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Buy condo in Bangkok

BUY CONDO IN BANGKOK

Buy condo Bangkok
Buy condo Bangkok

 

If you are an expat, you have the option to purchase a condo in Thailand, with a variety of new and used options available on the market. There are varying opinions on the wisdom of investing in an apartment in Thailand.

 

The main concerns for buyers, aside from finances, are pitfalls related to valuation, future outlook, complications, and bureaucracy. For those handling the process themselves, this article provides the necessary information in these areas.

 

If you have any inquiries regarding buying a condominium in Bangkok, please contact our team at Amazing Properties. We have a nice selection of condos for sale in Bangkok

 

When you start researching online before purchasing a condo, you may encounter various pessimistic opinions about the Thailand condo market bubble. Some may state that your property will eventually lose its value. However, if you conduct thorough research and make wise decisions, you can avoid such negative outcomes.

 

Our article provides numerous helpful links for getting an insight into the Thai condo market outlook. You can discover comprehensive listings of properties at various price points, and we can also help you get in touch with the appropriate professionals who can assist you throughout the condo-buying process, besides ourselves.

 

Can Foreigners Buy a Condo in Bangkok?

Certainly. However, there are several laws that foreigners need to keep in mind when buying a condominium in Thailand. Currently, we will focus on these three critical aspects in greater detail later in the article.

1. To register a condo in a foreigner’s name, all funds for the purchase must be sent in the original currency from a foreign country to Thailand. Failure to provide proof of this will result in the inability to complete the registration process at the Land Department.

2. Foreigners can only own a maximum of 49% of the total rooms in the development.

3. The building must follow the regulations outlined in the condominium act.

We will cover many other laws and regulations in addition to the ones mentioned.

 

How much does a Condo Cost?

The cost of a condo in Bangkok depends on its size and location, so it’s hard to give an exact estimate. Generally speaking, people use the size of a condo in square meters (Sqm) to gauge its value and potential rent.

 

The table below presents information about the prices of condominiums in Bangkok. Units priced below 70,000 baht per square meter are considered entry-level. This data can help you understand the cost and availability of condominiums in various areas of Bangkok.

 

Bangkok condo price per sqm overview
Bangkok condo price per sqm overview

 

For those who are looking for a good deal, may want to consider an older and larger condo, as often owners are ready to lower their asking price to make a quick sale.
Often the asking selling prices in the advertisements can be decreased by 5-20%. Additionally, many developers will also give you free gifts such as iPhones or tablets.

 

However, it’s important to be aware of hidden costs that sellers may not disclose upfront. These expenses may only be revealed after you’ve signed the purchase contract and could amount to an extra thousand baht.

 

Different Types of Condos

In Bangkok, there are various types of condos available for purchase, ranging from studio, 1 bedroom, 1 bedroom duplex, 2 bedrooms………..to duplex penthouses. The following is an overview of the different types of condominiums in Bangkok.

 

Studio
The smallest type of condo in Thailand is the studio. It is also the most affordable and commonly preferred by first-time buyers in entry and mid-level condominiums. However, several high-end condominium projects do not offer this type of unit.

 

A studio typically refers to a single room that spans between 22 to 30 sqm in size. These rooms generally include a small pantry area, basic kitchen facilities, living area and a small laundry area outside. The only separate space in a studio is usually the bathroom.

 

One Bedroom
A typical one-bedroom condo is usually 33 to 40 sqm in size with a separate bedroom and living area. However, some projects offer a deluxe option that is 5 to 10 sqm larger and includes a small extra room that could serve as an office (1 bedroom + 1 office)

 

Two Bedrooms
Entry to mid-range condominiums typically offers two-bedroom apartments that range from 50 to 60 sqm in size.

 

Three Bedrooms or more
Mostly high-end, luxury and super luxury condos offer three-bedroom or larger condos. However, it’s important to note that room sizes and prices vary significantly among different projects.

 

When buying a condo in Thailand, the location is a crucial aspect to consider. Bangkok is the primary location for condos, with multiple popular areas featuring high-quality developments. Additionally, many developers are attracted to areas near the BTS and MRT lines, resulting in a new condo development located adjacent to almost every station.

 

The central area of Bangkok, particularly along Sukhumvit from BTS Chit Lom to BTS Ekamai, has the highest land prices resulting in mainly high-end condos being available in this area. These condos are also the priciest in Bangkok. Meanwhile, outside the central zone of Bangkok, you can find more affordable condos, particularly if you go away from public transport. A popular option for purchasing property is in the areas around motorway junctions in the outskirts of Bangkok.

