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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear Forumers,

We are a couple living in Switzerland, and we would like to buy property in thailand as follows:

- one mid-size where we can relocate ourselves and live
- one small size touristic, which we can give for rent.

It would be of great help if you can route/advise us to (real) real estate agencies.

All the best,

B.
 
G

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Buying property in Thailand is a complicated business. There are restrictions that have been put in place to restrict foreign ownership. A foreigner cannot own land. He cannot buy a house in his own name. He can buy a condo subject too certain restrictions, but from your post I got the impression that you were looking for a house rather than an apartment in a condo building.

To buy a house there is a loophole whereby you can buy through a company that is 51% owned by sleeping partners - Thais - with you owning the remaining 49%. Many people have done this - theoretically the purchase contract precludes the Thais from having any role or powers.

Other foreigner/Thai couples have bought property in the Thai wife's name. But the Thais are cracking down on this now, as they see this as a back door way for foreigners to invest in the country. Thailand is determined to keep control of its assets, its property market.

The next problem you have is the visa. Have you considered this aspect? Thailand does not hand out visas easily either. To give you more information on this, I would need to know if the move is for retirement, or work, or whatever. If you wish to retire there - and you need to be over 50 for this - the visa situation is slightly easier. But you need proof of pension income and/or a sizeable sum deposited in a Thai bank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here are our details:
- i am 41 - Turkish, working as a IT director in a multinational company
- my girlfriend is 33 - French/German, working as a HR specialist in the same company

Indeed we are wishing to leave our jobs, relocate ourselves to Thailand and maybe look for some more business opportunities there.

As you mentioned we also have some concerns:
- do we need sort of entry/residence permits for thailand for such investment purpose
- as a beginning, we do not need to buy a house, a nice condo can also do for us.

Many thanks for help, that would really support us.

Bora
 
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There are some types of investment visa, but very large sums are involved - and they are for government approved investments, or investments in Thai companies, a complicated affair. Buying a reasonably expensive condo doesn't work any more. Work visas are also difficult to get - there are rules governing the kind of business that may be run, ownership (the maximum 49% rule again), minimum numbers of Thai employees for every non-Thai employed.)

Working for established businesses is also fraught with difficulty. Unless you have a skill that no Thai has, you are in with no chance. Teachers of English are still needed, but for a bona fide job you need a TEFL diploma, plus a degree.

As I said retirement visas are for the over 50s, so that's out. Family visas too (for rejoining a family member, spouse, child).

Not a lot left. You can get a study visa if you enrol for a course somewhere - the validity of the visa being linked to the length of the course.

Otherwise you're left with a maximum 3 month tourist visa. Thailand isn't very welcoming in this respect! They only want the ultra wealthy, students, a few English teachers, retired people with guaranteed funding, people with skill sets that Thais don't have, and those married to Thais.

Other SE Asian countries are more flexible in this respect. I think you need to look around a little more at the various options. Thailand is a lovely place to visit, but between visiting and actually obtaining expat status, there are a lot of hurdles to overcome unfortunately.

Have you spent much time in Thailand before?
 

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Investment Visas are back.... since November last year. Invest more than 10Million Baht in property and you qualify. The amount is not so huge, and certainly not if you are used to Swiss proerty prices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Pete, many thanks for your response. Indeed we would like to move to asia pacific any proper chance we would like to pick - Thailand was the first location coming to our minds, as it is pretty popular. What else there would be an option?

Winkie, thanks a lot too - so by swiss means it is around an investment of CHF 300000, and compared to Switzerland, yes, absolutely it is really acceptable - but still a good deal of money :)

Any other or additional good ideas?

Bora
 
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To begin with I would suggest a three month tourist visa, spending time based in Thailand, and visiting say Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia. There are pros and cons attached to all of these, and only an on the spot tour is going to help orientate you. Rental accommodation is very cheap. Meeting and talking to expats on the ground will give you a better idea of your options.

Some of these countries are more accommodating to would be immigrants from Europe. On the other hand there are always issues of political stability, fraudulent investment projects, corruption, you name it - the hazards are many, particularly if you are looking to invest substantial sums.

How much time have you spent in SE Asia before - how well do you know the various countries?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I spent a month mainly in malaysia, and a couple of days in Singapore. never been to Thailand indeed.
 
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