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What is a condominium?

The condominium (lat. con — together and dominium — ownership) defines a shared ownership of a real-estate property. Very often it is a house, but the notion can also refer to another pieces of immovable estate. Thailand brings in a new flavor to the definition: here a condominium is an entire cluster of a high-rise with many apartments or several building next to each other together with a piece of land they are erected on. Very often the building site hosts extensive infrastructure, for instance, a garden, a swimming pool, a gym, a sauna, an underground parking, restaurants, 24 h security and other facilities.  

How can I purchase an apartment without a trip to Thailand?

Take an advantage of endless possibilities of the Internet! One can choose an appropriate apartment on the website of one of the real-estate agencies that have a registered office in Thailand. Afterwards contact the agency to clarify details and discuss all your questions and doubts with a realtor. To contact the agency use the email address provided or call the published number (this call is free of charge). In order to proceed, you will have to reserve the chosen apartment and make a down-payment of 20,000-100,000 baht dependent on the real-estate developer’s requirements. The payment can be wired by a bank transfer from your account in a Russian bank to the account of the real-estate company in Thailand. International transfers are usually completed in 2-3 working days, but a copy of the transfer statement is already a legitimate payment proof. In the following, two copies of the purchase-sale agreement are signed by the developer and dispatched to you by the express-post. The delivery usually succeeds in 3-4 days. After receiving the document, you have to sign both copies of the contract and re-send one of them back to Thailand. Then you can visit the bank with the other contract copy and present it as a justification for the next payment. You will receive a confirmation of the money delivery after each transfer. 

Are foreigners authorized to purchase an apartment or a house in Thailand?

Yes, they are. According to the local legislation from 1974, 49% of apartments in a condo can be sold to foreigners, whereas the rest 51% should only be purchased by Thai citizens or companies registered in Thailand. Upon buying an apartment, the purchaser receives a “chanot”, which is a Thai document confirming the ownership and the right to further resell or inherit the apartment. Whether the buyer is Thai or not, this document does not differ. Its front page hosts the coat of arms of Thailand, below which the apartment layout and details are listed. The chanot’s back side contains information about all purchase agreements and names of the owners. By the way, the heir’s name is also written down in the chanot.

The situation is more complex if a foreigner want to buy a house in Thailand. In this case a Thai company should be founded. The company will own the land on which the house is erected, since the legislation prohibits foreigners to be landowners. The described procedure is entirely legal and has been run for decades. The foreigner is allowed to own up to 49% of the company’s funds and be appointed as its head with the decisive right of signature. These measures are called for to protect the investor. Moreover, this Thai company can also purchase an apartment via Thai quota, thus taking advantage of the lower prices than those set up for the foreigner quota. In addition, the Thai quota often provides an access to more beneficial installment plans.

What are Sinking Fund and Maintenance Fee listed in pricelists of the new projects?

SinkingFundis a one-time payment that is covered by the first owner of an apartment upon moving in. The sum depends on the apartment square area and on average comprises 450-500 baht per sqm. The sinking fund is being used on request for maintenance and reparations, e.g. for painting works, roof repairs and replacement of the piping.

MaintenanceFeeis a monthly service payment that is often being charged as a lump sum on the annual basis for the coming year and also depends on the apartment area. Prices differ a lot dependent on the building category and on average amount to 40-60 baht per sqm monthly. Services like house-keeping, garbage collection and salaries for housekeeping stuff are covered by this fee.

Is it true that home pets are not allowed in Thai condos?

The legal situation on this issue is as follows. It is prohibited to bring pets to public areas (lobby, swimming pool area, etc.) and to violate calm of other tenants. If your dog likely does not bother the neighbors, you can ask the property management company for the permission. It will likely be granted if the dog is not too big. The ultimate solution to this problem is a purchase of a separate house with a piece of land.

Does the real-estate purchase in Thailand grant a right for a long-term visa?

No. A foreign real-estate owner has the same rights in Thailand as any other foreigner. You can apply for a tourist, student, working, pensioner’s or family visa. Thai visa policy is much more loyal than in Europe. Please find more information about the visas on the respective page of your website.

How high are the risks of buying an apartment on the “zero” construction stage, namely when the project only exists on paper?

There is no reasons to worry if you have chosen a trustworthy experienced developer that has successfully accomplished few projects in time. Early investments are extremely profitable since the price will rise significantly when the construction starts. Moreover, the purchase-sale agreement should provide details about which measures and responsibilities of the developer entail if the construction is postponed.

Please notice that advantageous non-interest installment plans are often proposed on the early stages of construction. Sometimes up to 60-70% of the apartment price should be covered only after the building is completed. Apartments in already finalized building units, as a rule, cannot be purchased on these terms, and the buyer will have to make a complete payment at once.

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