 

Developers are purchasing land near future BTS, monorail, and MRT lines in Bangkok to construct new condos. The extension of the orange line and the addition of the new pink line are examples of upcoming lines where new properties can be found. These properties offer convenient transportation and are more affordable than existing condos near the current BTS/MRT lines.

 

Please keep in mind that the proposed transportation lines will not be built for at least three years. Therefore, if you purchase a condo now, you will have to rely on other transportation options in the meantime. Furthermore, the proposed schedules may not be accurate, so it’s important to disregard any promises of new lines being completed soon and prepare for a longer wait before your new condo becomes conveniently located.

 

 

Developers

Sansiri, Major Development, LPN, Ananda, Noble Development, Pruksa, Raimon Land and Supalai are the main developers behind the majority of developments in Bangkok.

 

New Condos VS Older Condos

When purchasing a condo, a crucial decision is whether to opt for a new or an old one. Each has its pros and cons. A significant benefit of a new condo is that you’ll be the first occupant and everything will be brand new. The building’s common areas and hallways will be properly furnished, and the unit will feature state-of-the-art appliances and technology. Additionally, the construction process and materials used should be up-to-date and top-quality.

 

When you purchase a new condo, it can be uncertain how things will function in the coming years. The staff who were initially helpful and courteous may have a shift in attitude, and services including cleaning and repairs may become less frequent. Moreover, since the room has been lived in, it may require renovation and decoration if the current state doesn’t suit your taste.

 

Older condos have the advantage that they are larger than newer condos and often priced lower than new units, allowing you to find a bargain. As locals tend to prefer new condos, there is typically an oversupply of older units. A room that is only a few years old can be purchased at a good price. Additionally, you can assess the build quality more accurately with condos in this category.

 

Legal Issues

If you are considering buying a condo in Thailand, there are some legal issues that you should be aware of.

 

Purchasing a condo under the name of a foreigner or Thai citizen

Thai and foreign couples often face the important decision of choosing whose name to register for their condo. Although registering the condo under a foreigner’s name is an option, there are various factors to take into account.

 

In order for Thai citizens to obtain a mortgage from a Thai bank, they must have a good credit history and a monthly salary of at least 15,000 baht. If they plan to buy a condo that costs more than 1.5 million baht, their monthly salary will need to be over 30,000 baht to qualify for a loan. The eligibility criteria are much more stringent for foreigners.

 

To simplify the process and save money, some foreigners opt to register their condominium under the name of their Thai partner. However, it is important to keep in mind that Thailand prohibits foreigners from paying for their partner’s property and claiming ownership. Any funds provided to a Thai partner are considered a gift and do not grant any ownership rights to the property purchased with those funds.

 

If you and your Thai partner split up, they can legally force you to leave the property and keep it all to themselves, even if they didn’t invest any money into buying it. While registering the property in a Thai person’s name might be the only choice for certain couples, it comes with risks.

 

Due diligence buying property bangkok
Due diligence buying property bangkok

Lawyers in Thailand

 

In Thailand, it is common for condo buyers to consult with a lawyer before making any financial decisions. These legal professionals can provide guidance on the legal aspects involved in buying a condo in Bangkok and also conduct investigations into the seller or building. In the event of major issues such as a developer abruptly halting a project and failing to offer a refund, it is recommended to seek assistance from a real estate law specialist.

 

During Buying Process / Construction

 

You’ve settled on buying a Bangkok condo and now must start the paperwork and put your finances in order.

 

Rights and Obligations

 

Understanding your rights and responsibilities as a condo purchaser in Thailand is critical. Since the laws and regulations may be very different from those of your own country, enlisting the help of an experienced lawyer will likely prove invaluable.

 

To avoid any misunderstandings, it is essential to sign a contract in the Thai language as it is the only legally binding document. Before signing the contract, it is recommended to have a lawyer review it or have a Thai partner check it for extra assurance. Moreover, anything in the contract that contradicts the pre-sale discussion will still be enforceable. Hence, it is crucial to be careful during negotiations and go through all the documents thoroughly before signing them.

 

It’s essential to triple-check that the condo can be registered under the foreign quota of 49% of all units. If this has already reached its limit, then you won’t be allowed to register it under a foreign quota and may have no choice other than employing a Thai partner for completing your purchase. Pay extra attention when buying from an existing Thai citizen as they likely don’t know what is required or even accepted. Get in touch with the condo office and verify everything before proceeding further!

