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Living Outside The Moo Bans


st11x

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G'day,

While riding along places like Mae Rim and the route from the Night Safari to Sameong, I have seen some very nice modern houses. However, next to them, there could be very "poor" looking ones - houses that had been there for a very very long time.

Does any one here live in those houses? If you do not mind, could you share your story with me? Send me a PM if you like.

I would like to know how it "began" for you. How do you chance upon those real estate? I have seen land for sale by the banks and they are usually in no man's land. On some websites, I noticed houses for sale in those areas, but they are usually so gigantic and of course costing over tens of millions THB.

Along the route are some private sales (they have signs by the road) but for only the land, they have such a big price tag it's out of my league. One reason I guess for the big price tags is that there are by the main road.

What about security, garbage disposal, telecommunications etc that is mostly taken care of or easily sourced in a community? One thing that I heard is that you may have to deal with a village chief? Can someone just set up shop outside your place selling mangos? Can they just put up a loudspeaker in front of your place and blast announcements or loud music at the most inappropriate times?

I am renting in a mooban now. The surroundings are very nice and well maintained. There's large tracts of garden space for the dogs to play in and it's most important. However, buying into the mooban is not an option for me.

thanks

Matt

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Hi Matt,

Some very good questions...

1) I would have to say from my experience in Phuket, Bangkok and Chiang Mai looking for property and land... you never find a good deal from signs on the side of the road. And if you can read the sign in English... really a bad deal :-) Over priced from the start.

2) The best land is really not advertised... because once it is... well... agents and everyone else wants a piece of the pie and the price gets bigger. If you have local friends... have them ask around... I have bought the best properties from word of mouth... Uncle.. Aunt... brother... sister or cousin is selling etc.

3) I never do the negotiating myself... I look at a house... or property... alone.... then I have my Thai trusted friends get details and negotiate. 90% of the time Thai's will always get a better deal than you will!

4) Buying a house and home is a big step here in Thailand... location is everything. Take your time... dont rush it. In many areas you dont have to worry about being surrounded by poor people. Most have a POLICE box... you pay about 500 THB per month the police come 2 -4 times a day.

5) Communities are a lot safer in general... but you can have a nice house outside the Moo Baan... important thing is to not make yourself a target. :-) Know the area.... understand the people... 90% of the time you will be OK.

6) Phones... cable... electric... internet... always best to check out what services may or may not be available in the area before buying. If available... easy to source and get to your home... if not... you dont want to go down that path :-)

7) Everyone likes a good location to sell things... I have found that most Thais are respectful of others house and property... they usually dont just setup shop in front of your place. If they do... have someone ask them to leave... nicely of course... and they will. Some may come to ask you how much to sell Mangoes in front of your good location.

Know what you want... and then get help to find it. There are a lot of deals out there... but if you have read in City Life recently there are also some SCAM artists out there too... and they are not THAI .... Some Farang can be just as bad. Never pay a deposit to anyone... always do everything through a reputable legal firm... better to be safe than sorry.

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hi. well we live outside a moobaan (although very close to a couple of them) and we are happy here. A bit different with us as the property (a small cottage) was owned by my wife's family for many years, so they know the local people.

It's good because it has a real village atmosphere which would be lacking if we were in a condo (and perhaps also in a newer moobaan). We find the neigbours look out for us & our place. As the previous poster said, it certainly helps to make yourself known (and liked/respected). For example you might like to get involved in local community activities, do some volunteer teaching, etc etc. No flashy displays of wealth probably a good idea (alas, we don't have to fake that) :o

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I rented for the best part of two years, a modern 2 bed house (but not great build quality) with big garden just 200m from the SE corner of the moat - 10,000 a month, which was pretty fair given the central location. A kind of large depot over the road seemed to house temporary building site workers shipped in from Surin etc most of the time, and a smaller place next to it belonged to a car repairer and second-hand dealer working from home. There were a couple of rather dilapidated wooden Thai houses on the one side from which bbq sellers emerged on and off during the day and night, and an old concrete house on the other whose owner seemed to spend all her time gossiping. So it was a pretty mixed community.

A mix of friendly Thais (no farangs lived anywhere near, hardly ever even saw one walking down the soi) mostly running typical small businesses from their homes (laundries/bbqs, usual thing).

I loved it there, never had a problem. Would have stayed but they knocked one of the wooden houses down and started work on a 5 floor condo building.

Back in CM in a few months, probably going to buy, but may look a little further away from the centre this time.

Never felt there was the slightest danger, and in the early days I was about at all hours. Living in the estates, not my thing, prefer living amongst the Thais myself. As Astonite and chiangmaibruce say, it's important not to make yourself a target. No ostentatious shows of wealth, a touch of generosity now and again, fit in, earn some respect.

Garbage removed every night, no one set up their stall in front of the house although occasionally passers-by, kids would pause for a while and sit on our low wall - fine by me. Never met a 'village chief'. Soi dogs not much of a problem. Wouldn't hesitate to live in a similar area again.

Edited by wedders
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Thanks for sharing all your thoughts and great advice. Never knew about City Life, where can I find the publication?

I have heard of stories on the net that people (not necessarily your neighbors) come to set up camp on your property while you are away and then refused to leave. Hopefully that is just urban legend.

There was one property we looked at. The owners weren't there, but the agent told us that they have hired a couple to look after the property. They live in a wooden hut just next to the gate within the property and it seemed like they have lived there for a long time; they even have their own livestock roaming the property.

Got to wonder if you can ask them to move that easily should you ever buy that property.

Matt

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It's a bit hard to find the magazine as it goes quickly (monthly publication delivered to hotel foyers and some other businesses). Easier to go to citylife-citylife.com for online version. Classifieds section is good and is updated daily.

Note that under Thai law if folks live on your land (with no lease or other agreement) for more than (I think) 7 years then they can claim a right of ownership.

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I have heard of stories on the net that people (not necessarily your neighbors) come to set up camp on your property while you are away and then refused to leave. Hopefully that is just urban legend.

There was one property we looked at. The owners weren't there, but the agent told us that they have hired a couple to look after the property. They live in a wooden hut just next to the gate within the property and it seemed like they have lived there for a long time; they even have their own livestock roaming the property.

Got to wonder if you can ask them to move that easily should you ever buy that property.

Matt

Between knocking down the house next door and the start of building of the small condo building mentioned above, a couple with baby were hired to keep an eye on the place. The Thai owners weren't happy with them and they were 'moved out' in 15 minutes flat. No asking involved.

If anyone moved into our place my (Thai) wife would have their guts for garters :o

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