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Buying Land/House in Chiang Mai


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Hello TV Community,

 

Relatively new registration to the forum, but I have been a longtime reader.  

 

I was just curious if anyone had experience with the Chiang Mai area and flooding in recent years.  I have looked online for flood zone maps but many of them seem very old and possibly out of date due to climate change and changes in climate/weather patterns.

 

I was hoping to hear from some people that may live in or around the Chiang Mai area, if you were going to buy land or a house there for the future, what area might you consider and why?  I am married to a Thai woman living in the USA, hoping to retire to Thailand in the future.  We both like Chiang Mai because its a fair bit less crazy than Bangkok and still very convenient to everything we might need, including an international airport and hospitals.  We were hoping to buy a plot of land and sit on it until we were ready to go back to retire, as land prices seem to keep rising without fail.  We both like being surrounded by mountains and nature, not necessarily concrete jungle.

 

Any information is welcome, I read as many of these threads as I can find, but new information is harder to find as more people seem to be leaving Thailand than coming to retire there these days (or are more vocal about it).

 

Thank you.

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OP, sounds like a plan and good luck with it. For what it's worth I find it surprising that your looking at building. Very common when the Thai wife has family in certain area and often not much real estae in specific area to suit your needs.

However you sound flexible in that regard. 

Plenty of existing homes especially in popular areas such as CM. 

Buy existing gets my vote.

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6 hours ago, Maha Sarakham said:

We both like Chiang Mai because its a fair bit less crazy than Bangkok and still very convenient to everything we might need, including an international airport and hospitals.

As a resident of Chiang Mai would like to point out the air quality is the worse I have ever encountered anywhere in the world. Completely unbreathable between January and May every year, nice enough at the moment though.

The mountains from my house in San Sai ........ not visible during the polluted months.

 

IMG_20190628_091406 (2).jpg

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I really appreciate that photo, thank you BritManToo!  I love that view you have, hoping to have something similar in the future.  

 

Having grown up around green mountains my whole life, I really appreciate a mountainous backdrop paired with a Thai rice field style landscape.  

 

We both are outdoorsy people that enjoy cycling and jogging.  I guess we are taking a gamble on the air quality thing for the future, but I have a feeling they will eventually reign that in as it will impact Chinese tourism if it gets exceedingly worse.  Could be wrong, but hey, no one has a crystal ball.

 

May I ask, what area around Chiang Mai do you live in and do you or your neighbors ever have flood issues?  Anything else to note regarding infrastructure build-up or future projects that you or the wife may be aware of?

 

Appreciate all of your insights, those of you with boots on the ground or prior experience in Chiang Mai!

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1 hour ago, Maha Sarakham said:

May I ask, what area around Chiang Mai do you live in and do you or your neighbors ever have flood issues?

I live in the SanSai/MaeJo area, no flooding in the past 10 years, apart from when the road drains got blocked once in a storm. The water didn't get as high as the curbs. Just avoid living next to the river and you'll be fine.

Cycling and hiking is probably the best in the world, lots of empty roads and jungle within a couple of kilometers. Shopping, western food, hospitals, schools, universities, internet, water, electricity all good.

 

Out back we have a field full of buffalo.

 

IMG_20200322_075449.jpg

 

The other downside to CM is immigration, probably the most corrupt and difficult in Thailand.

Probably OK for those happy to keep 800kbht in a Thai bank account all year round though.

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50 minutes ago, BritManToo said:

Cycling and hiking is probably the best in the world, lots of empty roads and jungle within a couple of kilometres. Shopping, western food, hospitals, schools, universities, internet, water, electricity all good.

Music to my ears, we really do love the Chiang Mai area!  I'm not sure why some are so critical of it there, we always have a great time.  I realize the night life scene dried up a lot for expats on Loy Kroh Road, but for a couple - Good View and Warm Up were extremely fun for a social night out. 

 

I do appreciate the backyard view of the roving buffalo and notes on the SanSai/Maejo area.  I will have to do some research on those areas, thank you!

