Buying a house in Phuket province is a popular choice, and quite feasible within lawful structures. In fact Thais love building, its a national obsession, so the industry is supported by a good supply of building contractors, materials choices, decorating options and, of course, tropical Asian design characteristics.
Only Thai nationals can legally own land, but you dont need to own the land to build, if you are prepared to settle for renewable lease agreements. Building costs are surprisingly cheap, but quality can often be compromised, and youll need to be fairly knowledgeable about local methods and workmanship or rely on a trusty local to bargain and supervise the building of a house in Phuket.
One of the main key advantages in building your own Phuket house is that you can design the house exactly to your own requirements. Choosing your own location (as long as the land is available) can also be a pulling factor, as a lot of houses, villas or condos are not always in your ideal location.
In theory, you should be able to build your own house cheaper than buying from a property development in Phuket. Nevertheless, building on your own does not always guarantee that you will get the house of your dreams, at the price you expected. In most cases, your budget will overrun and it is essential to keep a close eye on all proceedings, as it is not always as straight forwarded as you predicted. If it does all work out, you can expect the finished product to have cost at least 30 per cent cheaper than a pre-developed alternative, making the time and effort a good investment.
When buying a villa in Phuket or building a new house in Phuket, it is essential to obtain the services of a reputable builder. Shortcuts are often made and builders taking advantage of unsuspecting foreigners are rife. Typically, complaints are made about a craftsmans attention to surface appearance. Closer examination often reveals poor woodwork, poorly painted walls and fixtures in the wrong places. The most important thing to remember is that building here is completely different to building in your own country: performance bonds, retentions, warranties and buildings standards generally do not exist!
If you are dealing with a reputable real estate agent, they should be able to refer you to honest builders. Phuket has a great selection of suppliers that will sell anything from light fixtures to garden pots. Gardeners and landscape artists are easily found and fairly cheap. Always make sure you always get a quote and the builder/gardener to evaluate the job before beginning. Price competition is always aggressive in Thailand and the result is a compromise on materials and quality. On the other hand, locals have become used to flush foreigners who unquestioningly agree to overpriced quotes.
It can be daunting, as a foreigner, to build your own home in Thailand, but the end product can often be rewarding. In a lot of cases, building your own home can lead to great long-term returns and profit.
When looking into building properties in Phuket, you might want to bear in mind the following considerations:
- Location accessibility via roads; proximity and access to all local amenities.
- Telephones- good access to direct lines and broadband reach.
- Water- make sure a secure water supply with supplementary storage facilities are at hand, you will likely have to supply your own auxiliary storage to guarantee 24 hour supply and pressure.
- Electricity- make sure a secured mains connection and backup generators for condo blocks are checked and available.
- Security- if you are purchasing holiday homes, so you want to make sure your property is secure. 24 hour security, service door, window locks etc. will help you to maintain a high level of security.
- Pest control- with Phukets tropical climate, it is imperative that you have your property regularly sprayed, especially against wood eating insects.
- Hot water- mostly all hot water in Thailand is instant and not stored.
- Air conditioning- this is an imperative element to consider when buying and an absolute necessity as Thailands climate can often be overwhelmingly hot.
- Manpower beware, many constructors cut cost by illegally using Burmese migrant labour, at below minimum wage. Apart from the moral issues, tip offs for police raids can result in all sorts of problems.
- Views arent guaranteed, as local laws dont protect this element of a properties value and Thais have little appreciation for them anyhow, resulting in senseless and unfair planning and neighbourhood construction.
Although these may seem like simple requirements, that each property would automatically offer, remember this is not your home country and often corners can be cut in order to save money, and youll have difficulty challenging it.