some thoughts from Dozer
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Foreclosure – Get a House for Free

image npl.jpgfrom Peter M To answer some of your questions. I found the NPL (non-performing loan) on line through the Thai Farmers website which has an English version. You just type in what area of bangkok you’d like to buy in and your price range and whamm….it comes up. It’s a bid process and once you submit your bid they send you a letter in a couple weeks to inform you if you were successful.

But after recent investigations I found that the NPL’s listed represent only a tip of the ice berg. The bank’s postings are pretty slow moving. And, to actually get them to meet you for an appointment to inspect the property is a great task. Pretty lazy actually…I suspect no commissions for them so this hampers their vitality to close deals. The original auction price for my homestead was 2.89m which is 300 metres in from Suttisan MRT on a quiet, attractive, dead end soi. My first bid was 2.3 which was rejected they informed me I could have it for 2.6 would be the lowest the bank would go.

Given the fact that the land price is 45,000 per Talang Wah in that area, and my two story house has 60 talang wah. I purchased the house and the property for 100,000 baht under market price for just land. When we finally did the land transfer the official value was rated at 3.2.

So all in all a good deal. As I mentioned in my earlier letter, be careful about transfer fees and Seller’s tax. I fought my battle based upon the knowledge that a colleague had purchased an NPL from them less than 2 months previous and DID NOT pay the Seller’s tax.

I’m on my second contractor for various reasons. Mainly, the first who seemed pretty honest and straight, suddenly starting coming up with exorbitant quotes for additional work. Moreover, the contractor took 40% for operation handling and profit so what seemed originally reasonable was really overpriced.

What I’ve learned now is before the contractor starts- KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT AND HAVE A PLAN. It will save you alot of money. Second, when you draw up a contract be as precise and detailed as possible, even if it seems your bordering on stupidity. If it’s on the paper than there is no contestation.

Contractors have a way of getting greedy as the project goes on. Maybe, they get bothered by the fact that their initial quotation was too low, or that they think you are secure with them and won’t bother to switch or subcontract out.

Things you might of thought were implied in the contract might not be so (i.e. does building the new extension to your house include installation of a false ceiling?) and you may find yourself paying much more for the final project. Write everything you want to have done down, and do it to the specifications of material and size. And stretch out your payments to at least four.

I’ve made a point of buying the material myself. Which is keeping the costs WAY down, though I have to run around a bit. Another plus, is that you can be assured of the quality of the material if you buy it yourself. Most good big hardware stores are run by Thai-Chinese who speak English. They can offer up some amazing insight and assistance in your home building project.

On the other side, when you go to visit your house, if it is weekly you should bring rice or food even if it is just something small as a sign of your appreciation for their work. I make a point of bringing a couple bags of rice a week. A bottle of whiskey once a week ( I don’t want to encourage a party atmosphere). Sometimes, workers will get cheeky and ask for whiskey outright, but I just smile and say in Thai….Saturday!

Thanks Dozer for the great site. I have a couple of structural questions pertaining to the building of my new second floor addition in steel for your site fans but will wait for the pictures.

Editor: Sounds like you did your homework and were persistent in getting everything done correctly. Good pointer on buying your own materials, this is a great way to save cost and increase quality at the same time. And I have to agree that repair/remodel is much more problematic that new construction.

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