What are the types of visa can I get when I buy a property in Thailand?
If you are planning to stay in Thailand for short periods of time, you can get a tourist visa which is pretty much simple to obtain. Please contact the Thai Embassy in your country for more details. If you are planning to stay for longer periods of time, there are three alternative choices for you.
If you invest THB 10 million or higher in Thailand– which you can use to buy real estate with – then you are qualified for an Investor Visa. This allows you to stay for a period of one year and can be renewed every year.
If you are aged 50 or over and invest THB 850,000 or more in the country – which you can use to buy real estate with – then you are qualified for a Retirement Visa. This allows you to stay for a period of one year and can be renewed every year.
If you don’t have those qualifications for either of the options above, it is possible to apply for an Education Visa. This will cost around $1,000 per year and can be renewed.
Can non-Thai citizens buy a property in Thailand?
Yes, a Non-Thai citizen is eligible to own a property in Thailand.
Here are some options for non-Thai citizen buyers in Thailand
- Buying a condo (structures on a plot of land)
- Buying leasehold properties
- Buying through a Thai company
1. Buying a Condo
Buying a condo is the simplest way for non-Thai citizens to own property in Thailand. Non-Thai owners of condos are registered on the Title Deed (Chanote), and they have an advantage from a special type of freehold title AKA. a Condominium Freehold.
A Condominium Freehold Title, explained in simple terms is as follows:
It is the division of a residential building into individual condominium units; with each unit benefiting from a proportional co-ownership of the common areas and co-owner association (I.e. Building Amenities, Land and Juristic Management Office.)
To follow with the Condominium Act B.E 1979 and its amendments, condos need to make sure the following: Only up to 49% of the condo’s registrable area can be sold to foreign buyers (Also known as the “Foreign Quota”), the remaining 51% must be owned by Thai nationals or Thai entities.
In case the Foreign Quota of a condo ran out, non-Thai buyers can only obtain units in the project on a leasehold basis.
2. Leasehold Property
In Thailand the maximum lease on land is 30-years, with a chance to renew it (Total of 90-120 years lease).
A leasehold might not provide ownership, it does offer the leaseholder rights to the use of that property (both investment or residential). Leasehold rights are registered on the title deed and can be a simple way to use your property. One of the benefits of leasehold is the owner can have a wider range of unit choices without being attached to a freehold quota.
3. Buying Property through a Thai Company
It is possible to set-up a Thai company for property accession.
For a company to be classified as a “Thai Entity”, at least 51% of the shareholding needs to be held by Thai nationals.
This ownership structure is broadly used by investors to purchase landed property such as villas with their spouse or foreign developers looking to access developable land plots.
How do I transfer money to purchase my property in Thailand?
First of all, you need to transfer the total amount in foreign currency to a local Thai bank.
The bank will then issue a copy of a FET-form (Foreign Exchange Transaction Form) where the following information needs to be included:
- The transferred amount in your chosen foreign currency
- The amount converted into Thai Baht
- The name of the sender
- The name of the beneficiary
- The purpose of the transaction
In case a FET-form is not available, there’s an option to provide a Credit Advice that should include the same information as specified in the Foreign exchange currency transaction reporting form.
The Foreign exchange currency transaction form is filled out when transferring your money into Thailand.
Is my property inheritable?
A foreign freehold owner of a condominium can pass on a condominium by inheritance in Thailand to another foreigner. Lease in Thailand is a contract right and under the hire of property and Thai contract law, this type of contract is terminated upon the death of the lessee (as confirmed by the Thailand Supreme Court). Possession of a property under a lease agreement in Thailand is the right of the lessee and when he dies the contract and the right of possession are terminated. The lease agreement must include a succession clause for his successors however this does not offer full guarantee for the lessee’s heirs. Transfer of ownership of the condominium does not break rent under Thai law, death of the lessee does!
What would happen when my 90 years lease expires
If the leasehold of your property does expire, then the property will revert ‘back’ to the developer. This will, therefore, mean ownership of the land and building will go back to the developer.
What are property taxes in Thailand?
The government does not charge annual income tax for owning a property, only occurs upon the sale of the property.
Tax incurred upon the sale of property
This is a rough calculation. Please consult our Legal Department regarding your property in Phuket.
