I'm planing to escape the winter to Thailand every year, so thinking it's better to get a house or land? but I don't know how to start....any suggestion for agent or any website that people go search for house or land?
Ps. I prefer a quiet place, not the tourism area
thanks in advance
Thailand (TL) makes it difficult to own land or a house. Foreigners cannot legally own land. You can get around this problem with the help of an attorney. A corporation is formed and shareholders are named. You have 49%, the others have a percentage to adds up to 51%. My advice? Forget the house or land option. This is only for those with plenty of money and plan on retiring in TL.
Condos are much easier. No land involved so not dealing with problem. But, I still don't advise you to buy a condo. Rent. Rents are cheap in most parts of TL. Find the place in TL that you want to spend the winter. Then rent a house, condo or apt. If you don't like that city or your neighbors, it is easy to re-locate. You don't want to lock yourself into a building or neighborhood until you know all the pluses and minuses. Rent your first winter is my best advice. Good luck.
Given your desire to stay 3-4 months I agree ONLY RENT. There are Thai websites administered by expats that can provide you with advice & contacts eg secrets.com or pattaya addicts.com or pattayatalk.com
I intend to retire to Thailand but I will only ever rent.
I agree with Steve. I have 5 friends that have retired in Pattaya. After visiting their homes/condos, I will only rent when I retire in TL. There are just too many problems with owning IMO. One bad neighbor and your dream house is not so desirable anymore. Or you may want to try another city. Renting gives you flexibility, owning does not.
Definitely visit Thailand first before you buy any condo!
You want a "quiet place without tourists around" sounds like you don't travel much. With your A/C on and your windows shut most cheap hotel rooms are reasonably quiet. When you are the only tourist living like a hermit, far from other tourists, you may also be the most wealthy person in that area. This makes you a specific target. Having other tourists and expats around means you have good and cheap transportation, hotels at good prices because of competition, good supermarkets and malls. Not to mention movie theaters and pubs, bars and restaurants where you can talk to other expats. City areas popular with tourists also have good hospitals and dentists.
Since you are only a transient visitor rent a hotel room or cheap apartment and then just go back home. What would you do if you buy a condo you buy when you go home? Leave it vacant for 8 months?
Don't buy a time share! They are hard to unload and sometimes in areas without cheap transportation.
Unless you are wealthy and cost doesn't mean anything, there are cheaper cities to live in and more expensive places to live at. I live in Pattaya a good part of the year. Hotels and apartments are cheaper there than Bangkok. Bangkok is cheaper than Phuket. Even with tourists and expats around I still find my place quiet enough for me. I like walking out the door and being at a restaurant or mall or even a beer bar or movie theater in a short time.
Up to you! (This is a term that you hear in beer bars.)
Keep in mind that how long you can stay in Thailand depends on the country passport you use to enter with. You can't show up and stay in Thailand as long as you want. There are rules to follow.
Thai Visa Forum has info on visas and living in Thailand.
There are hotels that give discounts for long stays. In a hotel you can run the A/C all day long and not pay for it. Also free wifi, free linen, free maid service and towels and basic security. In an apartment you pay for your water, electricity, wifi and maid service if you use it.
Many tourists just stay in cheap hotels then go home and don't worry about anything.
[ Edit: Edited on 30-Jun-2012, at 23:05 by karazyal ]
salanite, the fact that you even asked the question means that you don't know anything about Thailand. I'd suggest you spend some time there before considering such a drastic move.
Excellent advice above though.
Property is not cheap in Thailand. Renting is. I have a nice apartment booked in Bangkok (beaches are boring) near malls, the MRT and buses for 237 euros for a month from December to mid March. I have to pay electricity and water but in the past that has cost me about 35 euros more per month.
You'd be paying a fortune for a house that you are going to use not many months each year, and which you will have to pay bills for and which might be broken into when you are not there.
Some people marry a Thai woman to buy a house, and some Thai women sell the house and the foreign men never see them or the money again.