Nirvana or Nightmare in Pattaya?
Pattaya expats are DIVIDED on buying vs. renting. Is it
better to buy that lovely condo, and stop 'throwing away' money on rent or is it better to retain the
flexibility of being a tenant?
First, their is NO right or wrong answer. Their are A LOT of expats who
own their condo or house here-but the majority rent.
Before buying, I strongly recommend living in Pattaya a
minimum one year-combine that multiple trips back to 'home' outside Thailand to ensure your emotions
haven't gotten the best of you!
In regards to the legal issues surrounding owning property here, it's
fairly straightforward with condos, as they can be purchased in YOUR name with minimal hassles. Engaging
a GOOD Thai lawyer, though, to ensure everything is handled smoothly, check for problems (the physical
LAND the condo sits on is owned by the association), etc., is important.
Also, check the finances of the condo association to ensure their
adequately funded to keep-up the property.
Lastly, confirm the condo building's units fit Thailand's
regulations of a maximum 49% foreign ownership.
Regarding land and home ownership, things are more cloudy.
Foreigners cannot own land in Thailand-but a Thai corporation, with you as the
controlling principal, can do so.
Or another method, which I STRONGLY DISCOURAGE, is having the
property put in your Thai wife/girlfriend's name.
Beware! If the relationship ends, you have NO claim on the
Finally, two points-If you choose to buy ANYTHING in Thailand be
prepared that your money spent is GONE!
Do NOT anticipate selling it unless for a loss! If you decide to buy,
put only a small percentage of your net worth into the purchase.
Also, in buying a house instead of a condo, remember you are probably
risking a lot MORE money on the purchase, the need for regular maintenance, purchasing transportation,
and legal hassles.
Remember: It's easy to buy in Thailand but hard to