Housing in Thailand
If you're on a fat-cat corporate expat package or have just won the lottery, finding housing in Thailand can be fast and easy. Corporate underlings and Thai real estate barracudas are usually quite efficient.
For those of us who need to massage the budget a little, it can be a rough road. Deciding to settle in or very near a tourist area basically means:
- Housing is easier to find
- Houses and condos are more likely to suit western desires
- Prices will be higher
- You will generally see less "real Thailand" and more traffic.
Building a House in the Village
Out in the villages, the de facto standard is building one's own house. That usually means you will have to buy a plot of land as well. Here's where your first problem arises. Westerners cannot own land in Thailand. Westerners can lease land -- 30 years is lega ..l, obtain usufructs, or buy land through a company. Notice I said,"Buy land". As an alien, you can buy it, you just can't own it.
Real estate moguls, especially western property developers, will often tell you that no one has ever lost a property in a nominee scheme. How can they possibly know? Would you like being famous / infamous?
The Thai government has recently started tightening the rules governing foreign owned companies. There are lots of really scared property owners right now.
The "buying through a company" either needs Thai majority partners, or the use of nominees. Using nominees is illegal and you stand a good chance of losing your house.
If you're dead set on building your dream home, there is a web site you should frequent. Cool Thai House does a much better job of explaining the issues involved than I ever could about -- building a house in Thailand -- until Recent experiences that involve marriage, buying a house, buying land, improving the land then building a house are documented in “My Thailand”..