Choosing the Right Location for Investing In Luxury Properties Abroad

Choosing the Right Location for Investing In Luxury Properties Abroad

To most people, the word “luxury” in real estate implies great comfort within 4 walls and the grounds that surround them, however, to a few people, this word means so much more!

This word for a few transcends materialistic comforts, into a green world of eco-friendly and sustainable homes or a life that gives them more than their home country due to ever-increasing inflation, on general living expenses and property prices. You would get a lot less for your money if you were to buy a house today in Europe today than you would have 2 or 3 years ago.

Luxury in real estate, in its true essence, defines the pinnacle of comfort and elegance, with class and panache. Luxury properties such as fully equipped and fitted condos, provide you with everything you will ever need within the walls of your lavish home. 

You may be wondering, why should I buy a luxury property abroad when I can invest in a property in my home country. In a nutshell, depending on where you are from you may have a higher purchasing power with your money when you buy in another country. If you buy in a country such as Thailand, you may find that for the same price as a home in your home country, you can afford a property twice the size, in a tropical location with a world of new adventures.

offer you luxury properties at a fraction of the cost that you would have otherwise spent in buying a similar property in the US, the UK, or Australia. Continue reading to know the many benefits of buying a luxury property abroad and how you can make a smart property investment for you and your family, and future generations. 

Get a better quality of life abroad

A decade or two ago, living in the USA, the UK, and Australia, had a vast number of benefits such as a better quality of living compared to other countries such as Malaysia, Hongkong, and Thailand. However, the fast progress of developing countries versus the high inflation rate, and exorbitant cost of living rates in developed countries, have flipped the tables around. 

Now an increasing number of people are choosing to move to countries such as Thailand, due to a better quality of life at a reduced cost of living. If you are a foreigner who has visited Thailand before, then you may notice that right from a cup of coffee, to a full-fledged 5-course meal,  only costs a fraction of the cost in your home country. This might seem like one of the many incentives to relocate to Thailand, as you can enjoy a luxury lifestyle here with ease. 

You can enjoy a lavish lifestyle in a country such as Thailand, Malaysia, or Hongkong, because of the lower cost of living in these countries as well as your Increased buying power. The combination of factors, ensures a better lifestyle, especially for global citizens, wealthy retirees, and highly skilled employees and entrepreneurs. 

Countries such as Thailand have been slowly and steadily changing their laws by including incentives and benefits for foreigners who can benefit the country’s economy. For instance, in Thailand, foreigners who have a higher purchase power, and can be considered as global citizens, wealthy retirees, highly skilled employees, and affluential business owners are given an array of benefits through the Elite Visa packages. 

These incentives include immigration benefits, work benefits, tax benefits, visa perks, and real estate privileges. You can read more about Everything You Need To Know About The Thailand Elite Visa on our blog. 

What to consider when choosing a country to live in

Facts About Buying International Real Estate In Costa Rica, Malaysia, and Hong Kong

Costa Rica – Foreigners can freely buy property in Costa Rica, and houses can cost as less as $75,000 for a villa, at least on paper until the actual registration of the land and house begins! 

There are multiple hurdles to actually paying for property in Costa Rica if you are a foreigner and these hurdles can cost you an additional $50,000 while registering the property. This is especially true if the property you want to purchase is located anywhere close to beaches and other hot spots that are set aside for the citizens of the country. In such cases getting a Costa Rica national involved in the deal might be the only move you are left with. 

Right from the property prices to property taxes, the real estate market in Costa Rica is heavily unregulated, thus if you have a great lawyer, who can check the paperwork for you, then investing in this land of sunshine and oceans, might be worth the trouble.  

Another factor to consider is the infrastructure of the country that you plan to relocate to. Costa Rica while considered a retiree’s paradise doesn’t have a solid infrastructure. In terms of economic infrastructure such as roads and sewage, airports, and power, Costa Rica ranks much behind places such as Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Thailand. For instance, the entire rail line of Costa Rica is only 278 kilometers long and it ranks at 103rd place in the world in terms of efficiency and functionality. Factors such as inefficient and insufficient maintenance as well as a lack of funds being allocated to important projects are considered the main hurdles. 

