Real Estate in Laos
Last updated on Feb 17, 2023
Summary: An expat looking to buy a home in Laos should start by researching the local real estate market. It is important to understand the local laws and regulations regarding foreign ownership of property in Laos. Expats should also consider their budget and the type of amenities they are looking for in a home. Foreigners are allowed to own property in Laos, but there are certain restrictions. For example, foreigners are not allowed to own land, but they can own buildings and apartments. Additionally, foreigners must obtain permission from the government before purchasing a property. Homes in Laos typically include basic amenities such as running water, electricity, and internet access. Some homes may also include air conditioning, a swimming pool, or other luxury amenities. Expats should research the local market to find out what amenities are available in their desired area.
How do I find a place to live in Laos?
We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:
"Finding a place to live in Laos can be a challenge, but there are a few options available. One option is to look for rental properties online, such as through websites like Lao Property Finder or Lao Real Estate. Additionally, you can look for rental properties in newspapers or through local real estate agents. You can also look for shared housing options, such as through websites like Lao Room Finder or Lao Home Share. Finally, you can also look for homestays or guesthouses, which are often available in rural areas," explained one person living in Laos.
What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Laos?
"Expat homes and apartments in Laos tend to be modern and comfortable, with air conditioning, western-style bathrooms, and modern appliances. Many expats choose to live in larger cities such as Vientiane, where there are more amenities and services available. Expat homes and apartments in Laos often come with balconies or terraces, providing a great view of the city or countryside. Furnishings are typically modern and comfortable, with a mix of traditional Lao and western styles. Expats can also find a variety of housing options, from luxury apartments to more affordable options," said one person in Laos.
What is the average cost of housing in Laos?
If you are thinking about moving to Laos, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:
"The cost of housing in Laos varies depending on the location and type of accommodation. Generally, the cost of renting a house or apartment in Laos is relatively affordable compared to other countries in the region. Prices for basic accommodation can start from as low as $100 per month, while more luxurious options can cost up to $1,000 per month," said one expat in Laos.
Should I buy or rent a home in Laos?
If you have not spent a lot of time in Laos, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision:
"Buying a home in Laos can be a great investment, as property prices are still relatively low. However, it is important to consider the cost of living in the area, as well as the availability of amenities and services. Renting a home in Laos can be a more cost-effective option, as it allows you to live in the area without the long-term commitment of buying a home. Additionally, renting can provide more flexibility if you are unsure of how long you will be staying in the area. Ultimately, the decision to buy or rent a home in Laos should be based on your individual needs and preferences," explained one expat living in Laos.
What do I need to know when buying property in Laos?
When we asked expats what advice they would give a foreigner before buying a property in Laos, they said:
"1. It is important to research the local laws and regulations regarding property ownership in Laos before making any purchase. 2. It is advisable to hire a local lawyer to assist with the purchase process and to ensure that all legal requirements are met. 3. It is important to ensure that the property is free from any liens or encumbrances before making a purchase. 4. It is important to obtain a title deed for the property, which will provide proof of ownership. 5. It is important to be aware of any taxes or fees that may be applicable to the purchase of the property. 6. It is important to be aware of any restrictions on foreign ownership of property in Laos. 7. It is important to be aware of any restrictions on the use of the property, such as zoning regulations. 8. It is important to be aware of any restrictions on the transfer of the property, such as inheritance laws. 9. It is important to be aware of any restrictions on the sale of the property, such as capital gains taxes. 10. It is important to be aware of any restrictions on the rental of the property, such as rental laws," said one in Laos.
Are foreigners allowed to own property in Laos?
When we asked expats what advice they would give a foreigner before buying a property in Laos, they said...
"Yes, foreigners are allowed to own property in Laos. The Land Law of Laos allows foreign individuals and companies to own land and property in Laos, provided they obtain the necessary permits and licenses from the relevant government authorities. Foreigners are also allowed to lease land for up to 50 years, with the possibility of renewal. However, foreign ownership of land is restricted to certain areas, such as industrial zones, and foreigners are not allowed to own land in rural areas," remarked one foreigner who made the move to Laos.
What appliances are typically included in a rental?
We asked foreigners in Laos what appliances are typically included in a rental, and, if there is anything else included or not included that a newcomer would not expect. Replies included:
"In Laos, rental properties typically include a refrigerator, stove, and washing machine. Other common appliances may include a microwave, air conditioner, and water heater. Furniture may also be included in the rental, such as beds, tables, and chairs," remarked one foreigner who made the move to Laos.
Additional Information about Searching for a Home in Laos:
We asked foreigners in Laos what appliances are typically included in a rental, and, if there is anything else included or not included that a newcomer would not expect. Replies included...
"Expats can search for homes in Laos by looking online for real estate websites that specialize in the area, asking friends and colleagues who have lived in Laos for recommendations, and contacting local real estate agents for assistance. Additionally, expats can look for classified ads in local newspapers and online forums to find potential homes," remarked one foreigner who made the move to Laos.
About the Author
Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.
Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.
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