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Property prices in Thailand

Hello everyone,

Finding affordable housing in Thailand is number one priority for newcomers. Tell us more about the estate market in your district/city/region.

What are the most desired places to live? What are the most affordable ones? What is the average cost of a rented flat? And what is the average sale price for an appartment or a house? Could you tell us more about local real estate policies/procedures? What about property tax or residency tax in Thailand?

What about you? Where do you live now? Is it a place you would recommend?

Thank you in advance for your clarifications.

Priscilla

Hi, Priscilla. I have me house in BKK and for me the best place to live in LOS is BKK, regarding to buying a house I can tell you from now, forget about it, foreigners can't buy land in Thailand, hoever you can lease a piece of land and build a house on it, but i dont advise ye to do so; buying a condo is the only thing that u can do and the price varies according to the zone and the sice, for example an studio will cost ye around 1.5 million baht, but an appartment of 2 rooms in the center of the city will cost ye around 15 millions, but for buying a condo ye need to transfer all the money from abroad. Many people prefer Phuket and Pattaya for obvious reasons i.e. prostitution, but me prefers the capital cuz is more fun and more dinamic, Phukhet, Pattaya and Chiang Mai after two months become really boring. If ye wants to get more info about it go 2 thaivisa.com.

I dont advise ye to buy property unless ye 'ave the citizenship, cuz once ye buy it if for any reaso  u wanna sell it it will become really difficult for ye, many friends of mine r in dat situation, rentting is easier and very affordable.

Renting property as a retiree.

Yearly non-resident visas (and a proposed one for even longer) make it relatively easy for any retirees to come to live in Thailand.
I've been retired here for just over two years.

For many, who have in mind that they want an investment, which they'd consider passing on to relatives afer their time is done, the answer is to    buy property here.
To others, who don't have the lump sum to put down, and /or don't have relatives interested in the potential incumberence, the answer is to rent. Yes, this is something we'd never consider doing while we were earning money to pay off a mortgage...it would be like throwing money down the drain. However, in the retired situation,  it just keeps things simple, in case life takes an unexpected turn.

Yes,...I'm in the latter category.
I rent a property on the island of Koh Samui, which is quite a commercialised tourist location, with a very large number of English -speaking property agents, landlords, and lawyers.

If you're renting for the first time, I firstly recommend you trawl through (e.g. Google) the property agent websites, to get an idea of what kind of property you want, and to set a budget. Make the "key words" in your search include "long term", or you'll be hot with loads of (exhorbitantly expensive) holiday lets.
Follow up with exhaustive enquiries and research about location. Some agents will say things like "just minutes from the sea", and mean that it's a 20-minute walk to a stretch of sharp coral coastline.

Secondly (and not in order of priority) ask yourself WHY you decided on your chosen location. If it's not essential to wake up and walk out of your property straight on the beach, consider this....Value for money is more often found two blocks behind the beach, and still less than 7 minutes walk away.
If you chose the location because you visited it on a previous holiday /vacation, spend a couple of weeks there again, maybe in a hotel, and walk around the area. Check for signs of nearby land cleared for construction, or ongoing construction...in holiday destinations, noise can be a major consideration.
Thailand has a VERY wet....wet season. Survey the local area to make sure you're not in a river flood plain. If you're surveying in the dry season, look for depressions in the ground and /or long (head-high) grass, and boggy ground.

Check on side-streets near your chosen location...there may just be signs outside properties saying that they are for rent, and these could be cheaper than those offered by a property agent.
If you want to enquire about a property (other than through a property agent) , and you're nervous that the language barrier will be a stumbling block, you'll need to befriend an English-speaking Thai. If you don't know someone, go to your favourite restaurant or bar, and you'll normally find someone willing, even if it's for a gift of a few hundred baht.
If you don't ask...you don't get.

