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House in Thailand, how to own

House in Thailand
On the subject of buying property in Thailand there are many exotic stories and rumors. However, the facts are quite clear. To prevent a sellout of the still relatively cheap land to foreigners, the Thai government has strictly limited the sale of land to foreigners. Nevertheless, there is of course an interest from the Thai side in foreign investments, and real estate can also for foreigners be secured reliably within the legal rules.




Most important, of course in real estate business are the right partners. Particularly inThailand real estate should be purchased through established brokers. Especially since the cost of a broker in Thailand is generally borne by the seller and the brokers assistance is free for buyers! Established brokers know the market and prices, as well as the legal background, and examine the ownership situation before preparing a purchase.




To purchase a property of short-term acquaintances (No. 1 cause of legal problems) should be prohibited, especially if one has not mastered the language and does not know the legal situation.




The legal background for real estate business in Thailand is far from exotic. The system of official documentation of property ownership was taken over almost 100 years ago from Germany and is well organized. Each district has its own Land Registry. Here the official land register is held, with a separate page for every single land plot which is registered in the district. On this page of the land register all relevant information is listed about the property, type of title, ownership, encumbrances, rights of way, etc. An original copy of the Land Registry page is given as a land title to the registered owner. The land register is public and can be viewed by anyone.




The main differences for foreigners to land law in most Western countries are:
1.  Foreigners can’t purchase land.
2.  The land plot and the development of the property are legally separate from each other.




This legal situation allows foreigners to legally purchase a building and long-term lease the plot where the building is build on.




There are several different ways for foreigners to secure a property. Qualified real estate agents and lawyers can find within a consulting session the best way to own ahouse in Thailand, matching the client’s particular request. Consultation with a real estate specialist before purchasing a property is the best way to avoid problems later. The most widely used two forms for foreigners of real estate acquisition are:





    1. Individuals who only want to purchase a property for private use, can purchase the building and long-term lease the land plot.



    1. Individuals and businesses who want to purchase property as an investment or to operate a business in Thailand, a Thai company should be registered, which is entitled to acquire land.With proper consultation and preparation an acquisition of property in Thailand is a safe investment with appreciation of value mostly well over 10% pa. 




 

Can you build your own house in Thailand?

Of course, the following theme can only be briefly described, since it would otherwise blow the size of this quick info. If you are interested in gathering more information about house building in Thailand, please feel welcome to contact us directly at info@siam-property
.
Building a house in Thailand may have some advantages compared to purchasing one:
- Since building restrictions in most of Thailand are not very pronounced, you
should still be able to build a very individual house of your dreams.
- You only have to build (and pay) what you really need.
- Quality and details can be built according to European standards
- To build on your own can save some money
- A more ecological way of building and the use of renewable energy sources can save maintenance costs and even increase the value of the house


In order to achieve real benefits from building on your own, you should keep some things in mind:


Landplot
Especially for foreigners, the type of land title and the kind of ownership over the property are very important. In Thailand, there are a number of different land titles, and only the best titles –”Chanod” and “Nor Sor Sam Gor”- are recommended for beginner builders because they provide unlimited possession. “Chanod” titles already imply the right to build on that land. The easiest way for foreigners to use the land is a 30-year lease, which can easily be extended up to 90 years. The house itself can be owned by a foreigner.


Planning
Besides construction itself, planning services in Thailand are rather favorable compared to Europe. However, you should always check the planner’s references and check the houses he has already build. Explanation of detailed descriptions and drawings are usually needed. Since you will probably not build the house with your own hands, particularly because labor in Thailand is quite cheap, accurate descriptions and detailed drawings are the necessary foundations to get in the end what you have imagined.


Building Permission
In Thailand, a building permit is required (which does not mean that every building project has one) but for a simple family home it is quite easy to get. This means that the plans have to be submitted to the responsible building authorities. If 4 weeks after submission no contradiction has been raised, the project can begin. (In several location these rule is just changing and you are not alowed to start before you received your permit)  Although having a special qualification to apply for a building permit is not officially required in Thailand, a Thai engineer or another construction professional should procure it, because the written building regulations are often not very precise and government officials may find therefore some room for personal decisions. In other words, possible uncomfortable issues can be regulated by a qualified engineer, mostly verbally or with minor changes.


Construction
There are excellent craftsmen in Thailand, but it is crucial that everybody on the construction site has understood in detail how the house should look like. If you hire a construction company, a general contractor is to prefer, so you have only one contact person that has to coordinate all the individual work and guarantee the final result. Since a warranty is only as good as the person giving it, you should be selective when choosing the construction company; always ask for proper references. Works should necessarily be awarded as fixed-price turn-key house, because time fees or hourly wages will easily turn your project into a never-ending story.
Payments should be made according to construction progress. It is interesting to divide the entire Job into 3 to 5 sections and then pay each section individually, only after approval of what has been done is what was agreed. The final payment should be larger than previous payments in order to motivate the construction company to finish the project.


Building inspection
After completion of the project, an official examination should be done, with the correspondent issuance of a blue house book (or yellow for foreigners) that contains official addresses assigned. Also, permanent connections for electricity, telephone and water can be applied in this same house book.

Thailand House, the difference between House and Condo

Often unknown is the fact, that foreigners are allowed to own houses and buildings in Thailand, but the purchase of Land is limited to natural or juristic persons of Thai nationality.
Depending on the kind of Property and the personal situation of the buyer, there are several solutions to handle this obstacle. In the following are the two most common cases:


Purchase of a Condominium
The Thai government already did a so called “condominium act” to offer an easy way for foreigners to own properties in Thailand directly as a freehold. The condominium act is based on the situation that a condo unit will be sold without a specific ownership on the land plot. Other requirements are:


1. The condominium building has to have a condominium license.
2. Only 49% of the total sqm of the building can be sold as a foreign quota to foreign buyers.
3. The foreign buyer has to show that his funds are brought into the country with the purpose to buy the condo.
If the offered condo unit is within the foreign quota and all the necessary documents are ready, the purchasing process is straight forward and can be done in one day at the responsible land office.


Purchase of a House
For Foreigners who are not in a relation with a person of Thai nationality, there are mainly the options to:
a. Buy a house and lease the land on a long term base (3x 30 years)
b. Register a Thai company, which can own the land and lease it from the company


a. To buy the house and lease the land is the best solution for foreigners who just like to buy a property for their own use. If the lease is properly registered in the land title, the lease is as save as a purchase.


b. If a Foreigner would like to purchase several properties or would like to run an active business in Thailand, he should register a Thai Company which is usually a Ltd. As a juristic person, a Thai company is able to own properties in Thailand. A Thai company has to have a min of 51% Thai shareholders, which is not a safety issue, because the foreigner is able to run the company as the only director with the exclusive rights for any relevant activities in the company. If properly set up, a Thai company is a save and legal way to handle, maintain and own properties.

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