How to Build your Dream Home in Thailand
Many expats fall in love with the Land of Smiles and if you are planning to build your dream retirement home in the sun, you certainly aren’t alone. Assuming you have had many vacations in Thailand, you have a basic understanding of how things work and with that in mind, here is some very useful information to help you plan the perfect retirement home.
Land Ownership in Thailand
Foreigners are not permitted to own land in Thailand, a law that was passed in the 1930s to prevent Japanese businessmen from buying up Bangkok; there is talk of this law being abolished and there are ways around this.
- Set up a Thai company – The land you wish to acquire can be owned by a company; if you have a Thai partner, she could own 51% and you hold the remaining 49%.
- Lease (30×30) – Many expats prefer to lease the land on a 30-year term with an optional extra 30 years, which is more than enough time; you can leave the property to your kids for the remaining term of the lease. You would pay the same as buying freehold, but at least you own your house, just not the land it sits on.
Either way, you are going to need the help of an English-speaking lawyer to ensure that all is above board.
Once the plot of land has been acquired, you can now think about design; hire a retired architect to create the plans, or source a turnkey builder, one with hands-on experience building homes for expats. A custom builder would handle everything from getting planning permission to connecting utilities and if there is a language barrier, you may need an interpreter. There is affordable construction machinery rental (called เช่าเครื่องจักรก่อสร้าง in Thai) from a leading Thai company, if you are planning to hire a few labourers and oversee the build.
Building a house in Thailand offers you the chance to use green energy solutions; solar panels have developed to a point of high efficiency and you will get your investment back within 5 years. Thailand has more sunshine hours than any other country and having energy independence is freedom.
Your lawyer plays a vital role and you should consult prior to signing anything; once the build is underway, it won’t be long before the property is ready for the traditional Thai housewarming ceremony.