Krabi Property Home | Buying real estate in Thailand - your rights | New homes in Krabi | Land for sale in Krabi

Land, property and real estate portal for Krabi province in Thailand

CHOOSING a home in a new area is never easy. When that choice is made in a foreign country that you don't know very well, it can be even more tricky. In this month's property feature, we draw up a checklist of what you should be looking for when choosing a development to buy into.

The holiday home checklist: factors to consider before buying in Krabi

Although this list will be familiar to those who have purchased property in the past, there are some considerations here that you may not have thought of, that apply especially to Krabi - or any other rural area of Thailand. Most housing developments, for example, can be found outside of the commercial centres. As an expat, you'll need to consider the proximity of your home to the nearest point of 'civilisation'. If you're young, you probably also need to think about your current and future family life stages (where are the schools?); while older people should look at mobility.

As in most rural areas, there will be access issues: does the property front hard-surfaced roads? Is there a mains electric and water supply? You may also want to check the land title of the development to see if it is even legal to build on the plot (many land plots in Thailand are licensed for farming only); and carry out your own independent survey (is the soil suitable for building, drainage?). Finally your future plans should be taken into account: try to ascertain the house's potential resale value or suitability for retirement use. Unless buying specifically for speculation, it is always wise to put your own needs first.

There are not really any distinct neighbourhood markers in Krabi. Most areas are fairly mixed, income-wise, and there is little control over who your neighbours are, or will be in the future if the land is sold. Land is also being bought and developed at a furious rate, so if you prize the open green space currently surrounding the property, the only way to guarantee it will still be there in a few years is to buy it yourself!

A major 'location' consideration should be how close to other foreigners your new home will be. Some people prefer to stay in areas where there are a lot of westerners, like Ao Nang or Ko Lanta, while others positively seek out areas far from tourism and other expats. As Krabi can be considered very safe in terms of personal security, the only thing driving this choice is your personal taste.

Lot choice (if you have one) within a development is also important. While foreigners tend to put an emphasis on peace and quiet, many Thai buyers prefer to be near a road. Land next to a main artery is always worth more - up to ten times as much - as the same sized plot further back. In addition, as the main value of your property will be the land (building materials and labour costs being relatively low), it may be worth investing in a larger plot with a smaller house, rather than vice versa, if you can afford to do so.

Reinforcing the idea about plot size, you may find that you don't need as big a house as you thought. In a tropical climate, it is in fact outdoor space that is at a premium. With a larger lot, you can enjoy the benefits of a bigger garden, perhaps a patio for dining and relaxing, or even a swimming pool. If you will spend most of your time outside (surely one of the points of living in a warm climate!), your indoor space need not be so big, especially if maintaining it yourself - as you will also find your home gets dusty very fast.

If buying into a housing development, you should also consider how much you value privacy. Study the overall plan carefully, to see how close the other houses are located, how the windows line up, and if, for example, your main terrace is facing someone else's. Many contemporary designs feature large picture windows, that look great on the plans - but what if they are looking directly into someone's home opposite? Although an open-style villa sounds and looks very appealing, make sure your house is designed appropriately for its surroundings.

Don't forget about guest rooms for children, grandchildren and friends - you may suddenly find yourself very popular now you have a house in Krabi! Many developers offer options for the interior design of your house: find out before you build how much flexibility you will have, if this is important to you.

What will you be using your house for? If it's a home bought for your retirement, think about your future needs - you may not be as mobile as you are now, so you may prefer a bungalow with no stairs, or being within walking distance of amenities. You may also prefer to be somewhere with communal facilities and maintenance, so that you don't have to take responsibility for the upkeep of your house exterior and garden etc.

Perhaps you are downsizing and planning to work from home? Check your internet connections - some areas have dial-up only and will remain so for the foreseeable future. You should not even take for granted that your house will come with a phone line: many do not include this as an option and waiting lists are very long - up to six months or more. Satellite links are available as an alternative, though they are not 100 per cent reliable. If you have important equipment, check the safety and security features of your home carefully.

If you're buying a holiday home, it would also be wise to check the rental value of the property, if you don't plan to live there year round and need the extra income. In this case, or for any investment, it is advisable to buy as close to the beach or any touristy area as your budget will allow, as these are the most attractive areas for both rental and resale.

If living in a rural area, you will need a car to get around, so make sure your home has adequate parking. Although a proper garage is rarely required, a covered parking space is a must for both the hot and the rainy seasons.

There is almost no financing available to foreigners in Thailand, so you will need to make sure you have the full value of the house you plan to buy in cash. Most off-plan developments offer a structured payment plan - a deposit payment to secure the property, then instalments as different stages of the building are completed, with the final payment being made after inspection of the finished home.

Check the contractor's credentials, as well as the developer's - have they built anything before in the area that you can visit? What is their credit history? Find out how they are regarded locally. Finally, have the contract checked over by your lawyer. You will need to make sure that the buying or leasing structure for foreigners is both legal and does not expose you to risk if the holding company sells or is dissolved.

Above: Check the plan carefully for the home's 'liveability'. Here, large picture windows and the pool area are screened by a wall giving privacy from your neighbours.

R E S O U R C E S > > >

Intro to your property rights
UPDATE! Your new property rights as a company owner
Land titles 101
The price of land in Krabi
Krabi Property Clinic: your questions answered

Common pitfalls when buying real estate in Krabi
Beware of bogus agents!

Where to buy your home: a guide to the different areas
The Krabi holiday home checklist
Self-build or off-plan?
Focus on Had Yao: Krabi's next big thing?

Design tips from a Krabi architect
Creating a modern Thai-style interior
Planning a tropical garden
Should you install a swimming pool?

Renting a house in Krabi: a guide to the different types of houses available, prices, and where to look
Long term hotel stays

Case study: retiring to Krabi
Expat life in Krabi
(Practicalities for the long-term resident)

Expat testimonials: moving to Krabi - how was it for you?

Homes and land for sale and rent in Krabi

Krabi property news - new developments, infrastructure etc.

Krabi Property is not a real estate agent - we do not sell houses, land, or property of any kind, nor are we affiliated with anyone who does. We provide the only honest and independent information about the housing scene and the legal process of property purchase in the Krabi area, because we are not trying to sell you anything. Though you will find listings of Krabi villa projects and developments on our site, these are paid for as normal advertising and we do not receive any commission or kickbacks for sales. Finally, we regret that we cannot provide help for individual customers; those interested in property purchase should contact our advertisers directly, not us. More about us.


More from our partner sites - for your complete guide to Krabi Province:
Your Krabi (Ao Nang, Krabi Town, Railay and the mainland coast)
Phi Phi Islands Guide
Lanta Islands Guide

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