 

Additionally, you or your legal representative should verify that the building is registered in accordance with the condominium act and can consequently be added to your name.

 

Timetables

When you purchase a condo off-plan, the builder will usually supply an estimated completion date as opposed to one that is definite. As the project moves toward its end, this timeline should become more precise.

 

When signing a contract, it is important to diligently read through the clauses that discuss potential delays in construction. Typically, if there are more than X days of delay from completion date these contracts provide for some form of remuneration or compensation. Be sure to be aware of any cancellation clauses in the agreement, so you can understand if and how much money will be refunded for your expenses.

 

As a good estimate, the construction of a medium-sized condo should take roughly eighteen months to finalize.

 

Official Documents

 

When it comes to purchasing and registering your new condo, a few key documents are essential. The contract between you and the developer of a newly built condo should contain all relevant information related to registration, payments, and procedure – in other words, this is your safety net throughout the process when it comes to building fees or timeline issues. Make sure that both parties sign off on this document!

 

Subsequently, you will require FET forms (Foreign exchange transfer forms) that demonstrate the money for your purchase has been transmitted from overseas and then traded into Thai Baht upon arrival. This is a critical aspect; the funds must enter Thailand in your own currency and be changed over by a Thai bank. You are not limited to only one FET form – multiple transfers are acceptable as long as there is an individual document corresponding with each expenditure.

 

FET Form
FET Form

 

Before purchasing and transferring property, it’s essential to make photocopies of your passport along with any additional official documents (work permit, visa, marriage certificate etc) and bring the originals as well.

 

When registering property under a Thai individual’s name, they must bring their identification card plus one other form of ID for verification.

 

Taxes and Transfer Fees

 

Prior to your property purchase, make sure that you have discussed all relevant fees with the seller and these should also be included in your contract. Understandably, as a buyer, stamp duty and business tax are not payable by you; these costs remain solely with the seller. Normally the transfer fee (2% of appraisal value from land department) is split equally between the buyer (1%) and the seller (1%)

 

When you move into a brand-new condominium, it is mandatory to pay into the sinking fund. This one-time fee equates to approximately 12 months’ worth of maintenance fees and serves as an initial investment from individuals who are new residents in the condominium. Additionally, there is an installation fee for the water and electric meters.

 

After paying all taxes and transfer fees, you will obtain a Tabien Baan book – blue for Thais or yellow for foreigners. This document is an essential record that displays the resident of the unit; it must be kept if you ever plan to put your condo on sale in future.

 

Once the title deed is switched over to your name, that’s when the buying process comes to a close!

 

AFTER BUYING

 

Property Insurance

 

Taking out the right property insurance is essential so that you can rest assured knowing your assets and belongings are safeguarded in case of disaster. Your building’s owners bear responsibility for all external walls, ceilings, floors and common areas if it was caused by their own negligence.

 

When seeking insurance for your property, you should look into a package that protects both the interior and exterior of it. With this sort of protection in place you can rest assured your home is covered no matter what might come up.

 

The most beneficial aspect of this policy is that it will protect other units from any damages caused by fires or leaks originating from your condo.

 

Condo AGM

 

Annually, unit owners are invited to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) where essential matters such as the financial standing of your condominium and any repairs needed will be discussed along with potential rule amendments.

 

Two weeks prior to the AGM, you’ll be provided with a financial statement related to the condominium. With this precious time in hand, it’s wise that you take advantage of it by reading through the document and preparing any queries or comments on its contents.

 

Alongside these documents will come a list of proposed topics and votes that require attention – all of which demand your thoughtful consideration before being officially submitted during the meeting itself.

 

Rights and Obligations

 

As a condo owner, there are certain rights and responsibilities that come with the condo. You have the authority to access all of the condo accounts and participate in any annual general meeting (AGM). It is essential to note that your vote will count here; decisions made at an AGM may require additional payments from owners such as increases in maintenance fees or single-time expenditures for larger projects.

 

You are well within your rights to file complaints and expect a timely resolution. In the same vein, you must be ready to cooperate with the condo management if any issues have been caused by you.

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Can foreigners buy a condominium in Thailand?

