What does luxury in the housing market mean to you?

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What does luxury in the housing market mean to you?

Postby dutchdellboy2 » Sat Sep 09, 2006 3:01 pm

What does luxury in the housing market mean to you?

It is no longer super kitchens that reveal the must-haves that make a home a cut above the rest. Read here under what I personally think is the ultimate luxury that one can obtain in today’s housing market in Thailand.

I overheard the following conversation from an estate agent trying to sell a property in Chiang Mai’s Doi Suthep area….to the Thai wife of one of my foreign acquaintances.

And this, madam, is the bathroom, with a marble vanity unit and matching his-and-hers washbasins with gold-plated taps, which, I think you will agree is the height of luxury.”

Well no, not any more in my humble opinion, what a big bubble-cock sales talk, I thought.

The very well-mannered and certainly well-dressed sales person forgot to mention that the neighbours, who will, in the near future, build there house, [not even 15 meters away from the advertised dream house my acquaintances visited] would have the same “height of luxury” installed.

That, in my opinion, down grades his sales talk tremendously, as I am of the opinion that 8, more or less similar designed houses, on 1 Rai of land, [1600 square meter] would not give me the luxury I have been dreaming of since I set foot in the Land of the Smiles…. I always wanted to live on a large plot of land and not be reminded of the impossibility to do so in my country of origin [the Netherlands] where, it seems every square meter of available land for house-building-purposes, is occupied.
[485 people live on every available square kilometer of land in the Netherlands]

Facts are however that what passes for luxury has taken on a new meaning and developers now have to try much harder to copy and keep-up with western trend styles and demands for the people with a bit of extra cash-to-spend in their pockets.

Once a gadget or extra becomes commonplace, it will be dismissed as passé by the mainly Thai, Bangkok-based up-market-trendsetters. For a long time, fitted carpets and central air conditioners were the last word in comfort. Then it was kitchens with the latest ‘must have’ gadgets such as ice makers and/or espresso coffee machines and not forgetting to mention, en-suite toilets.

But these have now been superseded by home cinemas, gyms, indoor whirl-pools, iris-recognition systems that let the mea baan [house cleaner] in, and centralized computer controls that allow you to draw the curtains, switch on the TV and run a bath from the comfort of your sofa.

The advice nowadays is to install central air conditioning, plasma TVs, and a universal sound system.

Another big change in luxury lifestyles is the arrival of the open European-style kitchen which extends into the large living room. Also good security is another “must have” new luxury, such as metal shutters that come down automatically as you leave the house.

Taste in Thailand evolves and changes rapidly but my idea of real luxury includes much more elements of space combined of course with reasonable comfort and quality, than the very rapidly developing, cutting-edge technology.

I see qualities like space, peace and privacy as true luxury which I was unable to obtain in the Netherlands. I have been traveling throughout northern Thailand for many years before we decided on a plot of land for my Thai family and me to settle on; and it has these qualities.

Security can be partly obtained to live in or near by a village where everybody knows each other. A strange car or motor cycle passing by will be noticed, and in our case, there is only one way into the village which is the same way as traveling out of the village, unless you are very fit and able to flee over quite steep hills on foot. Furthermore, I plan to build 2 simple houses on the land for my local, village-based, workers who I know and trust for over 10 years. I have as yet certainly no need for metal shutters that come down automatically when we leave the house.

It is also a good idea to familiarize your self with the local community, know for instance, the village head just a bit better than only as the one being a significant person who has co-signed certain land documents, and be furthermore active where possible.

My Thai wife and I plan for instance to be active at the local P1-M3 school to help some interested pupils, during weekends, with free of charge Basic and Practical for the area, English lessons tuition [more and more tourists are visiting our village and take a boat nearby at the Mea Naam Kok River to visit Chiang Rai; opportunities will rise in the near future to work as tourist guides or local artifact sellers] and we will also give the school the use our swimming pool once a week.

We also ask locals to make certain objects for us instead of buying then ready-made in a store; a good example are the bamboo matting we use to partly decorate the walls of our house and to cover the ceilings. All these matters will help to connect us [outsiders] to the local community and automatically make our life much safer.

I feel I have no need for home cinemas, gyms, indoor wirl-pools, iris-recognition systems, or centralized computer controls; but do need space, peace, privacy, panoramic views, lots of green energy, and the slightly more mundane items such as: adequate ADSL internet connections, internet banking facilities and satellite television.

dutchdelboy2

who finally, [after slogging it out for 40 years with more serious work] found his true occupation: being a [still lousy at it] self-made DIY person ....
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Postby dozer » Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:32 am

I certainly agree that is does seem a bit off is this: The first thing you see is a high perimeter wall go around about 10 Rai of land, then the next thing is a bunch of two story houses separated by a few meters, then finally the big sign -- luxury houses 12.75 m to 14.5 m. I guess the idea is that if the houses were priced at 4 m to 6 m nobody would come to buy! That is the view down the block from here.

