some thoughts from Dozer
builder image

Where did the 10m go?

There is a luxury house close by here. No need to show a picture, it is a large, nicely done two story house. Talking with a developer friend of mine he told me the circumstances of the house being constructed. The falang owner contracted the job out to a falang builder. Price: 15m (not including land cost).

Amazing! I had been thinking to myself how the construction was probably 5m, but hearing the 15m figure really surprised me. Although there are a lot of variables in finishing a house out, this price puts it into a classic rip-off range. In all reality it could probably be done for around 5m with the best of all materials.

The buyer is totally satisfied with the price and the finished product, so why do I bring it up? I just think there are many cases of newcomers being conned by some falang about the difficulty of doing things over here. Granted, it isn’t the simplest place to get something done, but, happily construction is one of the easier things to do here. There are many excellent Thai construction companies who can do every size of project. You simply need to shop around, check references, get the plan done and iron out the details before getting started.

The other problem with European buyers sometimes is they don’t get any sticker shock. 15m is probably what it would cost to do the construction in Europe or America. So the buyer hears 15m and doesn’t think anything about it. Here a skilled laborer makes about 250 baht a day ($3.80) overseas it would be 25 times that much. Material costs are lower also. A handy rule of thumb –> figure out rough construction cost overseas and divide by 3, 4 or 5.

If you happen to find a falang you really like, simply give him 10m and have it done with!

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