FOREIGN BUYER’S GUIDE

Q & A: Are foreigners allowed to own property in Thailand? 

Thailand allows foreigners to acquire a condominium in their name. Foreigners can take ownership of a condominium by purchasing a condominium unit with a freehold title or entering into an extended lease agreement, commonly known as a "Leasehold". Foreigners can acquire freehold ownership of a condominium unit with a condominium's set foreign ownership quota. By law, foreigners can own up to 49% of the total saleable area of a condominium project. Regarding the leasehold, it gives the right of use and possession of the unit for a set period. The maximum lease period is thirty years, with an additional thirty years renewal. The lease can also be written with the option to reassign to another person. Setting up a Thai company for property acquisitions is another method to own property in Thailand. The completed property requires 100% payment of the property cost. Property that is still under construction requires only 25- 30% of the price to be paid initially. The remaining 70% must be paid upon completion.

There are very few requirements for buying a condominium in Thailand as a foreigner. However, a foreigner must remit foreign currency into Thai Baht to purchase a condominium.

 

Q & A: Should you hire a real estate agent or lawyer to buy a property?  

A real estate agent's help is not legally required. However, buying property could be complex, and most people find it is easier to get through it with an agent by their side. Consequently, it will be more helpful to have someone familiar with the process and the local market to deal with purchasing a property.

Q & A: Can I get a long-term visa or permanent residence if I buy real estate in Thailand?

Long Stay Visa

Thailand's majestic landscape comprises of rich foliage and a soothing environment that one could live in forever. It is not surprising that foreigners find themselves enchanted and wanting to spend their retirement days here. If you are interested in doing the same, applying for a Long Stay Visa would be the first step. You must be 50 years old and above and must not have a criminal record in any country. You must not work and receive a salary in Thailand. The visa must be renewed annually with proof that you earn a monthly income of at least 65,000 baht or have a bank balance of 800,000 baht within the past three months. Otherwise, within one year, you must have a yearly income combined with a bank deposit of no less than 800,000 Baht.

Investment Visa

The Investment Visa offers the right to stay in Thailand to foreigners bringing at least 10 million baht into the country and putting it into the property. With this visa, you can renew it every year. 

Elite Visa

If you cannot obtain a Retirement or Investment Visa, please consider applying for an Elite Visa instead. For more information on Thailand Elite Residency Program, please visit www.thailandelite.com.

*As property ownership laws are subject to change, should you plan to purchase property in Thailand and wish to stay in the kingdom, we strongly suggest you consult with an immigration lawyer or your local Thai Embassy or Consulate.

Q & A: What fees will I need to pay? 

Lease Hold: Lease Registration Fee

Leases of over three years must be registered with the land of office to be considered enforceable. Leases of less than three years are enforceable without registration at the Land Office. Therefore. A long-term lease of 3 years or more needs to be registered. The lease registration fee is 1% of the total lease for the entire lease term. Typically, the cost will be shared equally between the lessor and the lessee. 

Free Hold: Transfer Fee

A Transfer Fee applies to the purchase of freehold property, which is calculated at 2% of the property's official appraised value. It shall be equally paid by the Seller and the Purchaser or mutually agreed by both parties in the Sale and Purchase Agreement. On the date of the ownership transfer, the Transfer Fee is paid to the District Land Office under whose jurisdiction the property's location falls.

 

Q & A: Can foreigners get a property loan in Thailand?

Thailand has become a highly sought-after location for property investment amongst foreign buyers in recent years. On the other hand, not all foreign buyers want to be so heavily invested by putting all their cash into acquiring the property. Instead, investors want the option to finance their real estate with a property loan. There are several banks and institutions in Thailand that provide mortgages to foreigners. For the lists of the banks, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our sales representatives at Hylife Developments or email us at sales@hylife.co.th for more information.

In most cases, the essential criteria for taking a property loan are the source of income. However, where the applicants do not need to work or live in Thailand, they need to have proof of stable income from the bank's country of origin or selected countries.

 

Q & A: Is it better to buy an off-plan or a completed project?  

Whether an off-plan or a completed project, buying property is considered one of the most steady and valuable investments. Potential buyers have two options to evaluate before purchasing the property: off-plan or a completed project. 

Advantages of an off-plan projects:

Flexibility: Being one of the first buyers allows you to select the ideal home for your standards. You can ask for the features you would like to have and customise your new home the way you want it. It allows you to use your taste and limits any compromises you would have to make with a completed property.

Variety: If the property is part of a larger development, it will allow you to choose various property size options.

Promotions: Buying an incomplete property means that you can save money. Developers prefer to sell units as quickly as possible to minimise the time for searching for buyers after completion and move on to the next project. This allows you to purchase property at lower prices.

Equity Growth: Considering that the purchase has been made at a lower than usual cost, you could sell the unit upon completion, benefitting from growing market prices. This would increase your profit.

 

Advantages of completed projects: 

 

Zero waiting time: Some buyers are impatient. A completed property eliminates any waiting time that could weigh on a purchase.

Transparency: With a completed property, what you see, is what you get. You can ask to take a tour of the property you are interested in and evaluate if it suits your needs. This makes the assessment and the final decision more straightforward. 

Selling: In general, the property market moves upwards. The property value in a popular location will always grow according to the market. Therefore, if you wish to sell the property, you will benefit from the growth in market prices.

 

Q&A: What are the additional running costs to owning a condominium?

You need to pay four fees when purchasing a property in Thailand.

1. Sinking Fund is a one-time payment made by every unit owner in a condominium development. The fund covers the cost of significant repairs and upgrades to       a condominium building and communal areas.

2. A common fee is an annual fee to maintain the condominium's common elements such as security, maid service, in-house staff, and gardeners.

3. A charge for the installation, insurance, and service charge of electricity meters.

4. Miscellaneous administrative expenses, including the ownership transfer.

 

Q&A: What are the additional running costs to owning a condominium?

You need to pay four fees when purchasing a property in Thailand.

1. Sinking Fund is a one-time payment made by every unit owner in a condominium development. The fund covers the cost of significant repairs and upgrades to a condominium building and communal areas.  

2. A common fee is an annual fee to maintain the condominium's common elements such as security, maid service, in-house staff, and gardeners.  

3. A charge for the installation, insurance, and service charge of electricity meters.

4. Miscellaneous administrative expenses, including the ownership transfer.


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