5 Reasons Why Buying Property in Koh Samui, Thailand Might Be Easier Than You Thought

We’ve all fantasised about it before; living on a tropical Island. Perhaps it was when you were sat on the bus on your way to work, squashed between a tired nurse and an arrogant teenager; picturing your very own slice of paradise in your minds’ eye. Then as the bus comes to a sudden stop, you’re snapped back into reality and sink further into your bad mood because you convince yourself that it is something that will simply never happen.And why shouldn’t it happen for you? Why should you not be allowed to live on a luscious tropical island? As it turns out, there are ways in which you can make this happen, if that’s your wish. The question is though, where?Well, how does the heart of South-East Asia sound? More specifically, Koh Samui, in Thailand. Of course, you’ll have to work incredibly hard for it, save as much money as you can and focus on a career that can be continued in Asia (or a retirement plan); though that’s not to say its impossible.In this article I am going to list a few reasons why moving to and buying property on Koh Samui is well within the realms of possibility. If moving to an Island is what you’ve always dreamed of, then why not? After-all, we are the architects of our own reality, right?1 – Because You CanIt really is as simple as that: because you can. Yes, there are complications and a number of laws in place that make it quite difficult, though it’s not impossible. The problem is that there are always horror stories and rumours that float around, shattering everyone’s dreams. Yes, you can buy property in Thailand – no, it’s not impossible.


The only thing is that you have to do your research and know your rights. That being said; there are plenty of experienced legal aids in Thailand who will be able to guide you through every step of the process, including a wealth of Real Estate Agencies who will put your needs and desires first so as to ensure the smoothest transaction.It is worth putting in the extra effort, believe me. Read on and we will explore some of the things that make Koh Samui so special!Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the World, and expatriates from all over the World have long been flocking to its shores to start a new life. In the same breath; Koh Samui is one of the larger islands and has grown in popularity over recent years, thus contributing towards it booming economy and real estate industry – do you want to be a part of that? Because you can.2 – Because Koh Samui is MagnificentKoh Samui isn’t one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations by accident. It has gained such a reputation because of its unparalleled beauty. Koh Samui is truly one of the most beautiful locations in the entire World, rich with a cultural tapestry that will rend you awe-struck and inspired.The local Thai community are wonderful and accommodating too, welcoming all who flock to their shores with bright smiles and open arms.From the hustle of Chaweng Beach, to the tranquility of the Lamai side of the Island; Koh Samui has something to offer everyone. The island boasts a wealth of magnificent landmarks and activities, including the Ang Thong National Marine Park, Bophut’s Fisherman Village, the Secret Buddha Garden and the World-Famous Scuba Diving that Samui’s neighboring island, Koh Tao has to offer.3 – Because the Weather Doesn’t SuckWho doesn’t want to walk around in a vest and flip-flops all of the time? Some people (crazy people) like the cold, I for one could not think of anything worse. In Koh Samui you can enjoy the benefits of living in one of the most wonderful climates in the World.Sure, you’ll have to weather the occasional tropical storm during the rainy seasons, though even they come with their own unique set of charms. Yes, the power of mother nature can be rather intimidating, but there is something inexplicably remarkable about sitting on your balcony and watching as the storms rage and the skies light up in a grand display of electric artistry.4 – Because the Food in Thailand is far SuperiorOK, so this point may be a little biased and of course there are many who will disagree. But for the most part, anyone with great taste will know and understand that the Thai’s truly know how to eat! If you want to get away from the Fish and Chips and the Microwave Ready meals, then look no further than Thailand. They are known the World over as having some of the most magnificent food in the World.


But don’t worry, for those of you who aren’t too adventurous with their food, you will still have access to all of the western cuisine that your hearts desire. With plenty of local supermarkets selling everything you could possibly want for a slice of home.5 – Because the Properties are Worth Every PennyIt’s no secret that money goes much further in Thailand. For what you would spend on a 2-bedroom terraced house in elsewhere, you could instead buy a villa with your very own private swimming pool! The Real Estate industry in Thailand is booming and there is a wealth of quality and experienced Real Estate Agents in the market who will be able to help you find your dream home without straying over your budget.In fact, even if you were to simply rent a property in Thailand, (which is entirely viable) to compare – rent prices in the United Kingdom are 96.83% higher. In a nutshell, your money will go much further and you’ll be able to live a much better quality of life. Stop dreaming and make it your reality.

