Thailand’s property market is bullish. Development is on a swing across the country. Together with the fact that the country is much endowed with attractive tourism spots and very amiable people, Thailand is fast becoming a top retiree and tourist destination in Southeast Asia.
But since expatriates are not allowed to own land on freehold (except on condominiums), property lease is the best option for a foreigner who is looking for a long term stay in the country.
And why is this?
Acquisition and registration of a property to lease entails easier processing for a foreign individual like you.
While some write-ups, websites or close associates may tell you that when you look for properties in Thailand, you must start with the real estate agent because he knows everything you need to know with regards to properties in the Kingdom.
While this is true, property agents are far from how you should start with your search.
Property agents tend to be more inclined with sales pitches and you have to understand that. After all, he is a property “agent” and that is to work for someone in order to gain something and in this case, that something is the monetary commission he will get from lessor or owner.
Because of this, property agents are inclined to work not for your benefit but for his and those he is working for. And, you should not be easily be swayed by those words.
Property agent’s scope of work is limited to searching and providing you with the “best” deals available as they cannot do the essentials in property searches like: Due Diligence, Title Search and other Documentary as well as background investigations.
You will probably get confused on why involve the seemingly complex terminologies in Due Diligence and the like. Well, this is about your investment, your money and the highlight of your hard work.
The Internet and other Resource Materials
Materials from the virtual world and those on printed ones may contain clear and firsthand information. But, how are you going to filter out the good information from the bad one if you do not know the background of the information provider?
Perhaps, you are actually aware of misguided and ill-advised information find in various sites that are passed off as legitimate first-hand information for the clueless. When you are that stage of excitement of finding a leasable property to live in, tendencies are, such awareness may be eventually be ditched by you.
The Best Way of Rolling the Ball
You will probably wonder who this “best” personality or entity is when you are digging the Thai property market for leasehold houses, villa or condominiums.
Well, the answer is relatively easy and he is the guy who can do them all, your Thai-registered property lawyer.
Your property lawyer can do multiple functions for you. Because of his knowledge on properties, he can just be your sales agent if you will allow him to.
Also, due diligence, title search and background investigative work can spell delayed lease on the said property but it is of course for you and your family’s safety and freedom from stress. As you can see, acquiring anything without background check may even drag you to the courts.
Additionally, your property lawyer can be your chief editor for the veracity of the information you have obtained on the internet as well as on local and national media. And with this short description of your Thai property lawyer, he can be easily categorized as the person to go to prior to the acquisition of property.
How Should You Start?
As discussed above, you already have your lawyer, your agent and resource materials. But, you cannot form a square with only three sides. You still have the missing key side of the square you are forming and that key side is the point where you should start your property search.
That key side is you.
Before you will consider searching the net, going over catalogs, contacting a property agent or enlisting the services of a lawyer, you have to screen what you want in a property to lease: the size of the property, floor area, location, type of neighborhood, service roads among others.
Going over these things will save your time and effort so start with yourself and decide what you want.