Taking the plunge

A blurb about who you are an your interest in Thai real estate.

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Taking the plunge

Postby rchapstick » Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:02 am

Hi all

Been lurking a bit, but due to recent events, I have decided to plunge in head first into this forum.

A bit about myself ... early fifties and split my work life between Thailand and Northern California. Have a Thai wife, and she's got a townhouse in the BKK suburbs. I've also got a house in CA that, when I retire, should net me a nice chunk of change and fund a (hopefully) long and enjoyable retirement.

For now, the townhouse in Bangkok is quite workable. The place is a good size, and most importantly it is a nice community. Solid working middle class folks who look out for each other, and the wifey has loads of friends. An OK commute into the city for work. But both of us are looking for something more relaxed as a retirement place. So over the past 6 months or so, we've been looking at places near the ocean ... Bang Saphan, Hua Hin, Cha Am, Na Jomtien, Sattahip, Rayong ... you get the picture. Looking for someplace that has enough infrastructure (transportation, shopping, hospitals, etc) to make things easy, but without the craziness of, say, Pattaya or Phuket. In the end we both fell in love the the area around Bang Saray, about 15 km's south of Pattaya.

So over the summer, we spent a lot of spare time in the area looking at real estate in Bang Saray. We looked at developments, but saw lots of overpriced stuff on very little land. We both would like something around 1 rai or so, and were willing to look at raw land, as well as maybe a fixer-upper. Saw absolutely nothing in the fixer-upper category that we even remotely liked.

Now the land thing is a different matter. We saw lots and lots of possibilities. But unlike in, say, the US, shopping for land in Thailand is a weird experience (or at least it was for me). There is a LOT of stuff that is listed as for sale, but at "I'm waiting for and idiot sucker to overpay" prices. Then there is land that has "issues", like one we saw with a DTAC tower and 20 years left on a 30 year lease. So lots of driving around, lots of talking with random folks, lots of dead ends. In the end, what you want is someone that needs to sell NOW, and is willing to be reasonable on the price. The scouting about may seem fruitless at times, but it did give us a sense for what pricing is reasonable, and what is not.

So I am back in Thailand for October and the some of November, and we've been "semi" flooded out of our house in BKK ("semi", as in the area was flooded, but our house remained dry ... thankfully). So we ended up renting a small condo in Jomtien for the time. This gave us lots of time for further scouting. We were honestly not in a huge rush to buy, as we really don't plan to build for a year or two at least, but were willing to be opportunistic. Anyway, during our travels, the opportunity arose. We found a lot, 1 rai plus, about 300 meters from the sea, and in a soon to be developed area near lots of very nice homes and some very nice new construction. Close enough to walk to the beach, or bicycle into town to the market. Level lot, mostly cleared, concrete road (new) with electricity. Wifey and I both think this could be the one, but we play it very cool. Owner really wants to sell, but we keep downplaying it with them. They drop the price a little, then a lot. We counter with an all-cash offer, they come down a bit more, but we tell 'em take it or leave it. OK, they say they'll take it, but it has to be NOW! OK, deal.

So now me and the missus are Bang Saray real estate barons. Now what? Well, not much for now. We'll want to build a wall, and have gotten contact info for our neighbors, so we can discuss sharing a wall and the associated costs (if possible). We'll also want to add some dirt and grade a bit, then let it settle. But no rush on either front. Maybe in a couple of years we'll put in a small bungalow/guest cottage and use that as a vacation home until we are ready for the big build.

Thanks to all past and present who have shared their building stories and knowledge. Lots to think about and to plan, but plenty of time to do it.

Looking forward to sharing our building story.
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby MGV12 » Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:55 am

rchapstick wrote:Hi all

Been lurking a bit, but due to recent events, I have decided to plunge in head first into this forum.

Hi rchapstick ... yes we have many shadowy figures lurking .. welcome into the spotlight.

Sounds like you have the right ideas ... look forward to the build story in due course.

“Some days I am an optimistic pessimist ... other days I am a pessimistic optimist”
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby thailazer » Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:25 am

Welcome rchap.... Taking it slow is good so you can enjoy the process. It took us 5 years to find land and we finally have started building a small hacienda. Getting the dirt moved in and letting it settle at least one rainy season is a very good idea. Best of luck.
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby Maseratimartin » Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:31 am

Welcome...and don't forget the guest house for coolthaihouse members :lol:
Would you mind telling us, or at least I would be interested, what you finally paid for the land?

Good luck

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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby pattayapope » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:52 pm

Welcome to the forum sounds like we are getting quite a little CTH comunity in the area South of Pattaya, you are most welcome to visit my place it might help to give you some ideas. Infact any regular member is most welcome to come by on weekends, just let me know in advance.
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby rchapstick » Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:23 pm

Thanks for the welcome, and for the offer from PP. Might take you up on that one.

In the end we paid 2.5 million baht for the land. From what I can gather form research, asking prices for nearby properties ranged from 3.0 to 6.0 and up. Cheaper properties can be had across Sukhumvit and up the hill a bit (some with nice views of the ocean), but the properties were a bit too isolated for our tastes.

If someone can someone direct me to instructions on posting photos, I can post a pic of the lot.
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby elgato » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:09 am

Oh great! Another lurker! :lol:

Welcome and looking forward to seeing your build. :D
I thought I was wrong once but I was mistaken.
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