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You definitely need to know this before buying an apartment in Thailand

Table of contents

1. New building ≠ no problems

2. The management company can work well. Or maybe it won't work at all

3. 200 meters from the beach (across a huge highway), this is a terrible option

4. It's not in the center, but everything is there. And even a 7-Eleven is being built

5. What's going on in the apartment above you

6. Price is not an indicator of the quality of an apartment

7. There are also good apartments and (probably) even more of them

8. There are also good apartments, but it’s not clear why you should buy them

Conclusion


Theory and practice (as they sometimes say “Expectation vs Reality”) are sometimes so different that it can create comical situations.

But it would not be funny at all for a home buyer (usually this is the main purchase of a lifetime, some even pay for it for half their life) if after the purchase he discovered that this apartment does not make him happy.

What is needed to buy an apartment so that it makes us happy and we can live in it without any problems? Save money (I’m also one of those who hopes to do this before death 😵), choose an apartment in good condition in a fresh building and check the purity of the contract with the help of a lawyer. A good recipe for a happy housewarming? This is what you might consider “expectation”. Further in the text you will understand what exactly the “reality” of buying your own home is.

I have been living in rented housing for many years, but I learned even more information not from my own experience, but from the experience of my wife, who works for the Juristic Person (management company) of a condominium in Pattaya (she managed to change several condominiums).

I hope you correctly understood my sentiment – the purpose of this note is not to gloat, but to warn. I myself dream of getting my own home in Thailand, so this is something of a warning for myself, too.

1. New building ≠ no problems

One day, while picking up my wife from work, I asked

– Why is the building all cracked, is it old?

– No, he is less than 10 years old. Apparently the climate is like this…

I myself come from places where the temperature changes from -35°C to +35°C throughout the year, and I myself live in a house that will celebrate its centenary in a couple of decades, but the walls there are not cracking.

Well, if this is not an indicator, there are plenty of buildings in Pattaya where the walls do not crack – I myself live in one of these.

That is, the problem lies in construction. I know of at least one very large company where all the houses I see are less than 10 years old and they are all cracked.

I asked my wife at my new place of work – why is there such an interesting decorative pattern on all the buildings? It turned out that these were cracks – all the buildings belonging to one condominium were covered with cracks. This condo is 7 years old.

But in these two cases the buildings are at least not tall. In another place where my wife worked, the same problem (and the same developer) was in a high-rise building. My wife told me in all seriousness that I’ll probably die there, at work, when this building collapses. This condo is also less than 10 years old.

Another friend sent me a photo of a piece that had fallen off along with part of the roof of a condominium that was 1-2 years old at the time.

In general, just because a condominium is new does not mean it does not need to be inspected. It is imperative to check: collect information about the building, about the developer. If you don’t have such an opportunity, then it seems like a good option to rent a room in the building where you are going to buy an apartment and live there for a while to experience the surroundings for yourself.

It’s worth talking separately about old buildings. It is clear that waiting for their ideal condition is naive. And yet, in photographs of apartment sales, I saw, for example, a roof that was beginning to collapse. Or a water leak on the ceiling in the middle of the room (this could be either flooding from a neighbor or a more serious problem that you cannot solve).

2. The management company can work well. Or maybe it won't work at all

Before getting her last job, my wife changed a couple of places where she worked for just a few days.

One of these places was a gorgeous looking condo (there are statues at the entrance). But it turned out that the previous management company had stolen and left no traces of its work. For example, it is common practice for the Condominium person to have a copy of the apartment owner's passport, as well as a copy of the title document for the apartment (for example, a sales contract for the apartment) and in addition to this the Thai title document for the apartment.

This is what it should be. But it turned out that all these documents were just missing.

Similarly with information about who paid the maintenance fee for common areas. The legal entity contacts the owner with a reminder to pay the maintenance fee, but the apartment owner claims that he has already paid. And there is no way to double-check this.

Or the apartment owner asks for copies of documents for previous years (for example, about payment of the same maintenance fee), but the Management Company simply does not have these documents.

The wife joined the new team, which was trying to revive the administrative management of the building. It was hell for both the staff and the residents didn't like it. For example, there was a swimming pool in a very neglected state (“There are statues at the entrance, and worms in the pool”).

3. 200 meters from the beach (across a huge highway), this is a terrible option

Just crossing the road at an intersection, even when the light is green, is not the easiest task for a pedestrian in Pattaya. This is a unique range of feelings when every step you look at all four sides (transport in Thailand can come from anywhere!), and then on the sidewalk you joyfully exhale “it’s gone again!”

