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The guide for your real estate purchase in Koh Samui — Thailand!

Here Doc­tor Prop­er­ty presents all the impor­tant infor­ma­tion that you should con­sid­er when buy­ing a prop­er­ty in Thai­land. How­ev­er, this infor­ma­tion applies only to non-Thai nation­als. We would also like to invite you to vis­it our blog reg­u­lar­ly. There we report about changes and new inter­est­ing real estate projects.

Basic considerations before you buy a property in Koh Samui — Thailand!

A pur­chase deci­sion for a prop­er­ty should always be well con­sid­ered. Here, it is par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant to inform your­self in advance about the cur­rent legal sit­u­a­tion and to seek legal advice. Doc­tor Prop­er­ty rec­om­mends you some good law firms if you wish. Of course, we will always be avail­able to advise you. For this top­ic you should take some time and under­stand every­thing before you buy a prop­er­ty in Thai­land. Here in Thai­land, the pro­ce­dure is cer­tain­ly some­thing dif­fer­ent than what you know, for exam­ple, from your home coun­try. Like­wise, the same rules apply here for real estate acqui­si­tion, as else­where. Is the loca­tion of the prop­er­ty good? Do you have a rep­utable estate agent? How expen­sive may the new prop­er­ty be? Do I need a financ­ing? Do I want to use this prop­er­ty myself, or rent it com­mer­cial­ly?

If you have a clear answer to all these ques­tions, Doc­tor Prop­er­ty would like to help you find the right prop­er­ty. We see our­selves as an inde­pen­dent real estate agent and are very famil­iar with the pecu­liar­i­ties of the mar­ket on Koh Samui. We can com­pe­tent­ly assist you in the loca­tion as well as in the val­u­a­tion of the prop­er­ty.

Is financing through a Thai bank possible?

Many inter­est­ed peo­ple are think­ing of buy­ing a prop­er­ty in Thai­land, espe­cial­ly in Koh Samui. In recent years, the inter­est rate pol­i­cy of the banks was very friend­ly, almost invit­ing to a pos­si­ble real estate loan. Many prop­er­ties have even been ful­ly financed in their home coun­tries. From this con­sid­er­a­tion, the idea grows to finance a prop­er­ty in Thai­land well and cheap­ly. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, in 95% of cas­es, this game of thought does not work in Thai­land. Fund­ing through a Thai bank is almost impos­si­ble for a non-Thai cit­i­zen. In very few cas­es, cus­tomers evade a lend­ing insti­tu­tion in Hong Kong. Also, there are only a few cas­es a chance of suc­cess, if you speak with your house bank and want to apply for a loan. How­ev­er, some small devel­op­ment com­pa­nies offer some devel­op­ment com­pa­nies that offer their own project with financ­ing. Some of these offers can also be found at Doc­tor Prop­er­ty. Nev­er­the­less, you should go with the hir­ing of a 100% self-financ­ing to the prop­er­ty search.

Would you like to buy your property in Koh Samui — Thailand as a pure investment?

If you play with this idea, then you should seek com­pe­tent advice. It is impor­tant to con­sid­er in advance which type of prop­er­ty is best. Whether it’s a vil­la, a town­house, a con­do, or a con­do­mini­um. It should also be not­ed which prop­er­ty title this prop­er­ty car­ries. This is usu­al­ly very impor­tant for a resale. Also a con­sid­er­a­tion of the expen­di­tures, as for exam­ple the main­te­nance expen­di­tures, secu­ri­ty and the man­age­ment costs are part­ly quite dif­fer­ent. You should also con­sid­er which object gen­er­ates high demand. Are they 3-bed­room vil­las, or just the two-bed­room apart­ment? After all these con­sid­er­a­tions, seri­ous pro­jec­tions of returns can be made. Here too, some devel­op­ment com­pa­nies offer guar­an­teed returns on their own real estate. You can also find some offers here at Doc­tor Prop­er­ty.

Take some time for this and look at the rental price mar­ket in Koh Samui. Take a look at the rel­e­vant rental por­tals, such as booking.com, agoda.com, or airbnb.com and get an impres­sion of which type of prop­er­ty is in high demand and good rat­ing. Some­times even the less con­sid­ered choice is a small vil­la with its own pool.