 

In Thailand, foreigners are permitted to exclusively own a condominium under their own name. Foreign individuals have the option to acquire condo ownership through the purchase of a unit with a freehold title or by entering into a long lease agreement, commonly referred to as “Leasehold”. The foreign ownership quota for a condominium allows foreigners to obtain freehold ownership of up to 49% of the total saleable area of the project. The remaining 51% can be acquired under leasehold ownership.

 

Leasehold grants the right of use and possession for a specified period, and it is fully transferable. The maximum lease period is 30 years with an additional 30 year renewal.

 

In many cases, condominium developers offer a total ownership duration of 60 years (30 years + 30 years).

 

While there are minimal requirements for foreigners purchasing a condo in Thailand, they must remit foreign currency into Thailand for the purchase.

 

What are the taxes associated with and additional running costs of owning a condominium?

 

Owning a condominium entails certain financial responsibilities. One of these is the property tax, which is determined by the property price. Additionally, all co-owners are required to contribute to the general upkeep and maintenance of the condominium through a CAM Fee (Common Area Maintenance Fee). This fee is calculated every month, taking into account the total square meter of your condominium unit.

 

For example, if the CAM Fee is 50 baht per sqm, per month, and your condo unit size is 100 sqm, the total yearly fee would be 50 baht X 100 sqm = 5,000 baht per month X 12 months = 60,000 baht per year.

 

Furthermore, condos typically have a reserve fund, known as a “Sinking Fund Fee,” which is allocated for major repairs and building upgrades.

 

Can foreigners buy land in Thailand?

 

If a foreign individual wishes to acquire land and construct a house, it is advisable to obtain a long-term lease on the land, with each term not exceeding 30 years. For more information on leases in Thailand, please refer to the relevant section.

 

Furthermore, it is recommended that the foreigner apply for a construction permit to build the house in their own name. This approach ensures that the foreigner retains ownership of the house and holds a secure long-term lease on the land. The lease agreement can be drafted to include provisions for reassignment to another person (in case of a sale), subleasing, and even a purchase option (in the event that future changes to the law permit freehold ownership for foreigners). Therefore, a lease agreement is the most commonly used legal method for foreign individuals to acquire property in Thailand.

 

Am I allowed to build and own any structure on land?

 

Legally, any building is recognized as being a part of the land on which it is constructed. However, if a building is constructed by a tenant under a leasing agreement, it may be considered a separate entity. Therefore, in Thailand, a foreigner has the right to own any building on rented land.

 

If your spouse is Thai and you plan to build a house on their land, it is advisable to sign a lease agreement with your spouse, clearly stating your status as a tenant. This arrangement grants joint ownership of the structure to both you and your spouse, while the ownership of the land remains separate.

 

How to buy property through a Thai company?

 

Some property buyers may have a preference for a holding structure that provides greater ownership rights compared to a leasehold title. In such cases, it is possible to establish a Thai company for property acquisitions, although this approach falls within a “grey area” of the Thai legal system. While the Thai government and the Land Offices overseeing property transfers across the country do not actively promote this practice, it remains a viable option.

 

In order for a company to qualify as a “Thai Entity,” at least 51% of the shareholding must be held by Thai nationals. The primary concern of the authorities is the unauthorized use of “Nominee Thai Shareholders,” who are essentially “fake investors” employed to facilitate property purchases. However, as long as foreign buyers comply with the law by utilizing legitimate shareholders or Thai partners, this option provides a solid level of indirect ownership and control.

 

This ownership structure is frequently utilized by investors seeking to acquire landed properties, such as villas with their spouse, or by foreign developers looking to acquire developable land plots.

 

Should foreigners buy a condo or a landed property?

 

Ultimately, the buyer’s personal lifestyle preferences or investment objectives play a crucial role. Landed properties often provide exceptional value on a per square meter basis, offering greater control over both the land and the building. In comparison, condominiums, due to their communal nature, may impose significant restrictions on refurbishments, renovations, privacy, and control. However, condominiums offer a straightforward and liquid property option, presenting foreign buyers with a hassle-free purchase and a clear “exit strategy”. The convenience and flexibility offered by condominiums make them an attractive choice for many foreign buyers.

 


 

Amazing Properties is a registered Real estate agency in Bangkok with an extensive selection of condos, apartments, and houses for rent and sale in the Sukhumvit and Sathorn area.

 

Are you looking to buy a condo in Bangkok?

 

Please feel free to browse our website with a great selection of condos for sale in Bangkok or contact us via

 

Email: [email protected]
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Website: www.amazingproperties.org

 

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