Taking a chance on buying a holiday home in Thailand

Published:  23 Feb at 9 AM
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If you’ve visited Thailand a few times and are considering the purchase of a holiday home, it pays to check out on the many recent changes as regards cost of living and visas.

From beachfront condo units, gated community villas and even hideaways outside farming villages, the romance of a home in Thailand has kept expatriates arriving and purchasing for several decades. However, for many, things may not be all they seem due to the many changes which have taken place since the military government installed itself via a coup. It’s still possible to buy a property, but affordability is at a low point and the frequently changing rules by which foreigners are allowed to live in the country are being toughened up on a regular basis.

Your first move should be to find one of the many social media forum websites on which questions are asked by those planning reconnaissance visits and and answered by long-stay expats. As regards timing your visit, avoiding both the searingly hot season between February and April and the downpours of the rainy season between May and October is advised. Location, of course, is important and depends on your prospective lifestyle, both for holidays and for retirement at a later date.

If you’re purchasing for investment, popular tourism hubs such as the southern islands, Phuket, Hua Hin and even Chiang Mai are good choices, but it should be remembered that the tourist industry in the country is under serious threat by the coronavirus, increasing anti-foreigner bureaucracy. The present strength of the Thai baht is also having an effect on potential foreign retirees. It’s a tricky time for Thailand, and its present military government doesn’t seem to have answers to the many negative issues.

If you’re considering eventual retirement, bear in mind that Thailand isn’t the inexpensive destination it used to be, and the cost of living is expected to rise still further during the next several years. Also, the amount of loose cash you’ll need to have to cover Immigration’s regular expat-aimed new rulings is liable to increase still further. As regards an actual property purchase, advice to avoid buying off-plan, no matter how good it seems, should be taken very seriously. Many would-be expats and investors in property have lost everything by trusting a convincing Thai construction company representative or an over-friendly expat IFA/mortgage advisor
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