Property types: individual property, community facilities, or apartment complexes?

On Koh Samui you have the choice between all these dif­fer­ent species. You can opt for the sin­gle vil­la on a hill­side with a fan­tas­tic sea view, a com­mu­ni­ty of many vil­las, to an apart­ment com­plex in the city. Every type of prop­er­ty has its autho­riza­tion. For exam­ple, many investors like the ben­e­fits of a com­mu­ni­ty invest­ment. This includes 24-hour secu­ri­ty, reg­u­lat­ed main­te­nance, clean­ing and a com­pre­hen­sive ser­vice pack­age, from book­ing to cus­tomer care. How­ev­er, if you are look­ing for a prop­er­ty for your own use, you may pre­fer the qui­et loca­tion and the greater pri­va­cy of a sin­gle vil­la. Here you have to make the right choice for your­self. Doc­tor Prop­er­ty will also be pleased to show you dif­fer­ent exam­ples so that you can make your right choice.

Deposit / Reservation of the property in Koh Samui — Thailand

If you decid­ed after all research and con­sid­er­a­tions to pur­chase a prop­er­ty and have already found the right one, then it is cus­tom­ary on Koh Samui and Thai­land to make a small down pay­ment on your prop­er­ty. As a rule, it is 100,000 THB for an apart­ment and 200,000 THB for a vil­la. This pay­ment is gov­erned by a pre­lim­i­nary con­tract and the prop­er­ty is tak­en off the mar­ket. As a result, you now have the option of arrang­ing the pur­chase agree­ment togeth­er and sub­ject­ing the desired prop­er­ty to a risk assess­ment (due dili­gence) once again. There are usu­al­ly 4 to 6 weeks avail­able. The design of the down pay­ment con­tract or reser­va­tion con­tract is indi­vid­ual. Some­times the devel­op­ment com­pa­ny will pro­vide you with a copy, or you may even design a con­tract with the own­er of the prop­er­ty. There are no spe­cif­ic con­di­tions for this.

Perform due diligence / risk assessment of the property

Before sign­ing the main pur­chase con­tract, you should instruct your legal rep­re­sen­ta­tive to review all risks.
Which includes:

  • Is there a legal right of access to your prop­er­ty?
  • Do the sell­ers even have the right to sell this prop­er­ty?
  • Are debts, mort­gages, or liens on this prop­er­ty reg­is­tered?
  • Are legal reg­u­la­tions (con­struc­tion law) ignored?
  • If the sale is reg­u­lat­ed by a com­pa­ny, then please check what is still in the com­pa­ny and whether it is debt-free and all tax­es have been paid!

New construction projects (off — plan real estate) on Koh Samui — Thailand

At Doc­tor Prop­er­ty you will find some new con­struc­tion projects. Our clients often ask them­selves, how safe is my invest­ment in such a planned real estate project? The real estate mar­ket on Koh Samui has gained impor­tance only in recent years. The pop­u­lar­i­ty of the island and the yield oppor­tu­ni­ties in real estate let­ting increase the prop­er­ty mar­ket from year to year. For this rea­son, there are cur­rent­ly many devel­op­ment com­pa­nies to mar­ket these new projects. Con­cern for such projects is not shared by our Doc­tor Prop­er­ty team. Of course, there may be small dif­fer­ences between the mar­ket­ing brochures and the fin­ished vil­la, but usu­al­ly you will also receive the prop­er­ty as promised to you when you sold it. The com­put­er tech­nol­o­gy and 3D design make many things pos­si­ble today and the cus­tomer gets a very good idea of ​​his future prop­er­ty. Sim­i­lar­ly, with off-plan devel­op­ment you have some finan­cial head­room. You do not need to pro­vide the entire cap­i­tal from the begin­ning. After a down pay­ment you usu­al­ly pay in sec­tions. Com­plete­ly depen­dent on the con­struc­tion progress. This also gives you a secu­ri­ty only to pay for what has already been built. Anoth­er advan­tage of such a new con­struc­tion project is the co-deter­mi­na­tion dur­ing the con­struc­tion process. Here, many devel­op­ment com­pa­nies have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to adapt the type of mate­ri­als, col­or and inte­ri­or design to their wish­es. Anoth­er big advan­tage is that at the begin­ning you have the free choice of the prop­er­ty. As a rule, the vil­las, or apart­ments with the best view, or the best loca­tion are sold first. In this case, it is real­ly impor­tant to decide on the right prop­er­ty in a time­ly man­ner. From our expe­ri­ence, new con­struc­tion projects are sold in a very short time. Often the objects are only 6 months on the mar­ket. Feel free to send us your con­tact details and we at Doc­tor Prop­er­ty will reg­u­lar­ly send you new projects via email.

