The increasing popularity of Hua Hin as a destination for both tourists and expats has given rise to the number of foreigners looking to buy villas and condos in the area.
Whether it is for investment, buying a holiday home or somewhere to live permanently, there is increasing demand from foreigners wanting to buy property in Hua Hin.
When buying property in any country, there are different laws and legalities that buyers should be aware of and abide by, and Thailand is certainly no exception.
Can foreigners buy property in Thailand?
Yes. It is 100% legally possible for a foreigner to buy property in Thailand. However, Thai law prohibits foreigners from owning land in their name.
The most common and convenient way for foreigners to own property in Thailand is through a legally recognized leasehold agreement.
Under Thai law, a foreigner can legally buy a house or villa in their name then lease the land it sits on for a maximum tenure of 30 years.
The 30 year lease can then be renewed or extended for two further periods of 30 years, giving a total of 90 years.
The lease is officially registered at the land office and will include the attachments for 2 further leases, which further helps to protect your interest in the property.
More importantly, leases are still valid even upon the demise of the lessor, or in the event that the land itself is sold.
Leases can also include specific clauses, which you may deem favorable, such as an heir of succession clause, meaning they can be passed onto children, relatives or friends.
Of course, if you have a Thai wife or your children are Thai nationals the land could be put in their name. A Usufruct could then be issued: this is a legal right to the use and enjoyment of an immovable property. A usufruct is registered on the title document. It may be created either for a specified period (not exceeding 30 years) or for the life of the beneficiary of the usufruct. A usufruct always expires upon the demise of the holder of the usufruct and, therefore, may not be inherited.
Buying an apartment or condominium as a foreigner
Buying a condominium unit freehold is among the most straightforward and popular forms of property ownership with foreigners and expats in Thailand.
This is because foreigners are able to legally purchase a freehold condominium unit, providing 51% of the total condominium units in the building are owned by Thai nationals.
It is generally considered one of the safest and easiest ways for foreigners to directly own a freehold title deed in Thailand.
The best piece of advice is to find a professional local Estate Agent with good legal backup to ensure a safe and easy purchase. Once completed you are set to enjoy a fantastic new lifestyle in tropical Thailand.
Buying a Property Using a Company
Setting up a Thai company is another option and allows foreigners to own the major percentage of shares within the company and the company owns the freehold of the land. This is a more expensive procedure and as always you need good legal advice / representation.