Pros and Cons of Buying A House or Condo in Thailand
Buying a property anywhere is a serious decision that requires careful consideration. This is especially true for property purchases in a foreign country where the consequences for poor decision-making are often multiplied. Here are a few pros and cons to weigh before making a purchase.
#1 – Condos are one of the Few Pieces of Real Estate Foreigners Can Buy
Land ownership is restricted to Thai nationals, meaning that a foreigner must go through a Thai (like a wife) to purchase land, which often lands them in difficult situations when things go sour. Condos, on the other hand, are open to complete ownership by foreigners.
#2 – Bangkok is Growing
The construction boom doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. As infrastructure like the BTS and MRT systems expand, new areas of the city become accessible and property values rise. Using forecasting trends to choose the smartest locations for purchase could mean a big pay-off in terms of resale.
#3 – Endless Choices
Condos are everywhere in Thailand. Cities like Bangkok and Pattaya might just be the richest per-capita in condo developments in the world. All that competition can mean an advantage in the negotiating process for a seller.
#1 — Shady Real Estate Agents
Because the property purchasing procedure is unique to Thailand, many necessary documents are in Thai, and laws are so different from what a purchaser may expect in their home country, the opportunity for unscrupulous agents to take advantage of foreign purchasers increases.
#2 – Future Forecasting
Bangkok’s real estate market is unique – rules that may apply to foreign markets might not necessarily translate to the Land of Smiles. Unfortunately, many investors have experienced the pitfalls of Thai property investment firsthand, with the values of their condos plummeting after they purchase.
#3 – How Long do You Plan to Stay Here?
Many people choose to buy a Bangkok condo as a “vacation home”, not their primary residence. In that case, considerations for how long or how often they would use the property are not as important. However, for less wealthy investors who live and work in Thailand, purchasing a condo if they’re not sure about their future plans can cause massive headaches. Renting, although not an investment, could be a more realistic option for many expats.
#4 – High Cost
Real estate is at a premium in Thailand, especially in Bangkok. Anyone who has lived or worked in Bangkok is familiar with the construction boom that seems to never end. Some experts recommend caution in purchasing condos for this reason. Average estimates indicate that a person could pay rent in a condo (without the headache) for nearly half a c
#5 – Changing Visa Laws
Requirements for various visas often change without notice. For example, the Thai government recently increased the amount of money that foreigners on a retirement visa must keep in the bank. In another example, the immigration department has introduced a new draconian measure called TM30 which requires foreign residents to keep their address on file and consistently notify authorities of their whereabouts, even for travels inside the country for a day. Many find these arbitrarily enforced regulations burdensome enough to consider abandoning their Thai residency altogether.