Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Guide To Buying Property in Thailand

So you have fallen in love with Thailand? Like so many others before you, and the thousands that will follow? For whatever reason, you have chosen to own a property in Thailand? This could be for the long term prospect of making this wonderful country your permanent home, or as a potential investment, and/or for the pleasure of having a luxury holiday home in the sun. Whatever the reason, there are certain things you need to consider before jumping head-first into a purchase.

Naturally, what seems like a great idea at the time can often change after a full investigation of the pro’s and cons? There is certainly no reason not to consider such a purchase, but like any property deal back in Europe or the USA, it is advisable to carry out due diligence beforehand. Find out the facts before you sign anything, and be sure you have covered everything before you proceed.

Thailand is a wonderful country with some beautiful beaches, an amazing climate and a very laid back approach to life. All very appealing to the foreigner just off the plane from their stressful lifestyles back in Europe or the USA? But before you sign on the dotted line of a contract, please ensure all the necessary due diligence has been carried out, as it would have been back home.

Always seek professional legal advice and get a qualified registered lawyer

The first and probably most important decision you will make is to talk to a Thai registered, qualified lawyer who is respected and/or has been highly recommended. This is incredibly important as until you have some in depth knowledge of Thailand and the Thai real estate market, you will need professional and honest advice. A good, trustworthy Thai lawyer can assist you in so many ways, save you money and provide many answers to the numerous questions you undoubtedly will have? They can also help you avoid any unnecessary pitfalls created by your lack of understanding of the market, and will guide you through any language barriers.

Always remember when appointing a Thai lawyer, you are basically hiring his/her professional services in order to help protect you from any unforeseen pitfalls, guide you on Thai real estate law, help with any lack of understanding and/or protect you from any unscrupulous individuals that may be looking to take advantage of you. Lawyers are worth every baht they charge if they are honest, qualified and licensed. Hire a good one and they are an invaluable source of information and expertise.

A Good Law Firm will:

* Check the current owners have the correct title to the property
* Check for any charges and liabilities still owed on the property
* Check your contract and advise you on the obligations/responsibilities of all parties
* Guide you through the payment/funds transfer
* Ensure that the property is registered appropriately and in the correct name
* Provide valuable and essential legal information
* Advise on visa regulations and your options
* Safe guard you against unscrupulous persons wishing to take advantage



Ownership Laws for Foreign Buyers – Ask a Registered Thai Lawyer to Help

Currently the laws in Thailand only allow certain types of property to be purchased and owned on a freehold, and you need to know what they are. A Condominium is the first type that comes to mind and a very good option. But even with a condominium one needs to check the unit to be bought falls into the correct legal category. Check the laws governing this, and make sure you carry out all the right actions that create a smooth and hassle free purchase. As already mentioned, a licensed Thai lawyer will do all this for you, and they are worth very baht they charge! It is only the foolish who buys a 15 million baht property and then objects to pay a lawyer 50,000- 100,000 to deal with the transaction. A Thai lawyer is there to protect you and your hard earned money. Don’t be foolish, and always make sure you seek good legal advice. It can also be foolish, to go the cheap route and use any of the numerous unqualified legal advisers who offer ridiculously cheap legal assistance. Many, you often see in the back of tourist magazines, newspapers and occupying numerous street shops. Once again, be careful, take your time and be sensible. There are some excellent lawyers out there and you just need to find them.

As a foreign investor, there are also ways to lease property in Thailand for up to 30 years! Many are happy to choose this option as a freehold property can be owned by a foreign investor on leased land. And even then, there are ways to extend a 30 year lease, but not necessarily with a complete guarantee. Once again, check with a qualified, registered lawyer.

Buying on one of Thailand’s fabulous developments

There are numerous fabulous developments throughout Thailand and one should take their time looking. Decide on the location such as beach area, city, country side, and take the time to look at the various projects in that location. There are many locations to consider depending on where you wish to live. The main areas and popular choices are: Bangkok, Pattaya, Koh Chang, Rayong, Hua Hin, Cha Am, Chiang Mai, Ko Samui, Phuket, and Krabi. Each area has its advantages and disadvantages, and there are a wide variety of developments to choose from.

