Build a dream house in taiwan

I am a Australian with a Hongkongese wife. We like Chinese culture and would like to retire in Taiwan. Could an aussie buy a piece of land in taiwan and build my own house? We only have limited budget.

Seems I recall a Westerner built a house in Yilan with an ocean view. He used a shipping container. I also understand that buying land here is ok but a bit complicated. I went online and found some really great looking container plans and ideas.

thanks for your great reply! can i have information on that “westerner”?

I don’t have the information as it was several years ago. It just came to mind when I read your post.
I think that living here without making repeated visa runs is your bigger problem. I’m sure someone will also answer that has bought and/or built here. I know it can be done but, again, how do you plan on staying here? There are numerous threads concerning visa and residency issue.

I have heard of Hong Kong people looking at purchasing a house in Ilan also. Building a house on undeveloped rural land involves some grey areas , it may be easier to just purchase one that exists already.
Getting residence in Taiwan is not that difficult IF you are prepared to be a student or teacher etc. After a few years you can apply for long term residence permit. There are also other methods to gain a residence permit, do a search (use google and keyword and forumosa.com).

OP, you could start looking at this link:

forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … 0&t=105248

and aside that , simply Google " buying property in taiwan as a foreigner " and you will find on the top of the page other links on this Forumosa website
Do know that rules often change here - always check with local attorneys / notaries.

To buy land you need to be a resident and some land foreigners cannot buy. Even Chinese cannot buy

:ponder: Not sure.

“Land” and “property” are clear distinctions.
Way back someone told me that if a foreigner sets-up a company here, there are ways to buy land (either for 25 -50 years lease or co-ownership …)

[quote=“ceevee369”][quote=“Aboriginal girl”]To buy land you need to be a resident and some land foreigners cannot buy. Even Chinese cannot buy
[/quote]

:ponder: Not sure. “Land” and “property” are clear distinctions.

Way back someone told me that if a foreigner sets-up a company here, there are ways to buy land (either for 25 -50 years lease or co-ownership …)[/quote]

Some lands here even only Abo’s can buy ok. My husband just bought me some lands and houses which he cannot own because unlike me he is not aboriginal even though he’s Taiwanese.

A lease is not the same as buying neither is co ownership.

Better to move here and rent for a while to see if you can stand the area you’re thinking of living in. Taiwan isn’t much like HK. In areas where a “limited budget” can afford land, it’s even less likely to be anything like HK.

As well as the restriction on Aborigine land (which applies equally to Taiwanese people - as I understand it, it can only be leased) foreigners are not allowed to buy forest land. Which is probably a good thing, otherwise we’d have Chinese companies coming here cutting it all down.

Otherwise, a foreign resident is allowed to buy land in his own name. “Resident” means you must have an ARC or a PARC. If you come here and set up a company (which requires a fairly modest minimum investment) then your own company can sponsor your ARC, although the problem with that is that you must show a turnover of (I think) NT$1m each year. In other words, you can’t just set up a shell company that only sells ear-hair tweezers on eBay.

Building a house on land zoned as agricultural land is possible if you have over 2500m2. In theory it must be part of a working farm, and in theory the law has now got stricter on this issue. In practice, people continue to do as they please. I can’t be certain, but I would assume a hong bao is involved somewhere. If you do intend to actually operate an agricultural business, you won’t have a problem - but the flipside of that is that agricultural land is almost the same price as residential land, because the sellers know that it’s easy to get permission for building.

I wouldn’t recommend buying an existing building, unless your idea of a “dream house” is a mosquito-filled concrete cell.

Haha there are decent buildings here these days but outside the OPs budget I am sure. My idea was to bu a crappy old house, knock it and rebuild it if neccessary. This avoids many planning restrictions and uncertainties.

What most do is place a container on farmland for two years, it then becomes a farm structure which can then be converted into a permanent building. This building and land is still listed as a farm. You will be officially living in a barn!

It’s not that hard to do all these things but it takes effort and time and Chinese skills and probably some local help, especially in dispensation of payments to local planning office. And yes my parents in law are farmers and even to build on their own land for a new house a ‘hong bao’ was also paid. The whole area is covered in houses now so that’s a lot of hong baos!

You’d best spend a year or so actually in Taiwan before making any kind of rash decision like deciding to retire in the country. You may decide you don’t like it at all.

Let’s not go tell what he does or doesn’t like for once.

[quote=“Aboriginal girl”]To buy land you need to be a resident and some land foreigners cannot buy. Even Chinese cannot buy

Some lands here even only Abo’s can buy ok. My husband just bought me some lands and houses which he cannot own because unlike me he is not aboriginal even though he’s Taiwanese. [/quote]

Ah, ok, but that’s land in aboriginal areas (usually the old aboriginal reservations), which can only be (legally) owned by aborigines. This system was mainly put in place to prevent predatory Chinese-Taiwanese buyers from scamming the aborigines out of their land. Didn’t help a lot though: In many places, especially tourist destinations, outsiders now just “lease” property from the aborigines and plunk a hotel/house/farm/whatever on it. The government doesn’t seem to do anything about it (and in some cases are actually involved in the scam).

As far as I know, foreigners are allowed to own real estate in other areas.

There’s no restriction on foreigners owning real estate in general, Chinese did have some restrictions but it has reduced now. Forests are off limits. Farmland has issues for everybody.

Is there a map somewhere showing restricted vs. unrestricted areas?

we have been staying in hong kong for over 25 years and my hongkongese wife told me that taiwan will be the last piece of land on this earth which preserve “china” culture in the future, that’s why she insists on buying a piece of farm land and retire there. well, i have no idea about taiwan except i have worked in taipei for few months in 1994. basically, i follow my wife idea not bcoz i believe in her (well, i can’t quite differentiate between chinese and taiwanese) but because the australian dollar is quite good in value now which means i can buy a bigger piece of land plus i like spicy chinese food. so we decided to start out next stage of life (retirement) on a piece of farmland. i hope my answer can satisfied those who has been puzzling about my motivation. lol

It’s not so much that we are puzzled, as that you would have to be bonkers to buy land and settle in a country in which you have never lived before.

I mean, I think that Scotland is the most beautiful place on the planet. Unfortunately, it’s filled with and governed by a bunch of inbred hairy savages.

Your wife should be aware that Chinese culture is changing and evolving in all Chinese societies, not least Taiwan. I mean, what sort of thing is she afraid will disappear from other countries, but is hoping will be preserved here? Confucianism? Tea-drinking and calligraphy? (If she says “fortune telling,” then I guess she has a point.)