Buyers Guide
Guide to how to buy property in Thailand
  • Why invest on Koh Samui

    Koh Samui is the ideal location for your overseas property investment. It’s the third largest island in Thailand and has established itself as a global holiday destination. Koh Samui is well positioned with the island’s world-class amenities and leisure facilities and also the International Airport receiving over 1 million visitors in 2015.

    Many investors choose to invest in Samui as it offers a combination of western luxury and an exotic tropical lifestyle. Over the last couple of years Koh Samui did not only attract the attention of tourists but also the attention of expats who enjoy and appreciate the peacefulness and beauty that the island has to offer. 

    Koh Samui is currently busy over taking Phuket as Thailand’s second largest resort business after Bangkok being number one. Koh Samui attracted many business people from both the West and the East resulting in the building of resorts, condominiums and luxury villas.

    Due to the great climate and natural beauty of Koh Samui many people desire to make Koh Samui their home.. The island features all kinds of international facilities and amenities like international schools, international hospitals, world class restaurants and shopping centers and super markets stocking local Thai and international products.

    Due to Koh Samui being strategically located in the center of SE Asia it makes it great choice of investment for buyers from Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. With direct flights coming soon from the Middle East Samui is expecting even more growth.

  • Koh Samui property taxes and fees

    If you purchase a property in Thailand then you need to pay four types of taxes. The tax amount depends on the value of the property. Normally the taxes are calculated on the property’s taxable value.

    Types of Taxes and fees

    Transfer costs: The transfer costs are calculated at 2% of the estimated value of the property. The transfer costs are usually shared between the buyer and the seller.

    Registering the lease: This tax is based on the total cost of the rent payable for the duration of the lease. This amount must be equally shared between both parties.

    Specific business tax: This tax is applicable to businesses or individuals who have owned a property for less than five years. The amount of the specific business tax is 3.3% and it is based on the sales price or the initial estimated value, depending on the details in the sales contract.

    Stamp duty: Stamp duty is only payable if the professional tax isn’t applicable. The amount of the stamp duty is 0.5% and is based on the sales price or the initial estimated value of the property. 

    Land Tax: This is an annual tax and is equivalent to a few baht for every Rai that you own.

    Structure usage tax: This tax only applies to properties that are being used for commercial purposes. This amount is calculated at 12.5 % of the estimated rental value of the property.

    Legal fees: Legal fees may vary depending on the law firm that you use.

     

    Please seek independent advice as the above is just for reference.

  • Koh Samui property laws and regulations

    Investors in Koh Samui and Koh Phangan should be aware that new regulations have been enacted affecting the region, roughly translated as the Regulations of Resource and Environment, enacted 30th May 2557 (2014) (hereinafter the “Environmental Regulations”).

    The new Environmental Regulations do not replace the zoning regulations applicable in Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. Rather the rules arising from the Environmental Regulations apply in addition to the zoning regulations, and therefore the new Environmental Regulations add an additional regulatory layer to the zoning regulations.

    What follows is a brief summary of the basic rules arising from the new Environmental Regulations, relevant to the real estate industry, and is not a detailed discussion. The new Environmental Regulations contain prohibitions against mining, oil extraction and similar activities at and above sea level, which the below summary does not address in detail, choosing instead to focus on the rules which more directly pertain to real estate.

    The new Environmental Regulations create seven (7) zones, which are in addition to the zones created under the zoning regulations.
    The following three new zones are applicable to property on Koh Samui are as follows:

    Zone 1: The ocean (i.e. and prohibits offshore mining, oil extraction, etc.)

    Zone 2: Land in Koh Samui, Koh Tan and Koh Phangan that is less than 80 meters from sea level.

    Zone 3:  Zone 3 is divided into 3 sub-zones:

    Zone 3.1: Land that is 80-140 meters above sea level in Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.

    Zone 3.2: Land that is greater than 140 meters above sea level in Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.

    Zone 3.3: Land that is 80 meters above sea level in Koh Tan.

     

    Summary of Zones:

    As is evident from the foregoing, Zone 2 and Zone 3 are most relevant to the real estate industry on Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.