Malaysia – Expats and foreigners can own 100% of the purchased property in Malaysia, however, to do this, the minimum value of the property should be estimated at RM1 Million which is approximately $ 234,423. Better properties in Malaysia cost a lot more than this bare minimum and additional fees such as property tax also apply.  

The cost of living in Malaysia is cheaper than in the USA and the UK, however, it is not as low as in places like Thailand. Certain products such as wine cost a lot more in Malaysia, yet food and curbside shopping, are cheaper than that in the US or the UK. For instance, a bottle of wine that might cost $8 in Thailand and $15 in the US or UK, will cost $20 in Malaysia.  

Moreover, due to the Pandemic, expat meetups are purposely online now, and these regulations are strict and are enforced by the local law enforcement authorities. In Malaysia, overdevelopment has become a major issue, which has caused office buildings to stay vacant for years. While some might see this as a buyer’s market, others might view it as buying an office in a broken-down building, fixing it from scratch, and then using it in the current economy which implies a lot more investment and a higher cost of operating.  

The economic infrastructure in Malaysia is hands down one of the best in Asia. Right from roads, to railway networks and communications, in the last 20 years, Malaysia has made excellent strides of progress in all these elements. However, Malaysia ranks 121 in the Global ranking for rails and its networks, because the ratio of the total rail and road length versus population is much further away than ideal. This is a typical issue with larger countries with a high population and limited resources even if the resources are advanced compared to smaller countries that rank better.  Hong Kong – Buying property in Hongkong is possible, however, not for all foreigners. The property market in Hong Kong is not open and is not an option for investment for foreigners from Afghan, Albania, Cuba, North Korea, and Chinese citizens from the mainland. The only exception to this rule is buyers from these countries are also permanent citizens of another country such as the US, or the UK.  

Moreover, the property fees, advocate fees, and realtor fees in Hongkong are on the higher end of the spectrum, which means that you can expect to pay a lot more than you bargained for.  

The taxes include but are not limited to 15% extra fees for foreign buyers and corporate investors. These taxes are applicable for any property that costs more than HK $2 Million with very few exceptions, such as for permanent residents of Hong Kong who are also first-time property buyers.  

Furthermore, the real estate market in Hong Kong is highly unsteady and can be considered volatile, with the prices skyrocketing on any given month, and coming crashing down a few months later.

The Capital Investment Scheme for foreigners in Hong Kong was initially offered to investors and aimed at attracting eligible rich global citizens who were interested in immigrating to Hong Kong while actively investing in the capital market of the country. When this scheme was initially rolled out, the eligible foreign investor could easily choose to invest in permissible investment assets. This was a blessing for serious investors as this scheme allowed them to invest without functional business operations or even owning a business. The Capital Investment Scheme for Foreigners has been suspended since January 15th, 2015 and this scheme may not be offered to foreigners anytime soon. The suspension of this scheme can be a serious setback, for investors as now, to make any profits through capital investments, foreigners need to prove that they have a legit business with eligible business operations. 

Hong Kong boasts low-cost public transport with a wide network of buses, cabs, and other forms of easily accessible public transport modes. Hong Kong is connected not only in terms of roads but also in terms of internet coverage through lightning-speed broadband and fiber optics networks. Hong Kong has a network of sea, harbor, and air cargo hubs for smooth business, import, and export operations. The Express Rail Link can make traveling from one end of Hong Kong to the other end smooth and as quick as 46 minutes. 

Hong Kong sees major protests periodically and the population of Hong kong has dropped from 7.41 Million to 7.29 Million in a year, from mid-2021 to mid-2022. There are two important factors that have led to this drop n population, the first is political unrest and the second is the stringent COVID-19 Protocols set in place since the start of the global pandemic. 

Facts About Thailand For Foreigners Investing

Real Estate Prices

Living on rent is a good move if you are planning to live in a country for a few months. However, buying your own condo in Bangkok, Bali, Costa Rica or any place of your choosing is a much smarter move. Countries such as Thailand offer foreigners such as you the opportunity to purchase freehold condo units under your name. 