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14 minutes ago, Maha Sarakham said:

Music to my ears, we really do love the Chiang Mai area!  I'm not sure why some are so critical of it there, we always have a great time.  I realize the night life scene dried up a lot for expats on Loy Kroh Road, but for a couple - Good View and Warm Up were extremely fun for a social night out. 

 

I do appreciate the backyard view of the roving buffalo and notes on the SanSai/Maejo area.  I will have to do some research on those areas, thank you!

Until you have experienced the air borne pollution, January through April, it's very hard to imagine just how bad things are. You may well be outdoorsy people now but come January be prepared to be indoorsy people for the entire quarter. You may wish to read this thread and look at the pictures:

 

 

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I have just purchased pretty much what you describe... I have 180 degree view of rice fields behind my house... which stretches up to the mountains and view of Doi Saket temple.. I am on a quiet lane.. no noise, no near neighbors... 

 

I looked around this area quite a bit before buying... near enough to CM and has similar Thai atmosphere as the country village I had been living in Central Thailand for many years... I am not really too sensitive to the air issues quality so not a problem for me.. Most of the other areas seem too congested for me as far as traffic and city access too... 

 

if you want some photos and more info, PM me and yes, there are plots of land still available out here... as houses depreciate, land does seem to go up... 

 

ps.. no flood issues so far.. I think as long as you are away from a river, there will not be a serious problem

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FWIW

Chiang Mai,s Real Estate market( in all areas) ,

Is a busted flush.

IF interested, in any particular property etc, etc,

Offer 50 % from asking price tag then you will be in the

  Ball Park figure,good luck😃

 

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2 hours ago, Maha Sarakham said:

I'm not sure why some are so critical of it there,

3-4 months of choking air pollution is a bit of a problem, you really need to visit in February.

I paid 1.8M for my modern 3 bed house on a 250 house gated estate (probably 2M now).

Too lazy to bother with gardening, so the small garden is OK for me, I don't care that everyone else has the same house.

 

MaeJo university has a massive swimming pool, open to everyone 50bht.

There's a private salt water swimming pool in the soi next to me 40bht.

Restaurants, 7-11, Tesco all around.

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Living long term in CM province is not advisable owing to the year-in year-out burning season that earns the dubious tag of the most polluted on the planet, 2020. In my five years here, it seems there is no governing desire to alter generations of Thai rural behaviour in burning crops and setting fire to the forest areas to promote mushroom growth. Living an outdoor lifestyle is a high health risk between Feb-May - and IMO, just not ideal for retirement, however beautiful it is.   

 

If I had a choice, I'd return to the long, untouched beaches, surrounded by jungle-clad mountains and beautiful country setting in Khanom, a low-cost, quiet market town in Nakhon Si Thammarat province on the border to Surat Thani. All city supermarket amenities, modern hospitals, and International airports are one hour's drive away, and IMM requirements are simple, no queues. 

 

Unlike CM, it's paradise all year round - Google it. You won't be disappointed.

https://theculturetrip.com/asia/thailand/articles/5-reasons-to-visit-khanom-thailand/

 

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3 hours ago, BritManToo said:

 

I paid 1.8M for my modern 3 bed house on a 250 house gated estate (probably 2M now).

 

That is a Big probably 2M😀.

Particular being a large Moobaan.

 

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On 6/10/2020 at 8:11 PM, Maha Sarakham said:

I guess we are taking a gamble on the air quality thing for the future, but I have a feeling they will eventually reign that in as it will impact Chinese tourism if it gets exceedingly worse.

Air pollution in the area has been going on for years and is just getting worse. In the the last two years that meant staying indoors with air purifiers running 24 hrs day after day, over long weeks and months. The Chinese are not deterred, many of them are more tolerant to pollution then we are.

 

If you can afford it, the ideal IMO is to live here June to December, then January to May in the South.

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  • 4 weeks later...

We have some land in Chiang Mai and will likely be building on it.. Only reason might not is prices have risen so much I do consider flipping it for a smaller island property to lock those gains in.

