A Guide to Buying Property in Thailand for ForeignersLiving 

A Guide to Buying Property in Thailand for Foreigners

If you’ve fallen in love with Thailand, you might be thinking about buying property there so that you can spend as more time enjoying this amazing country. However, the process of acquiring property is likely to be very different from what you are used to in your own country. Having some basic legal information about the process will help you decide if you are truly ready to make the move and if so, how best to do so.

As a Foreigner, Can I Own Land?

If you’re wondering “Can foreigners buy property in Thailand?” you’re not alone. In Thailand, it is technically illegal for a foreigner to own land. However, there are several ways to still own property. Foreigners are allowed to own a condominium or apartment, in their name, if the desired building has not yet exceeded 40 percent foreign occupancy. You can also create a Thai limited company, which would legally own the land on your behalf. However, in this case, no less than 49 percent of the limited company must be held by Thai citizens. If you want to build a house, you can obtain a long term lease for a maximum of thirty years. Can apply for the construction permit in your own name and thereby secure ownership of the house to be built and the necessary lease.

How Should I Bring My Property Search?

When trying to buy property in a foreign country it’s a good idea to seek out the assistance of a property adviser or, in this case, a Thailand property consultant, as they know the language, laws and customs. They will act as a liaison between you and the property owner and work in your best interest. A property adviser or will also know which cities and neighborhoods are likely to have the type of property you want.

What Happens After I Find the Property I Want?

Finding property in Thailand for foreigners is generally the easier part so once you’ve found your property, consult an attorney who speaks Thai so they can handle the more complex aspects. The attorney should review the lease or rental agreement and check to make sure that the document is legal and in your best interest. If everything checks out, you can sign the agreement.

If I’m Building a House, What About the Land Title?

A full and proper title examination, through the Department of Lands, is required before signing a lease agreement for any land. During the process, a full examination of title deed is conducted to ensure that the lessor has the clear and legal title to the land. The title search traces all the way back to the first owner of the land to determine if any registered interests such as a mortgage or lien have first claim to the property. Respective zoning, environmental and planning codes are also checked during this time.

What is Normal for a Deposit?

The deposit for an apartment or condominium varies depending on the value of the property so be sure to ask your property advisor or Thai property consultant to find out what constitutes a fair price. If you’re building a home, a 25 percent deposit is usually required at the start of construction, as a good faith gesture that you intend to go through with building the house. Additional payments follow as construction milestones are reached, with 25 percent being required once the roof goes up, an additional 25 percent when doors and windows are fully installed and a final 25 percent when fixtures and fitting are completed.

Now that you have some concrete information about buying property in Thailand, your experience is likely to be much easier. When it’s all said and done, you can enjoy your new Thai home without worry.

Wassana Lampech

Wassana is originally from southern Thailand. She loves to travel. You can find her on Twitter or see more Thailand photos from her Instagram.

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