Bangkok is a charming city attracting all kinds of people. It is filled with excitement, a fascinating culture, and amazing food. It has served as a business hub for centuries thanks to its location in the heart of Southeast Asia. The city has the perfect balance of eastern and western cultures. Bangkok is the perfect mix of modern buildings and ancient temples. In addition, world-class beaches are only a short flight away from the city. Bangkok is truly the dream destination for thousands of people out there. After all, it doesn’t become one of the most visited cities in the world for nothing.
The combination of Bangkok’s beauty, location, and the economy are temping thousands of foreigners to ponder on the possibility of buying a villa in the city. However, it is very important to know all the facts about buying a villa in Bangkok before deciding on anything. Buying a villa in a foreign country can be a lot different from buying one in your home country. There are some rules you need to be aware of and the steps you need to take to make sure your transaction is safe. Here are five things you need to know before purchasing a villa in Bangkok.
Research is very important
It is important to research what type of villa you want, the style, how many rooms, and what kind of amenities you want to have in that villa. Once you decided on the type of villa you want, remember to check the villas yourself. Performing due diligence is very important to make sure your investment will be a sound one. The value of property in Bangkok has rocketed in the past decade, which has lead property developers to keep building new properties and as a result, there are numerous villas in the city that have been poorly built. Do a little leg work and check for defects, such as cheap flooring, poor standards of roofing, or leaking plumbing. Checking for defects will save you a lot of money and time in the long run.
Location, location, location
The most important factor in real estate is the location. The location will determine everything else in the contract and the villa. If the villa you choose is located in a booming and nice area, it will be in very much in demand and will sell and rent out at higher prices. The exact same villa, with the same size and facilities, located in an area that isn’t as nice will not have nearly the same charm and will demand high prices. When you buy a villa in a nicer area, you may need to pay a little more, but you have a better return on your investment in the future. If you are buying for investment purposes, make sure you know who your target audience is. For instance, if you want to buy a villa for vacationers, make sure you buy one near tourist attractions, but if you buy the villa to rent to working families, buy a villa near the central business district and good schools. If you focus on villas in neighborhoods that have no selling point, you will always struggle to find a demand for your villa. In the end, the lack of demand will disappoint you with lower rents and lower sales prices.
Pick the right option for a villa ownership
Foreigners can’t actually own a villa in Thailand, but there are ways around it. Your options are as follows.
- A 30-year lease. Since foreigners cannot own the land freehold, this is one of the ideal methods. This kind of lease can be renewed twice, which is why it is sometimes called the 30+30+30 leases. With a 30-year lease, you can obtain the right to use land and the property above it. The lease has a term, requires a registration fee, as well as stamp duty to be paid determined by a percentage of the rental fee for the lease. The lease is renewable, but there is no automatic right to renew it. You should note that it can sometimes be hard to stay on as the leaseholder for an additional 30 years.
- Set up a limited company. This is the most common option for foreigners. You can set up a limited Thai company, but a Thai investor will need to own at least 51% of the business. The company should have a minimum of 7 shareholders. If you want to buy a luxury villa, the limited company should be at least 61% owned by a Thai investor to make sure further investigations aren’t needed. If you are interested in this option, you need to know about the registration fee to apply for limited companies. The registration fee is 5,500 THB for every million Baht of capital. For instance, if you invest 10 million THB to the company, the registration fee should be 55,000 THB.
- Become a Thai citizen. You can have your name on the villa registration documents by becoming a permanent Thai resident. If you have had a Thai non-immigrant visa for at least three years, you are allowed to become a permanent resident of Thailand. However, if you hold multiple non-immigrant visas, you can’t apply for permanent resident status. You must be a holder of a non-immigrant visa when you submit your application. There are also several categories you must meet to apply for permanent resident status.
You do need a property lawyer
You may think that you don’t need a lawyer since purchasing a property in your home country may not need one. Many people will also tell you the same thing. However, the regulations, rules, and laws in Thailand can be slightly or a lot different from your home country. A good lawyer will be able to explain the contract, make sure you understand everything fully, read through the sales and purchase agreement, as well as handling the transfer in your absence.
Hiring an agent will help you a lot
Make sure you receive the best possible advice by hiring a reputable real estate agent. Visit the real estate office to assess their suitability. Ensure that you can trust the real estate agent so you will receive the best professional after-sales service. An agent will make you aware of any developers or development you will need to avoid. He or she will also make safer recommendations for you to consider. A professional agent will provide the best information and resources.