Things to think of. 

1) The new land tax, undeveloped land is due for taxation at 0.3% per annum, rising each year 0.3% until it is 3% in 9 years time. 

 

2) I would avoid rice land or anything close to it (thats East Hang Dong almost round to doi saket / Mae Jo.. Multiple reasons but the primary one being insects / bugs in the evening, drove me crazy at a beutiful place I had in San Kampeang. Secondary would the cost of infill on rice land rising a lot and adding to any development costs, what seems like a bargain ends up not being. 


3) Urban sprawl creep is happening so fast. a few years ago I thought Nahm Phrae was too far out, now if anything I would consider further. 

4) A strange combination is visible around me in that everything is for sale, but almost all of it at what I feel are insane prices. How people ask more for bare rough farmland 45 mins outside of Chiang Mai than I can find seaview Samui land, with the potential to develop million USD value properties on it, baffles me. OK sure there are some lower priced bargains, if you want to live up a dirt road, with no hope of fiber internet, and no special appeals. Strangely larger chunks of this is probably the land to bank, and I cant see the stuff they ask silly money for doubling in a few more years, however this stuff might. 

For my taste, rolling hills, greenery, non rice land, thats still got decent road access and not an hour from town. Nahm Phrae, Ban Pong, Mae On, the back edges of Doi Saket and Mae Joe, and the perennial MAe Rim Mae Sa etc Though that depends on your needs to get into town often or not. 

Happy to discuss further if you like, I am always out sniffing around and finding bits for sale. Same good some crazy..  

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On 6/12/2020 at 4:43 AM, XGM said:

If you can afford it, the ideal IMO is to live here June to December, then January to May in the South.

Yeah this is where I am starting to come round to.. Aug / Sept to Feb in CM, Feb to Aug on an Island. At a bare minimum Feb to May. 

 

My issue is I want nice gardens and pools in both places, which means upkeep and maintenance when not in residence. Places fall to bits here when left. 

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4 hours ago, jackdd said:

Rent for a year or two and then decide if you want to spend the rest of your life in Chiang Mai.

May end up doing that at some point, but the goal was to try and lock in some land at a lower price than it will be in the future.  As LivinLOS stated, land is getting nutso expensive up in this area because it's a very popular escape for Thais in the winter months.

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9 hours ago, LivinLOS said:

We have some land in Chiang Mai and will likely be building on it.. Only reason might not is prices have risen so much I do consider flipping it for a smaller island property to lock those gains in.

Things to think of. 

1) The new land tax, undeveloped land is due for taxation at 0.3% per annum, rising each year 0.3% until it is 3% in 9 years time. 

 

2) I would avoid rice land or anything close to it (thats East Hang Dong almost round to doi saket / Mae Jo.. Multiple reasons but the primary one being insects / bugs in the evening, drove me crazy at a beutiful place I had in San Kampeang. Secondary would the cost of infill on rice land rising a lot and adding to any development costs, what seems like a bargain ends up not being. 


3) Urban sprawl creep is happening so fast. a few years ago I thought Nahm Phrae was too far out, now if anything I would consider further. 

4) A strange combination is visible around me in that everything is for sale, but almost all of it at what I feel are insane prices. How people ask more for bare rough farmland 45 mins outside of Chiang Mai than I can find seaview Samui land, with the potential to develop million USD value properties on it, baffles me. OK sure there are some lower priced bargains, if you want to live up a dirt road, with no hope of fiber internet, and no special appeals. Strangely larger chunks of this is probably the land to bank, and I cant see the stuff they ask silly money for doubling in a few more years, however this stuff might. 

For my taste, rolling hills, greenery, non rice land, thats still got decent road access and not an hour from town. Nahm Phrae, Ban Pong, Mae On, the back edges of Doi Saket and Mae Joe, and the perennial MAe Rim Mae Sa etc Though that depends on your needs to get into town often or not. 

Happy to discuss further if you like, I am always out sniffing around and finding bits for sale. Same good some crazy..  

 

So much good information in one post, thank you sir.

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