Should foreigners buy a condo in Thailand?
That’s an excellent question, and if you are on a Retirement Visa and currently live in Thailand, you have probably thought about it many times over, as I did.
When I first arrived, well-meaning friends emphatically advised me NOT to buy, emphasized with statements like, “I would never buy in Thailand, just rent”, or “never bring to Thailand more than you are prepared to lose.”
I flatly ignored their advice!
Why did I ignore their advice? Well in my home country the interest on my savings account was Zero, and I didn’t want everything invested in the wobbly stock market, so I decided to move enough money to Thailand to buy myself a condominium.
An exciting experience
At first, It was a “unnerving” experience going through the purchase process. My Land Office experience was like nothing else I had seen in my many years of buying properties (UK and USA), nevertheless I signed the contracts, paid my fees, and within hours received my Chanote (Deed).
I confess to being a little worried about the seemingly chaotic method in which property sales are made in Thailand. But it was not that bad after all, and my realtor was super helpful; it was just nothing like I have ever experienced before back home.
Here’s why I decided to ignore my well-meaning friends advise
After living in my first condominium for 2½ years, I decided to sell it. Selling price after fees, taxes, dues, etc., and transfer at the Land Office provided me with almost a break-even sale, but I was still a little in the positive, additionally…
I have saved over two years rental payments (70k X 30 Mo. = Baht 2,100,000), plus made a very small profit. I paid land taxes and stimulated the Thai economy just a little, and I have lived happily for a couple of years of my retirement in beautiful Thailand. I have lived well and done my small part in contributing to the Thai economy.
Agreed, I have already invested (spent) all of my profit back into my social life here in Thailand, but here’s my point:
To date, I have saved 5+ years of rent, lived as an owner, not as an unsettled renter. I have done whatever I wanted with the decoration and renovations to each of my condominiums. And the net result is that my, prior, ZERO profit on my money sitting in a foreign bank has now rendered about a 15% gain, simply by putting my money to work in Thailand.
I am loving retirement in beautiful Thailand and shall continue to buy condominiums, and live in them.
So, YES you should invest in a condo, in my opinion.