Written by Bill Gladstone
Having lived as an expat in Thailand for years, I know how difficult it can be to purchase a condominium.
For many of my friends, this is a regular topic of conversation and there are rarely any straightforward answers. Word of mouth often gets the best results, as often you need to know someone who knows someone to help you get this done.
Finding a property is not as simple as contacting an agent hoping they will understand all your needs and represent your best interests. For example, I’ve seen the same condo unit listed with different agents, but at different prices. The fair market price is often hard to find.
This on its own can be a big problem. After multiple rounds of tough negotiations on a condo unit in the Sathorn Road area, a colleague of mine needed a loan to complete the purchase. Unfortunately, the price he and the seller agreed upon was well above the loan value the lender was willing to give. Eventually, the deal fell through and he had to start searching for a home again.
Now seems to be a good opportunity to buy as market prices are becoming more reasonable. With Covid-19 worries and a weak economy, I’ve heard that both developers and resellers are willing to be more reasonable on price as they have been sitting on unsold units for longer periods of time over the past few quarters. This is also a good time to look at refinancing if you already own a condo, as the banks are offering more attractive interest rates.
Recently, one friend of mine from Hong Kong did really well by starting his search with the lender first. In his case, UOB Bank’s international mortgage team was able to take his information upfront and clearly explain what he would need to do to secure financing once he found a home he was happy with. Based on his financial status, they were able to advise how much he could borrow, what type of interest rate he could expect, and help him prepare some of the paperwork in advance. Armed with this knowledge, my friend was able to find a condo unit in the Sukhumvit area both he and his wife liked, agree on a fair price with the seller and close the transaction as painlessly as possible. My friend said that with few professional mortgage lenders available to expats in Thailand, having the financing in place in advance provided real peace of mind in concluding his purchase of his home.
If you’re an expat living here or abroad, and are ready to buy a condo in Thailand, doing your homework in advance can really save you time, money and prevent disappointment.
If you need any assistance in purchasing a residential condo in Thailand, we are very happy to refer you to a professional international mortgage team. And if you have a personal experience to share related to this topic please do not hesitate to send it to Jen Meckhayai, the Executive Director of CanCham Thailand at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit your inquiry here.