How to Buy Property in Thailand
Wanting to buy a villa or condo in Thailand but not certain as to how this is done. Well here you will find the basic breakdown of what needs to be done and how to buy property or any real estate in Thailand.
Select a Property Agent
Since you will be looking for property in a foreign country you need expert local assistance. The agent knows how to communicate in Thai and they're familiar with the geographical area. The agent will save you valuable time in selecting and showing you the property in your price range that meets your needs.
Purchasing directly from the developer isn't going to save you money as compared to buying it from an agent. A quality property for sale in Thailand is generally offered at a fixed price by the Seller. The best benefit of using a property agent is that they will act as a liaison between you and the Seller. They will obtain a fair price for you and act on your behalf to represent your best interests throughout the entire process.
Remember that you are spending part of your life savings to acquire this property and you must carefully plan your steps in the process. You need to know the correct legal process in Thailand for the foreigner to acquire property. Before you sign any deposit agreement or contract, you should sit down with a lawyer or solicitor to discuss the legal process.
Can foreigners buy property in Thailand?
In Thailand, a foreigner may only own a condominium in his/her own name. If the foreigner wishes to acquire land and build a house, he/she should obtain a long term lease on the land (for a period not exceeding 30 years each term). Read more about "Leases in Thailand".
The foreigner should apply for the construction permit to build the house in their own name. This way the foreigner owns the house and has a secured long term lease on the land.
The lease can be written with the option to reassign to another person (if you sell), ability to sublease and with a purchase option (should the law change in the future to allow freehold ownership by the foreigner). Therefore, a lease is the most common legal method for the foreigner to acquire property in Thailand.
A comprehensive examination of title deed recorded at the Land Department should be done. You need to verify that the Seller has clear and legal title of the land before you enter into a contractual agreement.
The title search will trace the land to its first possession. It will reveal any registered interests on the land such as mortgage or liens. This investigation will also verify the right to access to your property; the residential zoning, environmental and planning codes applicable in the area It is a good idea to make sure that you can build a structure on the land.
When you feel satisfied with the property, you will be asked to make a deposit to show your good faith to continue the process.
In return, the Seller will reserve the property for you and start the process by drafting the contracts for purchase. Unless you write specifically a "get-out" clause in the deposit agreement, for example "subject to clear title" or "subject to agreement on the contract terms," the money deposited is non-refundable.
Review of Contracts
The Seller will have the contracts prepared for you. Since the Seller will write the contracts, it is highly recommended that you have a lawyer or solicitor review the terms and conditions. You will want protection for your interests should there be a delay in the property being built. A proper remedy should be stated in the contract.
The contract will contain a clause for penalty if you are late with your payment. This should be fair and reasonable to both parties should the Seller default.
Your payment schedule and its ration should be reasonable and practical. Normally, a first payment is 25 percent. Thereafter payments are made on a progressive basis: 25 percent when the roof is on, 25 percent when the door and windows are secure; and 25 percent when the fixtures and fittings are completed for instance.