The Kingdom of Thailand is a proud sovereign nation with strict laws regarding who can and cannot purchase and own their land. There are rules against foreigners owning land and most types of property outright in Thailand, but don’t worry; where there is a will, there is a way.
There are several options for people who wish to purchase land and property in Thailand, from marriage or starting a Thai company to choosing a condo or a lease.
In this article, we will look at some of the ways a foreign investor can buy land safely and legally and how to find the best deal at the same time.
How can I own land in Thailand?
There are three main ways for foreigners to buy or hold land in Thailand:
- Open a majority Thai-owned business – you can own up to 49% of a business as long as the rest is owned by a Thai national, and this is a route that many take when investing in the country. Once you have decided on the land you would like to purchase; you will have to consult with your legal counsel before signing off on any documentation.
- Lease it instead – it is possible to have your name on land for thirty years, with an option to extend for another two lots of thirty years. Many investors will get an extension guarantee so that the land will still be kept safe to pass to the next generation, with 90-years a reasonable period in total. While you will not technically own the land outright, this is a preferred alternative for many people instead of starting their own Thai limited company with shareholders.
- Marriage – another method of purchasing land is by marrying a Thai national. As the non-Thai spouse, you will be required to state that you do not have any claim to the land, thus effectively surrendering your rights to claim the property. This is why it is essential that you only pursue this avenue for the right reasons, not as a ‘marriage of convenience. When making such a significant investment, you must be wholehearted with someone you love and trust. Naturally, there will be problems should your marriage end in divorce and proving that the land is marital property will be practically impossible for a foreigner.
Before buying anything, you have checked the most up-to-date rules, regulations, and information available. There is a great deal of red tape involved with each of these methods, and you should always seek the appropriate legal representation before you part with any of your money.
How to find the best and cheapest land available
Once you know how you will buy your land, you want to make sure that you are getting the best deal possible. When it comes to finding the cheapest land, there are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Location – there is a wide-ranging spectrum of prices available depending on where you are looking to buy. Suppose your purchase doesn’t need to be in one of the premium areas. In that case, you can save a lot of money by going farther afield to find cheap land (e.g., Silom Road in Bangkok is considered the most expensive land area in Thailand, with certain regions in mid to northern Thailand, being considerably cheaper).
- The language barrier – in general, you will find better deals and gain an edge on others in the market if you speak Thai or have a professional representative who does. Understanding the language and business etiquette will go a long way to securing you better deals.
- Get a good real estate agent – while you can do certain things yourself, it is always worth it to find a good agent to help. Utilising the right experience and expertise can lower the price of a piece of land and help you find something to suit your needs. The best real estate agents will be able to provide you with suitable legal counsel.
- Take extra fees and taxes into account – you are buying land in another country, so you don’t just have to know the rules but also how much you may have to pay on top of the price before you buy.
It isn’t always easy to buy land in Thailand, so make sure that you know how to do it right, use all of the tools available to you, and with some time and effort, you will indeed find the perfect plot for you and at the right price.