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Expatriates: Rent or Own the place of living in Thailand


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24 minutes ago, Obama said:

The problem with buying any condo in Thailand is that the Thai's do not maintain their buildings. This is the reason that the Thai's usually buy new property.

Most thais tell me it is because there are less ghosts in new properties.

 

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I rented when I was in Thailand, always a condo, always in Bangkok. Stayed in a few different places over the years and one of the advantages to renting was that I could move without any issue. That meant I was able to upgrade easily and move to try out a new area / be closer to a new job. There's a lot of convenience in renting including being able to leave if there are problems - though fortunately I never had that issue.

 

The other side of it though is that renting can add up if rent for a long time. I guess over 15 years I spent approximately 3.5 million baht in rent. OK, it's not a hige amount of money especially given that I lived in some nice places. But had I bought any of the places I had stayed in, all have appreciated massively and I probably would have sold and at the very least got my money back, if not turned a profit.

 

There is no right or wrong answer as to whether to rent or buy. I don't regret renting but at the same time I acknowledge that in retrospect, buying would have been the better decision, financially. That said, these days with the situation may be a little different. If I was doing it now, I'd rent without regret.

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14 hours ago, JonnyF said:

I rented for 10 years and finally bought a condo about 5 years ago.

 

No regrets buying and wish I'd done it sooner. I like the stability of having a permanent base here and so far I've recouped over 30% of the price I paid for the condo in rent that I didn't have to pay. I'll be here at least another 5 years so by that time I'll have recouped about 70% of the price I paid. In fact, in all likelihood I'll still be here in 10 years by which time I could give the condo away and still be up. In reality it will still be worth around what I paid so I could sell it and I'll have lived rent free for 15 years.

 

I also brought the money over at 55 to the pound so theoretically I've made 20% on that as well but obviously it depends on the rate if and when I sell it. I doubt I'll ever sell it as I like having a base in Bangkok as I love the city.

 

However for me it wasn't purely a financial decision and I do see some benefits in renting but personally I hated moving condos and I didn't like having a landlord. I like being able to decorate/renovate as I choose, I like not having inspections, worrying that the landlord will kick me out to let a friend move in, hike up the rent, invent damage, not return deposits etc. Fortunately my place is well managed and quiet but I can see the risk of buying somewhere that turns out to be a AirBnb for Chinese hordes or similar.

Excellent Post. Agree All as All Applicable to myself EXCEPT I have never Rented here. Bought pool Villa  with separate apartment here 18 years ago when Renting was Expensive and have basically recovered all Capital Costs by Renting / Living.


However, Neighbours, Resale, Common Fund & Dead Capital are Large Risks. Mindset Thing to Buy or Rent. Large Non- Financial Benefits. 
Do not live anywhere near Thais…..

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15 hours ago, grain said:

Better to rent. You never know what will happen near you or next to you that will turn your life into a nightmare. And when these situations arise all you can do is move away. 

Exactly. Rent, rent, rent is the way to go IMO.

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With the ever (worse and worse) shifting-confusing-hostile-shifting again sands of Thai immigration.. I'd rent now solely due to that factor without a doubt.

My main tie is a shared ownership house binding me there...barely been in it since covid hit while I was overseas.

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13 minutes ago, thaibeachlovers said:

Would that not be somewhat difficult................. in Thailand?

Just avoid living in, or very close to, Thai neighborhoods …… high risk of dogs barking, cars parked badly, noisy businesses like karaoke & car breaking ….land encroachment.

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1 minute ago, TropicalGuy said:

Just avoid living in, or very close to, Thai neighborhoods …… high risk of dogs barking, cars parked badly, noisy businesses like karaoke & car breaking ….land encroachment.

Given that a karaoke could start up next door at any time, that could be difficult to avoid. I lived next to a large swamp in Lamphun but could still hear the karaokes from  the far side, and my next door neighbour started a boxing school in his home, so we had that noise to contend with.

IMO noise is part of the fabric of LOS. Learn to live with it or leave.

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1 minute ago, thaibeachlovers said:

Given that a karaoke could start up next door at any time, that could be difficult to avoid. I lived next to a large swamp in Lamphun but could still hear the karaokes from  the far side, and my next door neighbour started a boxing school in his home, so we had that noise to contend with.

IMO noise is part of the fabric of LOS. Learn to live with it or leave.

No, it’s not. But if unlucky or ignore the rule then option is move house.

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For newbies an hotel is easier,

Meet nice lady/katoi, rent loom,

Marry nice lady/katoi, buy house,

Things go pear shape, you loose,

Back to hotel, and a little wiser.

 

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1 hour ago, talahtnut said:

an hotel is easier,

Meet nice lady/katoi, rent loom,

Marry nice lady/katoi, buy house,

Things go pear shape, you loose,

Back to hotel, and a little wiser.

So back to hotel!!

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6 hours ago, Obama said:

The problem with buying any condo in Thailand is that the Thai's do not maintain their buildings. This is the reason that the Thai's usually buy new property.

Not quite true, you just need to ensure it is maintained properly, my condo has just upped the common fees, helps if farang are on the committee

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I'm glad I bought. Condo market isn't the same as back in UK though, unlimited supply here so prices will struggle to go up so don't buy as an investment, easier to make money in other ways. Only worth buying if here long term and not too old

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2 hours ago, cmarshall said:

It is the height of foolishness to buy a place in a country where you do not have the right to live.  

