Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
The following are some of most frequently asked questions we get by our customers both online and in the office. Please feel free to contact us directly if your question is not answered below or if you need further clarification on any of the topics.
Can a foreigner own land in Thailand?
No it is not possible for foreigners to own land on the same conditions as in their home country in their own name. The only ways a foreigner can own land on equal terms as a Thai are to either get approval from the “Board of Investment” (BOI) or obtain residency in Thailand.
Can a foreigner own buildings in Thailand?
Yes, it is possible for foreigners to have their name registered in the house registrations book. However there are exceptions depending on if the building is registered as part of the land title deed.
Can a foreigner own a condominium in Thailand?
Yes; A foreigner can own a condominium on the same basis as a Thai as long as Thais own at least 51% of either the total amount of saleable square meters or at least 51% of the number of saleable units.
What does ‘Foreign ownership’ exactly mean?
Foreign ownership means that a condo can be bought in your own name (and it remains in your name forever) – it is the equivalent to freehold property elsewhere in the world. A condo or apartment can be bought either in your own name depending upon the circumstances of the condominium complex. A house, villa or townhouse may be owned separately from the land it is built on. Land or commercial property can never be bought in your own name as a foreigner. Ownership laws are actually very straight-forward and our team of lawyers and public notaries can handle everything for you when you have found your dream property with 2nd-home.
Can a foreigner get a mortgage in Thailand?
It is possible for foreigners to obtain up to 70% mortgages in Thailand but it is very difficult. In essence you need a steady income here or abroad, some good collateral together with supporting documentation and evidence.
Is it expensive to transfer a property in Thailand and must I be present?
The taxes to be paid when transferring a property from the seller to the buyer, depends on when the property was last transferred and the evaluated selling price made by the land department. Approximately transfer expenses can be calculated as follows, please be aware this is only for guidance:
Transfer fee: 2.2% of the original selling price.
Capital gains tax: 2.2% of the profit from the appraised value (also referred to as “Personal income tax”). The 2.2% is a progressive value estimated on the period since last transfer hence the figure will not be exactly 2.2% of the original selling price.
Specific business tax: 3.3% of the selling price. Only applies to properties that is being transferred within 3 years from last registration. Transferring again 5 years after last registration specific business tax completely falls away. Special business tax always applies if selling from a company Ltd.
Usually the seller will pay the Capital Gains Tax and the other charges will be shared equally, or up to negotiation between seller and buyer.
Taxes regarding leased properties are different and is depending upon the amount of years the lease has already been running when transferring.
You do not have to be present on the day of transferring the property either if you are selling or buying a property in Thailand. A power of attorney can be prepared prior to transferring, however it is advisable as it speeds up the whole process and eliminates any obstacles there may be.
Is there any property tax to pay in Thailand?
In Thailand we have “building tax” which is more or less the same as property tax. It is a yearly tax and it is a property owners own responsibility to pay at the local municipality. If you are using a accounting or management company to take care of your property, make sure they are aware they have to clear this tax for you as well, when paying all your other bills. The amount to be paid can be obtained the local municipality.
What taxes are payable on investment properties or capital gains?
There is no capital gains tax on the sale a condominium or apartment. The profit on the sale of a house or land is 30% of the declared profit which is always a conservative government figure. When it comes to houses, usually the Thai company is sold with the property. In this case all that is required is for a change in the name of the director and therefore there are no taxes due.
Do I have to declare the purchase of a property to the tax authorities in my home country?
In most foreign countries holiday homes or property in another country must be reported to the local tax authorities. However, every country is different, so it is always advisable to seek counselling with an accounting/auditor in your home country before you buy a property overseas.
Should I consult with a lawyer when buying property in Thailand?
It is always advisable to seek professional legal counselling when dealing with property. In Thailand it is advisable to consult with larger legal companies or follow recommendations of previous buyers.
What is the cost of legal fees when buying and selling?
2nd-home have a wide selection of excellent and reasonably priced lawyers and notaries depending on what service is required. Legal counselling varies in price from only 5,000 THB to around 50,000 THB when it is regarding transferring a property. It is the clients own choice if they want to hire a lawyer.
What yearly expenses are there when buying property in Thailand?
Always ask the developer, seller or agent for the total amount of expenses such as but not limited to common fees, maintenance fees (pool and garden), pest control if needed, property insurance. Please note common fee expenses are often higher per square meter then in a house, but you will find more expenses living in a house because of then maintenance. In some cases expenses can run rather high, so it is important to ask these questions before buying.
What is a typical utility expenses for an average size villa or condo?
The total average for utility bills for a villa or condo ranges between 2.000 – 4.000 THB a month very much depending on the how much air-conditioning is used.
How do foreigners pay for properties purchased in Thailand?
Buyers should always transfer foreign currency into Thailand and this is a very easy process. The buyer’s bank in their home country will provide a receipt of the transfer and this should be faxed immediately to the recipient so the transfer can be traced and confirmed. Typically 10% is paid when signing and the balance at an agreed date or in instalments but any reasonable amount from the ATM can secure property for short term before it is possible to arrange for a the 10% deposit payment. Please read the page ‘How to buy Property in Thailand’ for a more detailed explanation.
Is Thailand a safe place to live?
Security is an issue anywhere in the world these days and Thailand does have crime. However, Thailand is a far safer place to live statistically than most other countries and sensible precautions are the only real requirement to ensure a happy safe life in Thailand. Hua Hin is one of the most safest places to live in Thailand as Hua Hin for centuries has been considered the Royal city of Thailand.
Why is Hua Hin so special?
It is a wide range of different things that make Hua Hin special. Here is a selection of the most common replies to the question:
– Hua Hin is a royal city as The King and the Royal family used to reside in Hua Hin much of the year. Because of this the city is very safe and full of the authentic Thai atmosphere.
– A great selection of both local and international restaurants at a very affordable price level.
– It is possible to buy any kind of food in the shopping centers.
– Hua Hin has one of the lowest rain falls of any beach resort in Thailand.
– Proximity to Bangkok is 200 km or about a 3 hrs drive.
– 9 championship golf courses all within a 40 min drive away from the Hua Hin city center.
– For outdoor fun and adventure you can enjoy water sports, trekking in 3 different national parks, all terrain vehicle rides, fishing, boat trips, horse back and elephant riding, water parks, amusement parks and amazing shopping in the malls or local markets.
– The Hua Hin Market Village is currently open for business and this huge complex includes a Tesco Lotus Superstore, Homepro, a bowling center and the 3rd Major Cineplex in Thailand. Soon two new shopping complexes will open for business which are Blue port by ‘The Mall group’ and the Venice inspired complex called ‘Le Venecia’.
– Wide range of nightlife is present.
– The popularity of Hua Hin is still steadily increasing as well as prices for land and property. Therefore, buying a house in Hua Hin is a very good investment for the future.
Is it expensive to import furniture or a car?
The import duties can be very expensive especially for items like a motor vehicle and furniture. We strongly recommend you purchase these items in Thailand especially as the quality is surprisingly high.
How is land measured in Thailand?
Thailand is metric so things start in square meters.
4 square metres (2m x 2m) = 1 square Wah (or Talang Wah in Thai)
100 Talang Wah = 1 Ngan (400 square meters)
1 Rai is = 4 Ngan (or = 400 Talang Wah or = 1,600 square meters)
1 Acre = 2.5 Rai.
If you are used to hectares, then 25 Ngan is exactly 1 hectare.