Is Foreign Ownership of Real Estate in Thailand Possible?

Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries in Asia to live in. There are many islands and resorts there that can blow your mind and take your breath away. Moreover, the Bangkok area is experiencing many improvements and developments, particularly the development of the MRT and BTS systems around the area. This means that this is the best time to invest in real estate in Thailand!

However, if you are a foreigner who is currently expatriated in the country or someone who plans to expatriate to the country, you are going to encounter some hurdles in trying to make this investment although it is not impossible for you to make that investment. As long as you educate yourself to what routes you can take and the risks or disadvantages involved, you are good to go.

Ways a Foreigner Can Buy Land in Thailand
There are three ways in which you can make an investment in real estate in Thailand. These are the following methods that you can avail of if you want to own real estate in the country.

1. Buy a condominium

Under Thai law, particularly Thailand’s Condominium Act of 1979, it is legal for a foreigner to have 100% ownership of a condominium unit in the country. However, this is only possible if the 49% of the total number of units allocated for foreign ownership has not been sold out yet. That should not be a problem. In fact, this route is the easiest one to take if you are interested in owning real estate in Thailand.

2. Establish a limited company and have partial ownership

If you are looking to establish a business in Thailand, then you can also own real estate in the name of your company. You have to own at most 49% of the total shares in this company, and the 51% remaining to be allocated for your local investors, in order to legally put real estate under the company’s assets. While others view this as a risk, you actually control majority of the company by singularly controlling 49% of the shares while the remaining 51% would have to be split up between more than three investors.

3. Buy land under the name of your spouse

It is not at all uncommon for expatriates to be married to a local Thai, and this gives you a legal prerogative to purchase real estate without having to go through the hassles of setting up a legal entity. However, this option requires that you purchase real estate under the name of your spouse. This puts you at risk especially when you run into marital problems that could lead to divorce because, legally, it is your spouse that owns the property.

The option you take, of course, would depend entirely on your circumstances. Most expats would choose the condominium method because it is more convenient for them, but others – especially those who are in Thailand for business and would want a place to house foreign
employees – would prefer option two. Still, foreigners in a loving relationship with a local will want to risk going for option three.

Finally, seek out a good real estate agent or a legal advisor, research thoroughly on the legal aspect of the investment and you should be well on your way to making your first investment in Thailand.

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