Make sure you deal with a reputable developer, one that can help you as much as possible. Ask your Thai lawyer to check any contracts and title deeds they may provide, and always seek legal advice before signing or paying for any property. If the developer is reputable and serious, they will fully understand the need for your lawyer to be involved and in fact should welcome it, as it shows they are open and honest with nothing to hide. A reputable developer should also be happy to provide all information as regards the building of the property you are purchasing, and any information regarding title deeds, ownership, communal areas, guarantees and whatever pertains to the successful purchase.

Building your own Home in Thailand – Exceptional Value for Money!

Building your own home is a fantastic option and probably the one that allows you to take full advantage of Thailand’s very reasonable prices. It allows you to get the most for your money. But once again, this can be problematic if you do not consult a professional, registered construction company. There are many unqualified builders out there, as in the West, and many are carrying out construction with no previous experience whatsoever. Some do it as a hobby, others foolishly do it as they think it’s an easy way to make money; and some even do it because they think it’s an easy thing to do. But as we know from Europe or USA the reason we have qualifications, the reasons we have regulations on construction, is because it is, a very complex task. If you wish your house to be built to a standard acceptable to international standards, then make sure you get a registered company to do it for you that can provide examples of their work as well as testimonials and references.

Make sure you use a Company with Construction Experience

Remember standards in Thailand vary widely and don’t be one of the many victims who end up with a home whose electrics are not earthed; windows have gaps around them, doors that do not fit, and structures that have no guarantees. Be sensible and careful. Ask the right questions and make sure the company you choose has a good reputation and is registered as a construction company, not as an individual or via their wife’s name. There is little come back if it is built under a person rather than a company, and any serious builder will have a registered company set up. But even then, make sure you ask the right questions, and make sure they have many years experience in construction.

1. If something sounds too go to be true; then it probably is?

A Registered Construction Company will:

* Assist and advise you on the prices, styles, types of property
* Provide recommendations, references or testimonials from satisfied clients
* Provide a synopsis of their experience within the construction industry
* Assist you with architectural plans and consult with you on them
* Make sure your plans are signed by both a qualified architect and structural engineer. Very important if you insure your property later on, as many insurance companies will contest any payouts for damage or problems, if the property construction was not carried out by professional people and/or was not designed by a qualified architect and checked/signed off by a structural engineer. So make sure it is.

·Make sure the architect provides you with a complete set of detailed plans and will provide copies for all government offices that require them

* Provide a professionally written legal contract, outlining both parties’ responsibilities and safeguarding both parties’ against disagreement or conflict. It should list all the particulars of the agreement and any additions, changes or alterations to the detailed plans. If specific materials or finish have been agreed, this should also be listed clearly with in it.
* Obtain official permission for your property to be built and provide the government with an documentation they require
* Provide a clear and concise construction payment schedule
* Offer stage payment options
* Provide full invoices for each construction stage
* Be available to answer questions and give advise throughout the construction process
* Provide guarantees

Find the Right Company and Build that Dream Home for a lot Less than you think!

Find the right construction company and you can build a quality luxury 4 bedroom house with pool for 7-10 million baht, a 3 bedroom bungalow for 3 million baht and an exclusive millionaire’s home for 25 million baht. The choice is yours to make on how much you wish to spend. However once again you need to check with a registered lawyer as regards the law and make sure you are able to do what you want to. Many foreigners who are married to Thai nationals choose this option to build and have a contract drawn out by their lawyer, between them and their wife. It satisfies their desire to live in their own home, safeguards them as much as possible and maximizes the money they have to spend. Once again seek good legal advice and there is no reason why you should have problems. The major plus point of building your own home and using a professional construction to do so, is you get so much more for your money than if you bought on a development and can customize the property to your own needs, preferences and budget.



