PURCHASING REAL ESTATE IN THAILAND CAN BE A COMPLEX BUSINESS
But with Raimon Land, we try to make it as simple as possible. Our Buyer’s Guide for international purchasers, available in English and Chinese, seeks to answer the most common questions you may have when making a property purchase. Download your copy today, or contact us for more information
The Sales Process
RAIMON LAND BUYER GUIDE
A beautiful and intriguing country set within the heart of South East Asia, the Kingdom of Thailand provides many great reasons to purchase property.
As Thailand’s leading real estate developer, Raimon Land is proud to welcome investors and home owners from around the world to our world-class properties.
With 11 completed developments in Thailand and more under development, Raimon Land has been recognized as award winning developer. Our properties are all freehold, in prime locations, and featuring highest quality of specifications.
This buyer’s guide, created specifically for international purchasers interested to buy property in Thailand from Raimon Land, aims to answer your questions, and guide you on how to purchase Thai real estate in Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket or beyond.
We provide 3 key sections to assist your buying decisions:
- BUYING PROPERTY
- PAYMENT AND HOW TO TRANSFER MONEY
- OWNERSHIP & OTHER QUESTIONS
We hope you will find this guide useful. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information or to answer any questions you may have.
CAN FOREIGNERS PURCHASE PROPERTY IN THAILAND?
Thailand allows foreigners to purchase freehold condominium property in Thailand, with 100% ownership of the unit under a foreign name.
For the overall building, the majority of units must remain owned by Thai buyers, not more than 49% of the sellable area can be owned by foreign nationals or a foreign entity such as a trust or company.
SHOULD I BUY FREEHOLD OR LEASEHOLD?
Most condominiums are sold freehold in Thailand. For leasehold condominiums, valuations may be lower than equivalent freehold developments. Usually leasehold property has a maximum registered lease term of 30 years. Raimon Land specializes in selling freehold developments because we believe it provides the purchaser with more confidence.
The advantage of buying a freehold condominium in Thailand as a foreigner is that you can own the property yourself, in your own name, free of any kind of claims from any government entity.
CAN I BUY LAND OR A HOUSE?
As of 2015, foreigners are generally not able to buy landed property, such as houses; shophouses; commercial, retail or industrial land. There are some exceptions for very large corporate purchases with Thailand Board of Investment approval, but generally landed property is for Thai individuals and Thai companies only. Foreigners can purchase condominiums.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR A FOREIGNER TO PURCHASE A CONDOMINIUM?
Raimon Land offers a variety of condominium developments in prime locations around the Kingdom of Thailand. Typically, you have the option of buying first-hand off the developer directly or via an agent. Property may be sold before the building is completed, or shortly after completion. For second-hand property, you can also buy through the secondary market; Raimon Land offers a resale service for buyers to purchase selected units in our developments. For this guide, we will focus on new developments.
If you have decided to purchase a condominium, at the time of making your reservation Raimon Land will confirm you are purchasing within the 49% of foreign owners, then in order to proceed, all you need is a copy of your passport, to fill in the form provided by our staff and make the deposit as per the agreement. We will assist you to do the rest.
PAYMENT AND HOW TO TRANSFER MONEY
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR BUYING A CONDOMINIUM IN THAILAND?
When purchasing from Raimon Land, the purchase may be made prior to the building being completed.
We will ask you to sign a reservation agreement, with a booking fee. This reserves the condominium you are interested in, and ensures the unit is not offered to another purchaser. Raimon Land will confirm at the time of reservation, that we are able to sell the unit to a foreign purchaser.
Around 2-4 weeks thereafter, the Sale and Purchase Contract will be signed by both buyer and seller, and the Contract Payment will be made. Some buyers at this time ask for legal assistance in understanding the Sale and Purchase Agreement, Raimon Land is happy to provide names and details of 3rd party local legal firms who can provide this service – note that these firms have no relationship to Raimon Land and Raimon Land cannot verify the quality of their work.
Thereafter, for a building under construction, a series of payments will be made, as per the payment schedule agreed at time of reservation. Raimon Land offers payment schedules including receiving 100%, 50% and larger installments less regularly, to support our international purchasers.
