If you’ve ever wished to own your “place in the sun” then getting on the Hua Hin Property ladder could be the ultimate dream
Many visitors to Hua Hin fall in love with the relaxing seaside atmosphere and warm climate of this small Thai town and decide to lay down some roots.
Hua Hin has seen some rapid development in the past few years with plenty of housing developments springing up as the town struggles to keep up with demand.
Beach condos are very popular, especially with Thai nationals, and even though foreigners cannot own land themselves there are options available to those that have businesses or Thai spouses here.
There are plenty of property and real estate agents in town to help with the process of purchasing a property in Hua Hin but we always recommend that you use the services of an independent lawyer before committing.
Types of Property
Condominiums with sea or mountain views are always popular in Hua Hin. Buy one on the eastern side of Petchkasem road and you’ll only have a short walk to the beach. Foreigners can own their own condo outright so long as 51 percent of the total ownership of the complex is in the hands of Thai nationals.
If you’d prefer to have something a little bigger than condominium, maybe with it’s own garden and a private pool, then you’re probably going to want to look at one of the many resorts around town. Foreigners can own the house outright but the land is leased from the developer, normally on a 30 year lease.
Pool villas, where a single story ‘L’ shaped villa surrounds its own pool, are very popular in this respect because there are relatively cheap and there aren’t any stairs to contend with. But if you want something bigger then you’ll also find plenty of developers that offer larger accommodation as well.
New vs Renovation
With new properties springing up all the time there are plenty of opportunities to have a dream home built to your own specifications. While most developers normally go with a certain style of house others may be more flexible and build to your needs, letting you choose how many floors or rooms are required. For people that would like to have their ultimate dream home this may be the way to go.
Of course you could just renovate an established second hand property. That way you’ll know exactly what you’re getting when you purchase. Most of the issues associated with new builds should have been ironed out and you can concentrate on changing things to your style.
Things to Consider when Purchasing Property in Hua Hin
This is still the number one consideration when purchasing a property.
- Are views important to you?
- Do you want to live by the beach?
- Is there access to public transport available?
- Is the area susceptible to flooding during the rainy season?
- What about access to services such as electricity, water and communications?
- What are the other properties like in the area?
Hua Hin has the sea and mountains (hill may be a more appropriate word) either way it’s still nice to wake up in the mornings looking out over mother nature. You may find yourself paying a premium for these views though so just how important re they to you?
Many people dream of living by the sea with fresh breezes and calm views but have you ever considered what it would be like when a tropical storm passes through or how the salt air can damage property?
If you have your own car then you may not worry too much about public transport, but how about your guests. As soon as friends and family know that you have a property in the sun then they’ll be knocking at your door all year round.
If you visit Hua Hin in the dry season then you may not even think about the possibility of flooding but when it rains in Thailand, it rains hard and the water can soon undermine foundations or put your garden under water if you haven’t done your research first.
Have a check and see if the house is on the towns water and sewage supply. Most houses have their own septic tanks and even those on the government water will likely have an extra water tank or two for the dry season.
The further you live outside of town the chances are that you won’t be able to get cable television or even a reliable internet connection. Check to see that your mobile phone gets a strong signal strength inside your accommodation.
Check out the other properties in the area. If you decide to build your own house then does it fit in with others in the street. In Thailand it’s common for mansions to be built next to small simple houses. If you buy on a resort then this is not normally an issue but if you build your own house on a private piece of land then just be aware that the value of your property could be affected by what is built around it.
There’s always a cost associated with maintaining a property whether you live there all year round or not. If you own a condo or property on a resort then there’s going to be a monthly fee associated with maintaining the communal areas and administration. Costs vary between development so you should always ask about them before purchasing.
Gardeners, pool maintenance, security guards and front desk staff all need paying and these will come out of the maintenance fees. Even if you have your own house you’re likely to pay for gardeners, cleaners, pool cleaning and possible even security guards and in many cases these costs will be higher because you’re not sharing them with others.
Do your new property come with a lease on the land or not? If it does then how many years are left on the lease and can it be renewed after that time? Most new properties come with a standard 30 year lease that can be renewed for another 30 years after that but check with the developer and register ownership at the land office to ensure that it’s official.
What to check for when buying a property
- quality of work
- maintenance fee
Many visitors to Thailand base their knowledge of property on past dealing in their own country but that may not always be applicable here. Many houses in Hua Hin are built using a concrete and steel reinforced framework. Brick is then used for the internal and external walls which is then rendered over. Due to the tropical climate there are no cavity walls as in Europe. Roofing trusses are normally made from steel as wood is prone to damage from termites.
Always check the electrical wiring in any property that you are thinking of purchasing. In older build you will often find that there is no earth wiring installed which is why you may feel the occasional tingle in your hand when you touch the cooker or your computer case. Always make sure that you house or condo is earthed.
Have a look around the property and inspect the quality of the work. There are good and poor builders around so make sure that you are happy with the quality of the build. Is the plastering smooth or rough, are cheap tiles used or marble, look at the window frames and the quality of the kitchen.
As we’ve already mentioned ask about the septic tank and see how often it needs cleaning and how many there are.
Check that you’re not going to run out of water in the dry season and that there are plenty of water tanks available for the home. It’s common for the municipality to turn off the water in town when the levels become low in the reservoirs, sometimes for days at a time so make sure that the house comes with enough redundancy to get you through these times.
Again, ask about any maintenance fees and extra costs that may occur. Who is expected to pay if the communal swimming pool needs major repairs for example?
Unfortunately foreigners generally cannot mortgage properties in Thailand. Having said that there are a small number of property developers that do provide their own extended payment scheme, similar to a mortgage, which may make it easy to buy property in Thailand.
Whether you’re looking for a retirement home, penthouse, pool villa, seaside home or a golf course property there is plenty of choice in Hua Hin, just make sure that you do your homework first. Remember that you can always rent a property before making the final decision.