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Property Purchase Plan

As explained already, foreigners cannot own property outright in Thailand. The idea is to ensure that land otherwise owned by foreigners reverts to Thai citizens at some point in the future.

The main reason why we recommend that you buy your own property (even if it's just an empty piece of land) is that rents are likely to increase dramatically over the coming years as Thailand grows into a fully developed country. When this happens then having your own property is a hedge against a signficant increase in your cost of living. Besides, as property values increase, there's a good chance that you can make enough of a return sometime in the future and use the capital to live off the remainder of your days - or simply have a rental income that you can use to supplement your regular income.

There are several legal ways to own property in Thailand (don't even think of the illegal ways, as the government does crack down on the loop-holes and shams every now and again).

The simplest is to buy a condo or a house in a private community. You get 100% ownership of your apartment or house and you can live in it, rent it, sell or will it.

But if you want your own land or house in the country or as an independent property in town then you have to find a Thai person to purchase it. Many people get a nominee who then writes an agreement that gives him no rights or controls. This is a loop-hole that is sometimes closed retrospectively and often on a whim.

Most people get their girlfriends or wives to buy the land outright in her name. She should really have evidence that she's earned the money somehow to be able to afford it, but as the propery belongs completely and utterly in her name, it's treated as a gift by you to her - and that's the end of it. The danger of course is if the relationship turns sour (or she simply gets greedy or bored of you), tell you to get lost and walks off with your property. Well, hers. There is nothing you can do.

However, if she subsequently leases the property to you then you can stay in it and develop it as though it belongs to you. Leases can only last 30 years - although the government is considering legisltation to increase this (don't hold your breath!) In theory, the lease can be extended for another 30 years, but whether your wife/girlfriend will be around (and also want to) extend the lease is another matter.

You can also obtain a usufructus agreement from her that basically allows you the use of the land for as long as you live. The local government could quibble as to what this means exactly as the law was really designed for agricultural use.

The major flaw in these schemes is that you cannot sell the land or give it to your heirs. Because it doesn't belong to you.

There is one other way that's quite popular. A "Thai Person" can also be a "Thai Company". You can set up a Thai company (although a Thai citizen must have majority ownership, and you only get to own 49% of the shares). The advantage is that as the director of the company, you can buy and sell land as though it's yours, so long as you get agreement from the majority owner - who does so by giving you power of attorney.

Why this is better than giving the money to your girlfriend/wife to buy is that the Thai majority owner is usually a disinterested third party. It's a safer way to keep control of your property. But it's relatively expensive and cumbersome to maintain, about $4,000 to set up and tax returns to complete every month, plus an audit once a year. It can be a useful way to remain in Thailand indefinitely, however, as you can obtain a Business Visa, and even a work permit. It's a little expensive and a little complicated to do, but otherwise fairly straight forward. We can help you with this and give you a check list of things to do to ensure everything goes smoothly - little mistakes or oversights cause considerable inconvenience and expensive.

This is where our Property Purchase Plan comes in.

The Property Purchase Scheme

This information is not available for the general public. The scheme is for people seriously considering coming to live in Thailand and who subsequently decide they want to purchase their own private property, not associated with a "corporate body", such as a condominium or gated community.

So far as we know, this is idea is unique in Thailand - so we don't want to divulge the scheme to just any casual visitor. Please sign up as a Private Member and then come back to this page to obtain more comprehensive details about the scheme.

The essence of it is that you will purchase the property through an already-established company, who will then lease it back to you for a period of 60 years (in two back-to-back 30-year leases).