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Japanese Housing Conditions

In Japan, land price is expensive and housing conditions regarding its rent and size are not good compared to other countries. Accommodation is a very serious problem even for the Japanese particularly in urban areas, which lack spacious and low cost housing.

1. Japanese rental housing

In Japan there is both public housing and private housing. Apartments make up the majority of rental housing.

a) Public housing

Public housing is provided by official organizations such as prefectural, city, and town governments, and housing supply corporations. Any non-Japanese who has an alien registration can apply for this kind of housing regardless of nationality. There are two types of housing: Koei Jutaku (public housing) is for people who have a low income; and Tokutei Yuryo Chintai Jutaku (delux family housing) and Kosha/Kodan Jutaku (Public Corporation housing) for those with a middle-class income.

These apartments provide a certain level of facilities at relatively low rent. It is necessary to pay two to three months’ rent as a deposit (guarantee money) at your tenancy, but key money which is necessary for private housing is not required.

However, qualifications such as income are precisely determined, and only those who satisfy these qualifications can apply. As there are many applicants, the tenants are determined by lottery. After moving in, the tenants must comply with the regulations for use (i.e. nobody is allowed to live together with the tenants without permission). This type of housing is mainly apartments, which generally include kitchen, bath, and oshiire (closet), with one to four rooms.

b) Private rental housing

Private rental housing is owned by individuals and private companies. The type varies in rent and size.

1. Aparto (Apartment)

These are mainly two-story buildings constructed from light-weight steel, wood, or mortar, and house 4 to 8 households. Some of them share a toilet and/or have no bath.

2. Mansion (Apartment)

In Japan, housing which is bigger than an Aparto and built with reinforced concrete is called a Mansion. The insulation is better than an Aparto, and privacy is better. Some have a custodian living on the first floor or others have an underground parking lot.

3. Detached house

Detached houses have recently been designed using a mixture of Japanese and Western styles. Some of them have a garden. There are several rental houses designed especially for non-Japanese’ but not many.

2. Typical housing size and floor plan

The area is indicated in square meters (m2) as well as original Japanese units, “jo” and “tsubo.” One jo means one tatami mat, and is roughly 180 cm x 90 cm. (“Tatami” is a unique Japanese floor covering). One tsubo is 182 cm x 182 cm or about 3.3m2 and equals approximately two jo. There are Japanese-style and Western-style rooms. A Japanese-style room has tatami mats and a Western-style room has flooring or a carpeted floor. Below is a typical Japanese housing floor plan.

• K, DK, LDK – K means kitchen, D means dining room and L means living room. K means only a kitchen and DK means a dining room plus kitchen, and LDK means a room which has the function of a living room as well as dining room and kitchen. Therefore, 2DK means a house which has two rooms in addition to a room having the function of kitchen and dining room.

• UB – UB means unit bath (unified formation bathroom), which includes bathtub, toilet and washbowl.

• Oshiire (closet) – This means a storage space in a Japanese-style room.

• PS – This means a pipe space containing drainpipes and wiring conduits.

• MB – This means the meter box for water and gas.

Floor plan for One-room Mansions (one-room apartments)

(Example) Facilities are compact and there is one room which can be used as a living room. The kitchenette is very small, so that elaborate cooking is not possible. Some of them don’t have any space for a washing machine inside the room.

Floor plan for detached houses

(Example)

• Most detached houses in modern Japan have both Japanese and Western-style rooms.

• Some of them have a garden and a parking space.

