Purchasing An Older Condo

The Pattaya condominium market has a wide range of units available to suit every taste and budget. Still, one of the most striking differences is the choice between many of the new condos currently going up in the city and some of the older, more established ones.

When we say older, we are principally talking about units completed more than fifteen years ago. Therefore, a potential condo buyer has to look for both the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing and consider if the good outweighs the bad?

The first thing to clarify is that if you are looking for something with a “European” style and generally a larger unit floor plan size, you will inevitably be drawn to one of the older projects. It is because the vast majority of the newer build units in Pattaya are smaller than the average western buyer would typically expect, with a significant number of studios and one-bedroom units rather than the older ones with more bedrooms and bathrooms. However, if you are looking for more square metres for your money, the older buildings can have more appeal.

The older condominiums may have some other advantages. For example, many of them can be found in the best downtown locations, having been built when Pattaya was a smaller city and the land cost far more reasonably. Also, if purchasing from these more established projects, you will find that the common fees per square metre are generally cheaper than the more recent developments, such as more extensive wardrobes and more excellent storage. There will often be laundry and grocery facilities if not on-site nearby. Many of the residents will have purchased some time ago, making the building seem more settled in, giving the feel of something more permanent than a new build.

Often the older style projects have an excellent reputation and are still sought out by the overseas European or Western buyers looking to retire perhaps or spend their winters in Thailand. You will generally find that they are well run as they have had the time and experience to iron out any problems, and the Juristic offices that handle the day-to-day issues have settled into an efficient routine. Utility bills will arrive on time, and the security will be good.

This 190 sqm two-bedroom penthouse enjoys unique views of fantastic sea view and Pattaya City view.

The size of the communal areas and outdoor facilities, such as some communal swimming pools in the older projects, is imposing. Also, the amount of land given over to leisure areas with gardens and tennis courts might well have something to do with the fact that the cost of land purchased for the project at that time was less expensive than it is today.

New build projects are much more likely to attract the domestic and weekend holiday crowd from Bangkok. Also, investors into the holiday home market from the rest of Asia and more transient tourists. Therefore when looking for a more settled community within a condominium, the older ones may have quite some appeal.

So what should you do if you want to avoid any pitfalls of purchasing an older condo? The first and best thing to do is to seek out a professional property expert who has plenty of experience in Pattaya to help you. Anyone in the business with several years of experience will know the reputations of well-established older projects and have inevitably dealt with them before. The property agent will then arrange various options and viewings from which to make your choice.

When viewing older properties, the size of the rooms and balconies will often be impressive and form an excellent overall impression. However, some older buildings can have problems with plumbing. In addition, signs to look out for can be bubbling of the paintwork, so keep an eye out for watermarks on the walls.

Speaking of water, ask about the unit prices of the electricity and water in the condominium you are buying. Many of the more established developments provide these at government rates, which will make your monthly bills. Also, there will be maintenance fees usually paid annually. It generally covers security, cleaning and upkeep of common areas. A portion contributes to the condo corporation’s insurance. Some are kept in reserve to fund large-scale maintenance, like roof replacement or repaving the parking lot, so you want to check this is being done.

Another spacious two-bedroom condo with a fantastic sea view at an attractive price.

If your potential purchase is on an upper floor, look at the quality and number of lifts (elevators). You should also check out the number of available undercover parking spaces and see if the charges extend to these.

You may also want to look at the internet provisions. Everyone nowadays living a long way from their country of origin relies heavily on the internet, ideal for keeping in touch with family, catching up on TV, or social media. Also, in recent years due to more people working from home, the “net” has become an essential part of our lives. Many buildings have a favoured provider, and you might want to talk to a resident to see if the service is good. Or you can make inquiries to see if a provider can run an individual line with greater capacity into your unit at a reasonable cost,

As mentioned earlier, the best thing to do is to seek out an experienced property professional. They will know the answers to all the above questions, and if they don’t, they will find out for you. There is some excellent value for money to be had with some of Pattaya’s older projects, and they are well worth considering. However, remember advice costs nothing, and a trusted advisor will save you a great deal of time and possible problems in the future.

The team at Prestige Properties will be happy to assist you.


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