The question of whether it is right for you to own or rent your home in Asia is not always easy to answer. The final decision often depends on both commercial and emotional thinking. I was recently involved in helping a client make such a choice.
In emotional terms we are all attracted to a property asset. One obvious benefit of ownership is that we can do as we want with our property. That means we can change things around and decorate as we feel appropriate without having to defer to a landlord. Most landlords take a conservative view of decoration because they wish to maintain their property with as few alterations as possible to attract the greatest number of potential tenants. That means white paintwork and conservative fittings rather than orange ceilings and highly contemporary fixtures, which only suit the person who designed them. The reality is that many restrictions apply when you are renting.
Purchasing often results in the owner feeling more content and secure. From a legal perspective you are allowed to own a leasehold property in Thailand but as a foreigner you may not own land. Thus ownership of a leasehold condominium unit is perfectly legal for expats. Leases may run for 30 years and will usually have a renewal clause at the option of the lessee. This would give you effective security for 60 years of ownership.
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