Expat Exchange
Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand

Real Estate in Thailand

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: People living in Thailand offer advice about real estate. How do you find a home in Thailand? Should you buy or rent? What is the cost of housing?

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How do I find a place to live in Thailand?

Live in Thailand? Answer this Question

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"I searched all the rental sights and settled on a PEACEFUL place short term, through airB&B that spoke English and had a friendly feel. That was a crucial part of the transition. The I made connections and wound up renting long term in the same area in Phuket. Rental agencies and driving in place I was unfamiliar with was stressful and did not avail me a long term home," said another expat in Phuket.

"My Thai partner found the condo that we purchased 4 years ago. It's away from the city center on Pattanakarn Road. The new BTS line to the airport is about 1/2 km from the condo and hopefully it will open sometime (Tahi-time) means it will get done. Lot's of vendor's on the street which is good when we are lazy, which is often. Plenty of cabs on the road, which was a factor," remarked another member in Bangkok.

"My employer has a contract with a company called Orientations (www.orientations.com) they met with us before we left and told us about Bangkok and then the Bangkok branch manager (an expat) met us in Thailand and showed us around the city. They took us to see houses and apartments and because they are not real estate agents they were able to give unbiased professional advice on where to live," explained one expat living in Bangkok, Thailand.

"I did lots of online searching and I found a pretty helpful website; www.roommillion.com and www.click4apartment.com - you can check it out. I had experienced inspection property with RoomMillion's staffs, they are so friendly and professional," said another person in Bangkok.

"Our friends are here and it is the perfect little soi. Not to quiet, not to noisy. The house was just perfect for us. It is in the city of Chiang Mai and close to everything. But, the pollution is getting bad. We may have to move up on the mountain," added another expat who made the move to Chiang Mai.

"We chose our first home through a real estate company. The location was great (yacht club) but the neighborhood with no neighbors. We chose our second home because many people are living there with children and it is located on a golf course," explained one foreigner living in Pattaya, Thailand.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Thailand?

Live in Thailand? Answer this Question

"2 bedroom house on a bit of land. I do not know what is "typical" for expats living in Phuket," explained one person living in Phuket, Thailand.

"We lived in a condo, which is actually 2 condo's. I'm from the US and my partner is Thai. It looks like a typical Thai condo building, but when you walk inside you would swear you were in Europe. Not my choice, but my partner "Martha Stewart" (Thai version) decorated and I left him to it. There are only a few expats in the neighborhood. Rarely do I ever run into them," said another expat in Bangkok.

"We first moved in to a serviced apartment that was arranged for us by Orientations, It was much cheaper than a hotel and we could cook our own food if we wanted. This was great for the kids. While we were there, Orientations arranged for us to see some houses and apartments. The expat manager came with us and he told us the places that flooded or got jammed up with traffic. It was pretty good because he has been here for years and knows the city well," remarked another member in Bangkok.

"Once I arrived Bangkok, my company reserved a serviced apartment in Silom (cannot remember the name). And I signed contract 1 year after that in Condominium which is cheaper, RoomMillion can arrange the maid cleaning for you if you want," explained one expat living in Bangkok, Thailand.

"We have a private house, traditional Thai. We are the only expats we know who have a house here. Most live in guesthouses, condos..etc," said another person in Chiang Mai.

"We are living in a California-style house. It is typical for most expats with kids. There are beautiful condominiums too along the beach," added another expat who made the move to Pattaya.

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What is the average cost of housing in Thailand?

Live in Thailand? Answer this Question

If you are thinking about moving to Thailand, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"Much lower of course! But I do deal with funky factors, not so clean, not so airtight and not so functional," remarked another member in Phuket.

"Costs are much lower. We purchased our place 4 years ago for about $35,000 USD. We did some renovation to the unit, like new lighting, put a stove top in and painted. A guy from Singapore owned it before, so we already had German marble floors. In Chicago where I am from you could get a garage with no heat for that price??? You can rent some of the units here for around 5,000 to 6,000 TB per month, plus utilities, which could be another 2,000-3,000 bhat per month if you have AC, cable, internet etc. I think that with electric, water, cable, internet, telephone, and condo fee, we probably pay about 4,000-5,000 for both units. So for about $150-$200 you get all the comforts of home. We do have upgraded cable with internationl programming, broadband internet for faster access, but we run the AC only at night, as you get use to the heat. Food is cheap on the street, but there are markets within 1-2km, which are reasonable as compared to western costs, except if you want western things. Then you pay! Go Thai and save a bundle and don't buy prepared foods from the west," explained one expat living in Bangkok, Thailand.

"Housing costs are higher here, but we live very close to the city so I guess if we were living that close to the city at home it might be the same. Some apartments charge more than the normal rate for electricity and water and with air conditioning on it can start to get expensive. The Orientations guy told us about that and found us a place that does not charge extra," said another person in Bangkok.

"Lower. We don't have a/c, which we may soon regret. But average living costs for us are about 30,000B. But we like to go out alot," added another expat who made the move to Chiang Mai.

"Housing costs run the gamut from about $40/month to thousands of dollars a month. I'm not sure where the average is but I'd estimate about $1000-2000 per month for typical expat housing," explained one foreigner living in Bangkok, Thailand.

Should I buy or rent a home in Thailand?

Live in Thailand? Answer this Question

If you have not spent a lot of time in Thailand, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision:

"Rent. I had a number of rental agents show me many places before I settled one that satisfied me," said another expat in Chiang Mai.

"No ownership although many people are building and condo are offering incentives," remarked another member in Chiang Mai.

"We bought a condo, but it is in are family name, then we went and bought another condo and put this in my wife's name - she is Thai. We had to pay cash for the condo, because you cannot even get a short term loan in Thailand. Even if you make 80% more than most Thai people coming in every month, the only way to get a loan is to be working even if you only may 10,000 baht a week, it's better than 200,000 baht in the bank," explained one expat living in Nonthaburi, Thailand.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Thailand GuideThailand Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in Thailand.

Thailand Forum Thailand Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Thailand on our Thailand forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

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An index of all of our site's Thailand information.

Contribute to Thailand Network Contribute
Help others in Thailand by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Thailand.

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