Phuket, Bang Tao 2 bedroom apartment with private pool.  Rents for $3,587 AUD per month

Phuket, Bang Tao 2 bedroom apartment with private pool.  Rents for $3,587 AUD per month

Bangkok, 2 bedroom 570 sqm with private pool, located in the heart of central business district

Bangkok, 2 bedroom 570 sqm with private pool, located in the heart of central business district

Koh Samui, 4 bedrm, with private pool perched on oceanfront hillside and its own secluded beach

Koh Samui, 4 bedrm, with private pool perched on oceanfront hillside and its own secluded beach

Thailand - Property

Sal and Glen’s 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom house, a walk away from the beach in Phuket. It could be purchased for US200,000. It has a pool and is surrounded by lush tropical gardens and the sounds of running water.

Foreigners can legally, and easily, purchase an apartment anywhere in Thailand, but they cannot own land and houses.

However, foreigners manage this restriction in many ways, including:

  1. Buying the land in the name of a Thai person, usually a friend or someone they think they can trust, then leasing it back for 30 years with an option to extend. Some developers already offer house sales using their own 30-year lease option.
  2. Starting a Thai company in which the foreigner can own up to 49 per cent of the shares and then buy and own land through the company.

Clearly, there can be problems when you use a scheme to circumvent the intention of the law. So if you want to have a larger private area, perhaps with your own garden and pool, our advice is to rent a house. Alternatively, rent or buy an apartment. Apartment ownership is much more straightforward.

Sal and Glen who live in Phuket were not concerned about owning a house.

For foreigners to be eligible to purchase a condominium in Thailand, they must present proof to the Land Department that the funds have been remitted from overseas in foreign currency (as demonstrated by a valid Foreign Exchange Transfer Form from a Thai bank). Foreigners can acquire up to, but not exceeding, 49 per cent of the total floor area of the combined condo units.

Adam, a motorcycle enthusiast and an artist, moved to Chiang Mai about ten years ago from Sydney’s eastern suburbs. He inherited some money, had a property rented in Sydney, and figured he’d be able to enjoy life in Chiang Mai—a place he had been visiting since the mid 1970s.

Since then, Adam has made some good money from investing in properties in Chiang Mai. He bought a condominium for A$50,000 in central Chiang Mai and has bought, renovated and sold two other condos as well.

‘I just love it here,’ Adam said. ‘I feel relaxed—maybe it’s the Buddhism.’

Adam was smart with his move and his experience provides a good model for many people, especially retirees, who decide to live in a foreign country. He initially rented a shophouse because he did not know what living in Chiang Mai would be like; whether it was dangerous, too corrupt, or just plain boring and not his thing.

‘I figured I could leave that shophouse and everything in it if I had to; if anything went wrong,’ he said.

In central Chiang Mai two bedroom apartments, like in this complex, are being offered for less than US$100,000

It was only after he was sure that he wanted to stay in Chiang Mai, and understood the legal and property ownership structures, that he decided to buy himself an apartment. And only after that did he start to invest in property.

Bangkok Luxury Penthouse with Pool

This remarkable penthouse is located at Eight Thonglor Residence Bangkok – the condo is right in the heart of Thonglor, close to Bangkok’s Central Business District with convenient access to Sukhumvit, Petchaburi and Ekkamai. The penthouse expands over the top two floors of the building, covering an area of 570 sqm and boast its own rooftop pool, with unparalleled views over the city, enjoying breathtaking sunsets.  See More

Koh Samui - 4 Bedroom Villa with a Unique Interior Garden

Perched on a most incredible oceanfront hillside leading to its own secluded beach, this estate is ideally located a few minutes from famed Chaweng and Choeng Mon beaches and ten minutes from the airport. The location is complemented by the unobstructed views of The Gulf of Thailand and the world-class villas within the estate.  See More

Stylish Contemporary 3-Bedroom Penthouse for Sale in Kata, Phuket

This beautiful penthouse offers panoramic ocean views, large open terraces, expansive living areas and the seamless spillover of indoor into outdoor spaces, reflecting the modern-Asian design of the estate. This property holds a prime location within the estate offering the ultimate in privacy.  See more 

Phuket - 2 Bedroom Beach Apartment

This all-pool condominium gated community is just a short stroll to Bang Tao beach, in Phuket’s popular west coast Laguna area. There are 24 units in this luxury boutique resort, all with their own private plunge pool and terraces.  See more

Chiang Mai Mountain View Penthouse

This luxurious penthouse is located in the heart of Chiang Mai’s most chic neighbourhood, Nimmanhaemin Road. The penthouse offers a spacious living area, a large modern European kitchen and three bedrooms include en suite bathrooms. There is also a beautiful 270 sqm roof terrace – the only one of its kind in Nimmanhemin – with incredible 360 degree views over the city and beyond to the mountains.  See more

All photos courtesy of Hunter Sotheby's International Realty