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How to be Happier at Home When Living in the Land of Smiles

When you land in the Land of Smiles, it is easy to get carried away. Comparatively cheaper prices than home, good food, a tropical climate and beaches within a stone throw away can all send you on a journey that results in staying forever.

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The problem is that it is all too easy for us to lose our senses so much that we impulsively invest in a property without researching its pros and cons beforehand.

If you are an ex-pat, or plan to be an expat, you’ll have probably noticed that noise doesn’t seem to bother Thais. However, the majority of foreigners do enjoy at least some peace and quiet. The problem is finding a place where your privacy and neighbourly boundaries are respected. Only too often do people jump into the deep end and find themselves in a place that they end up loathing. This can quickly turn into your Thai nightmare.

Before you sign up to a one year lease agreement, or take the huge step of investing in property, do your research. Check if there are any new developments planned in the area. Not doing so could result in disappointment when you wake up after only a couple weeks in your new abode to discover the land plot next door has started development on a new condominium. Dust, noise and rude awakenings early in the morning, even on a Sunday, can haunt you for months on end.

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Neighbours are also another source of annoyance. If you are just renting, the problem is minor because you can just ignore them. However, buying a property and later discovering you live next door to the neighbours from hell can leave you stuck. Find other foreigners in the area if you can, and ask questions. If there are no foreigners living in the area, then enquire as to why. There could be a good reason for this as culture clashes are not uncommon in these areas.

Finally, don’t just buy or rent because the price is cheap. Admittedly, there are bargains to be had in Thailand. However, if the price seems too good to be true, then there is usually a reason why. Maybe the area has a high crime rate, drug dealers or your apartment has very thin walls. For apartments, ask if you can stay in the room for a night or a week on a daily rate. If you are thinking of buying property go and visit the area at night and on the weekends to see if any surprises crop up.

Just a little groundwork can save you a world of bother. Ask plenty of questions, and always have more than one place in mind before you invest. Eventually, you are bound to find something that you are not going to like, and when you do, at least you will have other options to weigh up before you commit. In the end, the more you have to invest, the more flexibility you will have. However, with smaller budgets, sometimes it is simply a choice between the lesser of the two evils.

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