Although it is a commonly discussed topic, here at Pattaya Prestige Properties we frequently get asked about what foreigners need to do to buy a property in Thailand. Naturally, they want to know the laws and what is legal and what isn’t. Other questions we get usually get asked concern the process of buying a property and being made aware of any potential pitfalls. In this article, we briefly touch upon the common themes and try to give you as much information as possible but would invite you to ask us directly about your particular case.
Can A Foreign Own Land in Thailand?
Foreigners are not allowed to own land in their own name in Thailand. However, it is possible to own a building on the land as well as a condo. If you are looking to buy a condo in “Foreign Ownership” the total liveable area in the entire condominium must be a minimum of 51% Thai owned. If that is the case, you can purchase a property in your name with the chanot listing you as the registered owner.
Buying a Condo in Foreign Ownership
As we discussed, if the building has more than 51% Thai ownership, it is possible to buy a unit in your name. It should be understood that the money must come from overseas and not be money that you presently have in Thailand. When the unit is transferred into your name at the Land Office, you will be required to produce a document from the bank called a “Foreign Exchange Certificate” proving that the money has been transferred from overseas.
Spacious and modern condo with a lot of character for sale in Foreign Ownership in a beachfront building
Exchange of Contracts
Once you have found a condo that you like and your offer has been accepted you will usually be required to pay a 10% non-refundable deposit. The contract will then be drawn up by the agent or lawyer. Checks should be made to ensure that there are no charges on the property. The Juristic Office at the condo will issue a “clearance letter” or “free of debt” letter. If everything is OK, you can then transfer the property into your name at the Land Office. In Pattaya, the Land Office is on Soi 17, Suksabai Villas. When you are there, transfer fees will need to be paid to the officer who should be paid in cash. The fees are usually split 50/50 between the buyer and seller.
Buying a House in Pattaya
There are ways in which a foreigner can purchase a house in Pattaya. One way is to buy the property in your Thai partner’s name and set up a 30-year lease for your protection. The second way is to buy it in Thai Company Name. However, it is essential that you understand all the laws associated with the latter option, and this is something that we can discuss with you in person depending on your personal circumstances.
This beautiful plot of land in the housing development of Phoenix Golf Course is for sale under a Thai Company
It is complicated, although not impossible, for a foreigner to obtain a mortgage from a bank in Thailand. However, private mortgages can be available from the seller or via a reputable lawyer. Once again, this is an area that would need to be discussed on an individual basis.
If you are buying a resale condo that is already in foreign quota or the buying in a building that has foreign quota available, the risk associated with the purchase are minimal so long as the unit is free from charges. The dangers connected to buying a house relate more to the ownership and can be explained to you in greater detail on a one-to-one basis.