Expatify

Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Buying Real Estate in Thailand

Buying property in Thailand is rather complicated, and there are some laws that restrict foreigners from ownership of real estate in Thailand. These laws are also subject to change. There are also many fees that go along with this process.

Attorneys and Real Estate Agents

An agent is necessary to help you research properties in Thailand. Your agent will help you research properties in your best interest.

You should appoint an attorney who is fluent both in your language and in Thai. The laws in Thailand are considered complicated by many, so your attorney will help explain to you what you’re getting into. Attorneys are also responsible for checking property titles and any charges or liabilities still owed on the property. They will also review your contract and let you know about any obligations it may entail. Your attorney will help you transfer funds and also make sure that your property gets properly registered in your name.

Rules, Regulations and Restrictions

There are a couple options for foreigners who wish to purchase land in Thailand. Those who wish to purchase land under a freehold title must set up a Thai limited liability company and pay monthly fees. The other option is to set up a leasehold agreement. Both are secure methods of property ownership. Thailand has the 2×30 option for leasehold; it means that foreigners are allowed to lease land for 30 years and then extend this for another period of 30 years. This lease is registered only once, and requires very little legal maintenance.

Many people are looking to retire in condos in Thailand. Foreigners are allowed to own condominiums, under the conditions that less than 40% of the apartments or living units in a single development are occupied by non-Thai residents. A company is allowed to own property so long as there is not one foreigner that owns more than 39% of the company. The complete foreign ownership of a company cannot be more than 49%. Condos can either be bought as leasehold or freehold properties, depending on the case. Condos cannot be paid for by money earned in Thailand; they must come from foreign funds.

General Process

First, you must settle on a property. You will then make an offer with your seller.

You, the seller and your attorney must then come up with an initial purchase agreement. This document should outline the price, terms, conditions, settlement date and any other essential information. When you sign this document, you will usually have to pay a 10% deposit to secure the property. If you buy a new condominium, you’ll have to pay some additional fees. Your attorney will then help with the duties of processing the document and transferring the title of property (see above).

Once the property is transferred into your name, you’ll have to pay several fees. Taxes usually amount to 2-3% of the property value.

Mortgages are available to set up in Thailand, but they are difficult to arrange. Many people choose to set up a mortgage from their home country, and then transfer their money to a Thai bank account. Bangkok Bank has recently set up a branch in Singapore, which is an option to set up a mortgage.

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