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Mortgages and Other Financial Issues

Thailand - Mortgages and Other Financial Issues

Mortgages in Thailand are very hard to obtain for those who are not Thai citizens or who are not married to a Thai citizen. If you are married to a Thai person then the loan is fairly easy to obtain but it will need to be in the name of the Thai person. Many banks will consider you for a mortgage in this instance. You will need to provide documentation which proves that you are married to a Thai person and that proves that you have a steady income from a business or employment. You should be able to show that your main source of income is earned in Thailand, although most banks will take into account any funds that you have from outside the country. If the expat is the main breadwinner in the house then they need to show that they have held a valid Thai work permit for at least one year prior to making the application for the mortgage.

Many banks will only loan up to 50% of the purchase price of the property, although some will consider a loan of up t o 70% if the income source is good and the earnings high. Proof of income will need to be provided in the form of pay slips or certified documentation from the employer.

Those who are not married to a Thai citizen will find it difficult to purchase a property with a mortgage in Thailand although buying a condo is a different matter as the title of the property is considered to be secure.

Those who are applying for a mortgage from a bank will need to provide their passport, proof of income, visa documentation and work permit information in order for the application to be processed. There may be other documentation required from the bank including a reference from employers, details of previous bank accounts, birth certificates and marriage certificates if applicable.

There have been instances of the seller assuming the mortgage for the property. This is arranged between the buyer and the seller although this is not a system which is used very much now. The seller passes on the house to the new owner but will only receive an agreed percentage of the price, while the buyer pays him a monthly amount which includes interest. The negotiation is between the two parties and the title of the land remains with the seller until everything is paid. There are legal implications to this arrangement and the buyer must be sure that the seller is the legal owner of the land.

Mortgages will not be given to expats to purchase houses or land as there are many restrictions in place which prevent foreign ownership of both.

There are other fees which are associated with purchasing a property in Thailand. There is a transfer registration fee which is usually the equivalent of 2% of the purchase price of the property. If you choose to purchase a property through a business there are also business taxes to pay which are around 3.3% of the purchase price. The Thai government has occasionally reduced these amounts for those who are purchasing condos in order to stimulate the property market.

Capital gains tax does not exist in Thailand but if you are renting a property out to others then you should be prepared to pay between 10 and 30% of the rental income, depending upon the type of property that you own. Inheritance tax will not be payable if the property is passed on to family members. Stamp duty is another fee that should be considered but as with some of the other purchase taxes the Thai government often waives this in order to encourage purchasers.

Home insurance is considered to be important in Thailand. Those who do purchase a house and land are advised to ensure that the property is covered for earthquake damage as well as buildings and contents. Earthquakes are not automatically covered on insurance policies. If you purchase a condo then you only need to provide insurance for the fixtures, fittings and other contents. The management company is required by law to have insurance which covers the cost of a rebuild in the event of an earthquake or other disaster.

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