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Quite Urgent - Advice Wanted


muchogra

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I bought a house in March when it was being built. Since then, I had already paid 20% of what the house cost. Last month, our house looked 80% complete but construction across the house was still going on and the soi was a mess and no car could go through.

Closing is at the end of this month. I told the sales manager that my kid (a Thai whose name we use) might not be here this month but next month for sure to do the closing. She told me if it's for a few days it would be ok otherwise I have to pay 100% at the end of this month. When I questioned politely why so much for less than a month time, she seemed to back down to 40%. It's ok with me to pay another 20% but I'm afraid she may change her mind when I go up there mid of this month to inspect. I really don't walk to create any discomfort even before we move there. What do you think it's reasonable for me to ask?

Another thing is, is it normal for some moobaans in CM to collect 3 years of maintenance in advance (thereafter 1 year in advance)? I'm not complaining because it's not much considering that the gated community has a sizable swimming pool, a good health club, sauna, and tennis courts in construction. I'm just curious.

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I have no information specific to your situation. However, we are also house-hunting and from my experience in the real estate business in another life, there are many projects here that were undertaken with the idea that things would sell swiftly and smoothly. They are not. The economy has turned everything into an overdeveloped buyer's market, and a lot of the projects I have seen are using the U.S. government approach to funding - build the next one from the proceeds of the last one. The situation of the three years in advance should be unnecessary if the development is properly capitalized, and it should send up warning flags if it is not. In the worst case, do you have an escape clause - or could you afford to walk away from your down payment?

The number of uncompleted or partially completed projects here is frightening if you are in the position of being an uninformed buyer. Remember that action talks and BS walks. I would never close on anything unless it was 100% to my satisfaction - but (in the words of Dennis Miller) that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. Sounds like they are hurting for money.

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Bottom line 'muchogra' there is no hard and fast rule, sure, there's the 'norm' but that's why we have a contract, and we read them before signing, (you know just to make sure all is fair and proper) When you bought this house in March, I take it you read the contract, you know…The one you signed, when you gave 20% deposit? What did it say regarding payment? I have to ask… You do have a contract….Yes/no? As for 3 years of maintenance in advance……………………..What does your contract say???? Two years, I think is the norm, but, what does the contract say!

Edited by Tonto21
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Just to understand, is it your child, or just a Thai whose name you use? Does this also imply that you have previous experience buying property in Thailand?

Just as a point, I am of the understnding that Moo Baan maintenance fees dont allways include use of clubhouses and pools etc.

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Out of curiosity how much is the maintenance fee?

As for your question you have to go by your contract?! If you want to negotiate some extra that's not in the contract you'll have to put on your best smile and talk to the lady until she gives you what you want or until you realize it's hopeless. Who knows how this looks like from her perspective, only talking to her can you find out. Not that she'll tell you upfront but ... of course you could play hardball and speculate that they'd still rather sell to you even if you are a month behind with the payment but I'd not advise bad feelings before you even move in, as you said.

Also if you just need a signature maybe you can fax one from your kid for the time being (assuming said kids is of legal age).

Edited by nikster
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when i bought my house in a new moo baan i also had to pay 2 years of mainenance fees up front

Out of curiosity, does that then mean that you don't have to pay the monthly fee for two years because you've already paid it?

I think I would go along with that. If monthly fees are still due however then I think paying *anything* for two years up front sounds like financing something for someone to me, and I'm not a bank. ;)

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when i bought my house in a new moo baan i also had to pay 2 years of mainenance fees up front

Out of curiosity, does that then mean that you don't have to pay the monthly fee for two years because you've already paid it?

I think I would go along with that. If monthly fees are still due however then I think paying *anything* for two years up front sounds like financing something for someone to me, and I'm not a bank. ;)

We paid two years up front when we bought the house but it is exactly that, 'Up Front', and you don't pay anymore monthly fees until your two years are up. Then you start with another two year up front payment.

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It might not be relevant, because we had our house built by a local-builder on land my wife already owned, but our contract with him did specify 3-4 stage-payments when specific points in the construction were reached. So perhaps the OP should look again at his copy of the contract ?

I would certainly not advise paying the final-portion, until the house was 100% completed, to my satisfaction. But 20% (at present) or even 40%, for a house which is 80% completed, would seem a bit on-the-low-side ?

Good Luck to the OP ! B)

Edited by Ricardo
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As it has been said, what is in your contract ?

