Many tourists who visit Krabi in southern Thailand for the first time, are so enchanted with this beautiful part of the world, that they dream of owning a home of their own there. Many decide to rent or buy an existing property, but others are just as keen to take on the challenge of building their own idyllic Krabi villa from scratch. The first step on this rewarding, yet at times potentially stressful journey, is to find and purchase your ideal plot of land.
Due to the massive growth of tourism in Krabi, property development is occurring at break-neck speed and affordable plots of land, in a desirable location and with sea or mountain views, are becoming ever more difficult to secure. If you are prepared to spend sufficient time in the area, however, and are persistent in your search, you can still find some superior slices of land for a reasonable price.
Once you have found your own little piece of Krabi heaven, you will need to act quickly to ensure that someone else doesn’t snap it up! Many reputable Krabi architects and construction companies will assist you in the buying process, as part of their all-inclusive design and build service. If you are going it alone, then there are some important facts that you should arm yourself with first.
Buying land in Krabi can seem daunting, as strictly speaking Thailand does not allow the freehold ownership of land by foreigners, although foreigners can legally own property. However, there are a number of ways that foreigners can legitimately purchase land or, at least acquire it on a long term lease. As a general guide, the methods detailed below are the most common practices to enable foreigners to buy land in Thailand, but remember - it is essential to get sound and independent advice from a qualified solicitor that specialises in Thai real estate law, before you proceed!
Land Leases – Foreigners can take a 100% land-lease in Thailand, for up to thirty years. These can be renewed for additional thirty year periods.
Company Ownership – Thai companies with a majority of Thai shareholders are permitted to buy land. Foreigners that are minority shareholders in such a company are therefore able to purchase land in this way.
Investment – foreigners prepared to invest a fixed sum of money (40 million baht per year) every year for five years, may legally purchase a limited amount of land for residential use.
Thai Spouse – Although a Thai spouse can buy land in their foreign partner’s name, it is important to note that declarations may be signed at the Land department that effectively means the foreign spouse has no rights to the land in say, the event of a divorce.
It is also important to understand that buying a property in Krabi will normally involve a cash transaction, as mortgages for foreigners are virtually impossible to arrange. Bear in mind too, that the pace of life in Krabi is much slower than in many western countries, which is probably one of the many reasons you are considering building a home there. But it can mean that the process of purchasing your land and subsequently building a Krabi villa will be a lengthy project. It is essential to start adopting the typical, laid-back Krabi mind-set as soon as possible, to avoid any unnecessary stress!
Buying land in Krabi can be the beginning of a fun and exciting chapter of your life and with professional advice and guidance, it should be a painless and thoroughly enjoyable experience of a lifetime!