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Buying Property in Thailand – Part One

Overseas property investors are increasingly becoming interested in buying property in Thailand, attracted by the idyllic lifestyle and low cost of living.

Over the next two weeks we will look at buying property in Thailand. Where best to buy, and things you need to know when buying property in Thailand.

Buying property as a non-resident in Thailand is complex but not impossible.

It is complex and a good lawyer is essential in the process – all stemming from a prohibition on foreigners from owning land.

The cost of living in Thailand is low. Medical care is excellent, and the low cost of health insurance makes Thailand an attractive proposition for retirees living on a set income. But those planning to live full-time in Thailand must be able to prove that they are independently and financially stable a pension or savings that are worth THB800,000.

Firstly, you need to choose an area or community you want to be part of. A good way to do that is by actually visiting the places and talking to residents. You can also check house prices and how your home currency fares against the Thai Baht.

Popular Areas to Buy Property in Thailand

Bangkok

The vibrant capital, built along the banks of the Chao Phraya River, is one of the great cities of the world. Home to more than 10 million residents, it offers a blend of history, heritage, great nightlife and bustling markets.

Phuket

The ultimate leisure area famous for its natural beaches that attract tourists from around the world – and investors looking to purchase villas and condominiums for personal use or investing returns on the Andaman coast.

Koh Samui

A lush island set in the Gulf of Thailand that draws millions of tourists to its beaches and villages. It offers the best of both worlds – natural beauty and easy access to neighbouring islands.

Pattaya

A bustling port city but with beaches and bustling night life. It’s a short drive from Bangkok International Airport, yet far enough away to provide a different perspective on Thailand.

Chiang Mai

This fortified city set in the northern mountains showcases history and heritage and is a draw for investors seeking a slower pace than that offered in Bangkok. It’s the perfect place for learning Thai cooking, history or the Thai language itself.

Hua Hin

This city on the Gulf of Thailand coast is three hours’ drive from Bangkok and offers long beaches that are lined with modern condominiums, while villa homes and planned communities also nestle in the adjoining verdant hills.

Property Options

Buying property in Thailand offers a whole range of investment options to fit your budget and your ambitions. From one-bedroom flats to luxury villas by the beach, there are properties in Thailand for everyone.

While the restrictions on foreigners are a challenge, they’re certainly not insurmountable.

In essence, you’re buying the building and leasing the land – and must register the land lease with the Land Office. Headquartered in Bangkok, there are 16 separate offices in the city region and most major cities, or larger towns have a local branch. The leases are renewable every 30 years.

Another option is to set up a private limited company with mixed Thai and foreign ownership, the foreign ownership being 49 per cent or less – companies are allowed to own land.

Next week we will look at the process of buying property in Thailand.

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