Amidst all the complexities of property law for foreign buyers, there are some areas which are less restrictive. Foreigners are permitted to own outright up to 49% of a condominium building. This made the property market even more direct and since foreigners are generally not permitted to own land, condominiums are among the best option for them. Added to the upswing of the condo market is the identification of foreigners in Thailand as their ideal place to retire.
Titles of condominiums in other countries like the United Kingdom may be similar with that of Thailand’s and so with ownership rights too. But even with these similarities, as a foreigner, it is highly advisable for you to take the three steps to safeguard your interest, your investment and your family.
Step 1: Finding Real Estate in Thailand
Finding a real estate is not as simple as browsing over the internet, contacting an agent or company, sign agreements and pay. It requires you to exercise due diligence so that you can avoid spending way more than what you expected because of a litigation.
It is a wise decision if you hire the services of Thai registered lawyers with expertise on real estate and agents who are highly regarded in their chosen profession. These lawyers will also provide you with a background of your rights as provided by the Condominium Act. Just make sure that the lawyers who will represent you do not represent the developer too.
Moreover, you can utilize the following links which are located here: Thailand Real Estate Outlook, the Glossary of Real Estate Terms and Real Estate FAQ of the main website. These links will provide you with more answers to your questions and also, they will guide you in formulating what questions to ask your agent like for example: does the condominium management allow pets, maintenance and restrictions on parking.
Step 2: Consulting a Lawyer in Thailand
Before entering into and signing any document, it is important for you to consult a lawyer, ideally, someone who is an expert on real estate.
A lawyer with expertise on real estate can advise on the legalities of the purchase, title searches and checks the contracts before letting you sign them. Also, it is important for you to have an ample knowledge on the Types of Title Deeds in Thailand, property taxes and cost of transfer from the developer to you.
You need to know all of these so that you will be protected from fraud by the seller of the unit. After all, the real estate industry in Thailand is not regulated. Meaning to say, you have limited protection and you may find yourself charged double because the lawyer who is representing you is also representing the seller and his interests.
Step 3: Mortgages in Thailand for Foreigners
Actually, mortgage bond for foreigners is possible in the Kingdom only that they can come with very strict terms and conditions.
Years ago, financing on real estate was virtually unheard of in Thailand until recently when the government gave recognition to the increase in tourism and relaxed the restrictions a little bit to further the growth in the economy.
At present, the Bangkok Bank and United Overseas Bank are the banks that offer mortgage bonds to foreigners. Loans will be based on foreign currencies and interests rates may vary.