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Buying Property In Thailand – The Ultimate Guide for 2020

Buying Property In Thailand

If you are considering Buying Property in Thailand, whether for living in Thailand or as property investments, there are several things to consider, here are some of the most frequently asked questions when thinking about the purchase of a villa or condo in the land of smiles.

We hope you find the following property guides helpful, but if you have any further questions about Thailand property please contact us.


Buying a Villa

What is a villa?

A villa can normally be described as a detached or semi-detached house within a residential estate or built as a private standalone house, typically most luxury villas will be either 1 or 2 stories and come with a private pool and garden area.

Are villa estates managed?

When Buying Property In Thailand most Thai villa estates will have some level of management. Services can include the upkeep of common areas (roads, paths, landscaping), security, rubbish removal, pest control, a dedicated villa estate manager. Villa owners will be required to pay a monthly maintenance fee similar to that of a condominium.

Are there any requirements for a foreign individual to buy a villa in Thailand?

There are very few requirements for buying a luxury villa in Thailand as a foreigner. However, a foreigner should remit foreign currency into Thailand when making a purchase.

Ownership

Can foreigners legally own a villa in Thailand?

Yes, Foreigners can take freehold ownership of a structure in Thailand, however foreigners are not permitted to own land in Thailand. Foreigners may enter into a long lease agreement, commonly known as “Leasehold” to secure the land.

What is the maximum lease term available for leasehold ownership?

The maximum lease period is 30 years with additional 30-year renewals. In most cases developers of villas will offer a total of 90 years ownership (30yrs + 30yrs + 30yrs).

Can a Foreigner own land in Thailand?

Thai law currently prohibits foreigners from buying land freehold. However, there are other ways to acquire legal rights to land titles.

Leasehold Ownership – The most straightforward way to take ownership of Land is through a long-term lease. Land leases can currently be registered for a maximum period of 30 years with an option for additional renewals. The most common lease terms are 30 years + 30 years + 30 years, giving the foreigner 90 years of ownership.

Thai Company – A registered Thai limited company with a majority Thai ownership are able to own freehold land. This form of ownership should be in consultation with a Thai attorney.

Running Costs

Are there any additional running costs of owning a villa?

Yes. Normally this will be in the form of a monthly maintenance fee if the luxury villa is part of a residential estate. All co-owners will have to contribute to the general upkeep and running of the estate. Your fee can either be a set fee or calculated on the total sqm of villa land plot. However, the maintenance fees in Phuket are generally collected yearly.

Thai Villa estates may also have a special reserve fund for major repairs and upgrades of the common areas, this is known as a “Sinking Fund Fee”.

Legal

Should I appoint a lawyer when buying property in Thailand?

Yes. We would always recommend you to consult with a professional legal adviser even if the purchase seems straightforward. We are happy to recommend reputable law firms to ensure your purchase goes smoothly.

Finance

Can I get financing and mortgage for the villa?

As a general rule foreigners would not be able to secure mortgages to purchase villas in Thailand from a Thai bank.


Can I Buy Property In Thailand?

Buying a condo

What is a condominium?

A condominium, also known as a condo, is a type of housing. A condo is a single unit located within a larger condominium development. A condominium development would be a large property complex that is divided and sold in individual units (condos). The ownership of a condominium also includes shared ownership in the ‘common property’. Perfect for property investments or living in Thailand, condos can be owned as freehold by a foreign buyer or owned by Thai nationals. 

What is Common Property?

Common Property (common area) is defined as the parts of a condominium development that are not individually owned units. i.e the land on which the condominium development is situated and any parts of the property which are provided for use by, or for the common benefit of the co-owners.

What is the difference between a Condominium and an Apartment?

When buying property in Thailand a condominium building which is governed by the Condominium Act provides individual title deeds for each unit with shared ownership in the common areas of the complex. A condominium unit can be owned under freehold or leasehold.

An apartment building is owned by a single owner/company with the individual units leased to buyers. An apartment can be sold only under leasehold.

Are there any requirements for a foreign individual to purchase a condominium in Thailand?

There are very few requirements for buying a condo in Thailand as a foreigner. However, a foreigner must remit foreign currency into Thailand in order to purchase a condo.

