Let me be clear at the outset my advice as regards Buying Thai Property is DON’T. The one and perhaps the only reason you should not buy here is the indisputable fact that Foreigners are NOT allowed to own land in Thailand. Thai Lawyers being quick to spot the demand from wealthy Foreigners have come up with several ways to get around this Law. The formation of a Thai Company to own the Land, something called a usurfruct and obtaining a 30 Year lease are the methods which your Thai Lawyer will recommend.
Non of the methods mentioned above are any type of guarantee that your ownership is absolute , if challenged in a Thai Court you would loose!! As regards Property being an investment if you Buy the property in someone else s name then lease it back you cannot sell this Lease. In short any money which you put into Thai Property is Money which you will never see again. If you have spare Cash better by far to buy a property in your Own Country and rent it out thus obtaining a steady income stream. Renting is cheap in Thailand and their are no shortage of properties in all Price Ranges.
Just one more quick point regarding Buying Thai Property. The one exception to the ban on Foreigners Owning Property is the Purchase of an Apartment in a Condominium. Provided more than 50% of the Residents are Thai a Foreigner CAN own a Condominium. I think buying a Condominium in Thailand is a thoroughly BAD idea!! The Glitzy Condominiums with their Landscaped Grounds and Picture Postcard Swimming Pool will very quickly become Slums in the Sky!!
Should you be unfortunate enough to have noisy Thai Neighbors you will be Stuffed!! Thais do not know how to look after things and this includes the Companies which are Building and maintaining these Condominiums. While nobody could ever accuse any Thai of neglecting their personal Cleanliness when it comes to keeping their House clean this is another matter entirely!! As I have written previously all that matters to a Thai is the Outward appearance the Condominiums which are built here bear no resemblance to the Beautiful Mansions which are erected in America!! Friends in Pattaya talk of visiting Condominium Dwellers where the Elevators seldom work and the general feel is seedy and sordid!!
The real danger for Western Men is Buying a House in their Thai Wife’s name. Before the Property is bought a document has to be signed by both Parties stating that all the money for the purchase came from the Thai and that the Foreigner has no interest in the property. This of course is a Charter for Greedy Thai Women and Thousands of Western Men have lost a great deal of money indeed many have lost everything they have!! in Issan where I live this practice is widespread and reinforces the Thai’s belief that all Falang are stupid. I am not saying that every Marriage and House Purchase between Thai Women and Western Men follow this pattern but the truth is MOST DO!!
As I constantly repeat Westerners are not liked in Thailand!! In any dealing which you have here no Thai is going to let a minor matter of right or wrong stand between them and what they think should be theirs!! I heard recently of a Falang who had bought the lease on a Restaurant this lease had a number of years still to run. One Day soon after his purchase he received a visit from the Thai Owner of the Building who informed him that he was planning on redeveloping the Building. I am giving you two Months notice his Thai Landlord informed him, you can take me to Court but you will loose!! What the Landlord did not mention is that even if the Falang were successful in his Court Action he would then be Strong-Armed into leaving by Thai Thugs who would take great delight in threatening any Falang!!
I am reminded of the instructions issued by the Referee to Boxers before a Bout “Protect yourselves at all times!!” This advice is incredibly appropriate for westerners living in Thailand. The Land of Smiles is probably the Best place in the world for Single Men who wish to relocate and begin a new life. One must however be aware of the dangers and use caution in your dealings with all Thai’s!! In Thailand you are not a person you are a Falang, essentially you have no rights and when things go wrong you are incredibly exposed!! I hope that by reading my stuff you will understand that being Smiley and agreeable is the only way to survive here, in any confrontation you loose!!