Weddings are a beautiful occasion that marks the love between 2 people who vow to stay together for a lifetime. Weddings in Thailand on the island of Phuket or a private beach resort may also make you wish that you had your own vacation home in Thailand.
To begin with, congratulations on your big day and the start of an epic love story! You have just gotten married and would like to gift your newly wedded spouse a luxurious condo in Thailand, and are looking for the best choices for purchasing this gift. Purchasing a condo as a wedding gift is a great choice for investment, however before you lay down the token amount, know the top 5 dos and don’ts for investing in Thai property.
Choosing Between Condos and Villas
Condos are ideal investments for foreigners who would like to stay in the country for extended periods without staying in hotels. Condos are also easier to purchase, move into, furnish and move out of after selling. Most importantly condos in Thailand are luxurious and many developers offer these units to both Thai citizens as well as foreigners.
Condotels are part of hotels that sell the units to foreigners who can stay in the property for 2-3 weeks every year. The Thailand Condominium Act for condotels dictates that when the property is not being used, it has to be rented back to the hotel. Foreigners who own condotels get shares when they are selling the property, these shares come from a general pool and also include the common amenities used inside the complex. These amenities may include recreational and sports areas. Condotels make a perfect vacation home as well as an investment opportunity for couples who will be travelling to Thailand once or twice a year for a total of 2-3 weeks annually.
According to the laws of Thailand, Thai citizens, as well as foreigners, can own condos by following simple rules. Thai citizens have to own a bare minimum of 51% shares of the project while foreigners can own a very maximum of 49% shares of the project. If you and your spouse are foreigners then choosing a condo as a wedding gift is a fabulous idea.
Villas fall under freehold property which implies that foreigners cannot own the land on which the villa is built. If you and your spouse are both foreigners then owning a villa isn’t legally possible. However, leasing the land and building a villa on it is possible. The maximum term a foreigner can lease out land for in Thailand is 30 years and the best way to do this is to go through a reliable real estate agent such as Silk Estate.
Leasing Land From Your Thai Spouse
As a foreigner, while you cannot legally own land, if you are married to a Thai Citizen then your partner can own land and you can build a house on it. The land that your partner owns will be in your partner’s name and not in your name. If your Thai partner chooses to sell the land, then you cannot dispute this legally even if you have paid for the land.
You can dispute the matter only if you have leased out the land from your spouse and that also for the structure built on the land, but not the land in itself. If you choose to go down the path of leasing land that your Thai spouse owns then you can you can lease the land for 30 years and renew the lease as per the Thai Laws at that time.
Keep in mind that if your Thai partner is buying the land then the money has to reflect from his/her earnings or income source. You cannot gift land to your Thai spouse if you are a foreigner.
Following the Thailand Condominium Act
There are a handful of rules in the Thailand Condominium Act that must be followed. Condos are owned by a single person, the title deed can be in your name or your spouse’s name. As the sole owner of the condo, you can choose to stay there whenever you visit and you can choose to keep it closed when you are not in the country or staying elsewhere. When you sell a condo you get to keep, spend or reinvest the entire funds as per the governing Thai laws at that time.
The condo unit that you purchase must be used only for residential purposes and cannot be used as a home office, it cannot be used as a warehouse and it cannot be used for any purposes that cause it to generate income as part of a business model.
The Thailand Condominium Act also dictates that all fees of the condo and general expenses while living there must be shared by the condo owners equally. The fees are calculated based on the square meters of the unit and are also based on the amenities offered. There may also be extra fees for government taxes. It is always best to have an escrow in place to pay these fees so that you do not miss a payment due to being preoccupied.
Choosing Between Locations In Thailand
Many locations in Thailand are ideal to live in, and as the BTS Skytrain connects various points in Thailand, travelling to and from home to the office is an easy task. The top areas to own condos in Thailand include Bangkok, Phuket, Samui, Ching Mai and Sukhumvit.
Before choosing a location in Thailand to own a condo, remember to keep a few additional points in mind. These include the safety of the neighbourhood, shopping malls in the area, supermarkets for grocery shopping and schools in the neighbourhood in case you wish to start a family in Thailand. To know more about which neighbourhoods are best for buying condos, read about the top locations in Bangkok in this informative blog post.
The Title Deed – Who Should Own It?
If you and your partner are both foreigners then any one of you can own the title deed. However, if your spouse is a Thai citizen then there are perks of the title deed being in his/her name. This would include lower property rates and lower government taxes. Keep in mind that for any reason your partner decides to sell the condo, then you won’t be eligible to have a say in the matter.
As a foreigner, if you have the title deed in your name then you have to sign a FET document as well as the Sale and Purchase agreement. Before doing this, you have to ensure that the title deed is registered with the Land Department. You also have to make sure that the condo’s previous title deed is free from any form of litigation and that the environmental codes are clear of issues.
If you are a foreigner who is investing in a condo then it is crucial to remember that as part of the Thailand Condominium Act, you will be part of the maximum 41% shares of the condo complex.
This would also imply that the money you are investing has to come into Thailand from a foreign account.
If you have earned any income in Thailand then this cannot be used to purchase a condo. Fees and other taxes also have to come from a foreign account and can be set up in an escrow system for ease of payment.
Section 19 of the Thailand Condominium Act dictates that the condo can have a title deed of a joint partnership of spouses.
The section further states that the foreigner who is gifting the condo to his Thai spouse is eligible for joint partnership only if he has been granted access to Thailand either via the immigration act or under the promotional investment act.
Additional Points to Consider
As per the latest circular, the Thailand government is considering giving special perks to global citizens who can add value to the Thai economy.
You can read more about the Foreign Incentives for Global Citizens on this informative blog.
Due to covid and the pandemic, the Thailand government has introduced the test and go sandbox program for entry into the country.
This indicates that as of 1st April 2022, mandatory RT-PCR COVID Tests before entering the country are no longer required.
Instead, you can apply for a Thai Pass even if you are vaccinated fully. To do this, you have to apply directly to the Thai Consulate Website, choose the option for Non-Thai Option and select your vaccination status.
The next step is to provide information about your nationality, the reason for the visit, and upload proof of vaccination and the QR code of the vaccination. If you are staying in a hotel then provide the details of your hotel along with dates of check-in and check-out.
On the next screen, you also have to provide your Covid and/or travel insurance details on the website.
Since the hotel has to approve your Thailand visit, ensure to prepay the hotel stay for the full visit as per the given check-in and check-out dates.
You will also have to submit a summary of your application and enter the 6-digit access code and you can get Thailand pass free of charge.
Listed and Unlisted Condos for Sale
There are dime a dozen websites that offer listed condos for sale but only a handful of genuine websites that give you genuine top-of-the-line unlisted condos information.
Visit the website today to find out more.
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