8 homes under my belt, I have never paid over 1 year maintenance at a time, however, what is in your contract ?

Yes a down of 15% - 50 % is normal on a new home, however, I never pay the balance until I have done 2 walk throughs. 1 to check what needs to be fixed, and the second to check they did infact fix it to my standards. (never has been 100% on the first time to get everything correct, Never) I also never close until the time everything is OK And take the funds to the land office to exchange there at transfer of title

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when we had our house built in a mooban we paid small dep.on signing,then 20% 9months later when they started. but not a bht.more till every thing was completed,any jobs that had to be done were completed before we signed and paid the final balance.also we had a 1year warranty on any thing that needed doing which also covered repainting,we paid 3years community charge up front which incl.security,rubbish collection every day,street cleaning,grass cutting in the park,lighting, the comm.charge started the day we moved in,our comm.cost was based on the size of your plot.most of the moobans in our area after the comm.charge runs out have been taken over by the residents.so till your satisfied dont pay them unless you signed the contract any different.

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when i bought my house in a new moo baan i also had to pay 2 years of mainenance fees up front

Out of curiosity, does that then mean that you don't have to pay the monthly fee for two years because you've already paid it?

I think I would go along with that. If monthly fees are still due however then I think paying *anything* for two years up front sounds like financing something for someone to me, and I'm not a bank. ;)

We have a new house in Urbana. Three years maintenance was part of the purchase price and it was all spelled out clearly. Includes use of gym, pool etc (in progress, finished maybe another 45 days).

Overall the sales and accounting people have been very pleasant to deal with, customer focused, good listeners, professional discussions, and very accommodating when a couple of progress payments were a week late because of hic ups in getting the funds ready on our part.

Their sales have slowed down but phase 1 is sold out, I guess 99% of the houses are complete and 80% or more of the owners have moved in.

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Thank you folks for spending the time to give me your advices and information.

I'm sorry that I didn't make one thing clear though it may not even matter at all... They did not start building "my house" after I booked it. There were a few houses under construction, some were booked and some were not. I just booked one that's under construction. "My

house" among the row of houses were expected to be finished at the end of Aug. Still now, there are a couple that have not been sold yet. The houses across "mine" were expected to be finished at the end of Sept. The last month I was there, there were tractors and piles of debris on the road in front of "our house". Naturally I would like to defer the closing by about a month if the road is still in a messy state like before. Irrespective, our biggest problem here is that our kid is tied up this month and could only fly in next month hence my asking of a postponement. I bought the house with a Power of Attoney from our kid who is Thai citizen. We are the kid's natural parents.

To answer those who have asked if I read the contract. I did. Here are the facts: 3 monthly payments since April plus the deposit makes up 20% which we have dutifully paid in advance every month; inspection on Aug 5; closing on Aug 25; 3 years advance payment on maintenance and fees for applying the electricity and water paid upon closing. I think I didn't see any penalty clause in it should closing be deferred. Anyway I hope to straighten it out next week when I get there. I have moved up the schedule by a week to give me more leeway to prepare the cash should they want 100%. In fact it's not too much of a big deal since I have no intention of backing down on buying the house. I ask for advice here due more to my curiosity on how 'normal' things are practiced in CM as opposed to Bkk. And you folks have given me great help.

Summarizing you folks' advices, I'm probably in the wrong if I push back the closing date too far behind. But I'm just asking for a deferment for less than a month. So, in this respect, I'll take nikster's advice doing a Thai smile. After all Thai people love the idea of doing things on a case-by-case basis.

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Oh, nikster, the maintenance fee is 18,000 for 3 years.

iainiain101 - We are the child's natural parents. And yes, we bought our house in Bangkok using our kid's name about 20 years ago. Using the club house is not free. I think a B500 coupon entitles 10 visits.

Winnie, yes, no more payment in 3 years. Actually, I think it's good. Our moobaan in Bangkok made a mistake of collecting monthly. It's a small moobaan about 100 units. Some 15 years ago, the committee decided to hire guards at the front and the back gate. Many residents found reason not to pay. And they are supposed to be quite well off.

Ricardo, re: 'But 20% (at present) or even 40%, for a house which is 80% completed, would seem a bit on-the-low-side ?' please read my post prior to this one.

Jefrey, you have the right attitude. I wish I could make myself more picky so I don't lose out.