Important excerpts of the building codes and environmental regulations of Koh Samui — Thailand

An essen­tial part of the build­ing reg­u­la­tions on Koh Samui is the depen­dence of the dis­tance of the prop­er­ty to the beach. The plan­ning per­mis­sion obtained in the munic­i­pal office and is of course manda­to­ry here before con­struc­tion to have the approval for it.

  • If your prop­er­ty is with­in a 10 meter radius of the beach, then you may not build there at all.
  • If your prop­er­ty is with­in a 50 meter radius of the beach, then you may only build a sin­gle storey house. Max­i­mum height here is 6 meters (with roof), max­i­mum build­ing area is 75 m2
  • If your prop­er­ty is with­in a 200 meter radius of the beach, then you may only build a max­i­mum of 12 meters high and an area of ​​2,000 m2 may not be exceed­ed.
  • If your prop­er­ty is locat­ed out­side of 200 meters, then you may only build a max­i­mum of 12 meters high.
  • If your plot is under 80 meters above sea lev­el, there will only be restric­tions on hotels and vil­la projects of more than 10 vil­las. For nor­mal vil­las there are no pro­vi­sions
  • If your plot is between 80 and 140 meters above sea lev­el, then you may build a detached house if your plot is larg­er than 400 m2. The max­i­mum height of 6 meters must also be respect­ed and half of the prop­er­ty can only be built on. Like­wise, the design must fit har­mo­nious­ly into the land­scape. You should def­i­nite­ly seek the help of expert archi­tects.
  • If your plot is over 140 meters above sea lev­el, then essen­tial­ly the same applies as before, but with the fur­ther restric­tion that you may only cul­ti­vate 90 m2 of land.
  • If your plot is above 140 meters and your land is between 35 and 50 degrees, then you may only build one house with a floor area of ​​80 m2. Like­wise, only 25% of the land is to be cul­ti­vat­ed. 50% must remain open space, 25% usable space. The plot size must total at least 480 m2.
  • If the slope is greater than 50 degrees, then a new build­ing is pro­hib­it­ed.

Guarantees from the developer for your villa, or apartment in Koh Samui — Thailand

  • Apart­ments / Con­do­mini­ums with reg­is­tered gov­ern­ment title: Here you will usu­al­ly receive a 5 year war­ran­ty on the shell and 2 years on the entire prop­er­ty. How­ev­er, some prop­er­ty devel­op­ers also offer high­er guar­an­tees here.
  • Prop­er­ty projects not reg­u­lat­ed by the state: Here you must check the terms of the guar­an­tee your­self with the prop­er­ty devel­op­er. There are no guide­lines for this. In gen­er­al, some devel­op­ers give a 10-year war­ran­ty on the shell.

Legislation on acquisition of real estate in Koh Samui — Thailand

Buying a house or a villa

First of all, the Thai law clear­ly reg­u­lates the rules for the acqui­si­tion of land for for­eign­ers. For­eign nation­als are not allowed to buy Thai land. It is only allowed to pur­chase build­ings or hous­es. There are now only 3 options on how to own prop­er­ty in Thai­land.