At time of transfer, the buyer will inspect the property, and the remaining amount will be either transferred or the buyer will work together with a source of finance. At this time, once payment is made in full, the ownership of the property transfers from Raimon Land to the buyer at the Land Department, with all paperwork completed as required by Thai Law. Both the property inspection and the transfer process can be completed by a 3rd party; it is not required by law that the owner has to be there in person for these.
CAN FOREIGNERS OBTAIN FINANCING TO BUY A CONDOMINIUM?
Some foreigners can get financing, a loan application will be subject to approval by the financial institution and Raimon Land cannot comment on the likelihood of getting a loan application approved.
Housing loans are commonly with tenure of a minimum 3 years and maximum 20 years. The maximum loan value is often 70% of the appraisal value of the property. Note the appraised value is the value the bank assigns to the property, and may be more or less than the purchase price.
Some financial institutions have a minimum value of purchase below which they will not lend.
Generally, the most important requirement banks are interested in is source and stability of income, which does not have to be recognized in Thailand, but does need proof, which can include items such as pay slips, bank statements, etc. The income of the borrower should be stable and steady. This tends to favor salaried staff.
The list of banks willing to lend to foreigners changes from time to time, we can provide a list of potential lenders upon request at: email@example.com
WHAT IS THE CORRECT PROCESS TO TRANSFER MONEY?
For foreigners buying condominium property in Thailand, the buyer needs to demonstrate that the funds for purchase equivalent to the purchase price mentioned in the Sale and Purchase Agreement under your name were transferred into Thailand from overseas.
The buyer will need to show a Foreign Exchange Transaction Form (FOREX/FET) at the time of transfer at the land department, to obtain the title deed.
WHAT IS A FOREIGN EXCHANGE TRANSACTION FORM (FOREX/FET)?
A Foreign Exchange transaction form (referred to as a FOREX/FET, FOREX or FET form or Tor Tor 3 in Thai (TT3)), is an official bank document issued by the receiving bank upon receipt of foreign currency from overseas, equivalent to or greater than US$50,000 into bank accounts in Thailand.
If you are purchasing a condominium unit in Thailand under foreign ownership, you must have FOREX form equivalent to the purchase price mentioned in the Sale and Purchase Agreement under your name.
The original FOREX form must be submitted to the land department in order to register a condominium in a non-resident foreigner's name. The FOREX form is important under foreign ownership as you will need to show it and supporting documents should you wish to liquidate your property in the future and repatriate the funds back to your home country or out of Thailand.
In order to obtain the FOREX form, you will need to remit funds to our developer’s account under your name “the owner” and specify the details of the payment as “for the purpose of purchasing Condominium unit #, project name, Province, Thailand”. We can then obtain the FOREX form for you. In some countries, due to restrictions on length of message for specifying details, a code is supplied for this purpose.
Whenever money is transferred out of Thailand, the tax free amount of the transfer is determined by the initial amount transferred into Thailand as stated in the FOREX form or credit note. Note there are no taxes applied to transfers into or out of Thailand currently.
CAN I TRANSFER FROM A LOCAL THAI BANK ACCOUNT?
Yes, it is possible, but you will be responsible for obtaining the FOREX form or certifying letter from your local bank in Thailand. If you would like to remit the funds to your own local bank account and subsequently transfer the money to the developer's bank account in Thailand to purchase a condominium, then you are responsible for obtaining the FOREX form from your bank in Thailand.
CAN I MAKE THE PAYMENT IN CASH AND GET A FOREX FORM?
We strongly advise not to bring cash to make payments as Raimon Land will not accept cash payment in any currency.
CAN I OBTAIN A FOREX FORM IF MY MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS ARE LESS THAN US$50,000?
Banks issue the FOREX form for a transfer amount equal or greater than US$ 50,000 only. If your payments are less than US$50,000 each time, we can obtain a certifying letter from the bank, which serves the same purpose as a FOREX form and the requirements for this letter are the same as the FOREX form.
Raimon Land offers some flexibility for Chinese purchasers to customize the installment payments schedule so that there are fewer installments but each one is large enough to exceed the minimum transfer amount – this will depend on the total purchase price. Please ask us for further information.
CAN I FIX IT IF I LEAVE THE DETAIL OF THE PAYMENT EMPTY OR STATE AN INCORRECT DESCRIPTION OF THE PAYMENT?