Buyer: Transfer fee =2% of the registered value
Seller: Stamp Duty 0.5% of the registered value, Withholding tax1% of appraised value or registered sale value ( based on the higher figure), Business tax 3.3% of appraised value or registered sale value (based on the higher figure)
Withholding tax calculated using selling price as gross income then deducting expenses to get net income. Then divides the net income with years in possession to get yearly net income. One can use net income per year to calculate taxable income per year. The final step is to multiply tax income per year with years that the property has been in possession to calculate total Withholding tax.
What is the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker?
Most states require real estate sales professionals to be licensed by the state, so that they can control education and experience requirements and have a central authority to resolve consumer problems.
The terminology used to identify real estate professionals varies a little from state to state. Brokers are generally required to have more education and experience than real estate salespersons or agents.
The person you normally deal with is a real estate agent or salesperson. The salesperson is licensed by the state, but must work for a broker. All listings are placed in the broker’s name, not the salesperson’s.
A broker can deal directly with home buyers and sellers, or can have a staff of salespersons or agents working for him or her.
Why should I use a real estate salesperson?
A real estate salesperson is more than just a “sales person.” They act on your behalf as your agent, providing you with advice and guidance and doing a job – helping you buy or sell a home. While it is true they get paid for what they do, so do other professions that provide advice, guidance, and have a service to sell –such as Certified Public Accountants and Attorneys
The Internet has opened up a world of information that wasn’t previously available to homebuyers and seller. The data on listings available for sale is almost current – but not quite. There are times when you need the most current information about what has sold or is for sale, and the only way to get that is with an agent.
If you’re selling a home, you gain access to the most buyers by being listed in the Multiple Listing Service. Only a licensed real estate agent who is a member of your local MLS can get you listed there – which then gets you automatically listed on some of the major real estate web sites. If you’re buying or selling a home, the MLS is your agent’s best tool.
However, the role of an agent has changed in the last couple of years. In the past, agents were the only way home buyers and sellers could access information. Now agents are evolving. Because today’s home buyers and sellers are so much better informed than in the past, expertise and ability are becoming more important.
The real estate agent is becoming more of a “guide” than a “salesperson” — your personal representative in buying or selling a home.
I have a family friend who is a Realtor. I like her and she is a help but she gives me one price to sell my home for and I think it is too low. So I called another agent who suggested a price more in line with my expectations. Who do I choose?
You might want to consult a couple more Realtors on the market value of your home. Most of the estimates should be in the same ballpark.
It could be that your friend is being more honest with you about the value of your home and the other Realtor gave you a higher number because he already knew you expected it. This is called “Buying a Listing” and is the subject of an article on our web site.
Or it could simply be that your friend is a good friend, but not that great of a real estate agent.
Mixing business and friendships is always risky to the friendship. On the other hand, if your friend is truly competent and was providing wise advice, she may be offended if you ignore the advice and choose another agent.
I have to make a choice between an updated home in an older neighborhood or a newer home in a more modern neighborhood. The home in the older neighborhood has almost everything I want and is much larger, but which makes the most sense as an investment?
If your goal is to buy a home for it’s resale value and the one you are thinking of buying in the older neighborhood is at the upper end of values for that neighborhood, then it may not be the wisest choice. If it is similar or lower in price to the others, then there should be no problem, because pricing should be considered in relation to the local neighborhood and not compared to homes in other neighborhoods (for the most part)
Plus, is it a neighborhood on the decline, or are others going to be fixing things up, too, so that it is a neighborhood that is improving? It could turn out to be a very good deal as long as you don’t “overpay” because of the recent improvements.
Remember that you also buy a home for it’s value to you as a “home,” and that is something else you should consider. Which neighborhood would you AND your family feel most comfortable in?
When buying a new home, what upgrades should we go for? What holds the most value? Do we upgrade the lot? Pick more square footage in the house? Add an extra bedroom?, etc.
A lot depends on why you are buying the house. Are you buying it mostly as a home or mostly as an investment? There is a difference.
For the most part, upgrades are high-profit items for builders. They aren’t designed to enhance the value of the house, but make you happier with the house you do buy.
If you are looking at your home as an investment, then you buy from the smaller to medium size in the tract and spend only a minimal amount on upgrades. If you are looking at your purchase as a home, then you select upgrades that will enhance your quality of living.
One rule of thumb is to always upgrade the carpet and padding.