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How to maintain residences in Thailand and abroad?


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My wife and I are Americans living in Bangkok. We both have 20 year TE visas so coming and going is not a concern for the foreseeable future (once the pandemic is over).

 

We are interested in buying a condo in Bangkok or another Thai city in the near future. However our plan all along has been to spend up to half of the year in the USA as well so I am considering purchasing a property in the US too. 

 

I am wondering what is the most economical and logistically sound way to balance time between continents and am wondering if anyone else has a similar lifestyle -- dividing time between 2 countries? Did you buy or do you rent? I can see a possibility of supporting this lifestyle by purchasing and then renting out either or both residences if I ended up purchasing in popular tourist destinations, but I am also open to simply owning both places if the yearly maintenance weren't excessive but then I am not sure how I would maintain both places while I am in one?

Edited by wasabi
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Your place in Thailand will very quickly fall into disrepair and be eaten by insects. Homes in the tropics don't last long without people living in them.

We have been doing what you suggest for years. part time in Florida, part time in Khon Kaen. We own a house there and maintain a car.  We are fortunate to have trustworthy family living next to u

Not sure of your age(s) and insurance arrangements, but some Thai health insurance policies expect, at least initially, Thai residence for more than half the year, e.g.    Pacific Cross: The

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Moving this to General form as not visa-related

 

It i certainly possible to buy in both locations but will involve some hassle as for the portion of the year you are not in a place you would at a minimum need to pay someone to clean and maintain it. Cost wise you might also need to rent it out and you'd need someone to manage that rental.

 

In the short term would be cheaper to just rent but if you are considering purchase as a long term investment that's a bit different.

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I personally roughly divide my time between Thailand and Italy.
For the moment I own two quite complicated houses, both indipendent buildings

Of course I need to have reliable persons in both countries to follow and keep my properties when I am abroad, and this is not at all cheap.


Depending on the fiscal rules of Thailand and of your country, and on the existence of a treaty against double impositions between the two countries, you may have advantages and disadvantages, it is up to you evaluate their weight in your personal situation, and take some decision about your status.

 

 

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Thank you for the replies so far. Regarding Health Insurance I have US Based Blue Cross insurance that is accepted in Thailand in the event of emergencies for my wife and I. For standard care in Thailand it is cost effective to simply pay out of pocket. We do have relatives in Bangkok so part of the equation might be if I were to purchase a place in Thailand to pay one of them to clean and check in on it periodically which they already have expressed an interest in doing in exchange for periodically staying in the unit which wouldn't be a problem.

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This year has been a bit different due to Covid, but last year I split my time almost 50/50 between Thailand and home in the UK (2 months at a time in each).  UK in my long time owned home and here in a rental condo.  I don't pay for Thailand accomodation when I'm not here, but only once never got the place I wanted but was quite happy with the alternative.

 

Two month periods are short enough not to let my home deteriorate, or tempt me to rent it out with all that ensues.

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9 hours ago, sirineou said:

We have been doing what you suggest for years. part time in Florida, part time in Khon Kaen.

We own a house there and maintain a car.  We are fortunate to have trustworthy family living next to us , so maintenance of the house, car and taking care of the dogs  is not a problem, especially now that we are stuck in the US for a year. 

Purchasing a condominium  would be even easier since you would not have to worry about maintenance.

I guess I still have not gotten over the   "Mine" stage,  there is something to be said about owning your own place , to do whatever you want.

  when we go to thailand we always travel very lite, why? because everything we need is there already. and we sleep in our own bed.  If you rent, you will need to go to a different place every time, set up, spend time making it your own. If you rent it  for the whole year then you still would have to maintain it, so you would be in a similar  situation as owning it .

I build this place in Khon Kaen about three years ago for 2 million BHT excluding land . (the price of a good car in the US,)  but as I said you need to have people you can trust to maintain it for you when you are not there. 

 

 

 

 

Sirineou,

 

I am a Florida resident like you. If I purchased in the US somewhere in Florida or Nevada would be most ideal due to favorable tax laws. If one only considers the economics renting will typically come out ahead in Thailand. But the realities of travel, finding and furnishing a new place or the chance the landlord wishes to raise the rent or stop renting make owning practical in less quantifiable ways that are important too. I'm starting to think leaving a Thai condo vacant or having only relatives stay in it free of charge when I'm away and renting out a place in the US if I'm not living in it may be simpler but still considering all the options.

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I split my time 50/50 between Bangkok and Florida where I bought a condo 5 years ago. I almost bought a condo in Bangkok a few years ago but now I am glad I just rent, paying for the months I am there and storing a few bags in my building.  This year I have stayed in USA because of Covid and hope to return in July for 6 months. Think twice before buying a home in Thailand.

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23 hours ago, BritManToo said:

Your place in Thailand will very quickly fall into disrepair and be eaten by insects.

Homes in the tropics don't last long without people living in them.

 

I've got nine (or ten) camping in my Isaan hovel and it's positively falling to bits.

 

Back on topic: BUY in your homeland but RENT in Thailand (or anywhere else where you have no citizenship).

Edited by NanLaew
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10 hours ago, sirineou said:

I guess I still have not gotten over the   "Mine" stage,  there is something to be said about owning your own place , to do whatever you want.

...until you want to get rid of it maybe?

 

Not knocking your choice. A lot of people do find ownership more rewarding and symbolic of "I did this myself". If one is of a certain age or financial standing and has an alternative plan where changes beyond one's control wouldn't be a significant impact, ie. being able to walk away from a bought-and-paid-for property here, then that's fine. I did some math a few years back when a landlord was asking if I wanted to buy the 3-bed villa we were renting. His generous offer equated with almost 12-years of rent so we demurred.

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I have been doing three months in Thailand, three in the States. I have several properties in the States and don't want the additional hassles involved with having a set place in Thailand. Plus I like moving around visiting friends and seeing new and old places in Thailand.

 

Owning, even renting, gives you responsibilities.

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I have a house in the UK and a condo in Bangkok. I find the Bangkok condo a much easier to maintain option than my UK house and simply have a maid who looks after it all year. Buy over rent? Personally because I have all my furniture and household stuff that I like. I can just turn up and be at "home". Condo fees are a pain in the neck and it means my outgoings with the maid and condo fees are about 600 US a month when I am not here.

 

The house in the UK is looked after by family and neighbours (they visit once every couple of weeks) but with the weather, rain, cold, heating, tax, security, etc its a bit more complex/expensive for me and more of a worry when I am not there. When I come over to Thailand I have a plumber sort out the central heating (and when I go back as well) as thats my major worry. If Newcastle was warmer it would less of a hassle.

 

In short, owning is more costly and a little more worrying BUT much more homely. 

 

 

Edited by Whale
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well, first you have to save the money to buy one property.

than, when the money is saved, you need to look for an appropriate property

and sign the purchasing  aggreements.

than, you need to save the moeny to buy the second property.

by the time you will do it, you will propably too old and tired of flying between the two

countries, and you will stay and get stucked in one of them for the rest of your life, and

that will solve your problem.

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