Long term environmental improvements are making Pattaya as an attractive prospect for real estate development. Tourism in Pattaya also has great potential to grow because of the mountainous countryside and the sandy white beaches that are very attractive to foreign visitors. A 2007 report revealed that Pattaya was visited by 14.5 million foreigners because it is a family-oriented destination.
If you are planning to invest in real estate in Pattaya property trends and customs can be quite different from your country. At present, non-Thais are allowed to own property although the laws are quite restrictive. A foreigner can own at least 49% of units in a condominium building; however, non-Thais are not allowed to own freehold land. Ownership of a freehold land means you own both the building and the land where it stands.
Non-Thais are allowed to borrow money to be able to buy property in Pattaya. Foreign investors are also allowed to bring in capital from their own country to be invested in Thai property. However, there are certain restrictions: the total cash must be the equivalent of more than 40 million baht and will be used to purchase residence that is not greater than 1 rai or 1,600 square meters (17,222 square feet) in size.
Local banks are willing to provide overseas foreign currency loans to foreigners but there are restrictions that include age, income and location of the property. Unlike other Western countries that provide a set fee for the services of property lawyers, legal fees in Thailand are negotiable. Although the presence of a lawyer is not mandatory in real estate transactions, foreigners are advised to hire one for their own protection. Apart from legal fees, property investors are also required to pay taxes that are as follows: transfer fees, stamp duty, specific business tax and withholding tax.
To Find Thai Property, it is suggested to seek professional assistance because real estate agents are more familiar with the place and they are knowledgeable with the various real estate laws particularly those that apply to foreign buyers. Fees for real estate agents vary according to the agreement made with the client.