investment will remain protected (providing they do their job properly!). All that remains now is to confirm your means of payment (mortgage or loan for example) and finalise the deal.
At any stage of the process, if you are unsure of anything it is prudent to seek professional advice. Real estate agents and lawyers can be indispensable during the purchasing process, especially in Thailand’s relatively unregulated property market! We hope this guide has proven valuable – Thailand has a wave of opportunity for those wishing to invest in property. Large cities such as Bangkok have a wide range of fantastic condo developments, while other places such as Chiang Mai have some beautiful townhouses and villas. With a favourable property market that is experiencing steady growth, and a consistent amount of new development, finding a property should prove easy!
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