Generally, you will have to pay 10% of the purchasing price before you sign the contract as a deposit. After signing the contract you will get your deposit back. If you decide to purchase another property after you sign the contract, you will lose your deposit.
Property purchase contract
All parties must sign the purchase contract at the Land Department Office. Make sure you put your full name on the purchasing contract. Always consult your lawyer before signing anything.
The purchase contract will contain information about the price and the furniture included in the price. Feel free to negotiate about every item in the contract and do not forget to sign an inventory list of the furniture and rooms condition in order to avoid future inconvenience.
If you can read Thai, the website from the Department of Lands (in Thai) may provide you with more useful information.
Documentation for property purchases
The documents needed for the completion of the purchasing contract will include some or all of the following:
- Passport or ID card
- House Registration Document (Tabien Baan) (if applicable)
- Marriage or divorce certificate (if applicable)
- Power of Attorney form (if applicable)
The Tabien Baan (the House Registration Document) is issued by the municipality. It states who lives in a property and not the owner's name. It can be issued to residents of Thailand who, (a) buy or lease a property which is registered at the land office, (b) own land through a company or buy a condominium.
Usually, a Tabien Baan is valid for life and is issued in the province you are registered. So if you move, you will need a new Tabien Baan.
Buying a condominium
Condominiums generally have a higher standard than normal apartments, which is why most foreigners prefer this type of property. Note that not all apartment buildings are condominiums. To be an official condominium, the building has to be registered at the land department as a condominium. You should check this before signing any agreement. Funds for buying property must be in Thai currency.
Property taxes in Thailand
You will normally have to pay between 3% - 8% total tax on the property, however it depends on various factors such as how long you have owned the property and if you have registered your name in the “tabien baan” or not. There is no capital gains tax in Thailand, but if you decide to sell your property within five years from the date of purchase, you will have to pay an income tax. This ranges between one and three per cent of the sale price, depending on how many years you have actually owned it.
Insurance for your new home is highly recommended, but usually not legally required.
Mortgages for buying property in Thailand
Until recently, foreigners were not allowed to take out mortgages in Thailand, unless they were married to a Thai woman. This has changed recently and although it is still a complicated procedure, foreigners can now try to take out mortgages.
The interest rate is normally (minimum) roughly 7% and mortgages are available up to 30 years if the borrower does not exceed 60 years of age.
Mortgages at international banks such as HSBC are only open to those with Thai residency or foreign males married to Thai women, but the interest can go up to 80%. Therefore, many foreign buyers tend to raise the finance at home and then transfer it into a Thai bank account.