Buying a Condo in Thailand
If today you are looking at buying property or any real estate in Thailand then speak to a Thai lawyer before you buy property in Thailand for legal advice and assistance. A due diligence report is always the best way to go. The property market in Thailand is not the same as in the West and regulations can be difficult to understand.
These are the two options available to a foreigner in Thailand. Before you sign any agreement always speak to a property lawyer in Thailand for sound legal advice. A condo unit is the only property that a foreigner may be able to own freehold in Thailand. However, the ownership is still subject to the following limitations:
Foreign ownership in a certain condo development shouldn’t exceed the allowed foreign ownership quota which is 49% of the total units. The majority of the total units is allocated for local ownership.
Funds for the purchase should come from an offshore. A foreign exchange transaction form or FET form is required by the Land Office before the transfer of the property. A foreign buyer may utilize an escrow service or open a Thai bank account for this purpose.
A condo unit can also be leased long term as an alternative if a foreigner doesn’t like to buy the property or if the foreign ownership quota in a condo development has already been met. Under leasehold ownership, the unit can be leased long term for up to 30 years with the option to renew for another 30 years after the expiration of the contract. A clause in the contract can also be added to ensure that the lessee will be given the priority to own the property freehold should there be changes in the existing law or a foreign owner would like to sell his unit.
Important Considerations when buying a Condo
Ask a lawyer to review the contract to ensure that your interests are equally protected with that of the seller when buying a condo in Thailand.
Whether it’s a new or second hand development, ask permission from the developer to have the unit thoroughly inspected by yourself or representative. As for off-plan investments, it’s prudent to check all elements of the contract which ensures the return of your payments and interests in case of delays and the project didn’t push through.
Look for a real estate agent to help you scout your dream condo for you. The agent can also negotiate the price on your behalf.
Verify the title deed of the unit at the land office.
Among the property taxes that you need to anticipate paying as a buyer are as follows:
- Transfer Fee which is 2% of the registered value of the property.
- Stamp Duty which is 0.5% of the appraised value of the property or actual price.
Property Checklist for Thailand
- – Title Search
- – Due Diligence
- – Review/Draft of Deed Of Sale
- – Arranging for an escrow account to hold the funds
- – Translation of all important documents into English
Always ensure that a due diligence report has been done of the property as well as the developer. Speak to a property lawyer in Thailand for more information on this process.
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