Property in Thailand - Buying

With increasing house prices in the UK, more and more people are looking to invest in property abroad. Thailand, with its thriving tourism industry, is considered a good prospect for development. Thailand's many islands and beaches make it popular with sun seekers and the mountainous scenery and the varied culture of the north make it an interesting holiday destination. Buying a holiday home in Thailand is an option worth considering for those who are not planning to emigrate and wish to buy to let. Others may be considering relocating to Thailand. Bangkok is becoming increasingly westernized and many global companies now have offices there. There is a high demand for English teachers in Thailand and there are other jobs for foreigners (farang). The exchange rate is working in the UK's favour as well with the strong pound, which is good for travellers and those wishing to invest abroad, as the pound will go much further.

There are restrictions for foreigners wishing to own land, property or businesses in Thailand. It is best to take legal advice when buying real estate in Thailand. Foreigners are usually allowed to own a part share of a company with a Thai co-owner and companies can purchase land and property. To live and work in Thailand there are visa requirements and work permits to sort out. Having a Thai spouse helps. Currently an alien who is not purchasing Thailand property though a company can own a unit in a condominium or a building (but not the land it is on). They can buy leaseholds up to 30 years for land and buildings.

Types of Thailand properties available to buy are: condos, houses, shops, bars, restaurants, hotels and complexes. It is possible to buy land to have housing or wooden bungalows built fairly cheaply. Buying land in popular holiday resorts for development is an option, but some of these areas have now been protected so there are limitations on development. A non-refundable deposit of 10% is usually required and the balance should be paid within 30 to 60 days depending on the contract. When buying condos, find out what the maintenance charges are and make sure you get it in writing.

Check where the estate agent is getting their commission from - it should be from the seller at about 3% to 6% of the selling price.

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