Investing in any property is both exciting and daunting, whether it’s in your home country or as an expat in Phuket. Cultural norms and language barriers aside, the laws that govern Thailand are incredibly hard to understand at times, even for locals. Now that you’re one hundred percent sure that you’d want to invest in a property in Phuket, we have a few tips to help you avoid buyer’s remorse.
Don’t worry because there are lots of things you can do (and avoid) to make it easier to invest in any property in Phuket. Here are some mistakes you can avoid so you can relax, take in the scenery, and just enjoy your new property.
Not Knowing the Basics of the Law
This one is pretty basic, but the most baffling thing for some people is the fact that foreigners cannot own land in Thailand. There are workarounds though. For example, if a foreigner wants to buy an apartment, make sure that 51% of the property is owned by a Thai national. Another thing that can be done is to purchase a leasehold property through a limited company. However, take into mind that this is only possible if a foreigner marries a Thai national. This is why a lot of long-term expats who live in Thailand just simply opt to purchase a condo or an apartment wherein more than 50% of the dwellers/owners are Thai.
Another option might be too much for some, but if you set up your own Thai Limited Company, you can set it up so that the company owns the land on your behalf. One thing that most foreigners don’t know is that although they aren’t legally allowed to own land in Thailand, they can actually own the structure that sits on top of a Thai-owned land. This is why some people choose to go into a long-term leasehold with a local landowner.
Not Understanding The Difference Between Leasehold and Freehold Ownership
Many home seekers, especially those that are foreigners, get confused by the terms leasehold and freehold. The difference between leasehold and freehold ownership is quite simple. With leasehold ownership, you own the property itself for 30 years with the freeholder, but not the land it stands on. Whereas, with freehold ownership, you have outright ownership of both the property and its land.
Trying to DIY
If you’d like to DIY your search for the best property in Phuket, this could be a bad idea especially if you’re unfamiliar with the real estate culture in Phuket. Navigating through the ins and outs of owning a property in Thailand or Phuket might get too tiring, especially if you have zero experience as a property investor. Hiring a local agency or agent can help safeguard your investment so the returns are safeguarded.
Not Inspecting the Property
If you want to be sure that the property you’d like to invest in has no hidden defects or you want to be sure that the plumbing, the roof, etc… are all in order, then you might want to enlist the services of an inspection team or a freelance engineer/architect/interior designer who can inspect the place for you. Otherwise, you might incur a lot more costs with repair than you imagined.
Not Factoring in Maintenance Costs
If you’d like to invest in a condo, take note that there is such a thing as the ‘Condominium Act’. This law says that all co-owners must jointly pay all maintenance and operational costs of a property.
Chat with Other Property Owners
Lastly, strike up a conversation with potential neighbors or other property owners. Some people have had regrets about buying properties since they didn’t know the building well or the developer, and they thought they made a good deal. Although fancy new units might be pleasing to the eye, it’s still worth waiting for expert feedback and doing your research before buying a new property.
Looking to invest in a property in Phuket? Get in touch!