There are many ways to lose your savings. Here you can experience a few examples from our world. The victims are ordinary people with one thing in common. They have all underestimated the risks, overestimated their own ability and trusted others too much. A bad combination all over the world as well in Thailand.

Learn more about the mistakes of others and how to avoid them in these examples:

  • Working illegally in the sun
  • DIY buyer
  • The house that did not exist
  • The broke developer
  • Price chock for condominium buyer

Working illegally in the sun

Not uncommon is the leisure- and blackbroker. A nice private person offers to help you buy a home at "good prices". The fact that they work without a work permit and without paying taxes are unfortunately accepted by some buyers as long as they think they are making a bargain.

A good looking website is no guarantee, ask for a valid work permit.

The risks with these individuals are for instance:

  • Your money is managed on private accounts
  • If Thai tax authorities were to intervene you could suffer as well
  • With lack of competence comes risks
  • Difficult to claim your right if something goes wrong


Sample customer

By the pool at the hotel, Göran and Yvonne met their "broker". He was nice and showed a number of condominiums he had for sale. Although the showings were messy and confusing, they decided to buy. Contracts were written and payment was done.

Upon moving in it was discovered that they had bought another, worse condominium than agreed. The "broker's reaction:" -I'm just as surprised as you are but unfortunately I can't do anything".

Footnote. The names are fictitious.

The Do-it-yourself buyer

Those who make a home purchase by themselves are at risk. The most common are couples where one half is a Thai national. Many people believe that language skills and being a native is enough for a safe purchase which is far from reality. It takes knowledge, experience and know-how to do everything right in a real estate transaction. Do your home have country trained specialists in the real estate industry?


Sample customer

Björn and Ing-Marie have spent a lot of time in Thailand and have several Thai friends. When they found their dream house, they got help to buy the house and establish a lease on the land.

Everything was fine until the landowner became ill and had to sell his land. When the new owner quadrupled the rent it was discovered that they had forgotten to register the lease at Land Office. Björn and Ing-Marie finally got tired and left their dream. Loss USD 78,000

Footnote. The names are fictitious.

The house that didn't exist

This Thai couple took out a loan and bought their dream home. Despite high education, they were unaware of what papers a buyer must check and request before buying. However, you can not blame them too much. How much does your average citizen know about real estate law, zonings or building permit regulations?


Sample customer

One day Eeek and Noi were informed that the house they bought a few years ago would be demolished. It lacked the documentation needed for buildings. The ERA was hired and managed to produce all the necessary documents and carried out relevant registrations retroactively. The cost was only ERA's fee and a few sleepless nights.

Footnote. The names are fictitious.

The developer without money

Off plan projects are a common source of problems. The buyer commits to buy a house or a condominium and pays according to an established plan. Too often this is done almost without any idea of the projects mortgages, ownerships or other important economic facts.


Sample customer

During their search for a house in Thailand, Ulf and Katharina fell in love with a house that had everything. The right price, the right location and in addition it would be completed for their next holiday. Shortly after the 3rd payment, construction was stopped. The Swedish builder, without its own financing, had to discontinue all operations. Subsequently the bank sold the land and buildings at auction. Cost USD 52,000.

Footnote. The names are fictitious.

Price increase for condominium buyer

Risks also exist with condominium deals, as seen above, but they are less common. Problem can concern ownership documents, mortgaging or title deed status. Some sellers are falsely trying to sell a leasehold condominium as a freehold property.


Sample customer

Thomas responded to an ad with a nice condominium for sale at a reasonable price. A nice British "broker" showed the condominium and Thomas decided to buy. He signed a contract and paid 30% in down payment, USD 29,000. Once at LandOffice, it was discovered that the apartment was recently mortgaged. As the contract was worded, there was no protection for Thomas. He chose to redeem the creditor for an additional USD 35,000.

Footnote. The names are fictitious.

How to avoid similar mistakes?

Buy through ERA Oakfield Thailand

To choose ERA Oakfield Thailand is a good start on the way to a new home. We have the competence and experience to help you correctly and our work routines and control processes mean that risks and mistakes can be avoided. There is a reason why Thai private customers, projects and investors come to us for advice and help.


Hire a international lawfirm

Use a reputable, international law firm from Bangkok. It's not cheap but typically you get what you pay for. Avoid local talants and people connected to a seller or a project. Do not hire acquaintances or friends.


Use common sence

A third piece of advice is to use your common sense. It goes a long way! Ask questions, request documentation, work permits and company information from the person you are doing business with. Be aware of your limitations.