  1. Option (Lease­hold): As a for­eign nation­al, you can also set up a lease (lease­hold) over the land / prop­er­ty. This is usu­al­ly valid for 30 years and already includes options for fur­ther lease exten­sions. If you wish, oth­er con­di­tions can be inte­grat­ed. For exam­ple, at matu­ri­ty a pos­si­ble pur­chase option.
  2. Option: You are invest­ing over 40 mil­lion baths in Thai­land and the Gov­ern­ment (Board of Invest­ment) will allow you to buy land up to a size of 1 Rai (1,600 m2) for res­i­den­tial pur­pos­es.
  3. Option (Free­hold): Open a Thai lim­it­ed com­pa­ny (Thai lim­it­ed com­pa­ny). This com­pa­ny will car­ry out and main­tain the pur­chase of land / land. The prop­er­ty is then entered into your com­pa­ny. How­ev­er, a for­eign nation­al may only hold a max­i­mum of 49% of the shares in the com­pa­ny. For each for­eign share­hold­er, you need 3 oth­er Thai co-part­ners to start the com­pa­ny.

Exam­ple 1: A for­eign cit­i­zen founds the com­pa­ny, he owns only 49% of the shares. He needs 3 more Thai part­ners.
Exam­ple 2: Two for­eign nation­als set up the busi­ness, but can only own 49% of the shares them­selves. You now need anoth­er 6 Thai part­ners.

The foun­da­tion of the com­pa­ny must always be done through a lawyer. The lawyer usu­al­ly also pro­vides the nec­es­sary Thai share­hold­ers. These share­hold­ers are only of a pas­sive nature and will make an annu­al allowance. They, as for­eign nation­als are appoint­ed to the direc­tor (CEO). Only you are autho­rized to sign and man­age the for­tunes of the com­pa­ny. The statute of the com­pa­ny is designed so that only you have the con­trol of the com­pa­ny. When the com­pa­ny is found­ed, an open share trans­fer form will be signed by the Thai Share­hold­ers. With this doc­u­ment you, as direc­tor, can arbi­trar­i­ly exchange the remain­ing share­hold­ers, if nec­es­sary.

You now have the right to resell or lease your prop­er­ty. You are also per­mit­ted to trans­fer your rights to oth­er per­sons. Of course, the com­pa­ny you set up is bound by applic­a­ble laws. This means you must com­plete the account­ing and share­hold­er meet­ings at pre­scribed inter­vals. Like­wise, you should pay the tax­es on time. All these reg­u­la­to­ry mat­ters are han­dled by lawyers. The for­eign investor only gives the order to the admin­is­tra­tion. The total annu­al man­age­ment fee and share­hold­er fee is an aver­age of 20,000 THB .

If you have acquired the land with the help of the Thai com­pa­ny, it is also advis­able to pur­chase the house, or the vil­la in the same con­stel­la­tion. Although it allows law­mak­ers to 100% for­eign owned build­ings. By this vari­ant, simul­ta­ne­ous pos­ses­sion of house and prop­er­ty by the Thai com­pa­ny you can use many tax advan­tages.

Differences in the different land or land titles

Again, there are dif­fer­ences in leg­is­la­tion in Thai­land. In essence, two titles are rel­e­vant to for­eign nation­als. On the one hand, this is the title “Chan­ote” and “Nor For Sam Kor”. We would like to explain to you both in the fol­low­ing.

Title “Chanote” (Chanote ti din):

This title is the best land title for the own­er, or investor. He is the best title of the sur­vey accu­ra­cy. Like­wise, the chan­ote title can be trans­ferred very eas­i­ly and quick­ly. All titles are issued by the respec­tive Land Author­i­ty. Opti­cal­ly, the titles can be dis­tin­guished just as well for for­eign­ers. The chan­ote title is always cre­at­ed in red. On site, the land is also marked with a post in the ground.

Title “Nor Sor Sam Kor”:

The dif­fer­ence to the above described title “Chan­ote”, is the accu­ra­cy of the mea­sure­ment. This can lead to minor inac­cu­ra­cies. The trans­fer to anoth­er own­er takes a lit­tle longer. The doc­u­ment is issued in black.

Title “Nor Sor Sam”:

This title is the most inac­cu­rate, of all three titles. There are big devi­a­tions from the sur­vey. Mea­sure­ment tol­er­ances can be up to 20%. In the event of a trans­fer / sale, a pub­lic announce­ment must be made 30 days in advance. The title “Nor Sor Kor” is cre­at­ed in green.

