Thailand is gorgeous. It has lush jungles, pristine beaches, and unimaginably temperate weather.
You’d be completely forgiven if you decided, after a visit to Koh Samui, that this is where you wanted to live…for the rest of your life.
KOH SAMUI IS YOUR NEW FAVORITE
Koh Samui, the second largest island in Thailand after Phuket, has at last been getting the attention from tourists that it deserves. Why?
Koh Samui is green and gorgeous. It has a short rainy season, lasting about one month or so, leaving eleven months of nearly unbelievable perfect weather for exploring, pampering, soaking up the sun, and being a beach bum. It also has one of the larger international airports that you can find in Thailand, which makes it very easy to get to this paradise.
Once you’re here, you’ll fall under the spell. Of all the places you’ve visited, Koh Samui will be your new favorite!
The popularity of Koh Samui means you have lots of opportunity to choose from beautiful hotels, apartments, and villas, and you’ll start to think you might want to own property in Koh Samui. Much of the land you’ll find on Koh Samui is protected by the government, meaning that construction is forbidden. This helps preserve the beauty of the island, but it also means that the demand for those beautiful places to live is even higher than you might have realised. Luxury villas are a hot commodity here.
Thailand has some unique laws that make property ownership a bit tricky, so before you collect your money or sign on the dotted line, you’ll want a better understanding of how you can go about owning a residence on Koh Samui that you can call your own. If successfully navigated though, villa rental in Koh Samui can be very lucrative for the owners.
THE LAW AND FOREIGN PROPERTY OWNERSHIP
In Thailand, ownership of the land, by foreigners, is prohibited. But hold on—your dream of owning property on Koh Samui is still alive. You can still purchase a place to live, but not in the direct way you might have expected back home. There’s nothing stopping you from buying a gorgeous villa or apartment.
It comes down to a couple of ownership concepts known as leasehold and freehold.
Freehold requires you to form a company, partnering with Thai citizens. The company would own the property. You’d be the head of the company, of course, and have control over the property. This is the only way you can get actual land, and, unfortunately, this particular method is getting more difficult and more expensive.
Maybe forming a company (and dealing with the legalities and tax requirements that come with it) so that you could own property wasn’t really what you had in mind. Seems a bit more than you bargained for, perhaps.
In that case, you’d be interested in leasehold, the most common way foreigners own homes in Thailand.
With leasehold, you gain control of your property with a long-term 30-year lease. You can extend this lease for another 30 years, and own your home for at least 60 years.
There are some exceptions, of course.
You can purchase an apartment outright. As a foreigner, you are allowed to own an apartment or condominium in your name. And, who knows, this might be your preferred option, especially if you’re not ready to handle things like the maintenance of a villa.
Or, you could take advantage of an exception that was created to allow for foreign governments who needed property for the embassies and similar needs. In order for this exception to fall into place, the hopeful owner is required to invest at least 40 million Baht ($1.2 million) in the Kingdom, as well as meet other regulations. This option is generally out of reach of the average person interested in owning property in Thailand. Chances are pretty good that this isn’t what you were looking for, either.
Got your heart set on a villa, and an eye for the beach? The easiest route to take would be the leasehold route. It’s legal, it’s feasible, it’s your villa, and there’s a lounge chair and a drink waiting for you with your name on it.
WORK WITH EXPERIENCED EXPERTS
So how do you get that villa on the land you’re going to lease long term? This is where the experts come in.
When it comes time to purchase property in Koh Samui, your first step should be to find an experienced property agent, preferably one near where you’d like to live. This isn’t the time to find out how well you can navigate the property laws of another country.
Find someone who is familiar with how a foreigner might go about buying a piece of property in Thailand. They will know what property is available, and they can help you save time by only looking at property that is in your price range and in a good location.
Generally, property on Koh Samui is offered at a fixed price by the current owner. Your agent can work as the go-between and know whether or not you are being offered a fair price. You will also need help in making sure that the person selling you the property actually has the right to do so, and holds the legal title.
You are going to be navigating through zoning, environmental, and property laws that are going to be confusing. You’ll want someone who is familiar with the process to be your ally, such as a lawyer, particularly when it comes time to sign documents for property ownership.
Getting help from someone to make this happening is sounding better and better, isn’t it? The important thing is to not let any of this discourage you, or cause you to think that it’s just not worth the hassle, because eleven months of Koh Samui’s warm breezes, sandy beaches, and indescribable sunsets is definitely worth it.
THE EASIEST METHOD OF OWNING PROPERTY?
Not keen or sure of how to find legal help, or where to even look for a villa?
If you’re looking into owning a villa in a development, such as here at Samujana, you’ll find the process even simpler, without all the guesswork and worry that might come from setting out on your own to find a place by yourself. In this kind of arrangement, you’ll get the benefit of a great facilities, help in maintaining your property, and the peace of mind that the legal issues were handled correctly.
Your home on Koh Samui should be one of relaxation and pleasure, without headache and legal concerns. Because again…there’s a lounge chair and a drink, just waiting here for you.