"Buying" A Home in Taiwan

I am trying to understand what it actually means to buy a home in Taiwan. I know that in China “buying” a home equates to a 99 year lease. Is home ownership in Taiwan the same as it is in China or is it akin to US policy where the land and properly is owned and taxes are continually paid?

Broadly, it’s similar to the US system. You “own” the concrete that comprises your apartment (or, more specifically, the inside surfaces). The rest of the building, and the land, is the responsibility of a management company, typically contracted by the builders. Sounds fine in principle.

However, because the builders know that anything that goes wrong (or which costs a lot to maintain) is Somebody Else’s Problem, they put up shoddy buildings with completely impractical features (like “free” swimming pools) and poor design (excessive power requirements). Therefore, an outrageous monthly fee is payable, in the $2000-4000 range depending on the size of your apartment. The management company will be run by an “elected” board of community members, who are typically well-connected chinless wonders who couldn’t manage a piss-up in a brewery. Some of them will have their fingers in the till, and the others will look the other way. The net result is that the building will slowly fall to bits, and all the “features” will be shut down one by one because the administrators don’t know how to maintain them (or can’t afford to because all the money has been stolen). When you buy a house in Taiwan, it’s better to look at it as a 40-year lease with ground rent, because in 40 years it’ll need knocking down anyway.

If you’re going to buy, buy a detached house. Even then, you need check whether the builders have put up something that looks nice but doesn’t actually work properly. The “European” houses are the worst offenders: they present an enormous cooling load in summer because they’re not suited to the climate.

Not necessarily.

Although that’s true for most large new buildings, an apartment in a standard 5-story apartment building usually comes with the land – or rather a percentage of it based on your share of the entire building.

Not necessarily.

Although that’s true for most large new buildings, an apartment in a standard 5-story apartment building usually comes with the land – or rather a percentage of it based on your share of the entire building.[/quote]

The land is the more important part to look for.
If you don’t own any land you own nothing.
We pay every year two taxes, one is for the apartment and the other is for the land.

Before buying a house you should get all these information from the appropriate government offices.

Who owns the apartment?
How much money do they still have to pay to the bank.
Has anyone died of unnatural causes within the apartment.
Is the building legal. If the house number to the right/left or further down the alley don’t match up, double check.

Never sign anything with the agent or anyone else, unless, you are sure that you want to buy the place and you agreed to the price.

You do own the land, or a portion of the plot of land the building is standing on, unless you’re purchasing just the 地上權 (above-ground rights), in which case you own just the apartment unit and not the land. With the skyrocketing housing prices, the latter is becoming more and more popular, especially in the Taipei downtown area.

[quote=“Hamletintaiwan”]The land is the more important part to look for.
If you don’t own any land you own nothing. [/quote]
I know someone who thought he was buying a house and the land. But he ended up with just the house. The “friend” who screwed him over soon left the country.

Caveat emptor.

[quote=“cranky laowai”][quote=“Hamletintaiwan”]The land is the more important part to look for.
If you don’t own any land you own nothing. [/quote]
I know someone who thought he was buying a house and the land. But he ended up with just the house. The “friend” who screwed him over soon left the country.

Caveat emptor.[/quote]
How on earth did he not notice that?

This is true but irrelevant. All this allows you to do is pay land tax; there is no benefit in ownership of a share of the land. For all practical purposes, it’s the same as a leasehold purchase in that you are at the mercy of others for the maintenance of your building and the grounds.

This is true but irrelevant. All this allows you to do is pay land tax; there is no benefit in ownership of a share of the land. For all practical purposes, it’s the same as a leasehold purchase in that you are at the mercy of others for the maintenance of your building and the grounds.[/quote]

I had different thoughts about that on 06/08 00:38 and 06/02 13:43.

If this house here ever came down and nobody bothered getting a new project done, I still could place myself on that one ping and sell tomatoes.