Specially if you're renting for the first time in Thailand, I think it's a MUST to arrange a Rental Agreement (Lease) through an accredited lawyer. There are unscrupulous Western landlords, so don't think you're OK to bypass this, just because the landlord speaks your language. In holiday haunts like Koh Samui, there's no shortage of English-speaking lawyers (again, Google search. I won't advertise, but a quality one is located at The Green, Bangrak, Samui). It cost me a few thousand baht to get an Agreement lined up in English and Thai, but, for me, it was money well spent....peace of mind.
What to look for in the Rental Agreement?
1. Landlord's Thai ID number or passport number, evidenced by them presenting the original document to the lawyer. Keep a photocopy or scanned image.
2. Documentary proof of landlord's address. If Thai, this can be the address associated with their ID. If this is not near your rented property, you might need further reassurance about this being their normal place of residence, or business location.
3. Landlord's phone number and /or email address. Phone the number (see who answers).
4. Specific agreement about who pays for electricity and water, and the rate at which it is charged. If it is the "municipal rate" you'll need to check what it is. Your lawyer should know the avenues to check. Check if any other utilities (e.g. trash collection)  or maintenance charges apply.
5.Specific agreement about repayment of any deposit, and the amounts and day of the month on which payment of tent is due. If you travel a lot, INSIST on the bank account details of the landlord, or their appointed agents (the latter must be named in the Agreement).
6. Agreement about whose responsibility it is to install and maintain an internet connection, TV cable connection, etc
7. Agreement that the landlord will be responsible for maintaining supply and correct working of water, sewerage, electricity, and the prompt clearance and prevention of flood.

Well...that took a lot more time than I thought it would...but I hope it's helpful!
I won't guarantee a hassle-free rental, but I might have closed off a few dead ends.

I live in Chiang Mai. I rent a two bedroom furnished spacious house with a front yard for 12,000 baht a month, about $352 US. The electric is around $22, water about $6, internet about $20 (fiber optic), and trash is a matter of paying for large bags. The bags cost about $ .50 per. Presently I have not accumulated enough trash to need to put out the bag. Even so 50 cents a week for trash is not bad.
I have a motor bike and the house is about 15 minutes from the center of town. Driving is very dangerous, but I must be a good driver. As they say in the driver's manual - be a defensive driver. Living a little outside of the city gives me the opportunity to have cleaner air, cooler air, fresh foliage or flowers, and to enjoy some of the little creatures in the neighborhood. I even have a papaya tree in the back of the house.
Rents in Chiang Mai can range anywhere from around $100 - 1,000 US per month. A $100 a month place would be similar to a Motel 6 room. Many expats here live in the inner city to avoid driving. Either case it's interesting living here. One point is that the further you go out the better your Thai language skills should be.
Ownership in Thailand is tricky. Non nationals are not allowed to own more than 49% of the property (land). A Thai national always has to have at least 51% ownership. I have heard of establishing a corporation to own property. But that could become involved and costly. I have also heard MANY stories of Thai women basically stealing the money or the land of a Forrang (foreigner). 
Chiang Mai has a few aspects of it that are appealing. There is a bar scene here but it's no where as extensive as the other hot spots. There is a expat community of about 30,000 people here. That's not too small and it's not too large either. The atmosphere is pleasant and friendly. Since Chiang Mai is a tourist destination with a significant expat population you don't need to use Thai language while doing whatever. There are five western style shopping centers and all sorts of Thai shopping places all over. Chiang Mai, as I understand it, this is the IT capital of Thailand. That in itself creates a high standard of living and availability to more advanced things, that may not be available to more rural areas.
Then there's the food. The food here is so fresh that they don't have time to put preservative in them. If you ever get tired of Thai food there is just about any kind of food that you can imagine. The cost runs from $1 - $150 US for something to eat.

good advice

I and my Thai wife purchased a single family home near to my first work place in Thailand, Mahidol University in Salaya.  I purchased because I wanted to install two hobby radio towers and that did not fit with renting.  However, minus the towers, I recommend renting anywhere in Thailand.  I found that Thailand does not have a formula of cost of property to rent cost.  Here, the rent is way more cheap than owning an ordinary property and buying property to rent out is a losing proposition (maybe not if always rented?).
      I found that realtors did not serve my needs outside of BKK and I found my house by word of mouth.  Too, realtors' web sites list only what is already sold or even rented because there is no honored system here, called in USA "multiple listing board" where whoever takes in a client, gets some money even if another realtor does the actual deal   Not so in competitive Thailand.
      Definitely rent, get rental contract, take dated photos before you move in, get a serviced maid/cleaner/cook/nanny, and look at the SkyTrain plans.  Good luck !