The cost of luxury condos in Bangkok can range from $90 per square meter to $500 per square meter and even more. In Thailand, buying a condo is a relatively easy process and the appreciation value for property rates is on the rise as compared to a few years ago during the pandemic times.  

Thailand doesn’t differentiate between foreigners buying condos, anyone with a foreign passport can buy a condo, however, a few rules do apply. If you are interested to know more about this topic, then do read about Navigating Property Legalities in Thailand

Cost of Living

Thailand is also affordable to live in, even if you splurge a bit and head out to relax one night a week. For basic amenities and necessities, you can expect to spend less than $800 to a maximum of $950 a month in Thailand, including your studio apartment’s rent. This, however, will depend on your power of great negotiation skills if you shop locally at small mom-and-pop stores. A full-fledged meal of 5 courses, can cost as less as $15 if you choose to dine at a café or at a curbside restaurant. The cost of living in Thailand obviously varies by your lifestyle choices and location so the best research is your own research.  

Climate and Natural Environment

The world has finally come to a point, where climatic changes, global warming, and carbon emissions, have become a serious problem. Countries such as the UK and the USA, have been experiencing hurricanes, cyclones, and tornados among other natural calamities due to man-made factors that have significantly affected the weather. 

While countries such as Hong Kong and Malaysia, are believed by many to have stable weather for most of the year, in reality, climate issues are presently at a heightened level in Hongkong. The scope for even worse and more significant problems is a real threat. This is mainly due to a lack of sustainable and green, eco-friendly buildings in Hong Kong and even Malaysia. 

Hong Kong has a “typhoon season” where between the months of April and October, the country is flooded and faces landslides. Citizens and travelers are issued warnings through various channels, while public offices tend to close down for a while when the signal of Typhoon 8 is posted.

A little-known but important fact about Thailand is that in the year 2021, an important summit termed the United Nations Climate Change Conference took place. During this summit, Thailand was one of the 171 countries that pledges to reduce the offset of carbon emissions and help the world become a greener place between the years 2030 to 2050. To know more about this topic, you may want to read the blog we have created, A Guide To Eco-Friendly Homes in Thailand.


For most people amenities include purchasing a property with a pool, a recreational room, a spa, and at most the inclusion of a supermarket in the condo complex. However, to make a smart property purchase decision, it is important to look beyond these basic amenities and think of airport connectivity, and road, and metro rail connectivity.

Thailand has more than 35 airports, out of which there are 7 International airports with the primary international airport is located in Bangkok, and is known as the Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Thailand is one of the most connected hubs for exports, imports, and businesses, and is also the ASEAN hub for Asia. To know more fascinating facts about the connectivity of airports in Thailand, read our blog, What You Want to Know About the Airports in Thailand.  

The BTS Skytrain is by far the fastest mode of public transport in Bangkok and the network consists of 2 lines through the Silom and Sukhumvit main terminals.  The MRT underground line connects to the BTS Skytrain through the Asok Station as well. There are a total of 52 trains in the BTS Skytrain fleet and you can ride in these trains for as less as 15 baht for 1 trip. You can read more interesting facts about the transport system in Bangkok by reading our blog, A Foreigner’s Guide To The BTS Skytrain in Bangkok.


Age and time can make a person weak and weary, which applies to everyone who lives in this world. Living in a country that has good hospitals is a must for everyone, irrespective of their age.


The pandemic has taught us the value of health and wellness, and the importance of having nearby hospitals, medical stores, and ambulance services available to us. Thailand has some of the best hospitals in Asia, with Bangkok Hospital rated as one of the top 5 hospitals in the country. The Bangkok Hospital is located at New Petchburi Rd and is a tertiary care hospital with some of the finest diagnostic equipment in the country. 


Education is the key to a successful and prosperous life, and if you have a family with children, then you would agree with this statement. The Mahidol University is the top university in Thailand and has a global rating of 50.7 with over 30 other universities following in close pursuit. Right from international preschools to daycare centers and middle schools, Thailand boasts the best education that you can give to your family for a brighter tomorrow if you choose to relocate to this mystical land of promise and opportunities. There are many schools that you can choose for your children’s education when moving to Thailand. We wrote this short post on Schools in Thailand that might interest you.

