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Investing in Condo’s – What you need to know

There are some general rules when one is investing in a condominium anywhere in the world. In Thailand, mainly due to land ownership rules for foreigners, these rules need to be followed much more diligently in order to avoid confusion and despair later on. These rules/guidelines can be listed in the order that the investment is to be made. These are:

  1. Finding the right property – Since the crash of 1997, where property values were decimated across the board, there has been a steady influx of foreigners coming to Thailand looking to invest in property. As foreign nationals are allowed to own condominium units in Thailand, this type of property has been the property of choice for many investors. When looking for properties it is of utmost importance that the investor only uses registered lawyers and estate agents of some repute as this will overcome problems, which may arise later.

  2. Finding a Lawyer – Once the investor has found the right property the next stage is to appoint a lawyer to act on your behalf towards the completion of the contracts and deeds. The lawyer would advise the investor on Thai property taxes, types of property deeds required, and common pre-purchase property searches.

  3. Mortgages for Foreign Investors – There are currently two banks offering mortgages to non-Thai nationals. These are Bangkok Bank and United Overseas Bank (UOB). The loans offered to foreigners are based in foreign currencies with their interest rates varying depending on the currency the loan was taken out.

  4. Foreign owned Condo’s things to consider – Maintenance Fees and Sinking Funds; Monthly fees need to be checked directly from the condominium’s management company. These fees must be in accordance to the ratio of land that the investor owns and as such, it is calculated as baht per square metre. Bylaws of the Condominium; the Rules and Regulations of the Condominium must be studied before the property is purchased. The information provided in the rules should include the name of the condo’s juristic person in charge, the amount (if any) of any sinking fund the investor must pay, how the land and the properties are to be used, the accepted procedure for the annual general meeting, and the amount of maintenance fees payable by the investor.

Other things an investor generally needs to be aware of prior to purchasing of the condo are any restrictions on pets; Restrictions on children using various facilities; Restrictions on parking of vehicles; Restrictions on building materials allowed to be used in the condo; and any sound or noise restrictions in the property.

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