Can a foreigner buy land in
No. There are always loopholes though, but you may or may
not want to take advantage of them. Here are the basics.
If you are a foreigner
- You are
allowed to buy, with some reservations, a condominium unit.
- You can buy a building but not the land it is on.
can hold a 30 year lease on certain lands and buildings.
- You can be a part owner of a company that can own property.
- You can invest B40 Million in Thailand and own up to 1 Rai
The favorite loopholes
- Put the land in someone
else's name. Quite often this turns out to be a Thai
girlfriend, Thai husband/wife, or Thai friend. The
question is, would you place your life's savings into one of
these people hands? Many do. Some are happy with
the results, others not so happy.
- Have a Thai company own the
land (that you paid for) and they will give you a lifetime
lease for the use of the land. Anyone can open up a
company offering this service. Some will be honest and
legal and others not.
- Establish a corporation in
Thailand and have the corporation buy the land/house.
The corporation may be owned only in part by you so you must
be sure that you have majority voting rights that will
assure that you retain the use of your land/house.
Is real estate a good
investment in Thailand?
Any number of people who have
come to Thailand with a background of buying and selling real
estate abroad have been sadly confronted with the fact that real
estate in Thailand and real estate in their home countries are
quite different animals.
Normally a real estate
investment goes something like this. You by a piece of
land or a house for a certain price, hold it for a period of
time, it appreciates in value, and then you sell it for a higher
price than what you bought it for. It is just how things
work, right? Well, not necessarily.
Land, and especially houses, in
Thailand sometimes act more like a car would. It quite
often depreciates in value. It's not because the house is worth
less. The appraised value may be higher than when you
bought it, or at least that is what people will tell you.
The problem is that many Thais do not want to buy a "used" house
or condo. The same people who would rather buy a new car
would rather buy a new house. A "used" house just isn't
something they would consider buying.
Dozens of real estate agencies
will tell you what a great investment in Thailand would be.
Remember where their loyalties lie.
A house or condo may be "worth"
a certain price but that doesn't mean that is the price you will
be able to sell it for. Now, if you can get a Farang, or
Expat, to buy your investment then maybe you will get the price
that the house is "worth". Remember the definition of how
much something is worth. It is worth exactly how much
someone else is willing to pay you for it.
Remember, any money invested in
real estate is not liquid. You will not have the freedom
to just pick up and leave if that is what you decide to do.
And even if you sell the house, exchanging your money into
another currency might be a problem.
We recommend starting out by
renting (a condo, house, villa) and taking your time before you
consider buying. By waiting you will still be retaining
any principle you might have invested and you will have time to
decide if Thailand is really the place you want to live.
If you do elect to buy then be
sure to contact a lawyer to make sure that your rights are
We also recommend finding out
what other people have encountered when they bought property in
Thailand. That you can do below.
Info on buying land
Here are some website showing available
Chiang Mai rentals with pictures of outside and
in. Google city name + real estate for