Buying Property in Paradise: Tips for the process of buying land in Koh Phangan
Posted on Jan 30, 2014 in News and Blog: Real Estate
Now is a great time to buy land on Koh Phangan. Property prices are on the rise, and the Baht is at a low exchange rate. This monetary combination plus the arrival of new airport and limited parcels of land make investing in properties in Koh Phangan a great idea. Besides, then you get to make a second home in our beautiful island paradise or open that little bar on the beach you have always dreamed of. While all signs point towards the positive of purchasing property now, buying land overseas can be complicated and frustrating. Here at Siam Quality Assets, we want your new purchase to go as smoothly as possible so we have put together a few tips below.
Owning land in Thailand might look confusing for foreigners but it just requires a bit of legal footwork as owning land can be a bit more complicated than buying condos or buildings. There are a few ways to go about owning property as a foreigner in Thailand:
- If you are married to a Thai national, you can buy the land through them.
- You can buy the land in the name of a Thai friend or trusted person and lease the land from them or from the owner directly. A lease can last for up to 3 x 30 years. (90 years in total).
- You can start a Thai LLC, of which you own 49% and buy the land through your company.
Use a Registered Lawyer
In case you haven’t guessed by the above, we recommend to always use the services of a registered lawyer in order to secure the right to your land. So many legal pitfalls can be avoided by having proper representation. They can advise you on the best way to go about owning your land as outlined above. Also contracts in Thailand can be different than standard international documents. Your lawyer will be familiar with the Thai legal system and can explain the documents to you in detail before you sign. We advise hiring a lawyer before you put down a deposit or sign anything in order to protect your own best interests.
Do your Geographical Research
It would be a shame to buy a parcel of land only to discover that a new resort is going in directly next door. This is why we recommend to find out everything about the area you are purchasing in before buying. Firstly, make sure that this is the part of the island that you want to buy on. Is it a party area, a retirement area, etc? Are you living there or building a business? Make sure the area suites your land use. Also Koh Phangan has very high peaks and you will want to ensure that you can get electricity and internet to your place if you need to. Also make sure that their is not any abandoned property or half finished projects on the property that someone else might hold claim to. For more on this see below.
Run a Title Check.
This is where your lawyer can help you out as well. Always make sure that your lawyer runs a title check for you before you purchase any property. What is a title check and why is it important? The title to property is a bundle of legal rights to that property. A title check makes sure that there is no one else with a claim to the land you are about to purchase. This means that if someone has purchased the mineral rights (soil rights) to your property you will know prior to them showing up and digging about! Running a title check will also ensure that there are no other encumbrances on the property. These can be in the form of liens (debts), other mortgages, and leases (i.e. someone else is leasing the property currently). It is very important to run a title check as it allows you to completely hold all rights to the property with no one else having a claim on your grounds.
Running a title search is also important in regards to zoning laws. They will establish what type of structures you are allowed to build on your recent purchase and where. It would be horrible to put your savings into a property in hopes of building a big house for your family, only to find out that you are restricted by zoning laws.
In conclusion, the most important thing when buying your property is to make sure you know exactly what rights you hold with this property. In order to achieve this we recommend that you make sure you follow all the Thai laws to a tee. This prevents your property from being taken away from you in the future and secures your legitimate claim. Here at Siam Quality Assets we wish you the best in your search, and please remember these few tips in order to make purchasing your parcel of land in paradise painless! Feel free to contact us with any more questions or concerns on your upcoming purchase.