Buying Property in Thailand
Many people visit Thailand and decide to buy property before they retire and hand the property over to a leasing agent to find tenants for the property so it not only pays for itself but also allows you to build.
This is the most common process in Phuket and Hua Hin with the high end properties.The first question is to ask yourself if you are going to retire in Thailand and what type of property would you prefer considering you cannot buy land in Thailand. The property laws in Thailand are complex and if you have not bought property or real estate in Thailand before then this would be an eye opener as to how complex it gets.
Note there is no Fidelity Fund Insurance for your lawyer and the property market is not well regulated. These are your options:
- – Buy the property such as buying a condo unit
- – Buying a villa or house in the name of a Thai company
- – Rent property when you retire
- – Register a usufruct over a property to retire on
When you embark on this road first take legal advice on the issue. There are many property scams in Thailand as the market is very weakly regulated. If it is a condo you can own it in your name if there are less than 49% foreign ownership of the units. The other option is to register the unit in the name of a Thai company (Shelf Company) to hold it for you. If it is a house you would have to put it in the name of a Thai company or in your Thai wife’s name. If you put it in your Thai wife’s name then ensure you also register a usufruct over the property if you don’t have prenuptial agreements. This will at least allow you to stay in the property after a divorce.
You need to ensure that you do a due diligence on the property as this lowers the risk of property scams as the title need needs to be checked, ownership or mortgage bonds registered against the property and also check for usufructs as well as servitude’s which might be registered against the property. Don’t ever buy property in Thailand without a due diligence being done.
This is easy enough however if the rental period is for more than 3 years the rental agreement has to be registered against the property at the Thai Land Department. Most rentals inn Thailand tend to be month to month with 1 months security deposit.
This is mainly done by foreigners who have a Thai wife and rent property or a track of land and wish to have the land for use for a period of 30 years. This allows you to develop the land without owning it. When palm oil was big in Southern Thailand some would rent land with a usufruct then let their Thai wife manage the plantations while they managed the business. Now it is mainly used as a safe guard for divorce.
If you are looking at retirement in Thailand and buying property first speak to lawyer in Thailand for advice and guidance if you are new to the property market. Real estate is always a good investment but you also have to safe guard that investment.
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