Bringing Funds into Thailand to Buy a Condo
If you are planning to buy a condo in Bangkok, you may already be aware that no finance, loan or mortgage is available to foreigners to buy property in Thailand.
Many foreigners who buy condos in Bangkok are retirees with no regular employment income. Yes, they may have investment income or regular pension payments from their home country but banks and mortgage lenders shy away from giving such people a loan.
The same goes for, say, expats working in other Asian countries such as Hong Kong or Singapore even though they do have regular jobs. Thai banks or lender will not, unless in very, very exceptional circumstances, grant them a loan for a property purchase. This applies to foreigners living and working in Thailand with a valid work permit and visa.
Quite why this situation exists, no-one has come up with a definitive answer(s). But it is generally thought that banks see foreigners as a credit risk given the relatively tenuous nature of their work permits (usually 1-2 years at a time) and their propensity to change jobs or move to other countries.
In reality, these are not really very valid reasons and there are far more loan or mortgage defaults likely to occur from amongst the local population. Plus, many foreigners are committed to Thailand with Thai spouses and children. But still the banks will not relent!
So, the bottom line is that this is rigid policy which has been around for a long time and, so a foreigner looking to buy a condo in Bangkok must come up with the cash… all of it!
There are several key points to be noted:
▪ a purchaser must have a bank account with some funds in a Thai bank;
▪ funds for the purchase MUST be transferred into this bank account from the purchaser’s overseas bank in the currency of the remitting country, prior to going to the Land Office to transfer the title;
▪ a prescribed form must be completed which clearly indicates that funds are being brought into Thailand for the purchase of a condo. This form needs to be retained and kept in a safe place as it will be need if/when the purchasers come to sell his/her condo and repatriate the money overseas;
▪ a cashier’s cheque(s) will need to be obtained by the purchaser to present at Land Office. A good agent will help the purchaser work out the amounts of the cheque(s), and also try to mitigate the amount of transfer taxes
The process is quite easy but it helps to work with an agent familiar with buying a condo in Bangkok so as to help smooth the process.