10 Questions to Ask When Buying a Condo in Thailand
There is no question that Thailand is a great place to live. It has become the premier Asian destination for many thanks to its low cost of living, work opportunities, affordable health care, and an array of recreational attractions. If you are looking to buy into one of the popular choices of condominiums in and around the cities, here are some questions you should have answered before signing on the dotted line.
1. Is my deposit refundable?
Marketing promotions have done a good job of luring potential investors looking to get a good deal. Unfortunately, if the project does not turn out to be as hoped or you miss out on the ‘rewards’ promised, you may never see our money again as often deposits are non-refundable. Be sure to check the fine print.
2. What are the management fees?
Be sure to find out what kind of management fees you are looking at as this will factor into your monthly expenses. It will also have to be considered if you decide to rent out.
3. What is the cost per square meter?
Newer condos near BRT lines have become smaller in size thanks to developers looking to squeeze out more profit. This means you get higher rates per square meter than older condos, and those located further away.
4. What return am I looking at?
Although the property and economic market are slowing down, progress is still being made. Developers are in tune with the economy and have reduced their projects to focus on those likely to produce the highest yield. That means condos in prime neighborhoods with strong demand. Right now rental yields are averaging between 5-7%, which should be compared to other investment opportunities you have.
5. What are the area developments?
Other new condos coming up in the neighborhood could affect traffic and provide strong competition when completed for renters. They can also affect your ability to sell your own condo at a profit in later years.
6. Does it have EIA approval?
The environment impact assessment (EIA) report goes hand in hand with the building permit. Ensuring that the off-plan project you are considering was properly approved will reduce the risk that construction will be stopped later and you lose out on your deposit and other installment payments.
7. Distance to BTS/MRT?
While there are many vehicles in cities like Bangkok, traffic jams can be quite bad, even in suburbs like Sukhumvit. When choosing a condo, it is ideal to find one within easy walking distance of the BRT or MRT lines. This will help keep your travel costs low and with renters is an attractive option. Some condos offer a shuttle service to the stations if further away.
8. Am I getting what I am seeing?
Marketing materials, especially for off-plan projects can be misleading. You cannot be sure that the quality of construction will be as per what is displayed. Many foreign buyers are relying on what they see online to make purchasing decisions. Some developers have even set up show houses in other locations like Singapore to lure investors but the final finishing ends up different from showrooms.
9. New or old?
New properties offer the benefit of enjoying your home at its most pristine but tend to be smaller now and offer unknown juristic management. Old condos are roomier, can be secured at a bargain and can be judged on the quality of maintenance care.
10. Who is the developer?
It comes as no surprise that in a booming construction market as Thailand there will be some lemons. From cheap building materials to shoddy workmanship, many buildings never live up to promise. Be careful to check on the progress of the build and consider reputable developers, like Sansiri, if you are away.