  1. Did you know that while the cost of living in Thailand is a lot lower than in Malaysia, and Hongkong, the quality of life in Thailand is still a lot better? Some of the most famous celebrities and affluent millionaires live in Thailand, within the walls of their lavish fortresses. For instance, the Chearavanont Brothers have a net worth of $30.2 Billion, live in Thailand, and with great style! If you would like to know more, then read our blog, Where Do The Rich Live in Bangkok? 

  2. An interesting fact is that renting a 30-square-meter studio apartment in Thailand can cost as little as $330 a month. This amount can go up to $550 per month for renting a furnished condo in better neighborhoods. If you would like to know more about this topic then you can get more information here about The Cost of Living in Thailand.  

  3. Did you know that Bangkok has a Madam Tussauds Wax Museum that has gained popularity in the last few years this wax museum has a lot of visitors that stop by to take a picture with their favorite wax idols? Living close to such Thailand attractions also adds value to your property with a higher-than-average appreciation rate.  For a complete list of attractions, you would want to live near, read more about the Thailand Attractions that Could Add to Your Property Value.  

  4. A fun fact is that an average of 41,000 Britishers have chosen Thailand as their second home and have relocated to Thailand as of 2023. For a complete crash course on the topic, you can read more about How Many Foreigners Live in Thailand and Where.  

  5. Did you know that compared to many other Asian countries, Thailand is a lot safer to live in, it is not on the high-alert list for terrorism and other mass crimes. Thailand is also home to many schools, and universities all of which are some of the best international schools in Asia. If you are considering relocating to Thailand, then do have a look at the blog Top 10 Reasons to Become An Expat And Move To Thailand.  

Before You Take The Leap Of Faith And Relocate Abroad

While choosing a country to relocate to can be a tough decision, researching the various factors important for a successful move can help you greatly. A good strategy to follow is to research using multiple sources of information, especially if you want an unbiased opinion. The Silk Estate blog is content rich and can be your guide if you plan to move to Bangkok. 

If you believe in statistics and metrical data, then Thailand ranks highly in factors such as weather, economic growth due to being the primary ASEAN hub, foreigner-friendly condo purchase laws, and connectivity as well as affordable cost of living. 

More importantly, Thailand has a community of foreigners who meet, connect and build a better tomorrow for themselves and their loved ones. Thailand also offers you a wide range of eco-friendly homes, in the form of condos, pool villas, and green penthouses. Villa Qabalah by DNA Collection is one of these many eco-friendly, green living, and sustainable homes. If this topic interests you then you can read more about the green eco poolside homes, Villa Qabalah Houses by DNA Collections. 

Thailand real estate laws don’t differentiate based on your nationality, however, if the language barrier is an issue, then having a property expert on your side is a good decision. While condo developers do offer legal services to buyers, having access to a property expert and a solicitor that you trust is the best way to make a smart property investment. 

Thailand laws also allow foreigners to buy condotels as a sheer investment and rent these units back to the hotel for the majority of the year. If you are wondering what is a condotel then our blog What Is A Condotel And Are They A Good Investment is the right read for you. 

The condominium act of Thailand also permits foreigners to rent out their condos for long-term stays. Keep in mind that you cannot rent out a residential condo as an AIR BnB in Thailand and if you do this, you can get into serious trouble, much more than a slap on the wrist. If you are wondering why AIR BnB services do not work in Thailand, then do read more about The Key Differences Between AIR BnB and Individual House Rentals in Thailand. 

Before you take the final decision of moving abroad, to Thailand or another country of your choosing, consider other factors such as hospitals, commute within the city, schools, and developed neighborhoods with CCTV surveillance in all the common areas, around-the-clock security guards, and automated key card entries at every gate. 

Yes, Thailand has all of these modern-day amenities too but most importantly, Thailand is home to Silk Estate, your chosen and preferred Property Experts who can be your eyes, and ears and maintain your home

Chris Wyatt
Chris Wyatt

Chris is an knowledgeable real estate professional with many years experience in promoting and helping people find the right property to buy.

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Disclaimer: This article is not to be taken as legal advice in any form. The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. If you require legal advice in Thailand you should contact a professional.

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