Buying A Condo In Thailand, Foreigners

A Foreigner Buying A Condominium In Bangkok Thailand

Foreigners can buy condominiums in Thailand, we discuss various options and procedures that need to be followed. To begin with, no more than 49% of the condominiums in a building can be bought by foreigners. This might not be a big problem in the major cities given the fact that, a number of reputed brand name builders keep constructing quality condos in all sizes and styles.

3 Main Options:

1)    Bring the funds from overseas.

2)    Enter the country through special Board of Investment (BOI) provisions.

3)    Have a residency permit to stay in Thailand.


Funds From Overseas:

When a foreigner decides to bring funds from overseas to finance the purchase of a condominium in Bangkok or any other part of Thailand, a few procedures need to be followed. It is always best to begin by opening a bank account in Thailand, this if you do not already have one. Explain to your bank that, you plan to bring in funds into the account and specifically mention that, the funds are meant to buy a Thai condo. All banks are aware of the steps and procedures but, do not expect a junior staff to be an expert. You might have to request a meeting with the bank (branch) manager to discuss this issue.

Once you have the bank account issue worked out, keep details of your bank account number, the name and address of the bank (branch) and the SWIFT code for the bank. Double check these details as they will be critical to making a correct transfer from your finances overseas. Work with your bank or finance company overseas to transfer the required funds into your Thai bank account. You would have to clearly specify that the money is meant to buy a condominium in Thailand. Technically it is also possible to sell travelers checks and foreign bank notes to fund the purchase of a condominium in Thailand.  Foreigners who wish to use this option to partly or fully fund the purchase of a Thai condo, should inform their bank in advance. Sell the instruments to your bank and make sure that, they keep the funds on record in your account. You could also use a foreign credit card to pay for a condo in Bangkok or any other place in Thailand.


Board Of Investment Provisions (BOI):

Foreigners who set up businesses in Thailand under BOI regulations are entitled to some privileges. You can discuss your intention to buy a condominium in Thailand with your law consultant if you have a BOI business. Explore finance options, your bank might be able to extend you a loan to purchase the condo. You can always transfer funds from overseas to fund the property purchase. A foreigner using BOI provisions to buy a Thai condo should make sure that, all details, conditions and procedures are well understood by him or her.


Having A Thai Residency Permit:

A residency permit in Thailand is referred to by various names ‘Tangdao’, ‘Long Stay Visa Permit’ etc. Foreigners with a Thai residency permit can buy a condominium in Thailand, with the funds available to them locally. It is not uncommon for Thai banks to offer loans to buy a condominium to permit holders. Exact procedures and documents required vary from bank to bank, you can discuss details with your bank.


Top Tips:

Some foreigners who already own a running business in Thailand, apply for bank loans to make a condo purchase. The bank might release such loans after checking the financial status of the business. The condominium is in such cases purchased in the name of the business. Banks generally require that the condo be hypothecated to them, this as a security for the loan given. In strictly legal terms, the foreigner does not own the condo, it remains in the name of the business.

The price of a Bangkok condo or for that matter, a condominium in any part of Thailand, would depend on the location, the quality of the project and also the reputation of the builder. There are a few highly trusted condominium builders in the country, take some time to look around before you make a purchase. You can check out the company website and look for other projects by the same builder. Since most foreigners spend significant amounts in buying a Thai condo, carefully study and evaluation is advised.

Traffic in Thailand is on the rise, vehicles on the roads increase each year. Keep that in mind when choosing the location for your condominium. The sky train can prove very useful when travel is required to happen on tight schedules. Plans are on the way to extend the sky train services to provinces beyond Bangkok. Take a look at the might not be to your liking.

Check all facilities in the condominium complex before, you make a decision. A swimming pool and fitness center is generally provided. If you plan to use the swimming pool, check out the size in relation to the number of condos in the building. Review the equipment provided in the fitness center, this again based on the number of condominiums present in the room. It is important to understand whether membership to the swimming pool and the fitness center is to paid as an extra charge. No matter where your condominium is located in Bangkok or Thailand, insist on a clear terms and conditions statement along with the purchase agreement. Details related to the cost (if any) of using facilities provided in the building, need to be clearly mentioned as part of the agreement.

Owners of condos in Thailand generally pay government rates for electricity used. It is obvious that a separate meter will be required for each condominium unit. When charging water to the various units, the building might add in the cost of maintaining the water pumping systems etc. Make sure that you know exactly how much you would be paying per unit for both, electricity and water. It is normal for a building to charge a maintenance fee per condo, this is calculated on a per square meter basis. You can compare this fee across different condos in the same locality. Remember that, you will be paying this fee as long as you own the property.

Check details like insurance provided for the condominium. This is likely to be provided only when, the condo you purchase is brand new and purchased directly from the property developer. More upscale condos in Bangkok and other major towns and cities in Thailand, might require owners to insure their property. This is done to handle damage from causes like fire and major water leakage.

At the end of the day, the quality of a condominium can be only as good as the reputation of the builder. So making the right start and carefully selecting the builder and the project is important. Don’t be swayed by swanky marketing campaigns, it is only the written and signed word that will matter in the end.