Ownership

Can foreigners legally own a Condominium unit in Thailand?

Yes, Foreigners can take ownership of a condo by either purchasing a condo unit with a freehold title or entering into a long lease agreement, commonly known as “Leasehold”.

What are Freehold and Leasehold property ownership?

Foreigners may acquire freehold ownership of a condo unit in Thailand within the set foreign ownership quota of a condominium. By law, foreigners can own up to 49% of the total saleable area of a condominium project. The remaining 51% can be acquired under leasehold ownership. Leasehold gives the right of use and possession of the unit for a set period of time and is fully transferable.

What is the maximum lease term available for leasehold ownership?

The maximum lease period is 30 years with additional 30-year renewals. In most cases, developers of condominiums will offer a total of 90 years ownership (30yrs + 30yrs + 30yrs).

What is a condo unit title?

A condo unit title is the ownership document issued by the Land Department.

What is a house book in a Condominium?

A house book (a.k.a. blue book, or Ta Bien Baan) is a residential address registration book issued by the local government municipality. Foreigners would need to change to a “Yellow” house book. The house book should not be mistaken as legal documentation pertaining to ownership.

Taxes

Are there any taxes associated with owning a condo?

From 2020 onward there is a property tax associated with owning a condo depending on the property prices.

Running Costs

Are there any additional running costs to owning a Condominium?

Yes. All co-owners will have to contribute to the general upkeep and running of the condominium, this required payment is known as a CAM Fee (Common Area Maintenance Fee). Your fee will be calculated per month based on the total square meter of your condominium unit. However, the CAM Fee in Phuket is generally collected yearly.

Example: CAM Fee 50 baht per sqm, per month, condo unit size 100 sqm, total yearly fee = 50 baht X 100 sqm = 5,000 baht per month X 12 months = 60,000 baht per year.

Condos also have a special reserve fund for major repairs and upgrades of the building, this is known as a “Sinking Fund Fee”.

Agents Fees

Do I have to pay Agents fees?

There are no fees to pay when using a property agent in Thailand. A reputable agency will never ask you to pay them anything directly. All registration fee and transfer fee should be paid directly to the developer or through a trusted Thai legal firm.

Why should I use a Real Estate agent in Thailand?

A good property agent in Thailand will study the market trends and help you with a buying guide when purchasing Thailand property.  They will know which developers are the most reputable and have access to all the best deals and pre-sale promotions.

Legal

Should I appoint a lawyer when purchasing a condo?

Yes. We would always recommend you to consult with a property lawyer even if the purchase seems straightforward. The Thai legal system, especially the land office is best navigated by a professional and they can help you with all aspects of a condo or apartment purchase, from setting up a Co Ltd company name to title deeds, advice on Business tax and Thai shareholders and if you require a Thailand visa or prenuptial agreement.

Finance

Can I get financing and mortgage for a condo?

As a general rule foreigners would not be able to secure mortgages to purchase property in Thailand from a Thai bank. Depending on the purchase price, it may be possible to obtain a fractional loan from an oversea bank account such as UOB in Singapore or Hong Kong. If your property purchase of Thai real estate depends on obtaining financial support please contact us for further assistance and advice.


What are the next steps?

If you have any further questions about property ownership or buying property in Thailand please send us a message with your requirements and one of our real estate professionals will get back to you with more info on the Thai property market.


    General FAQ

    Can you buy real estate in Thailand?

    You can buy real estate in Thailand for investment or for temporary or permanent residence. You should always buy from a well established developer and hire a knowledgeable estate agent and lawyer.

    Can I buy a home in Thailand?

    Yes. You can buy a home in Thailand, whether it be a condo, apartment, house or villa. Always check the type of ownership suits you and always do your due diligence.

    Can foreigner buy freehold property in Thailand?

    Yes. A foreigner can buy freehold property in Thailand, but only in the form of a condo which can be owned under the condominium act. A villa or apartment can be purchased as leasehold.

    Is it safe to buy property in Thailand?

    It is safe to buy property in Thailand providing you work with a professional real estate agent, buy from a reputable developer and employ the services of a lawyer to carry out due diligence.


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