Some Important Tips for Foreigners Wanting to Buy an Apartment in Bangkok

Bangkok is a city where tradition meets modernity face-to-face in an amazing blend. So it isn’t difficult to understand why visitors are tempted to purchase real estate there. But like anywhere the real estate market in Bangkok carries its own rules and regulations and idiosyncrasies. If you are interested in purchasing real estate in Bangkok it will pay you to be aware of these requirements.

Firstly of course you will need some understanding of the legalities of conveyancing. Although foreigners are allowed apartments to buy in bangkok there are certain specific conditions to meet. Thai property law permits foreigners to own up to 49% of the floor area in an apartment building. In other words, the majority ownership of 51% must be in the hands of Thai nationals. A reputable local conveyancing lawyer will be required to guide you through all legal processes including the review of contracts to ensure that the property has no hidden issues.

Next you should consider location of course. Bangkok offers a vast variety of different neighbourhoods each with their own specific characteristics. Traditionally areas like Sukhumvit, Sathorn, and Silom have been popular with expats due to their proximity to business districts international schools and entertainment options. Other areas such as Ari and Phra Khanong offer the charm of a more local feel and are growing in popularity as they offer more affordable property prices.

How to finance your purchase is also an important consideration. It can be extremely difficult for a foreigner to secure a mortgage in Thailand. Thai banks can be rather strict when dealing with foreigners and may require a large deposit. You may also be required to show the bank a current work permit and proof of income in Thailand. It may in fact be possible or even preferable to secure finance from a bank in your home country for your purchase. Certain developers may also offer finance plans which could be worth considering. Anyway, you will need to explore your options and make a careful financial plan.

Undertaking due diligence is critical. For this, your conveyancing lawyer plays an essential role. He should be able to satisfy you that all documents permits and licenses pertaining to the property are correct including records of ownership history. He should also provide you with a clear idea of any hidden costs such as transfer fees taxes and legal fees. It may even make sense to engage a financial adviser to help clarify such expenses. It will also be important to consider the reputation and experience of the developer. In addition, prior to purchase you should take time to visit the area where you plan to make your purchase to give yourself a clear understanding of what it may be like to live there.

Finally, you should also consider the long-term aspects of owning an apartment in Bangkok. Do your research on the apartment’s potential for capital gain and also rental yield should you choose to rent the apartment out. Generally speaking, the rental market in Bangkok is strong but competitive. Therefore ensuring that your apartment is well maintained and that it offers attractive amenities will mean that it is more appealing to potential tenants.