Check all Your Options and Consider Everything Carefully

If you are married to a Thai national then there are other ways to purchase and complete your property ownership. As is the case if you are investing large sums of money into Thailand. There are so many aspects to consider and it is actually not so different to any country in the world. England and America have rules governing such activity albeit they have learnt fairly quickly that is far, far more beneficial to free up such laws, as foreign investment greatly benefits the economy. However this is still early days for Thailand and it will take time for the change to take place. But ultimately, you can buy property here and thousands do. As long as you know the laws, understand your position and are happy to buy on that basis, then you could be the proud owner of a luxury property that cost five times less than a similar property back home!

Check the Visa Regulations and any Taxes or Transfer Fees

Another aspect you need to consider, is how long you wish to stay in Thailand and what the visa regulations are in relation to your country of origin? There are various types of visas available and once again you should seek the advice of a registered Thai lawyer. It wouldn’t be a good idea to buy a beautiful property only to find out that you can only stay in Thailand for one month at a time right? So this needs careful consideration, and preparation.

Make sure you fully understand the taxes and transfer fees you may have to pay on final transfer of ownership. This is important and once again a good lawyer can help you with all of this.

Quick Purchase Guide

The Initial Purchase Agreement

The initial purchase agreement will detail price, terms and conditions, settlement date etc. and in most cases a 5-10% deposit will be required to secure the property. This deposit is refundable should the sale not go through, as long as it is not your fault.

Reservation Fee

When buying a new condominium, an initial reservation deposit of is required and this amount is deducted at a later stage from the total price. Once an agreement is signed, usually 10 to 15 days after the reservation, the buyer is required to pay 5% - 10% of the total price. Depending on the terms of the contract, the balance then could be due in installments or as a lump sum at the time the title is transferred

Fees

As a general rule, for residential sales you can expect the total fees and taxes to work out to be approximately 2% to 3% of the property market value.

There is a stamp fee of 0.5%, a transfer fee of 2%, a business tax of 3.3 % (levied against a vendor who has been in registered possession of the property less than 5 years), and income tax (similar to capital gains tax) at a variable rate.

Property Taxes

There are 2 different types of tax levied on property in Thailand:

1. Land Tax

This is an annual tax levied on land ownership. The amount is often so small that in practice the body charged to collect it rarely bothers to do so. When they do collect it, it is usually after several years when the amount has accumulated.

2. Structures Usage Tax

This only applies to commercially used properties. The rate is 12.5% on the actual or assessed gross rental value of the property. However, this notional value is well below the commercial market rental value.

If the property is purchased through a company, you need to consider that corporate tax is higher than personal tax, and the cost of setting up the company must be considered as part of the initial investment.

Capital Gains Tax

There is no capital gains tax in Thailand and income tax (usually between 1.0 - 3.0%) on property is the comparable replacement.

Finance

Mortgages in Thailand are still difficult to arrange. However, recently a new branch of the Bangkok Bank has opened in Singapore, which has opened up borrowing possibilities for property investment in Thailand, financing as much as 70% over 10 years for property purchase. You should expect to get no more than 50% in finance, with the exception to some well-known developments where finance of nearer 70% is available.

HSBC and UOB has a presence in Thailand and can offer loans of between 1,500,000 and 35,000,000 Thai Baht. Typically they will lend up to 80% of the purchase price and interest rates can be fixed for up to three years.

To buy a condo or another property with a loan, many purchasers get a mortgage in their home country and then transfer the money to a Thai bank account, while using a lawyer to oversee the logistics of the process.

But please check the current situation and speak with banks direct.

Please note: Laws and regulations do change and can vary, so please make sure you check with a qualified lawyer. The above information is only to offer an insight into the property world and not as an accurate guide. We are not legal experts and nor profess to be so. Always clarify everything with a lawyer and get an up to date perspective on your situation and any laws regulating what you wish to do in Thailand. The above article was written at a specific time and maybe regulations, taxes and laws have changed since this was created. We waiver any liability, legally or otherwise in its detailed accuracy and can not be held accountable in any way.