Raimon Land will not be able to obtain a FOREX form for you. However, you may be able to contact your sending bank immediately and inform them to send an official letter directly to our corresponding bank saying that the payment was “for the purpose of purchasing a Condominium unit #, the project name, Province, Thailand” and include authorizing signatures from the bank. We would need a copy of the letter to track with our bank later to obtain the FOREX form. Please note that solutions to such cases depend on the circumstances and financial institutions remitting the fund.
I’M WORKING IN THAILAND; CAN I PURCHASE A CONDOMINIUM WITH MY SALARY?
Yes, you will be responsible for obtaining the correct documents required to obtain foreign ownership at the land department.
You will need to open a non-resident bank account with a local bank which allows such accounts in Thailand by showing your Employment Contract, Salary Statement from your Employer and request the Bank to issue a letter showing that your money is from this non-resident account income after all taxes are paid. The bank will allow you to put 70% from your total earnings into a non-residential account.
Qualification and required documents for a non-resident bank account can vary from bank to bank.
Banks will not issue a FOREX form for this case, but will issue a letter acceptable at the land department proving that this payment came from income after all necessary taxes are paid, which serves the same purpose as a FOREX from.
CAN I GET A FOREX FORM IN MY NAME WITH MONEY TRANSFERRED FROM ANOTHER ACCOUNT?
Yes, if the detail of the payment specifies that the payment is for your name “the owner” and you specify the details of the payment as “for the purpose of purchasing Condominium unit #, project name, Province, Thailand”.
IF THE BANK CANNOT HANDLE, CAN I ABBREVIATE THE DETAILS OF PAYMENT?
The transaction code for buying a condominium in Thailand to qualify for FET is “318069”. You can state “318069 for Mr/Ms Owner’s name” instead. But we recommend that the full version is always preferable to avoid any misunderstanding.
CAN I PURCHASE UNDER A COMPANY BUT MAKE PAYMENTS FROM MY OWN ACCOUNT?
Yes, it is possible when you mention the company name in the details of payment when you remit the funds. For example your company is Holiday Home Co Ltd: “for the purpose of purchasing Condominium unit # and the project name, Province, Thailand for Holiday Home Co Ltd”.
CAN I PAY BY CREDIT CARD?
Raimon Land accepts major credit cards including VISA and MasterCard. Typically, only the booking fee payment by credit card is free of credit card fees. Monthly installments, contract payment and all other payments will usually be subject to additional service charges ranging from 1.5% - 3.55% + 7% VAT depending on the institutions underwriting the credit card.
Note that when paying by credit card, as a developer, we won’t be able to obtain the FOREX from for any credit card payments.
HOW DOES THE CHINESE OUTWARDS REMITTANCE REGULATION AFFECT MY PURCHASE?
A regulation issued by the Bank of China states that each Chinese citizen can only convert up to USD 50,000 per year into foreign currency for transfer. The RMB remittance will be returned if the amount exceeds this limit.
We cannot help with such remittance exceeding the limit. If the funds are coming from third party account, please make sure to quote in the details of the payment purpose is stated as “318069 for Mr/Ms Owner’s name” in order to receive correct FET.
IF I BUY PROPERTY IN THAILAND, WILL I BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE INVESTMENT VISA?
Foreign owners of condominium units in Thailand are eligible to extend their stay in the country for a period of one year, renewable each year, through means of a one-year visa, when investing at least THB 10 million (Royal Thai Police Bureau Order No.327/2557, effective Aug 29, 2014).
In order to be granted a renewable one-year stay under a one-year visa, you need to provide:
A non-immigrant visa, granted to them by a Thai embassy or consulate
evidence of remitting at least THB 10 million in funds from abroad into Thailand, issued by a commercial bank in Thailand
evidence of investing in the purchase of a condominium unit at a purchase price of not less than THB 10 million by showing a copy of the official sale agreement and condominium unit title deed, registered with the relevant land office
If you wish to apply for an investment visa, we suggest engaging a professional immigration lawyer to ensure the process is followed correctly.
WHAT FEES WILL I NEED TO PAY WHEN I PURCHASE A CONDOMINIUM?
There are 3 major fees that you will need to pay when buying a condominium in Thailand.
