Buying property in Thailand is an exciting prospect that brings both financial and lifestyle rewards for foreigners. But as with any other big investment you’ll want to do as much as you can to avoid making costly mistakes.
To help you avoid common pitfalls and minimize the potential risks of buying property in Thailand, we've laid out the top 5 mistakes buyers make when buying property in Phuket.
A title search is a comprehensive examination of a property’s history. It dates back to the property’s first owner(s) and it’s recorded at the provincial Land Department. As such, a thorough title search will ensure you’re getting what you’re paying for.
What will the title search tell you?
Clear and Legal Title – You certainly wouldn’t buy a bike or car without the necessary ownership paperwork. So it only makes sense to verify that the seller has a clear and legal title for the property.
Mortgages, Liens, Encumbrances – A purchaser’s right to use the land can be affected by these issues. It is important to note that a valid contract to lease property or land won’t get terminated by transfer of ownership.
Zoning, Environmental, and Planning Codes – When buying land in Thailand it is extremely important to verify the area's zoning, environmental, and planning codes, especially in beachfront areas which may have a few different restrictions.
For further reading, we recommend our article on Property and Land Title Deeds and Can Foreigners Own Property Legally in Thailand?
We advise clients against purchasing property in Thailand without the assistance of a lawyer. While some purchases are more straightforward, even they deserve the attention to legal details only a good lawyer can provide.
You can read more in our Should I Use a Lawyer When Purchasing Property in Thailand article. We can also provide a list of lawyers who come recommended by our previous clients.
Real estate agents in Thailand don’t need a license to do their job, nor do they need much of anything else. You only need to reach out to a few agencies for this to become painfully clear.
While communication delays and a general lack of professionalism might be annoyances, more important issues can come up. Agents might be new to Phuket and/or real estate in Thailand, or worse, they’re unscrupulous and will tell you whatever they think you want to hear in order to buy the property.
Pulse Real Estate is one of Phuket’s most well-established property agencies.In fact, every member of our staff has been living in Phuket for over 10 years, and almost everyone has more than 5 years’ experience working in Phuket property. As such, we work as a team to ensure the highest client satisfaction. Contact us and find out more about how we can help you with your property purchase.
This one can be seen upon first inspection--usually right at the entrance of the property. Common ground upkeep at the time of your visit will leave little to the imagination and management companies change, you can expect the same quality, or lack thereof, moving forward.
When investing in off-plan property you are looking to be able to move in as soon as possible or get a timely return on your investment. Mismanaged developments can lead to:
You need to carry out due diligence on any developer you are interested to purchase from by looking at their previous projects and financial standing. If information is hard to find, ask your agent who will share their inside knowledge, or put a good lawyer on retainer to find this information.
As we said at the beginning of this segment, the choice is ultimately yours, and only what you feel comfortable with matters. Keep in mind though, this is an area where the expertise of an estate agent can come in handy, as they will probably have knowledge of developers active in their area.
Everyone wants to know we’re getting a good deal, but when assessing price there are several variables to take into consideration.
You get what you pay for, and you may regret buying a property simply because it was cheap. Oftentimes, curiously cheap condos are constructed using low-quality materials and unskilled labor.
Other issues may have to do more with the surrounding area. Perhaps there’s a nightclub in the area that plays loud music until 2 am. The area may be prone to flooding, or the owner may have heard of a nearby construction project that is starting soon.
On the flip side of that, it’s often the case where a property slightly above a budget you’re most comfortable with offers the best value. For a small percentage just over what you were prepared to pay, you might get great maintenance, easy access to transport routes, a corner unit, or other added value items that make the property more convenient, and easier to sell later on.
Research properties in the surrounding area. That will give you a good perspective on the current market situation. This is another good reason to find a knowledgeable agent. They will know what’s currently happening in the local market, or they have good resources to find data they don’t currently have.
“Real estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid for in full and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world.”
- Franklin D Roosevelt