Throughout your 20’s, you traveled the world like it was your job, covering many of the hotspots in various popular regions around the world, as well as some that were off-the-beaten track. Now that you are in your early 30’s, you have begun to pay more attention to your career, developing a business or growing into a position with a company where you are able to do your job remotely.
Now, being flush with cash and flexible in terms of your location, your mind has begun to wander … what if I could skip winter in the Northern Hemisphere entirely, opting instead to spend it in one of my favourite tropical destinations?
Investigating this brain wave further, you’ve narrowed your focus down to Thailand, a country with the best combination of value for money, warm year round weather, and friendly people. Although your initial inquiries have turned up the discouraging discovery that foreigners cannot own houses outright in Thailand, you have also discovered that condominiums can be owned entirely by farang, bringing excitement back into your life, and to the brink of making a very big decision.
What do you need to know before taking the plunge and buying a condo in Thailand? You need to be aware of quite a few things, the details of which are covered below…
Before you do anything on your quest for a condo in Thailand, you need to hire a registered property lawyer. Knowing the law of the land is half the battle, as an experienced solicitor will be able to spot common traps where unsavory sellers will attempt to rip off a clueless foreigner.
Next, on the advice of your lawyer and local expats, get a reputable local real estate agent. This is vital, as they will know their local market inside and out, what areas are desirable, what an acceptable price for a certain unit in a particular location should be, etc.
Another important step in the process is the conduction of a title search. A seller may not even realize that they aren’t actually the real owner of the unit (hard to believe, but you aren’t in the West anymore). A proper title search traces ownership back to the start of the property, ensuring you aren’t dumping your hard-earned money down a deep black pit.
Despite how nice and shiny a unit may appear, be sure to ask lots of questions before signing on the dotted line. An arbitrary rule that disallows pets for example, can turn the perfect getaway into a unexpected crisis in no time flat.
Finally, many people don’t think to do this overseas, but be sure to get a Thai will to cover the succession of your newly acquired Thai asset to your family, in case of your untimely death. It’s morbid to even contemplate it, but an English will having to be sent overseas will hold up the process immeasurably, and could lead to misunderstandings via meanings being lost in translation. Worse yet, having no will at all could lead to the government claiming your property, when it should be rightfully in the possession of your next of kin.
Real estate can seem mighty complicated at times. Foreign real estate, even more so. However, by taking your time and ensuring that you do your due diligence, you can prevent the sorts of major problems that ensnares many expats every year when purchasing condos in Thailand.