Purchasing Real Estate as An Expat in Thailand


Thailand is a fantastic place to move to and if you have already done so, you will understand why buying Thai real estate could make you money. Bangkok is one of the best places in the country to purchase real estate, as this is where the money is and where most people flock to. Before you consider purchasing a place in Thailand, there are some rules and regulations that need to be followed. Here is a quick guide for expats looking to get into the real estate business.

The Law

If you are from the United States, Thailand and the US have a treaty in which US citizens that move to this country can have full ownership of condos erected on Thai land. However, you must set up a Thai Limited Company, which once authorized, puts you on the property ladder. Despite this, US citizens still cannot purchase houses, as these are touching Thai land and, therefore, a Thai national must own part of them. If you are not a US citizen, purchasing land is even more difficult. When setting up a company, it must be at least 51% Thai owned. If you are going into business with a Thai friend or partner, this means they must be a majority shareholder of the company.

Condos Are Your Best Option

Because of the various laws and restrictions that apply to many expats, condos or apartments are your best bet in hitting the real estate market in Thailand. Unlike owning land, condos can be fully owned by yourself, without the need to find a Thai business partner. If you want to get into real estate in Bangkok, find a property agent that can assist you in finding the best condos. Property agents here know what sells and which condos are in the best locations for business.

Getting A Loan

As an expat in Thailand, getting a loan from a Thai bank can be difficult. Expats that have worked and lived in the country for years, even with work permits or a marriage license, can still be refused. It may be easiest to apply for a loan from the country you are a citizen in. If your property is going to be purchased under your name, an expat is classed as a foreigner and, therefore, the money that is used to pay for a property must come from an overseas bank anyway.  

No Taxes

Although getting around the Thai laws can seem like a pain, there is good news and benefits to getting into real estate here. Expats who own property, for example, a condo, will not have to pay property tax. Both house and land taxes in Thailand do not apply to those who just own a condo rather than land. There are taxes that apply when you buy and sell a condo though.

Understanding where you stand as an expat when purchasing real estate means you have a clear idea of what you can purchase yourself if you do not have a Thai business partner. Condos are the safest option and Bangkok is the most popular place to own a condo.


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