Thailand is an amazing place to live and a there are some wonderful real estate and investment opportunities. If you take care and be sensible, then you too can be the proud owner of an amazing new property at half the price it would cost in the west.

By Peter Evans

Forbes Le Brock is a professional and extremely helpful real estate agency specializing in general real estate and investment property throughout Thailand; and although they are not qualified legal advisors, they aim to provide as much accurate and up to date information in relation to property purchase, as possible. Any information they provide is by no means meant as a definitive guide, it’s just their way of providing a value added service. Please, always ensure you seek advice from a professionally qualified and registered Thai lawyer, and attain current information at the time of your purchase, or in interest of a purchase. If you are looking for unbiased investment advice or wish you to purchase a property in Thailand please contact: peter@forbeslebrock.com www.forbeslebrock.com or Skype: peterflb

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/real-estate-articles/a-guide-to-buying-property-in-thailand-1293004.html

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Address Asoke


The Address Asoke is the latest project by Asian Property (PLC). The project is located just opposite to Makkasan Terminal of Airport Rail Link and 150 metres away from MRT Phetchaburi station. The Address Asoke boasts an infinity-edged outsized swimming pool, the rooftop hot spa and mini theater. Start at 7.2 MB from 2 fully furnished bedroomed units.

Monday, October 26, 2009

China’s residential property market is unlikely to recover soon

China’s residential property market is unlikely to recover soon

Rents have moved up much less than prices in China over the past few years. As a result, in 5 cities in China - Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen – gross rental yields are now a modest 4.42%, based on a sample of high-end used apartments (www.globalpropertyguide.com).

Shanghai’s gross rental yields average only 3.74%. These are lowest gross rental yields in our China sample, but then Shanghai is the only city where apartment selling prices have apparently not dropped, according to the China Real Estate Index System (CREIS) and eHomeday. Shanghai residential asking prices average US$2,742 per square metre (sq. m.).

Beijing apartments earn slightly higher gross rental incomes of around 4.21%. These are the country’s most expensive apartments, with an average offer price of average US$2,977 per sq. m. for the high-end used apartments in our sample.

Chengdu also has rather low gross rental yields, an average of 3.88%. Chengdu apartments are the cheapest among the five cities, at US$1,060 per sq. m.

The highest rental yields are in Shenzhen, where apartments in our sample earn gross rental yields of 5.69%. The high-end used apartments in Shenzhen cost an average of US$ 1,780 per sq. m.

Guangzhou apartments earn mid-range gross rental yields of 5.41%. Our sample of Guangzhou apartment prices averages around US$1,577 per sq. m.

BACKGROUND IDEA – RENTAL YIELD

What does “gross rental yield” mean? It’s very similar to the Price / Earnings (P/E) ratio in the stock market. Just as share prices have a P/E range, house prices tend to fluctuate around a rental yield range, research shows.

The gross rental yield is the annual rental earnings / the value of the property.

So if the rent is US$5,000 and the property is worth US$100,000, the yield is 5%.

Our rule-of-thumb is that a gross rental yield of 6% to 7% means a housing market is ‘fairly valued’, though importantly, developing country housing markets usually have higher yields than developed, because of structural issues discouraging housing purchase such as the difficulty of getting mortgage finance.

Where yields (and rental costs) are comparatively low:

· People will prefer to rent, rather than to buy

· Investors are unlikely to ‘buy-to-let’

· Rents will tend rise faster than prices

Conclusion: No turnaround in China’s residential prices likely soon.

When the Chinese housing market was roaring ahead, rents moved up much less than prices. With the current market downturn, rents have dropped together with property prices (though slightly less). Gross rental yields now average a modest 4.42%.

Why are Chinese rental yields so low? Prices in China surged till September 2007, and then paused – and have not substantially dropped since then, according to CREIS, which uses a hedonic methodology (eHomeday arrives at closely similar results).