Common Area Fee is the fee to cover the cost of managing the common property of the condominium building, such as cleaning and maintenance, staff salaries, supplies, external suppliers, etc. This amount is paid every month, and is usually calculated at a set amount of sq.m. then multiplied by the size of your condominium; it is a way to ensure that each owner pays a fair amount shared between all the units in the building. In the event you rent your condominium, the Common Area Fee is still paid by the owner.
Sinking Fund is a fund set aside to use for future capital expense, such as major repairs of the building, elevators or the building would like to invest in any other capital and etc. Usually it is charged once at time of purchase, and only when and if this fund amount is used up, then all owners will be contacted to top it up again.
Transfer Fee is the land transfer fee approximately 1% of the property value paid to the government.
When you sell the property, there may be taxes payable as well as transfer fees, which will vary depending on how long you have owned the property, and what is agreed between the buyer and seller in terms of how the fees will be split.
WHO MANAGES THE COMMON AREAS OF MY CONDOMINIUM?
As per Thai Regulations, the management of the building is run by the Condominium Juristic Person (CJP) controlled by a management committee elected by the owners of the building. The CJP decides on how to run the building, including selecting external suppliers such as the property management company, additional rules and regulations and controlling the budget. As the developer, Raimon Land plays an active role in ensuring the CJP is fully supported within the bounds of the law.
The monthly Common Area Fee is compulsory for all owners to pay, and use of this money is controlled by the CJP. Each year the owners will be able to elect the Committee who oversees the CJP.
HOW DO I CONNECT INTERNET, CABLE TV, PHONE LINE ETC WITH MY NEW CONDOMINIUM?
After the handover, Raimon Land will continue to look after you.
Our concierge services at each of the building will have packages available for you to choose direct from the service provider of the internet, cable TV, telephone etc including many more suited to deliver convenience especially for foreign nationals. In the event of renting the property out, the renter typically will arrange internet and cable themselves.
CAN I RENT OUT MY CONDOMINIUM?
Yes, because Raimon Land develops in prime locations, we believe that there is good demand for our properties from the rental market.
Typically in Thailand, rental is for a period of 1 or 2 years, and the renter signs an agreement with the owner, paying a security deposit, a monthly rental fee, and takes care of water, power and internet/cable expenses unless otherwise agreed. Properties can be rented either with or without furniture, sometimes fully furnished may be easier to rent out – in the Thai market fully furnished generally means including fitted wardrobes etc, loose furniture, curtains/blinds, electronics and air-conditioning.
Owners can rent out using an agency, or can rent themselves, when using an agency, the exact terms will depend on the agency, often the fee is set at 1 month for an annual contract, and no further payments if the tenant chooses to renew. In some Raimon Land developments such as UNIXX South Pattaya, a resale & leasing office is provided as part of the building, and staff are there to assist with requests relating to rentals. We provide assistance for rental firstname.lastname@example.org
CAN I SELL MY CONDOMINIUM?
Yes, Raimon Land provides resale services, and there are also a number of capable 3rd party agents who can assist to market your property if you wish to use. In some Raimon Land developments such as UNIXX South Pattaya, a resale & leasing office is provided as part of the building, and staff are there to assist with requests relating to rentals. To speak to us contact email@example.com
About Raimon Land Public Company Limited
Listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), Raimon Land Public Company Limited (RML) is a real estate firm which specializes in the development of luxury residential city and resort properties. Over the years, Raimon Land has received numerous awards for its ability to deliver high quality residential properties with unique architecture and designs.
Since 2004, the company has completed 11 properties in Thailand, including the iconic 185 Rajadamri and The River in Bangkok, as well as Northshore, Northpoint and Zire Wongamat in Pattaya. Two properties are currently under construction –The Lofts Ekkamai in Bangkok and Unixx South Pattaya. The company plans to launch new Mews Yen Akat by Raimon Land, a Limited Edition housing estate, and The Lofts Asoke, a high-rise building in Bangkok’s CBD in 2015.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
© Copyright 2015 Raimon Land. All information provided is correct at the time of print, and is provided as a general guide only. Raimon Land will not be liable nor take responsibility for any decision made as a result of information provided in this guide which later proves to be incorrect.