Purchasing properties in Thailand may be surprising and frustrating for some expatriates who are looking for a new home in the Kingdom. The restrictions on foreign freehold ownership somehow keep them off from engaging in the Thai property market.
Although there are other venues for property ownership like the right of superficies and leasehold, some foreign nationals are discouraged with these because they cannot own the land where the house stands outright.
These facts make the condominium among the most popular property acquisition in Thailand being it is only type of property that an expatriate can purchase freehold.
Aside from that, condominium units are fully furbished thereby leaving the buyer only a little to add on an already livable unit.
If you are among the buyers, perhaps you already have some ideas on the advantages of condominium ownership and some potential problems like possible conflicts with next door neighbors or the allocation of parking spaces that may be attached with it.
It is already an accepted fact that the Thai culture is largely different from yours. But, you have to know that the cultural aspect does not only affect communication, religious belief and relationships. Culture can also affect matters in the contract as details may be very important to you but the same may not the case in Thailand.
You must be well versed with how the management of the condominium is run, how the officers are elected, on what terms and how the bylaws of the building may actually affect you.
Of course, condominium development already have the necessary public utilities in place otherwise, they will not attract any buyers at all. But, are you sure that the power supply is adequate for such development area? Does the water pressure still strong enough to reach your unit at the 26th floor?
You have to know these before you will be able to sign any contracts and if you already have, you have to make sure that such are already in place and well-functioning otherwise you will be surprise that you will not be able to finish your shower because the water pressure just died down.
You are an executive with an office in downtown Bangkok but you also love the Thai outback. You are thinking about keeping your sedan, your wife’s crossover and you are also planning to purchase an off roader in the future too.
And when you settled in your new condominium, you are told that each family is allocated with only 2 vehicles as parking is very limited thereby leaving you in a dilemma whether to purchase another vehicle or not.
While still in development, the building contractor subcontracted the electrical, the piping system and masonry.
When you settled in, you found out that there is a crack at the wall that runs several inches starting from the power outlet. You complained with the management and they referred you to the developer. When you approached the developer, the developer tells you to ask the contractor instead and you realized that you are being passed around that you do not know who will be liable for the defect anymore.
So, it is very important that you scrutinize the terms found in the warranty or the scenario above may well become a reality.
Sales and Purchase Agreement
This is the “waterloo” of property purchase as incisive decision making based on careful study of the terms used on the Sales and Purchase Agreement is needed before you will sign it and pay the down payment.
Now, it is very important that you will solicit the expertise of a Thai-property lawyer because contracts can contain vague terms that can be detrimental for you in the long run. Your lawyer can do a Contract Review and will suggest or make the necessary corrections for your advantage.
Contracts can also contain Thai terms and dictionary translations may not be applicable nor close to the actual English translation. Problems like this can be minimized or avoided if your Thai property lawyer is fluent to both languages.
What You Should Do
When venturing to the property market, do not do things in haste. You should not be impulsive just because the condominium development you are eyeing is described best as the reality of your dreams.
You need to be careful and scrutinize things well. But, you should also be humble enough to accept the fact that no matter how prudent you are, you simply do not know everything especially on areas that involves Thai law and processes.
Contact a Thai-registered property lawyer and work with him for a stress free property purchase in the Kingdom.