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Why buy property in Thailand?

When considering whether to buy property in Thailand, you should first ask yourself why exactly you want to buy. Clearly identifying the reasons behind your motivation to buy property in the Land of Smiles will be beneficial for a number of reasons. Most notably, it will help make the decision making process throughout your property search much easier and perhaps more importantly, it will also help you avoid making the most costly mistake of all – buying the wrong property altogether.

For most people who buy property in Thailand, few can afford to buy a home that turns out to be a bad investment. Asking yourself a few simple questions from the outset could go a long way to helping you suffer unnecessary heartache and severe financial loss.

First of all, and perhaps one of the most important things to think about, is that just because you visit a place in Thailand, be it Phuket, Pattaya or anywhere else on holiday for two weeks of the year, don’t make the mistake of thinking that the same place will be the best place for you to buy property.

Sure, you might enjoy the two weeks you spend lying on a beach in Koh Samui and even think that you would like to spend the rest of your life there. However, a fortnight spent sunbathing will not give you a fully rounded picture of what life is really like living on the island.

Be clear on your motivations

If you have your heart set on buying property in Thailand, you should try to differentiate between a property that is going to be for your own personal use – a place which will become your permanent home; one that you might want to rent out to help pay for costs; and one that you purchase with the sole desire to make as much money as possible, which will also perhaps become your main income stream or a very significant addition to your pension pot.

What about investment properties?

If investment is your main motivation to buying property in Thailand then properly research how exactly it will generate cash. Consider if the property will need to be renovated or extended in order to add value. How will you go about arranging this? Does your budget stretch that far?

If you are looking to buy a property with the main aim of renting it out then you need to make sure you choose a suitable location, one that will have plenty of potential tenants, both short and long term.

Hua Hin and Pattaya are home to some excellent golf courses

For rental income, city lets could well be more lucrative than a rural setting, as could a beachside location or property in a tourist area. Properties located in areas that are popular for a large chunk of the year or in areas which are popular with golfers could be worth looking into. Try and maximise all your options. Hua Hin and Pattaya are two areas of Thailand that are particularly popular amongst the local and expat golfing community.

Smart investors will also give some thought to an exit strategy right from the get go. This means that those looking to make as much money from their property purchase will already have given some thought to how easily they could sell their property in the future. Who would you sell your investment property to? Will the locals buy it or are you relying on the expat market only?

Also give consideration to how the exchange rate could play a part in how much money you are likely to make on your investment.

What sort of property are you looking for?

The view from an apartment in Pattaya

If you are buying a property which will be used purely for your own enjoyment then you’re obviously going to need to think about what sort of property you will require and if it fits within your budget. What type of area would you like to move to? Are you looking for a beachside property? How about a rural retreat?

Maybe you’re drawn to the vibrant nightlife, shopping and extensive facilities available in Pattaya? Maybe a quiet corner of Phuket, such as Rawai, for example, is more your thing? If you enjoy a spot of golf, a serviced development in Hua Hin could be ideal. A city centre condo in Ekkamai or Silom could give you easy access to Bangkok’s entertainment and business districts. A house in Chiang Mai, with its facilities, large expat community, transport links and international schools could be a good place for those with a family.

The important thing is to first establish your reasons for buying property in Thailand and then make sure you have fully looked into all the possibilities of buying in a particular area.

For more advice and insight into buying property in Thailand please visit our information page.

Important questions to ask yourself

Why buy property in Thailand?
Ask yourself exactly why you are deciding to buy property in Thailand and what do you want from it. Is your decision based more on lifestyle? Is it family commitments? Are you more interested in investment?

What’s your budget?
Don’t just set aside money for buying the property itself. If you’re buying a holiday home, give consideration to travelling costs, visa expenses, travel insurance etc. Also think about the potential running costs of a property.

How important is a rental income?
If you are planning to buy a property to rent it out then choose an area which is relatively busy all year round. A quiet location might be attractive to some but they’ll be no attraction if you’re property is stood empty for 6 months of the year.

Accessibility and transport links
Think about how easy your property is to get to and what the local transport links are like, especially if you want to rent out your property. A hillside retreat in Chiang Mai might offer spectacular scenery but if the only access road is a mountainous dirt track will potential tenants be willing to make the same trip?