How far do gross rental yields need to rise in China? China’s gross rental yields of 4.42% are lower than would be expected in a developing economy. They are low, also, compared to other economies with similar income-per-capita.

We conclude that until one of two events occurs – more residential price falls, or substantial increases in rents - residential prices are unlikely to begin a sustained recovery in urban China.

The Chinese government has taken steps to support the market, such as temporarily suspending the business tax for residential property transfers, and encouraging cities to permit foreign purchases. China’s economy remains relatively strong, because of prompt government measures. Consumption spending is strong, restaurants are full, optimism remains high.

However, gross rental yields are still too low. Therefore, it is unlikely that there will be a convincing upturn in Chinese residential prices soon, the Global Property Guide believes.

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Requests for comments are best made by telephone to +(63) 917 321 7073. UK-based callers should telephone before lunchtime. Our local time is Hong Kong time, i.e., standard time + 8.00

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By The Global Property Guide

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/business-articles/chinas-residential-property-market-is-unlikely-to-recover-soon-848510.html

The Benefits of Manila Condo Living

The Benefits of Manila Condo Living

Manila Condominiums offers an alternative lifestyle especially if you are a young professional who wants to have a place to call your own or if you have a family and you want to have a secure and spacious living space that is affordable and more convenient than buying a conventional home.

Manila Condo living offers a different type of lifestyle and living conditions. It is cheaper that buying a conventional home or buying a Manila lot and then build a house later on. Manila condos offer you amenities like 24 hours maximum security, well guarded parking space, swimming pool and others that an individual cannot enjoy in any other type of home dwellings.

There are many Manila Condominiums available in Manila Real Estate of which can satisfy your needs and requirements. However, whatever type of Manila Condo you opt to buy, you should bear in mind that Manila condo living is different than living in a conventional home environment that you might accustomed to live.

The difference between living in a Manila Condominium and in Conventional home is the dual nature that comes with every condo unit homeownership. A Manila condo homeowner shares the responsibility over the operating and maintenance cost of shared spaces in the property such as lobby, passageways, elevators and other essential parts of the Manila Condominium complex.

A Manila condo unit is also cheaper than owning a single detached home which may take you years to save for before owning it. Living in a condo unit, you will also be able to enjoy the amenities and shared facilities like the pool, gym, function rooms, children center, gardens and others that are common in Manila condominium complexes. Also, as a Manila condo homeowner, you became a part of a unique community and take part in any decision making activity.

If high-rise living appeals to you, finding the right property is easy. There are many Manila Condominiums featured in Manila Real Estate agencies. These properties can range from luxurious Manila condos with elegant designs and spacious greenery which provide you with a healthy environment to grow and proper to affordable med-rise condo units.

One of these agencies which is considered to be Philippines best Real Estate firm is Umbrella Online. It is a diversified firm licensed to broker and manage properties in Manila such as Manila Condominiums as well as apartments in Manila, Manila lots and Manila rentals.

For more lists of Manila Condominiums and other Manila realty for sale visit http://www.umbrellaonline.com/.

By Cesar Marlo M Rivera

A computer professional who works on the internet helping Umbrellaonline increase its viewers through optimization and other internet links online. For top quality Manila realty visit us online at www.umbrellaonline.com.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/real-estate-articles/the-benefits-of-manila-condo-living-961060.html

Renting Tips for Expatriates in Singapore

Renting Tips for Expatriates in Singapore

Engage a Realtor

A professional property agent in Singapore will assist you and protect your interest throughout the purchase, secure the offer for you at the best possible price. With a much better knowledge of Singapore, the agent will be in a better position to recommend and advice on the choice of property. He will also ensure that all documents are in order and you are dealing with the rightful owner of the property.

Use Only 1 Agent

Most property companies share the same database of property listings in Singapore. Therefore use only ONE agent at a time. If you approach many agents at the same time, very likely that they will show you the same property. Much confusion and embarrassment will arise if you engage many agents. Using 1 agent, you will save valuable time for yourself and the agent. He will then understand your needs and requirements better after a few viewings. Only if they are incompetence, unresponsive or not showing the correct property you wanted, then start to look for another agent.