Lobo4819, I agree with you about the developers and now is a buyer's market. For me, I buy this house to live in. I'm not too concern if it will appreciate. I only care if the moobaan's environment would degrade. From what I have seen, the entrance to the moobaan is on the second ring road. It opens up into a 20m wide main road with houses of different styles on the two sides. It's quite picturesque with plants and trees and immaculately maintained. Mine is in the second phase close to the club house just passes the first phase. I only looked at about 8 houses in 2 days and I bought this one on the third day after contacting a sales lady at a booth at Kad Suan Kaew.

Thanks to all the rest for providing the advice.

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Thanks; I'm still paying by the month. Thought about stopping but I just can't be arsed cutting the hedges and almost daily putting trash bags in the truck and dumping them somewhere in town in a bin.. It's easier to just pay.

At least you're not dumping them by the side of the road as most Thai's do. Riding my bike last week down a quiet country lane and a bloke passed me on a motorbike and stopped about half a k ahead, lobbed something in the bushes and rode off. When I reached the point where he lobbed I saw two bags of domestic rubbish that he had just deposited in the countryside to join all the other piles left by others before him. Thai's can be such lovely people but oh my; a lot have only air where their brain is supposed to be.

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Thank you folks for spending the time to give me your advices and information.

I'm sorry that I didn't make one thing clear though it may not even matter at all... They did not start building "my house" after I booked it. There were a few houses under construction, some were booked and some were not. I just booked one that's under construction. "My

house" among the row of houses were expected to be finished at the end of Aug. Still now, there are a couple that have not been sold yet. The houses across "mine" were expected to be finished at the end of Sept. The last month I was there, there were tractors and piles of debris on the road in front of "our house". Naturally I would like to defer the closing by about a month if the road is still in a messy state like before. Irrespective, our biggest problem here is that our kid is tied up this month and could only fly in next month hence my asking of a postponement. I bought the house with a Power of Attoney from our kid who is Thai citizen. We are the kid's natural parents.

To answer those who have asked if I read the contract. I did. Here are the facts: 3 monthly payments since April plus the deposit makes up 20% which we have dutifully paid in advance every month; inspection on Aug 5; closing on Aug 25; 3 years advance payment on maintenance and fees for applying the electricity and water paid upon closing. I think I didn't see any penalty clause in it should closing be deferred. Anyway I hope to straighten it out next week when I get there. I have moved up the schedule by a week to give me more leeway to prepare the cash should they want 100%. In fact it's not too much of a big deal since I have no intention of backing down on buying the house. I ask for advice here due more to my curiosity on how 'normal' things are practiced in CM as opposed to Bkk. And you folks have given me great help.

Summarizing you folks' advices, I'm probably in the wrong if I push back the closing date too far behind. But I'm just asking for a deferment for less than a month. So, in this respect, I'll take nikster's advice doing a Thai smile. After all Thai people love the idea of doing things on a case-by-case basis.

What buy you a little more time is this. Hopefully you are going to do a thoroughly walk-thru prior to paying and closing on the house. So, do a thoroughly walk-thru and I'm sure you'll find some "things" wrong, not working (electrical outlets), or something that needs repainting, etc. You know what I mean. So when you add up the list that needs to be fixed/accomplished, it may take them a week or two or even longer to complete all to your satisfaction. Just letting you know FYI. If this is your first house, upon walk=thru, turn on ALL light fixtures, all A/C units, anything using electrics and make sure no circuit breakers pop. Turn on all water spickets and flish all toiles to make sure no water leaks. Open close all windows/screens. Sometimes the windows have too much "play" in them when closed. I'm sure there's more I can recommend, but right now I'm drawing a blank.

Good Luck. Cheers.

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when i bought my house in a new moo baan i also had to pay 2 years of mainenance fees up front

Out of curiosity, does that then mean that you don't have to pay the monthly fee for two years because you've already paid it?

I think I would go along with that. If monthly fees are still due however then I think paying *anything* for two years up front sounds like financing something for someone to me, and I'm not a bank. ;)

We paid two years up front when we bought the house but it is exactly that, 'Up Front', and you don't pay anymore monthly fees until your two years are up. Then you start with another two year up front payment.

Me too.

But 2 years followed by yearly after that. Just the trash collection fee monthly (about 75bht) as an outside contractor.

It's good they collect the fees in lump sums so security and all the rest of it is reliable. You see many old / first wave of moo baan developments where the management was not up to scratch and people haven't paid so no security just empty check points

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