. . . and how you can easily turn a healthy profit 

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I wish the title of this article read How I made millions flipping my apartment in Thailand. The truth however, is that I lost roughly half a million baht on it. More if I account for inflation, common area fees and taxes. Less if I factor in rent not paid as I would’ve stayed in Bangkok anyway. Still, in the end it was a losing endeavour. Call it stupidity. Call it impatience. It was a combination of both.

Mr. Failure however is a great teacher. I’m certainly glad I met him. Although profit was never my primary motive, nobody likes to lose money. I consider the lessons I learnt doing just that invaluable and timeless. I’m very confident I could put my money to very productive use in the Thai real estate market today.

So why don’t I, you say? Two things have changed. First, my personal finances are much better now than they were just a few years ago. Hence I’ve made the world my home rather than a single country. Second, I now value liquidity above all else in my investment strategy. Were I to turn bullish on property again I’d hold REITs. Try selling your Asian property and you’ll see just how liquid it is, but I digress. . .

WHAT THIS SERIES WILL TEACH YOU

Old friends still contact me from time to time asking for advice on buying, selling and renting a condominium or house in Thailand. This means that even experienced expats and people who’ve lived there for years value good advice on the state of the property market.

Additionally, I keep stumbling across stories of people who think they’ve procured a steal of a deal only to realise they paid at least 30% above intrinsic value when they try to sell years later.

This article should therefore at the bare minimum help you avoid making a lot of mistakes.

At best, it will help you make a lot of money.

Maybe you’ve just gotten married in Chiang Mai and are doing research on buying. Or you’re just more bullish on the Thai baht than any other asset class and see property as the best proxy to play a strengthening currency through. Whatever your motivation I believe you will save and earn money by applying the valuable lessons I learnt as a buyer, seller and decade long observer of the Thai real estate market.

 

PART I 

 

A) NEED TO KNOW IDIOSYNCRASIES ON BUYING & SELLING PROPERTY IN THAILAND

Thailand’s real estate market is quite different from USA and Europe’s. You need to be aware of these differences. With roughly 25 Million foreign visitors in 2014 the country appears to be in theTO READ ON SUBSCRIBE AND BECOME A PATREON.

  • Jun Yi

    Thanks for all your info on the property market in Thailand. I was actually looking into a brand new condo that’s expected to be complete in a few months. It’s in Ekkamai, right by the bts station and the developer is very reputable (Raimon Land, the one that built Northshore and the river). Apparently the developer has been holding onto a few units until now for whatever the reason and they are offering me the net unit price (no discount). It’s a 1 bed room 45sq meter, on a pretty high floor and around 152k baht per square meter. I looked it up on hip flat and the price seems very attractive. But then what do I know I might be another sucker…

  • EK777

    Sometimes is property not a rent seeking or appreciation strategy
    but rather asset protection and diversification or plain old money
    laundering

    In developed world they try to escape negative/zero interest rates, in developing world they escape inflation, capital controls, government madness (escape hatch)

    Rich Russians, Chinese, Arabs and South Americans stash money by investing properties in London, New York, Miami,
    so “property hoarding” practices are exported to developed economies after the US mortgage bubble implosion.

    Property is the worst investment type for a global nomad and a free man because it links you to a government and a residence, its the opposite of mobility and flexibility.

    Property hoarding is encouraged by inept governments because they receive more tax revenue no matter what if not they auction your property.
    Talk about guaranteed income!

    You are also dependent on the other owners/tenants decisions if its a flat.

    I like what you say about Brazilian property and its a great idea
    (especially for premium unique tourist locations) but the principles i’ve stated forbid me from doing such investments.

    • Well put. I agree with everything including the principles that forbid you from doing such investments.

      I’d love to see the percentage of the total housing markets in Thailand and Brazil that stem from money laundering. Would not surprise me if it’s over 50%. Having said that, I also don’t believe in the term seeing as it was invented by thieves (government) to label the people they rob (launderer or entrepreneur if you will) as thieves. Kudos to the people who manage to avoid the highwayman (taxman).

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