It always depends on the situation... I enjoy living in my own home and as it is in my wife's name it serves to make her feel good and as a piece of her inheritance, assured and early. 

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5 hours ago, TropicalGuy said:

Just avoid living in, or very close to, Thai neighborhoods …… high risk of dogs barking, cars parked badly, noisy businesses like karaoke & car breaking ….land encroachment.

Chickens, Village boss speaker, temple, a new high way you name it, or a factory pops up right next door. A friend of mine just finished his restaurant, and started to get a decent amount of regular customers, and the neighbor next door decide to start pig farming

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Got told this by many an expat before I decided...  The pandemic exercise reaffirmed it...

 

" Don't put anything into this country that you aren't willing to walk away from..."

 

Good luck...

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As I see it, there are two types of condos: those without a view which are sandwiched between two high(er)-rises, and those with a view soon to be sandwiched after a couple of years of building work hellish nuisance.

 

As everybody knows, you cannot own the land here, but do you really even own the condo/house? Can you say you own a home when you need to file a report every time you come back to "your" home after a trip? Not to mention the fact that you will pay a 30% higher price than the Thai to buy the same property. Do you want to waste your money in order to finance cheap real estate buying by Thais?

 

If there's a single country in the world where renting is better, then that country has to be Thailand IMO.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, 1FinickyOne said:

It always depends on the situation... I enjoy living in my own home and as it is in my wife's name it serves to make her feel good and as a piece of her inheritance, assured and early. 

Would point out it's your wife's home and you'll be out at the first sign of trouble.

Less chance of being chucked out by a landlord IMHO.

 

I once knew a Thai lady who dumped her foreign husbands every 5 years.

She used to say, "The foreigners only buy me one house or business, so I might as well get a new husband and a new house"

She was on the third foreign husband at the time, I thought it was quite a clever strategy.

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Buying anywhere depends on time.  If you can pay the mortgage back in less than 10 years, you don't end up paying for it twice like a 20 year loan is.  Had I been able to finance the house I'm in from the builder at a low interest rate 10 years ago, my rent would have paid about 70% of the house I live in, had I paid enough to completely pay the mortgage, I would have a nice house now free of mortgage or rent.  If I need the cash, I could sell it fast for about half of what I paid for it.  Better than nothing. 

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1 minute ago, jmccarty said:

Had I been able to finance the house I'm in from the builder at a low interest rate 10 years ago, my rent would have paid about 70% of the house I live in, had I paid enough to completely pay the mortgage,

Had I paid for my home up front ........ I'd be looking for a new house and a new woman by now.

As it stands she can't afford the mortgage repayments without me.

Trust no-one, especially don't trust the woman in your bed.

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10 minutes ago, Saddic said:

Got told this by many an expat before I decided...  The pandemic exercise reaffirmed it...

 

" Don't put anything into this country that you aren't willing to walk away from..."

 

Good luck...

He is 86 years, 

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14 hours ago, Pinot said:

 

There isn't a single person I know who owns and doesn't regret it.

Well we don't know each other but if we did I would let you know why some us like owning and don't regret it at all.

 

I can't think of a better place to have a base in SE Asia than Bangkok. Even if I leave Thailand for another country it would probably be for another SE Asian country so I can rent my place or just leave it empty for my occasional returns/holidays.

 

It's value is not really significant to me. It's a base in a region I love. Same as when I left the UK I didn't sell up, I rented it and the rent in 16 years has pretty much covered the purchase price but that's not the point. I know that if the sheet hits the fan I have somewhere easy to go. 

 

It's a much nicer feeling than wondering about the next inspection/rent increase/forced relocation.

 

Also, it's nice to have some money in bricks and mortar. Eggs and baskets and all that...

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5 minutes ago, JonnyF said:

Also, it's nice to have some money in bricks and mortar. Eggs and baskets and all that...

No sure that works when you have no right to live in the country.

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15 hours ago, Pinot said:

There isn't a single person I know who owns and doesn't regret it. They're all stuck with no way out except a big loss.

That would be fairly obvious if you don't know much.

I built my house in 2009, cost me 900K and it has kept me occupied over the years. It is about 100 sq m 2 bed bungalow and has certainly been a lot cheaper than renting comparable accommodation so you would have to explain what constitutes a "loss". If for some reason circumstance changed it wouldn't bother me to leave it behind.

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Depends what you want and are looking for + age

 

2003 had a 3 bedroom house built in a small Village, is what we wanted.....  No way would I have moved here to live in some Condo in a City...   best move ever made + if rented for 18 years would have fully paid for a house twice over and still have nothing

 

Now aged 71 if was just arriving then rent = end of days why own

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3 minutes ago, ignis said:

Depends what you want and are looking for + age

 

2003 had a 3 bedroom house built in a small Village, is what we wanted.....  No way would I have moved here to live in some Condo in a City...   best move ever made + if rented for 18 years would have fully paid for a house twice over and still have nothing

 

Now aged 71 if was just arriving then rent = end of days why own

A very sound point. Apart from the reduced number of years remaining there are other factors that need to be considered. I was 61 when the house was built and some of the work, like building my own kitchen, I couldn't undertake now. The house is now 12 years old and tasks like redecorating are becoming a problem.

Renting would certainly be the better option for those getting on in years.

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