Buying property in Asia?


#1

Does anyone have any experience, or info, on buying freehold property in an Asian country?

Both Thailand and Bali have some insecure requirements or arangments, such as ownership held by a citizen of the country (a nominee), 20 year renewable leases etc etc.

Is it in fact possible to buy a nice little villa close to a white sand beach in a pleasant low-cost-of-living country?

And will I be able to feel secure in knowing that my parents, and eventually I, can retire there, and live happily ever after?


#2

Try Malaysia if you have no problem with the state religion there.


#3

Why–Is the state religion enforced?


#4

I have just re-discovered http://escapeartist.com a great source of info, although a lot of the (dirt cheap) real state focus seems to be in South America. From what I understand you can actually buy freehold there.

Malaysia is way to expensive, the cost of living and the real estate.


#5

Why–Is the state religion enforced?

To a certain extend: First of all not everyone is comfortable with Islam and extremist groups & the opposition party are fighting to implement the “Syariah” laws (like chopping of your hand when you steal etc.).

But even now the rules are strict, you cannot stay with a (muslim) person of the other sex in the same room (not even watching TV only) and in two states on the east coast of the peninsular which are controlled by the opposition you may find two queues in the supermarket and sitting on a bus is divided by male and female, too.
In Kuala Lumpur things are more “relaxed” like couples holding hand public, but you must always beware of the religious police when you get involved with a muslim.

Currenlty is quite ok otherwise but I am rather worried that the opposition gains more control (most people actually want a change but are too un-educated to realize it is not necessarily for the better) and they re-instate the Islamic laws, making a giant step back in time. No fun then …


#6

What about Vietnam? Definitly cheap, and an extremely friendly place if you can respect thier culture and not try to f*#@ every thing that moves like expats in other countries do.


#7
quote:
Originally posted by Ryan P.: What about Vietnam? Definitly cheap, and an extremely friendly place if you can respect thier culture and not try to f*#@ every thing that moves like expats in other countries do.
Let's be fair. Men everywhere try to do that.

#8

Yes, but you can’t deny that

  1. Many expats are expats for the main purpose of getting it every night.

  2. The ones who didn’t consider that when becoming expats find themselves having a hard time turning down a constant supply of 1 night stands, and a hard time resisting acting in a way they wouldn’t act back home as well.


#9

Sorry to go so far off-topic here, but…

  1. Many expats are expats for the main purpose of getting it every night.
    I disagree. Most of the foreigners I know in Taipei are here primarily for business or study. The fringe benfits may be attractive, but don’t constitute the main reason for being here. Of course, I’m in my mid-30s and married, as are most of my friends, so we don’t have sex anymore.

  2. The ones who didn’t consider that when becoming expats find themselves having a hard time turning down a constant supply of 1 night stands, and a hard time resisting acting in a way they wouldn’t act back home as well.

Again, men are men. These same people would have a hard time turning down a constant supply of 1-night stands in their home country, if they had that option. As for acting in a way they would not back home, I’m not sure what you mean.

As for buying property…
I’d avoid Taiwan. The prices are still out of line compared with with rent. If you bought the $30k/month apartment you’re living in, the mortgage would probably be closer to $50k or $60k/month. You’d likely be better off renting and investing the difference. The same is true, to a lesser extent, in Malaysia. My inlaws bought a place for about USD150,000 in Malacca, but they could rent it out for only a few hundred/month.Still, there are tax benefits to buying, and you have to look at market dynamics. I doubt housing prices in Taiwan will be moving up appreciably in the next few years. I’m not sure of other countries in the region.


#10

I don


#11

About the expats thing, all I am saying is that in a country like Vietnam (the regions with houses and neighborhoods, not the center of cities) you would be expected to be a bit more conservative and a little less horny then as an expat in Taiwan or Japan. Keep in mind that in the past 50 years (through many Vietnamese’ eyes) they were invaded (off the top of my head) by at least 3 foreign groups. I am not sure what they think of the Hmong defense armies and all them, I keep hearing conflicting stories. Anyways, its a place were people would love you if tried to learn thier language and blend in with thier culture more then most other Asians would expect you to. If you go out fornicating you could easily remind them of the French, American, and Chinese soldiers. Look for example at how many barfights there are in Korea. Traditional places and horny foreigners don’t mix. But I am getting way off of the subject here.

How about looking into some places you might not have thought of. Cambodia is improving at a breakneck speed compared to its neighbors, although keep in mind that its still a recently former communist country and that its just been 3 years since the reform drive has started. Its government has embraced economic and social reforms, it seems. With US $40k I bet you could buy a pretty pimp house there. I don’t know what the legalities of foreigners buying houses there are though. But it seems like a pretty laid back to retire. And who knows, 10 years from now your house value will probably be considerably higher then what you bought it for.


#12
quote:
Originally posted by Jeff: [QB]Of course, I'm in my mid-30s and married, as are most of my friends, so we don't have sex anymore./QB]

Hey, that’s bullshit! I’m married and I clearly – CLEARLY – remember having sex, why… no more than a month or two before Chinese New Year. Remember Jeff, some of us remain sex gods well into our 40s.


#13

Sandman, it only counts if there’s someone else in the room with you.


#14

My wife heard that the Taiwan government was making housing loans available at 3.1%. That’s low! Makes a huge difference in your monthly payment. We’re paying 6.2% for our house in California, and were lucky to get that. At least the interest is tax deductable. I’m prettty sure it is in Taiwan as well, for your primary residence.


#15

Houses in Cambodia aren’t quite the prices I thought they would be but they are still very cheap. ~10 sq. ft = 1 sq. m, right?

http://www.chiangmairealty.com/cambodia.htm


#16

But can foreigners buy there?


#17

The issue is not just if foreigners can buy there, it is also about the actual ownership of the property. In Bali for example you must make an agreement with a citizen who holds ownership, but you are supposed to have this ‘solid’ contract which prevents your nominee from selling the property. Very dodgy I feel.

Your residency rights are also important here, for example I would never by in Taiwan unles I had PR status.

I have been exploring escapeartist.com a lot but they do not really focus on Asia too much. South America however is covered in detail. Not only can you truly own your property freehold there, they also have special retirement residency packages.

Basically you can retire there at a certain age, obtain residency etc. And ‘all’ you need is an income of US$2000 per month, from a pension plan or whatever. AND when you die your children or relatives can inherit the property, this is not the case in Bali and Thailand.

I have thought about SE ASia, and am looking for info on the net about the siuation there.

Basiccaly I am looking for a country where I can buy a property now, where my parents can retire in about 5 years time, and where I can retire when it is my turn.


#18

I’ve read that you can buy condos in Thailand–up to 40% of the units can be owned by foreigners. Another option in Thaiand is buying a house but leasing the land it’s on–usually a 30-year lease from what I understand. You can’t own the actual land.


#19

Its looking like property laws suck all over SE Asia.


#20

My friend married in Thailand and wanted to buy a condo (aka apartment) in Bangkok - no foreign ownership there, i.e. he paid but it’s registered under his wifes name.
Same applies to land he told me.