Thailand is among the top holiday destinations. It has attractive golden sandy, exotic cuisine, and her citizens are quite friendly. Its low cost of living and the warm climate throughout the year makes it ideal for foreigners. For those who may want to buy a property, you can always get assistance and the best features with cornerstone.
There are several restrictions when it comes to foreigners buying land. However, there are also ways of going around the restrictions. But first things first, if you plan on purchasing a property, there are things you need to do. Prior planning is very crucial before you can finally own a property in Thailand, whether a villa or a condo. This article explains some of the essential things you need to do.
Carry Out a Prior Research on Title Deed
Do not enter into any contractual agreement without doing a prior comprehensive title deed examination. A title deed search can be done at the Land Department. It is crucial to confirm whether the seller of the property has a legal title deed.
A title deed search is a vital exercise. It will help you get information on the following:
- You will get to know the first owner of the property
- It will help you know whether there are any registered interests on the land
- You will know about your right to access the property
- The zoning of the area
If you plan to build on the property, enquire from the Lands Department if that will be possible.
Ensure That You Hire a Thailand Property Agent
When buying property in a foreign land, it is advisable to look for expertise from local professionals. An agent who is familiar with the laws of the nation knows the place very well and can communicate in Thai is the best. As such, you will have an easy time finding a property that is per your financial capability and needs.
Alternatively, you can choose to buy property directly from a developer. However, this method is going to cost you a lot of money. Therefore, using a Thailand property agent is the best option to owning property in Pattaya. The agent acts as a bridge between you and the seller, representing your interests in the best way possible to the end. They negotiate the best price for you, and that’s how you end up paying lesser compared to direct purchase.
Select a Thailand Lawyer to Help You Through the Legal Process
Property acquisition is a very critical process since it directly affects your life savings. Therefore, you must be very cautious in following the legal provisions to the letter. Doing so will help you avoid the consequences of violating the law. Avoid signing any agreements without the due guidance of a lawyer or solicitor. Lawyers have in-depth knowledge of law provisions in property acquisitions. As such, they are in the best position to walk you through the entire process.
Make a Deposit for Your Property
You will be requested to deposit some money if you are interested in the property. The deposit serves as a sign of good faith. It also portrays your intention to go on with the process of buying the property. The owner of the property is entitled to reserve the property for you after the deposit is paid.
The payment of the deposit also paves the way for the drafting of a contract of purchase. Ensure you include a “get-out” clause in the deposit agreement. An example of such a clause is “subject to clear title.” The clause can also be “subject to agreement on the contract terms.” The “get-out” clause will allow you to get a refund of your deposit in case the process does not get through.
Review the Terms and Conditions of Contracts
Another crucial step in the writing of the contract. The best option here is to have a lawyer who will help you in reviewing the terms and conditions of the agreement. Among the critical issues to include in the contract is your protection in case your delay building the property. Ensure a clear solution is written down in the contract.
The contract should also state a fair penalty if you delay the payment. Likewise, the payment schedule should also be captured in the agreement. Just like the penalty, it should be reasonable and practical. Under normal circumstances, you will be required to pay 25% as your first payment. The remaining amount is paid after the agreed stages of the construction.
Is it Possible for Foreigners to Own property in Thailand?
Thailand law imposes several restrictions on foreigners when it comes to buying a property. According to the laws, a foreigner is not allowed to buy a property. However, you are allowed to own a condominium in your name. The only way a foreigner can acquire land and build a house is by obtaining a long term lease of 30 days.
As a foreigner, you can only build a house after obtaining a construction permit. A construction permit will allow you to build and own your own home for 30 years. This means that as a foreigner, you can own a house but not the land where the house stands.
However, you can still find a way around this restriction. You can opt to set up a limited company that has mixed Thai and foreign ownership. The law requires that foreign ownership be 45% or less. Such a company can be allowed to own land.
If you, as a foreign national, would like to control the company, you can do so by use of legal power of attorney. The Thai shareholders can give the law of attorney. The Thai shareholders can also grant the foreign partner greater voting rights.
The other route that a foreign national can explore is by investing in a Board of Investment approved the project. If a foreigner invests at least THB40 million (US$1,142,857) in such a project, they are allowed to purchase a piece of land of up to 1 Rai (1,600 square meters).
In conclusion, you can still own your dream property in this magnificent tourist destination. Cornerstone real estate will be with you all the way to owning your property.