Buying condo unit in Thailand is both rewarding and challenging, particularly for foreign investors and expats. However, no matter how luxurious or strategically located your chosen condominium is, you won’t know how suitable it is for you unless you actually reside in the building for some time.
Industry experts suggest, especially if you’re an investor, to consider renting a property. Save any purchase decision for later when you are 100 per cent convinced you to want to live in it. For starters, allocate at least a year to live in a condo building of your choosing. Throughout this time frame, assess your lifestyle, your level comfort and your overall experience as a resident.
Remember that once you purchase a unit, you may not be able to sell it right away. If you belatedly change your mind but you already paid money, it’s almost impossible to get a refund from the developer or property owner. “Not liking” your living experience enough may not be a valid reason for the property owner to return your money.
It is less of a headache to rent a property and live in it for a year. Buying a condo unit hastily and later regretting it is certainly not the way to go. Ideally, condo buyers should list down their requirements and see which condominium building is a perfect match. You cannot really tell how a property feels or what kind of living experience it provides by simply inspecting it thoroughly.
Renting a condo unit within a building of your preference helps you test for compatibility. Is the location as convenient as you had hoped when commuting to and from work, recreational places and the like? Are the building’s facilities updated and suitable to your envisioned lifestyle? How about the layout and quality of the unit you rented out?
This 1-year test living is no different from buying a car or any appliance. Anything that costs a lot of money needs a test run to avoid regrets in the future. As a discerning condo buyer, your best option is to rent first before buying. Since rent-to-own is not as commonplace in Thailand, you may want to shortlist condominium buildings that offer such an arrangement.
Test living allows you to truly know your chosen residence in Thailand and whether everything else – amenities, unit size, security, structure and design, neighbourhood – are all to your liking.
Not only will you be able to save money, but test living allows you to get to know a place inside-out. What you experience during the first few months of living in your preferred condo building may be different in the succeeding months. Moreover, you can mull over your decisions during your time as a tenant and scout for other units. Making the wrong decision is far more costly than carefully considering everything in the span of a year.
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Image: David Pheat