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New Condo Buildings

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One concern I have is the age of the building. As I mentioned the building is 20 years old. How long does average condo last in Thailand?

The Thai Appraisal Foundation which gives estimates for rebuild costs gives blanket lives of 20 years for wooden houses and 50 years for masonry and concrete structures. These are of course meaningless. I have a friend whose Jacobean house in England is over 500 years old and in pristine condition.

In a properly built block the basic concrete structure will not weaken, but the opposite. Roof tiles are rated life spans but at the worst scenario they can be replaced, as can (and is) internal piping, wiring, lift equipment, whose updating is normal.

Proper financial planning will include a sinking fund or other allowance for regular maintenance and replacements short medium and longterm. If the piggy bank's not been looked after special assessment can be demanded for work. I suggest a chat with the committee chairman or at least a look at the financials to get a feel for all that.

The short answer is a properly run building will last much longer than you or your grandchildren.

Edited by cheeryble

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Somebody is offering me 45 sqm at Condotel (next to Mae Koh) for 700,000 plus commission. Since I am still new here I would like to know if anybody have any idea on the true value

I have no idea of the specific price information you need but I would say this.....

The power structure in the building is all-important.

Ideally a good working residents' committee with helpful staff and finances posted every month on an offical noticeboard with committee minutes, proposals, etc. Check the past minutes to judge the committee competence, they should be easily available in the right block.

A benevolent dictatorship is just occasionally OK but needs some history.

There should be strictly enforced rules about noise, renovation hours, and so on. Ask about that, and smell the rubbish chute areas.

Be sure the building has been fully sold and is well looked after.

Without any of these I wouldn't buy.

Thanks for the pointers. If I decide to buy it, I will do some research and hire a real estate lawyer. This is only type of its kind in downtown. I think many guys are familiar with this building. The building is 20 years old but well maintained. There was another one available earlier, 35 sqm, but sold to a farang.

What are the current monthly association fees at condotel?

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Somebody is offering me 45 sqm at Condotel (next to Mae Koh) for 700,000 plus commission. Since I am still new here I would like to know if anybody have any idea on the true value

I have no idea of the specific price information you need but I would say this.....

The power structure in the building is all-important.

Ideally a good working residents' committee with helpful staff and finances posted every month on an offical noticeboard with committee minutes, proposals, etc. Check the past minutes to judge the committee competence, they should be easily available in the right block.

A benevolent dictatorship is just occasionally OK but needs some history.

There should be strictly enforced rules about noise, renovation hours, and so on. Ask about that, and smell the rubbish chute areas.

Be sure the building has been fully sold and is well looked after.

Without any of these I wouldn't buy.

Thanks for the pointers. If I decide to buy it, I will do some research and hire a real estate lawyer. This is only type of its kind in downtown. I think many guys are familiar with this building. The building is 20 years old but well maintained. There was another one available earlier, 35 sqm, but sold to a farang.

What are the current monthly association fees at condotel?

I haven't got detail info yet. I am traveling in China. I will be back in couple of weeks. I will check at that time

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I will do some research and hire a real estate lawyer.

There's little a lawyer can do to help apart from lighten your pocket and perhaps make you feel better.

The Land Dept people will check everything and will more or less tell you when it's OK to pay.....which is when they are in the process of irreversibly changing it to your name. Pay by cashier's cheque crossed to the name on the chanot so everything's pukka. Don't forget when you import the money have them write in the additional information section of the TT "For the purpose of buying a condominium". Copy it all for future use in exporting the money if you want to.

Cheeryble

Don't you need real estate lawyer or expert to check to make sure the building is at least 51% owned by Thai and the seller doesn't owe any unpaid taxes. etc?

No you don't.

An essential requirement from the Land Dept is a letter from the condominium management stating it is under 50% farang and also that all back fees and debts have been paid up to date. The manager will likely have written several of these before. Without this the Land Dept will not allow the transaction to take place.

What I might do is go to the condo in the evening before I bought to listen for any noise from neighbours.

Also important! Check the water pressure both in kitchen area and bathroom.....the pipes may have furred up badly and even rusted to leaking point it's not uncommon and a first job in a proper renovation is replacement of piping from galvanised to plastic.

After the meter these pipes belong to you and if the pressure's bad it may be a bargaining point for the price as replacement will need tiles stripping out of the bathroom......maybe all as the old ones won't match new.....and if you're changing the tiles well it might as well be new sanitaryware and suddenly you've got a real expense (occasionally a pump will do the job but it's not optimal because of rusting).

Still bit unsure if not hiring a lawyer is good idea. Since I don't speak Thai and have no idea about the condo purchasing policy, how can I be sure of the information I need to know before purchasing the condo?

For example:

- If the condo is old how can I be sure it's not scheduled for demolition?

- What is the singing fund policy?

- Has Condo Management paying annual insurance premium?

- Is the building leasehold or freehold

Also if I have retirement visa, do I still need proof of fund transferred from overseas? I planned to use ATM for most of the funds I need.

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If you feel you need a lawyer don't assume they will do any more than the basic transaction unless specifically requested.

Add to your questions an enquiry about reserves of the condo and if any major works are due and if a special fee will be imposed. If any problems you can deduct from your offer.

Ask for rules about noise and dirt. There will inevitably be private renovations in a decent condo and you want to know these will not be done early or late or at weekends and not done for endless months. A good condo will enforce strictly not only for noise but for dirt left in public areas by contractors.

As.I said before all this could probably be gleaned by a chat with a committee member or interested owner.

Edited by cheeryble

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Yet another example of why it is advantageous to speak the language of the country in which one resides. On the flip side if you can sell into a market of roughly 70 million Thais, why bother with a few troublesome foreigners who need special attention? It makes perfect business sense to me. wink.png

Yes, of course it's advantageous to speak the native tongue where one resides. However, if a biz deals mostly (or largely) with farang, then one would expect they'd have at least one worker who speaks passable English. Any farang residing in northernmost Thailand knows that locals and businesses here have a lower % of English speakers than southern parts of Thailand.

On the condo topic: I'm surprised there aren't more condo options in Chiang Rai. It would seem a wise business decision, to have units to lease or sell, as there seems more demand than supply.

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