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3 Things to Watch Out for in Buying Thai Real Estate

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing purchasing of Thai property or real estate.  

When you are buying real estate in Thailand, there are some things to watch out for. These are kind of some common things to watch out for, some common things to think about coming into this market. We have seen these things come up over the years and this is kind of a little bit of a quick primer for those who are coming in for the first time looking at purchasing property here in Thailand. 

It should be noted in the aftermath of COVID-19 I think especially in tourist related areas, there are going to be some serious bargains with respect to Thai property. There are going to be some bargains with respect to condominiums in Thailand. Thai condos can be owned 100% by a foreign national here in Thailand. Other types of Thai real estate it may depend, depending on the situation of a given individual's case but the three things in my opinion to watch out for are:

First of all, off plan condominiums or off plan projects sometimes this may occur in property development that may not be condos, off-plan property can be a real bargain. When we say buying off-plan we are talking about, you see the plans, they have yet to build it, or they are in the process of building it and you go ahead and purchase and often times this is quite a bit less expensive than buying after it is built, after the structure or whatever real estate has been constructed. This can be a very good thing. There are circumstances where we have seen this can turn out to be a very bad thing to the point of being an outright fraud or an outright scam. The thing to understand with respect to off plan is again it is going to vary. It is probably a good idea to hire a legal professional in order to undertake the due diligence that is necessary to make certain that the developer is reputable, perhaps has some experience in building projects similar to the one that is being proposed.

The next thing to think about with respect to buying property here in Thailand is whether or not it is being purchased in a Company. We oftentimes see this where folks will say "Well I own a house but it is through a Thai Company." This was once a rather ubiquitous way of undertaking property ownership here in Thailand. More recently, this has fallen into further and further disuse as a practical matter. There are various reasons for this most notably the restrictions on foreigners being able to own real estate specifically land here in the Kingdom of Thailand and where folks have been found to be using Thai companies strictly as a pretext or in the case where they find this to be true, a pretense, in order for a foreigner simply to own property. In those cases you can see corporations dissolved and the situation being such that presumably the land, the real estate at issue is seized and sold on to someone else who meets the criteria for being able to own property here in the Kingdom of Thailand.

The final thing to understand or to be on the lookout for is just a completely fake set up, just a completely fake property situation. This is not as common as it once was mostly due to the fact that enforcement measures here in Thailand have gotten considerably better in recent years; also the internet I think has played a key role in this. The digitization of documentation as well as the digitization of law enforcement tools has helped to curb this but it is still can theoretically happen. It is basically a situation where somebody is selling something they don't own.  I have seen this a couple of times in my years here.  Again this can oftentimes be forestalled just by retaining the services of a legal professional  in order to undertake the requisite due diligence to understand whether or not the person who is purporting to be able to sell the property at issue can in fact do so.

So things to consider when purchasing real estate here in Thailand, all of these things to one degree or another may be an issue moving forward. I think that at some point they probably will be. Whether or not they are as frequent as they once were remains to be seen but those who are interested in obtaining property and Thailand, the main thing to think about is it is probably not a terrible idea to contact the legal professional in order to gain some guidance and insight into how best to go about making a purchase here in a Kingdom.