Hi Priscilla,
At Phuket from almost 20 years, I decided some years ago to build and sell houses and bungalows. I consider than it is more easier and comfortable for foreigners and Thai to live in their own houses. Phuket remains one of the best destination because of its wonderful environment and because of the high standard of life and high level of its infrastructure.
***
Kind Regards
Philip

Moderated by Priscilla 5 days ago
Reason : No free ads here please + register in the business directory

Well, I don't think that I know as much as others, our condo was bought by my wife's  sister & brother in-law who we were close with, we were still working in the US, while we made payments to her sister every month, the condo was being built at that time & they only had 1 last 2 bedroom left, so they sent us pictures & costs. We paid for about 2 years, including the down payment. At that time we were only coming for vacation to Thailand, about 6 weeks a year. The condo came furnished with built ins, stove, bed, closets, cabinets, etc. We have been living in it for 3 years, it is a LPN condo, we are on the top floor 19 floors in the corner, we have a outstanding view of downtown Bangkok & the rest of the out line of the city. Great sun rises & sun sets. I only know how much the studios rent/sell for which is 180-300 US Dollars a month depending how nice they are set up, and they sell for 1.7 million baht, but the price is flexible. We know this because we bought the studio next door to our condo & opened the wall for more space. We all know how spoiled Americans are about having space, big houses etc. But this worked out well for us, because it made a really nice guest room for visitors, the two kitchens are side by side with only a sliding door for privacy. Then we spent about 20,000 dollars changing the design to fit our needs. We live in Nonthaburi, one block from the mall, right next to HomePro & Lotus.  The biggest problem for me is the noise level, we face a very busy street. It hard to walk anywhere except the back streets & even then it is easy to get hit by a scooter. I would like to move to Chiang Mai, at least part of the time, outside the city where it is quieter, but no time now to travel, we have a dog to take care of. Maybe next year. I miss all my friends at home & plan to buy there again, so we can do 6 months US, 6 months Thailand.  For now, but one day will return to Thailand for good. I would welcome any feedback on housing in Chiang Mai, we would rent first then buy later.  We prefer condo's with a pool & gym, to help us stay healthy. For sale by owner would be best. My wife is Thai, but has lived & worked in the US for 40 years. Thanks everyone for your help looking for a place in Chiang Mai. Patrick

I'm sure that there are many agents in Chiang Mai. In my case I've come across two that seem to specifically cater to foreigners. One is Chiang Mai Properties and the other in Perfect Homes. Both can be found on line. I ended up dealing with Perfect Homes. They have a search where you plug in criteria and it pulls up a map of the locations of homes, within that criteria. Chiang Mai Properties has extensive listings. But if you don't know the districts it can become challenging. Just a thought.

Thanks, Bill.

i moved to Pattaya, along with my cousin, due to the beauuutiful beaches, life style, night life, and just plain all around fun place...not to mention that the housing here seems to be very affordable...we did pay a lot tho, renting a large 2 level home with private pool etc for 60,000 baht per month, however most places are much more affordable.  by the way, we're looking for new friends here in thailand, so if you're interested in visiting, bbq'ing and just hanging out, we'd love it...american guys here, retired but not old enough to fall over with a stiff breeze, hahahaa.....good luck to you

kenneboy 101

I would like to visit Pattaya at some point. Also, if you'd like to come to Chiang Mai I too could extent my hospitality. I have a modest house with an extra room, outside of the city. If nothing else I could help you with learning about Chiang Mai. As much as I enjoy meeting people I'm finding some people I don't want to meet for the second time. Like the guy who told me that he worked for the CIA and was on a mission. I started looking for the butterfly nets that were trying to catch this guy.

Bill Kip

Thanks for your invite. We will be going back to California in March to sept. We have a home there too. We spend 6 months back & forth. We have so many friends back there that we miss, so this is why we live both places. But am thinking about the future when I will retire & stay in one country. Plan now buy now & not have to worry about the future.  We have a 2 bedroom condo in Nonthburi, close to my wife's family, but the area is noisy & the condo Management does nothing to maintain it. Think that in the future we would move back in forth between the 2 condo's.  I see that you can build a house in Chiang Mai for much less than what a condo costs, but I don't like critters in my house, & I like a pool & gym for exercise for my wife & I to stay healthy. I would like to talk to you further about Chiang Mai, if you could give me your personal E-Mail.  Thanks,  Patrick

billkip[at]hotmail.com

Recently my landlord had a pesticide company spray the entire foundation. He spotted a termite tunnel going to the roof. That spraying could be effective for 6 - 12 months. There's also a spray you can buy called chaindrite that is good also. I put all my food scraps in the freezer, until I put out the trash. As a result I have no bugs in the house. I don't even see the gecko's in the house because there are so few bugs.

Bill

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