Well, if your beach is only 200-300 meters away, and even if the beach area is not fenced with private buildings (there are places in Pattaya where, judging by the map, the beach is very close, but it is impossible to approach it directly, you need to do a huge detour), but if you need to cross a 6-8 lane highway (there are such condominiums in Jomtien), then it doesn’t matter that it’s only 200 meters. A trip to the beach will always be accompanied by the stress of crossing the highway and a glimmer of the thought “today we didn’t get hit on the road again”.

It's even worse if you have to walk along a busy roadway to get to the beach.

Of course, all such houses are sold at a higher price because they are “next to the beach”. But other than a deception, this extra charge cannot be considered anything.

Believe me, it is easier to walk 1 km on safe sidewalks than 200 meters, but with the intersection of large roads or, especially, along the roadway along the road.

4. It's not in the center, but everything is there. And even a 7-Eleven is being built

Once on YouTube, video bloggers with a guest realtor were promoting a new, very beautiful condo with a very high cost of apartments. You know, as they say in folk wisdom, “if a product is advertised, then you don’t need to buy it” – I decided to check what could be the catch. Moreover, the phrases “there is all the infrastructure here and even a 7-Eleven is being built” sounded somehow strange. This is Pattaya, everything is everywhere here! And from the window of a 7-Eleven you can often see another 7-Eleven! Why mention this?

It turned out that this condo is almost 20 km from the city of Pattaya.

Public transport is represented by tuk-tuks, which travel without a schedule and which you need to wait in the heat under the open sun near Sukhumvit Rd.

A house in this location requires the presence of personal transport. Otherwise, the owner of such an apartment will just give up everything and move to another (most likely rented) property in a less wild area.

Personal transport does not mean that all problems are automatically solved. For example, if you want to visit one of the many festivals, you will get stuck in a suburban or city traffic jam where you will remain until the end of the festival.

If you want to relax in a bar and drink alcohol, this is not compatible with personal transport. How much will a taxi driver charge you for driving 20 km in the dark? And it’s good if he’s less drunk than you ))))

5. What's going on in the apartment above you

It's rare for most condominiums to have all units sold out.

I lived in 9 Karat Condo and walking through the floors I saw apartments without doors or with doors wide open in which no one had ever lived. This is not 1-2 apartments.

Occupancy of condominiums is somewhere between 30-50%. Some apartments have never been lived in and may not have windows.

I have seen apartments where the floor was completely covered in bird droppings and there were no windows. If someone lives under this apartment, then during rains water can enter the apartment without windows and seep down.

I don’t know how common this problem is (apartments without an owner and without windows), but I saw such examples with my own eyes at 9 Karat Condo.

6. Price is not an indicator of the quality of an apartment

Under no circumstances should you rely only on price when purchasing apartments.

I have seen expensive apartments that not only are not worth the money asked for them, but in which, for one reason or another, I would not live for free.

Always be careful and alert!

7. There are also good apartments and (probably) even more of them

I hope you don't get the impression that only terrible housing is for sale. Of course not. There are probably even fewer bad apartments than good ones. For example, I live in a wonderful condominium where everything is just normal. Of course, after almost 10 years, something had already worn out and sometimes the air conditioner gave me problems, sometimes the plumbing. But these are problems of a different level, different from the fact that when it rains, water flows into the room and the Management Company cannot do anything about it.

8. There are also good apartments, but it’s not clear why you should buy them

For example, would I like to buy the room I currently live in? I just said that the condominium is good.

Not sure. If we add the mandatory payments that the owner is currently paying to the cost of the apartment, and then divide this amount by the rental price, it turns out that with these inputs I can rent the apartment for more than 16 years. That is, over 16 years of rent, I will spend the same amount of money as I would have spent on buying it.

For all my good feelings about this condo, I wouldn’t bet my hand that it would last these 16 years (or that it would have any meaning for me at that time).

Conclusion

It's good to be an apartment owner. You can shove unnecessary things into the farthest corner and not worry that you will have to pack it all somehow to load it onto a pickup truck during your next move (someday it will become a headache for the heirs to find this trash and throw it away). What a beauty!

Well, and various other advantages, such as no rent (but there is a fee for the maintenance of common areas and property taxes).

In general, buying an apartment is a good idea, but you need to choose very carefully. Even in Thailand.


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