Buy an apartment / condominium, or a condominium

If you would like to acquire a con­do­mini­um in a large apart­ment com­plex, then there is the pos­si­bil­i­ty that you can acquire it 100% as a for­eign­er. But only if not more than 49% of the pri­vate liv­ing space is held by for­eign­ers in the entire facil­i­ty. This mod­el is referred to as Con­do Free­hold.

If it is no longer pos­si­ble to use this dis­tri­b­u­tion, then you have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to pur­chase this apart­ment through the mod­els already described. Either you start a Thai com­pa­ny, or you can lease / rent this apart­ment for 30 years.

Which visa is required for a purchase of real estate in Koh Samui — Thailand?

For­eign cit­i­zens have 3 types of visas avail­able. With each of these visas you are also enti­tled to pur­chase a prop­er­ty in Thai­land. We would like to intro­duce you to the dif­fer­ent types.

  1. The nor­mal tourist visa: With this visa you are not allowed to work in Thai­land. You will receive the visa upon arrival and you can stay in Thai­land for a total of 30 days with this visa. A one-time exten­sion of anoth­er 30 days is pos­si­ble and can be request­ed, for exam­ple, here on Koh Samui (Samui Immi­gra­tion Office). The fee for this is THB 1,900. The pro­cess­ing takes only a few hours.
  2. The Non Immi­grant Visa: This visa can only be obtained through a Thai embassy abroad. Over­all, this visa is valid for one year. How­ev­er, you have to leave the coun­try every 3 months for a short time. You can apply for this visa if you want to work in Thai­land or own a com­pa­ny (cap­i­tal val­ue greater than THB 2 mil­lion). Or you have a Thai fam­i­ly. Or the third vari­ant would be the so-called “Retire­ment Visa”. For this, you must be over 50 years of age and have suf­fi­cient finan­cial resources, or be able to prove that your pen­sion is paid to you each month.
  3. The Res­i­dent Visa: — These visas are not avail­able to most for­eign­ers. For this, the Thai lan­guage must be able to read and write. Fur­ther­more, you should have very good finan­cial resources and influ­en­tial local con­tacts that act as ref­er­ences for you.

What taxes and fees do I have to pay for a property purchase in Koh Samui — Thailand?

Acquisition of a property through a company takeover:

If you pur­chase a prop­er­ty in Thai­land through a takeover of anoth­er com­pa­ny, you will not be charged any tax­es or fees. It’s more about a stock trans­fer here. The prop­er­ty still belongs to the same com­pa­ny after the acqui­si­tion. If the acquired com­pa­ny is a Thai com­pa­ny then you only have to pay a cer­tain stamp duty (paid to the gov­ern­ment) of 0.1%. For the design, the val­ue of your shares is deci­sive here. If you are the divest­ment, you must tax your income. As a rule, this is the income tax on cap­i­tal gains.

Acquisition of a property without a company takeover:

Here in the true sense of a real trans­fer of the prop­er­ty to anoth­er own­er. For this, you must expect gov­ern­ment fees and tax­es of up to 6% of the pur­chase price. There are still dif­fer­ences between a lease (lease), or a con­tract of sale.

Lease, or rent a property (leasehold):

If you only want to rent / rent a prop­er­ty, you will have to pay both a stamp duty of 0.1% and a rental reg­is­tra­tion fee of 1%. Here, the total dura­tion and the total rent are used for the cal­cu­la­tion. Usu­al­ly, the sell­er pays the stamp duty and the rental reg­is­tra­tion fee is shared in half. The sell­er may have to pay tax on his return on cap­i­tal gains.

Ownership also the “freehold” model:

There are dif­fer­ent types of tax­es and fees due. It is also dis­tin­guished whether the sell­er does this com­mer­cial­ly or he acts in a pri­vate nature. A hold­ing peri­od of the prop­er­ty of 5 years has to be con­sid­ered. In this case, a trade tax is applied. Oth­er­wise, there are fees, with­hold­ing tax, trade tax or stamp duty for the free­hold mod­el trans­fer.

The Land Office esti­mates the val­ue of your prop­er­ty and deter­mines from this the trans­fer tax to be paid. As a rule, this val­ue is sig­nif­i­cant­ly low­er than your pur­chase price. The fee is cur­rent­ly 2% of the esti­mat­ed val­ue.

Do you have any other questions?
We will be happy to assist you.

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