3. Customs regarding Japanese housing

a) Shoes - In Japanese housing, there is an area for removing shoes before stepping up into the main entrance. Japanese people sit on the floor and sleep on a futon on the tatami, the Japanese traditional floor mats, so stepping on them with shoes on is not allowed. If you enter a room wearing shoes and dirt the mats, you might have to pay repair costs.

b) BathroomIn Japan bathing is not only washing the body but also a chance to relax while soaking in the bathtub. Recently bathrooms consisting of a Western-style bath with toilet have become popular, but the Japanese traditional bathroom is separate from the toilet and has a space to wash the body outside the bathtub. Bathtubs are mainly made of plastic or stainless steel. If you live with a Japanese family, you must keep the water in the bathtub as clean as possible because the rest of the family will take turns to use the water after you. Do not use soap in a Japanese-style bathtub. The water is heated mainly by gas.

c) Tatami matsTatami mats are a traditional floor covering of straw sewn to make a mat about 5.5 cm thick and bound by woven rush. One tatami mat (jo) is also the unit used to indicate the size of a room. New tatami is green and the tatami mats are changed every few years or whenever moving house.

d) Futon (thick bedquilt), bed and oshiire (closet)In a Japanese house, generally the futon is rolled out every night and folded away in the oshiire every morning. During the daytime, the futon is kept inside the oshiire. In this way, a single room can be used for various purposes. If a bed is placed on the tatami mats, they are dented and damaged, so it is recommended to put boards under the legs of the bed.

e) City gas and propane gasElectricity or gas is provided for the stove and bath. There are two types of gas: city gas (coal gas), led to each household from gas company tanks, and propane gas, provided by dealers in the form of cylinders. City gas is managed by Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. and propane gas is managed by individual dealers. Gas cookers etc. should be supplied by tenants.

f) Water supply and drainageAlmost all areas of Kanagawa Prefecture have water supply facilities. You can drink the tap water. In most cases there is a drainage or a water purification tank. The drainage system is not suitable for a disposer.

g) ToiletThe Japanese-style toilet has a cover (dome) at the front. When the toilet is shared with other tenants, separate toilet slippers should be used.

h) Air conditioning / heatingSome housing has air conditioning/heating but in most cases, tenants have to buy their own. Fuel for heating includes electricity, gas, and kerosene. Sometimes the use of kerosene is prohibited.

I) Fusuma and shojiThese are unique Japanese sliding doors to separate rooms. Fusuma is a wooden frame with fusuma paper pasted on both sides. Shoji is a latticed wooden frame with shoji paper windows. It is possible to make a room bigger by removing fusuma to connect the rooms. Fusuma pasting should be done by a specialist but when shoji paper is torn, you can buy shoji paper and repair it yourself.

4. Common problems and how to troubleshoot

a) Remove footwearDo not enter a house with shoes on. Be sure to remove shoes at the entrance.

b) Deposit -Most of the problems related to renting involve the deposit. In Japan when you rent a house, you have to pay a deposit to the house owner. This deposit is given to the house owner and returned without any interest when the lease is cancelled. However, repair costs are deducted, so the deposit is usually not returned in full. As the specific agreement of the rent is contained in the rental housing contract, please check the contract thoroughly and don’t break it. As for the other expenses when making a contract, please refer to page 39.

c) Number of residentsThe number of residents is confirmed when the contract is made. Additional residents are not allowed.

d) NoiseDo not make loud noises late at night. In apartments, the sound echoes more than you think. As the sound of running a large amount of water also bothers neighbors, try not to run a bath or do washing late at night.

e) PetsThere are almost no apartments allowing pets other than small birds and goldfish. If you do find one where you can keep pets, please follow the rules.

f) KitchenIf you cook with a large amount of oil, clean the area soon after by wiping the sink and cooking area. The ventilation fan should also be cleaned regularly.

g) Putting out the garbageGarbage is collected by the municipal government. The collection point, date, and method are determined in each area. There are areas where flammable garbage and nonflammable garbage should be separated. As for large garbage items, there are areas where the collection date is already determined, or you can sometimes arrange to have them picked up. Please consult your neighbors or the municipal government.

h) Long-term absenceWhen you are not at home for a long time, you should notify the house owner. Rent must be paid even when you are away.

i) Remodeling of the roomIf you want to remodel a room, such as by putting a nail into a pole or attaching a hook to the wall for holding clothes, you should first consult owner. It is assumed that you will leave the room in the condition it was in when you rented it. If you remodel the room and it cannot be returned to its original state, your deposit will not be returned, or additional payments may be required.