Singapore Expats Team has seen thousands of properties in Singapore throughout the years. Therefore, you can trust on us to provide tenants or buyers the correct recommendations. We have the largest property database in Singapore, it would be totally unnecessary for tenants and buyers to go through other realtors except us to avoid repetitive viewings of the same property.

Location and Price.

Deciding on the right location is very important and it will determine the convenience for you family and yourself. Price - budgeting yourself will also evaluate which are the areas and apartments or houses that are suitable for you. You have decided on take up a property and you need to prepare the following:

Documentation

* Photocopied passport
* Photocopied employment pass
* One month's rental for the goodfaith deposit

Your agent will then prepare the necessary documents for you such as the Letter of Intent and Tenancy Agreement.

Letter of Intent

The Letter of Intent, LOI for short, is a letter proposing your intention to lease and your requirements to the landlord. You should take note of the following:

1. Diplomatic or Repatriate Clause

This clause is to safe guard you if in the event you are no longer employed, transferred to other countries, you can terminate the lease after 12 months by giving 2 months notice. Thereafter, the security deposit will be refunded to you. Please note that most landlords will only include the diplomatic clause if the lease is more than a year.

2. Goodfaith Deposit (booking deposit)

This is the booking deposit, usually the amount is one month's rent. After the landlord signed the Letter of Intent and accept this deposit, he cannot rent the property to other party. This deposit will become part of the security deposit or advance rental after the Tenancy Agreement is signed.

3. Security Deposit

The amount of the security deposit is usually stated in the Letter or Intent. The standard practice in Singapore is usually one month's rent for every year of lease. It will only be payable upon signing of the Tenancy Agreement. When the lease term ends, the deposit will be refunded without interest. However, the landlord reserves the right to deduct from the deposit all costs and expenses arising from the tenant for breaching any of the covenants stated in the Tenancy Agreement.

4. Term of Lease

In Singapore, the standard lease period is more than 1 year, with or without an option to renew the lease. The lease renewal is usually for another 1 to 2 years. For the lease renewal option, the landlord would normally require that you give 2 or 3 months' advance notice of your intention to renew. Most landlords will not accept leases that are less than 1 year.

5. Your Requirements

Ensure that all your requirements and requests are stated in the Letter of Intent clearly. Like requesting a new sofa, new bed or new washing machine etc. After the landlord had signed the Letter of Intent, he is bound by the Letter to provide your requests.

Fully Furnished (F/Furn) or Partially Furnished (P/Furn) - Fully furnished means the apartment or house you are renting comes with all the furniture, white goods (refrigerator, washer and dryer) and all the essential electric appliances. Partially furnished apartments or house usually only comes with white goods, curtains, lightings or some other loose items. Although a house may be partially furnished at the time of viewing, you can always request the landlord to fully furnish it or request him to get the items you require. All these issues are always negotiation and will determine the final rental amount.

By John Media

Singapore Company Registration and Related Corporate Services Under-One-Roof. We provide a fast online service for company incorporation, private limited company formation, business registration and full corporate secretarial services in Singapore.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/real-estate-articles/renting-tips-for-expatriates-in-singapore-1256838.html

Ban Nub Kluen by Sansiri



Property of the month: Ban Nub Kluen by Sansiri

Sansiri PLC has just launched a brand-new condo situated just 15 minutes away from the city of Huahin. The project comprises of 180 units allowing you to spoil yourself in the area of Huahin beach. You can choose from 1 bedroom (58.00 - 63.00 sq.m ) unit to 3 bedrooms unit (161.00 - 280.00 sq.m). The projects boast 2 swimming pools and kid's pool, garden, 24-hour security by guard Service, CCTV. Price starts from 3.3 million baht. More infor , please visit

http://www.sansiri.com/th/project/baan_nubkluen/