If you have ever visited Phuket for a holiday, you know what to expect from this gorgeous Thai island. You wouldn’t be the first, nor the last, who wished to return and claim a tiny piece of heaven for yourself. Buying a property here is not far from reality, even amid the ongoing pandemic. You would need to adapt, though. It involves researching Phuket properties for sale in advance and following other tips for buying property in Phuket remotely. Just like many other home buyers have already done with great success.
Advice for future property owners in Phuket
There’s no reason to postpone purchasing your dream home in Thailand. After all, the luxury real estate market in Phuket is growing, and you should take advantage of it before it becomes too expensive. But just as it is with every important investment, you shouldn’t rush into the purchase, especially because you’re buying property in Phuket remotely. Five essential tips serve as guidance for your endeavour
- Hire a reputable and trusted real estate lawyer
- Know which kind of property you can buy
- Make sure you do everything by the law
- Have a lawyer inspect the property for red flags
- Arrange for a virtual tour of the property
1. Work closely with a lawyer
Hiring a trustworthy lawyer to represent your interests is the first and most important step. And we’re stressing the word trustworthy. Even the well-known lawyers may be swayed to close the deal too soon, without advising thoroughly enough, and proper advice is what you need if you plan to purchase a property in Thailand.
A respectable and honest lawyer will explain the Thai law in segments that apply to the purchase of the local real estate. Namely, they will make sure you understand that foreigners cannot legally purchase landed property such as a house or a villa in Thailand unless your spouse is a Thai national. Entering the gray zones and trying to outmaneuver the Thai legislation is not a path you should follow, even if a lawyer advises it.
2. Which type of property can you buy in Thailand as a foreigner?
This is what complicates buying property in Phuket remotely – what type of real estate you are permitted to buy. The law is clear on this. A foreigner is allowed to purchase an apartment or a freehold condominium, as long as Thai nationals own the majority of units (60%) in the condo building. And even then, there is a difference between freehold titles, a Thai freehold and a foreign freehold.
Without exception, opt either for an apartment or a foreign freehold condominium unit when purchasing real estate in Phuket. Such freehold ownership is the safest way to own property in Thailand and to avoid clashing with Thai law. Also, do not think that you need to settle for the second-best. Modern high-end condo developments can be even more luxurious than many existing villas.
3. Know what you can and what you can’t do with your property
If you plan to purchase property in Phuket only to use it for your own holidays alongside renting it out to tourists short-stay style, we’ve got bad news for you! Even if you are a condo unit owner, Thai law considers renting the unit to vacationers as an illegal rental. There are policies though that regulate this area. You should make sure to abide by the law and involve in the legitimate rental if that is your ultimate goal.
Either way, you are 100% free to enjoy your Thai property yourself. Only once all the legalities have been settled, and you have a contract naming you as the property owner, can you think about internationally shipping your items to Phuket. At least you shouldn’t have a problem finding licensed, experienced moving companies close to you that will ensure hassle-free transport of all different types of belongings from your current location.
4. Inspect your property before committing
Buying a property remotely presents one other challenge to the buyers, aside from the legal and language barriers. The fact that you can’t personally view the house and inspect it presents an obstacle, but one you can overcome with relative ease. Ask your real estate lawyer to inspect the properties that intrigue you and to pass the details onto you.
As long as you have provided your lawyer with essential criteria for your ideal property in Phuket, they shouldn’t have a problem finding the one that suits your requirements. Moreover, an experienced lawyer will be able to advise you on all the fees that befall a foreign property investor. This way, you can make an educated decision that concerns the vital aspect of the purchase – your budget.
5. Schedule a remote viewing of the property
Remote purchases are not conducted just because of the great distances involved, but also due to limitations caused by the pandemic. Initial forecasts predicted stagnation in worldwide real estate markets, but we are yet to see this happen. Real estate sales and purchases continue unstoppably well into 2022, although in a slightly modified manner.
The most interesting change is visible in the way real estate agents conduct showings. Viewing a house has always been the most exciting part of the buying process because a potential buyer gets to experience the property in person. Today, property tours have evolved into video tours. Agents create live walk-through presentations or videos available online with every dedication to detail. Experienced real estate agents know everything about the pitfalls of remote property purchases. This is why they do their best to provide insight into every feature of the property and allow you to make a sound decision from afar.
Closing the deal
The only thing that remains after deciding on the right property is to close the deal remotely and let Phuket change your life for the better. Once again, you will need to rely on your chosen real estate lawyer to prepare the necessary documents & contract and send them to you for signing. When it comes to the payment, the money must be transferred from abroad in foreign currency and its purpose clearly annotated.
Remember – soon after becoming a proud owner of real estate in Thailand, you will forget about any of the earlier challenges and just enjoy it.