Bangkok is among the most visited cities in the world and for good reason – with amazing culture, incredible food, friendly locals, and a low cost of living, it’s no surprise foreigners desire to stay longer. An initial visit can lead to long-term stays, or a life-changing move, eventually calling Bangkok their home.
If you’re among the many foreigners who are thinking about purchasing a Bangkok property but don’t know where to start, this guide can help you get a good grip on what it’s like to buy a condo for sale in Bangkok.
Let’s begin with the most important question.
Can a foreign national own Property in Thailand?
Foreign nationals cannot directly own land in Thailand but they are legally allowed to own the following:
The building or structure of a property, separate from the land they sit on
Based on the Condominium Act B.E. 1979:
A “Foreign Quota” is in place on all condominium ownership in a specific property. This quota is at 49% of the condominium project. The remaining 51% must be purchased by Thai nationals or entities.
“Condominium Freehold” is a distinct legal title. which is the most direct property ownership for foreigners in Bangkok.
How to Search for Properties
Foreign nationals can work with a local real estate agent to search the market for condo developments that suit their needs and budget. Whether you’re looking for a home in Bangkok or an investment, market research is your first step to making sure you won’t regret your decisions.
The first factor you need to consider when buying a condo in Bangkok is never the price. Your first priority must be the location. With hundreds of condominium projects in Bangkok, both established and still in development, choosing the most ideal condo is like looking for a needle in a haystack. You can search all day long and still won’t find the perfect condo that checks all your needs and preferences. This is why working with a real estate agent can be the smartest thing to do.
However, it must be noted that there is no licensing body for real estate agents in Bangkok. Anybody can call themselves a real estate agent, so watch out for scammers who promise you the world but are only as good as lip service.
Do your research when choosing the real estate agent you want to work with. Ask recommendations from expats who’ve already purchased properties in the city, or search online for agents with great reviews.
To give you a glimpse of the best locations for a home or investment in Bangkok, these are the most highly-priced locations:
Other factors you need to consider include the developer, building management, as well as the condo project specifications such as parking and communal facilities.
The Buying Process
The buying process can be handled by your real estate agent if you choose to work with one. If you want the full service, they can do all the work for you, such as negotiations, document preparations, registrations, transfers, and other important details. But if you want a more hands-on buying experience, you can also do the work yourself, but can be more challenging due to the language barrier as well as specific Thai laws that you may not be aware of.
Nevertheless, whether you work with an agent or not, it is essential to know what entails during the buying process so you can determine whether an agent is scamming you, and just so you know what needs to be done for a legal and successful purchase.
Let’s begin first with buying a condo in its pre-launch or off-plan phase.
BUYING A PRE-LAUNCH CONDOMINIUM
A pre-launch property can be a great investment opportunity for foreign nationals looking for an income-generating real estate venture. Some of the benefits include:
Foreign buyers only need to pay a 30% downpayment of the full price, with the remaining 70% payable upon completion, which is about 1 to 3 years after.
Foreign buyers benefit from today’s market price, which will likely appreciate in 1 to 3 years, which is upon completion.
Developers usually offer discounts and freebies with the booking, since they rely on reservations to finance the project.
Developers have legal teams to guarantee a smooth sale process, so there’s no need to hire a real estate agent or do the work yourself.
Here's the list of the top 10 well known developers in Bangkok that you should check it out.
1. Sansiri Founded in 1984, Sansiri is one of Thailand’s oldest and largest real estate developers. It’s perhaps the nation’s most reputable too.
2. Land & Houses (LH) Land & Houses is another well-established company. In fact, they’re Thailand’s oldest large property developer.
3. Major Development Focusing on the high-end sector, Major Development has been building condos in Thailand since 1999. 4. AP (Asian Property) Covering all segments of the Thai property market, the fourth entry on our list is among the nation’s most versatile developers. 5. Ananda Development Ananda is new compared with other top developers on this list. Regardless, they fast became one of Thailand’s most respected real estate companies. 6. SC Asset SC Asset is among Thailand’s most controversial companies – its founders are the Shinawatra family. 7. Noble Development Founded in 1991, Noble was a rather obscure developer up until recently. However, a new business model focusing on prime locations and Thailand’s rising class has done incredibly well for them. 8. Supalai Unlike lots of other developers on this list, Supalai focuses almost exclusively on the low and mid-end sectors. But they enjoy a strong reputation not having an upscale brand name. 9. Pace Development Pace’s previous condo developments are among Bangkok’s finest. Pace is the developer and former owner of Mahanakorn – Thailand’s second tallest structure. It now belongs to King Power. 10. Pruksa Our second company focusing on entry-level projects, Pruksa is Thailand’s biggest developer by some measures.
If you don’t need to use the property just yet, then an off-plan condo is the most ideal purchase for you.
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