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Thailand - A Modern Day Shangri La

14 April 2011 - News

Located at the center of South Asia, Thailand is often known as ‘the land of smiles’ and ‘the golden land’, the first due to the infectious warmth of the local people, their kindness and genuine nature and the latter due to its fertile land and the illuminating luster that it gives off.

The only Southeast Asian nation never to be colonized, Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and is steeped in ancient history and architecture. There is no denying that mostly anyone and everyone that visits this stunning country falls in love with her grand temples, deep green lush land, world class beaches and the uniquely Buddhist attitude that is at the heart of the culture, not to mention the wonderful food.

Covering an area of approximately 514,000 square miles, almost the size of Spain, Thailand is a large country and shares borders with Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia.

There are so many places to find great holiday property in Thailand, but in general terms when thinking about where you might like to start looking for property, you can think of the country in three main areas; The North, Bangkok and the South, where there are many stunning islands to choose from.

The North - This is the mystical Thailand, with wonderful hospitable villages, hill tribes and wild nature including rapid rafting, mountain treks, elephant safaris and waterfalls. The north is full of cultural towns and impressive ancient buildings and you will find this part of Thailand the mainstay of culture vultures coming to visit. The capital of the northern part is Chiang Mai, often considered the most beautiful Thai city, attracting over five million visitors each year. Here it is not unusual to see monks in their traditional orange robes taking morning walks through the towns markets, bustling with traders selling their hand made wares.

Bangkok - A bona fide cultural phenomenon and ‘the’ shopping mecca in the region. Bangkok is a fantastic city, bustling with life. A huge capital that is partly full to excess with its concrete malls, clubs and bars and partly a cultural metropolis. Great antiquity sits next to modern day tack with such an ease only known to this city. A place where new visitors feel connected from the get go, brought in to the moment by the force and energy of this intoxicating city. Bangkok is not for everyone. But, if it is for you, well, you will love it like life itself!

The South - This is where you come for sun, sand and sea, truly some of the most stunning beaches in the world. The Southern part of Thailand is littered with incredible jungle islands, such as Ko Samui and Ko Phangan to the east and Phuket and Ko Lanta to west. Every Island has a different flavor; some like Ko Lanta are very much quieter places for a relaxing break. Others like Samui and Phuket have large infrastructures and are small power economies in their own right, built up by the huge amount of tourists over the last twenty years. These islands offer fun on a plate with great service, hotels, night life and food, coupled with a stunning beauty that would melt the heart of the hardest to impress.

In regards to the political situation in Thailand, it is fair to say they have had some turbulence over the years, but, the Thai's are always very careful not to let their political conflicts affect any holiday makers and for the most part these conflicts are non violent. In the rare moments when violence has broken out, it has been quickly contained as the Thai authorities are very aware that it is imperative for them to preserve their image as a safe place to travel to and invest in. Money generated from the tourist business is vital to the economy. At the time this article was written, there are no problems with travel to any part of the country. Thailand is generally considered a peaceful and safe place to travel to and live in.

With such a rich abundance of super locations to buy properties in, it is easy to see why Thailand is more popular than ever for foreign buyers seeking the good life, however, please take care to fully get to grips with the ins and outs of the buying procedure before entering into making any kind of offer on a property. That way you can ensure your dream really does become a reality.

Here are some of the main points to consider when buying a property in Thailand:

As a foreigner planning to buy a villa or land, you will first be required to set up a Thai limited liability company to the cost of £1000 and should also be prepared to expect a monthly fee of about £50 a month. The other option is to purchase via a leasehold agreement. This is also considered a good way of buying property safely. The initial purchase agreement should be transparent and explain all costs, terms and conditions. Deposit is normally 10% and is refundable if the sale does not materialize, as long as the buyer is not to blame.

A popular option for many buyers looking to purchase in Thailand is condos, as they can yield solid returns on investment via holiday rentals. Again, they can be bought leasehold or freehold depending on the development. The leasehold option works in periods of up to thirty years but ensure you have the possibility to renew. If you are buying a condo, an initial reservation fee of approximately £1000 is payable and will be deducted from the total price. This is followed by payment of about 10% of the total price once agreement is signed. The balance, is paid off depending on terms of contact, this could be in installments or in a lump sum at the time when the title is transferred.

Once you have established where you would like to own your property in Thailand a good agent is essential to guide you through the process. Make sure that whoever you use has a great reputation and has been set up in business for a good amount of time. As a good indicator to costs on a residential sale, expect taxes and total fees to work out at approximately 2.5% of the property value.

To make sure that you understand all the legalities and proceedings it is necessary to appoint a lawyer who is fluent in your language for the following services:

* Ensuring that the correct titles are in place and nothing is owed on the property.
* Going through the contract in detail, and explaining all obligations in full.
* Helping to ensure all payments are made in a safe transfer.
* Registering the property in the new name after purchase has been completed.

Historically, mortgages have been hard to arrange in Thailand, however as the government works hard to make it easier to purchase property there are mortgages on offer from Bangkok Bank, offering up to 70% finance over a maximum of 20 years. This is a very new service, so anyone looking at this should research well before signing on the dotted line.

With Thai property prices still very competitive and the standard of living so high, Thailand is an absolutely first class option for anyone wishing to live abroad. As long as a good agent and lawyer are employed, with the patience to take the process step by step and ensure protocol is fully respected, owning a home in paradise can be a reality.

By (April 14, 2011)
Thailand Property sales | Thailand Holiday rentals | Thailand Monthly lettings



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