    Zone 2

    In Zone 2, the following rules apply (not including rules not directly relevant to real estate):

    Future construction of airports and golf courses is prohibited;

    Future construction of water-dams is permitted, provided construction is not on public land and provided structures do not block access to the beach;

    Construction of hotels is permitted, provided that 50% of the land is left vacant and “green” (i.e., consisting of foliage, trees, etc.) and having native trees;

    Construction of a residential project consisting of ten (10) or more residential units must include approved water and waste treatment facilities.

    Zone 3

    In Zone 3.1 and 3.3, constructions of residential units is limited to a single house, which;

    Cannot exceed 6 meters in height;

    Must leave 50% of the land vacant and “green”;

    Must include an approved water-drainage system to prevent flooding;

    Must have an architectural design based on traditional Thai, tropical or local aesthetics;

    Must have a roof consisting of 80% of the total building area, and the roof colour must match the natural surroundings;

    Furthermore, the area of the land must be 100 square wah or greater, otherwise construction is prohibited.

    In Zone 3.2, constructions of residential units are limited to a single house, which;

    Cannot exceed 6 meters in height;

    Cannot exceed 90 m2 in area;

    Must leave 50% of the land vacant and “green”;

    Must include an approved water-drainage system to prevent flooding;

    Must have an architectural design based on traditional Thai, tropical or local aesthetics;

    Must have a roof consisting of 80% of the total building area, and the roof colour must match the natural surroundings;

    Furthermore, the area of the land must be 100 square wah or greater, otherwise construction is prohibited.


    Hotels

    Additional rules for the construction of hotels in all zones:

    The hotel designs must include approved water and waste treatment facilities;

    For a hotel with 10 or more rooms or that is 500m2 or greater, an Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) is required

    For a hotel with 80 plus rooms, or a total area exceeding 4,000 m2, a more onerous EIA is required.

     

    Building on a hillside

    In all zones, where the land has a slope of between 35-50 degrees, only a single house is permitted:

    Cannot exceed 6 meters in height;

    Cannot exceed 80 m2 in area;

    Must leave 75% of the land vacant, and 50% of the vacant land must be “green” with native trees;

    Furthermore, the area of the land must be 120 square wah or greater, otherwise construction is prohibited. 

    Where the land has a slope greater than 50 degrees, construction is prohibited.

     

    Please seek independent advice - the above is just for reference.

  • Return on your property investment on Koh Samui

    You are either making your investment with your heart or your head. Either way at some point during your investment it will need to perform for you. If a straight out investment we can help you select a turnkey investment that will perform straight from day one. If it is a passion project investment we can assist you all the way through the process ensuring you achieve your dream but also maximize the projects future potential returns.

    The following advice will assist you in making sure that you maximize the return on your investment:

    Location

    If you would like to see a good return on your investment then you need to invest in a property situated in a popular part of the island. The best location for rental investments on Koh Samui is in the North Eastern part of the island. Koh Samui International airport, Fisherman’s village, the nightlife of Chaweng and beautiful beach’s like Cheong Mon attract many tourists annually. Properties in this area have a high occupancy rate with little effort. There are tourists who prefer the more secluded and quieter areas on the island but the occupancy rate and return on investment might not be as high. Beach front is the obvious location but is not always in an investors budget. Our experienced sales team can help you make an informed decision. Contact us for one to one advice.

    Views

    It is most definitely better to purchase a property with views. Sea view properties rent out much easier and achieve a higher sales price’s. When tourists look for a place to stay during their tropical island holiday, they will more likely go for a place with great views. The views from your property can be a big advantage and might even be the biggest unique selling point (USP) of your property. However smaller garden view properties can achieve a high ROI if located properly and purchased for the right price. Contact us for up to date deals.

    Marketing

    Marketing your newly purchased investment property is extremely important. Good marketing ensures high occupancy rates and high returns on your investment. Most of the villa and condominium developments offer rental management services. These services include marketing and other rental services such as house keeping and reception services. As the owner of a villa or condominium you also have the option to market the villa on your own, by using various online platforms such as Agoda.com and Booking.com. These can become time consuming and complicated. The most stress free way is to hire IVL Property to provide a comprehensive rental and marketing service. Contact Us for more information.

    Over the last couple of years Koh Samui has become a very popular tourist destination and the demand for rental properties are on the rise. Investors on Koh Samui can expect a very lucrative return on their property investment if managed correctly.

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