On security, it is more of an issue in dense areas like Pattaya, but I like your ideas on it.
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housing

Postby brooshie » Sun Nov 26, 2006 4:28 pm

Great post dutchboy.
We called you cloggies when we worked in holland.I worked there several times in the late seventies and lived in oistewijk,breda,tilburg and rotterdam.
It is a very nice country but very crowded,why would you live that way in asia?
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Postby Nawty » Sat Jun 02, 2007 7:28 pm

Yes, certainly good thought out ideas.

But it is also all relative, some things are not required upcountry that are required in the city.

Gagdets are gagdets, while I like some, such as a surround sound cinema experience etc, they also cost money and if you want to put them into a house, obviously you need to be able to afford them, they are not cheap.

At the recent architectural show at Impact arena, I saw a rather simple, but awesome spa bath that I would have loved to incorporate into a house I am currently building. Then the price hit me and at 550,000 just for a spa tub, I could build my pool for less than this.

Nothing at all in my opinion will ever beat space and views as a luxury item, but not all and every person can have them....or want them in fact. Everyone is different, some like gadgets, some like views, I like both to an extent....but also am practical when it comes to cost.

I mean gold plated taps, really, they belong in the barrell with the fully automated electric toilets. One day someone will get fried while having a bog and that will be the end of that.
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Re: What does luxury in the housing market mean to you?

Postby cnxtreme » Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:06 pm

dutchdellboy2 wrote:What does luxury in the housing market mean to you?

And this, madam, is the bathroom, with a marble vanity unit and matching his-and-hers washbasins with gold-plated taps, which, I think you will agree is the height of luxury.”

[b]Well no, not any more in my humble opinion, what a big bubble-cock sales talk, I thought.


What a brilliant post. I know I got late to this party, but I completely agree.

I guess land prices in Bangkok are so through the roof that developers try fancy technology to give potential buyers an illusion of high class luxury.

Of course, also in Chiang Mai most compound developers suffer from trying to cram as many houses in any given area as physically possible, never mind that the roofs almost touch!

I completely agree that most of the 'true' luxury is in the location, size and overall orientation / desirability of the land. From your profile it says you're in Tha Ton, so indeed the price of land is less of an issue there.. If you can live there then you can build a true palace.
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Re: What does luxury in the housing market mean to you?

Postby jazzman » Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:53 pm

[quote="cnxtreme"][quote="dutchdellboy2"]What does luxury in the housing market mean to you?

And this, madam, is the bathroom, with a marble vanity unit and matching his-and-hers washbasins with gold-plated taps, which, I think you will agree is the height of luxury.”

Oh, so true... congrats to the Dutch Dell Boy and everyone else who joined this party. The sad thing is, the real Delboys of this world actually go for this sort of thing, and because Thailand is such a cheap place to go for it for, they sure do go for it. Enlightened housing development owners who have done their homework have imported the talents of western salesmen to provide the above patter. Up here in the wilds of Isaan - shunned by the Pattayists with a "WTF do you wanna live up there for?" - roughly half of the punters for the houses on a snotrag of land on an estate are the nouveau riche prolos: lottery winners, or however else they didn't work too hard to get their cash.

They want everyone to know about their new found wealth (until it's their turn for a round in the pub), so a bombastic building with a 2m strip of 'garden?' round it, and expensive but totally useless kitch inside the kitchen is exactly what they do go for.

Everyone his market - and there are suckers everywhere.

At the end of the day for location : quality : space : quantity : price, you just can't beat buying your own land and building your own house on it which concurs with your own real needs in luxury.

Avoiding the pitfalls of course...
How to build a $20,000 / £14,000 house and a $???? MOTEL Updated 21 March 09 - with BOQ and costs
Don't let this happen in YOUR house.
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Re: What does luxury in the housing market mean to you?

Postby juehoe » Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:35 pm

Luxury in Thailand is for me a so-called “bio-climatic” house: sustainable, energy-efficient, energy-independent and built of natural, non-toxic materials.
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Postby jazzman » Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:38 pm

But sadly at a price for doing your bit for the environment. nevertheless, these guys try very hard to keep things in perspective. I had some PV fitted by them:
http://siamgpi.com
How to build a $20,000 / £14,000 house and a $???? MOTEL Updated 21 March 09 - with BOQ and costs
Don't let this happen in YOUR house.
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