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Property Options and Types

Thailand - Property Options and Types


As with most countries Thailand has houses, apartments and land available for those who wish to buy or rent once they move to the country. However as far as foreign property owners are concerned there may be some restrictions. Condominiums are available for expats to purchase providing the complex has not exceeded the maximum percentage of foreign owners permitted. Houses can only be bought if the owner is able to lease the land on which it stands, as land ownership among expats is not permitted.

In the major cities such as Bangkok, the most popular form of housing is the condominium or apartment. These individual apartments are plentiful as they city is expanding upwards to create suitable accommodation for the vast amounts of people who live and work in the area. There is no restriction on foreigners owning condominiums outright and in their own name, however, there is a certain quota of foreign owned condominiums allowed and therefore it must only be one of these. There can be no more than 49 per cent of a buildings condos owned by foreign investors. Condos often have maintenance fees which cover facilities like the fitness area or swimming pool and the maintenance of gardens or grounds. Expats tend to choose apartment buildings such as these as they are close to work, have all the facilities a family may need and are low maintenance.

Many apartment blocks are serviced apartments which means that they are part apartment/part hotel. They often have maid service, linen changes and accessories such as a bar or restaurant. All the rooms will have a small kitchen area and the apartments will share amenities such as a pool or fitness room. For those who are in the area long term these are a good alternative to a hotel, particularly for those who are working in Thailand but do not want to commit to an apartment or even for those who are only in the area for a short time.

Houses are much rarer in the cities but in the suburbs they are the more popular option. Restrictions on expat ownership mean that houses cannot be bought by foreigners but they can be rented. In the richer suburbs it is common for houses to have swimming pools and other luxury accessories as well as large gardens and garages.

Luxury estates are known as ‘moo baans’ villages. These are specially designed estates and these are often planned to appeal to expats and richer residents. They are normally situated away from the main part of the city but usually have good public transport links. These estates offer more in the way of space, with larger gardens and much more tranquil areas. There are often leisure facilities that are shared by the community such as tennis courts and swimming pools.

Town houses are very common. These are usually semi-detached or terraced properties and rarely have any outside space, although some do have a small yard or courtyard. These are also usually found in gated communities that often have their own security guards. Bangkok has a number of these communities. These houses are often cheaper than condos.

Traditional style Thai homes were often built on stilts, to discourage animals and insects from making their way indoors. This area under the house also served as a work area during the day. These properties can be found mainly in rural areas and are very basic buildings. More houses are being modernised to include western-style bathrooms and kitchens.

Particularly in the case of condominiums, the properties are often new-builds are those that have been constructed in recent years. For many expats, as the choice of properties to buy is limited in Thailand, this is the most common type of property to buy. There are older-style condos which are available too. Those who are able to buy a house often opt for a newer property too, as they prefer to have more modern facilities than are available in the older style houses.

Off-plan purchases are possible in Thailand and some people choose this in order to save a little money as this type of purchase is cheaper than a finished property. Older properties in the less wealthy areas are also popular with expats as these offer reasonably good value for money.


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Aetna

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