Neil McDonough

The plus points and the downsides

The advantages and disadvantages of different types of Bangkok properties


In life it seems everything is compromise and no one has it all or it seems can get it all. It does not matter whether this is in reference to a job or career, a relationship or even a property in which to lives. Mick Jagger famously sings 'you can't always get what you want' and this is a message that most mature people understand and accept without much fuss (of course ironically Mr. Jagger has it seems got a lot more than most people out of his life).

So this message applies to real estate in Bangkok, and anyone who has moved to Bangkok to live or is a current resident of Bangkok and is thinking of moving to new property, the pluses and minuses of any new property have to be weighed up.

Whatever type of property you are considering, whether it be an apartment, a condominium a townhouse or a detached house there will be several other factors that need consideration.

• Costs and budget
• Location
• Size of the property
• Ease of transport to and from the property (convenience)
• Hidden costs (e.g. ravel costs, time in traffic etc)
• Amenities (WiFi, TV, Phone etc)
• Facilities (swimming Pool, parking etc)
• External Amenities (near by supermarket, 7-11 etc)
• Livability (cleanliness, age, comfort etc)

However in Bangkok as in many cities around the world there are four distinctive types of property in which to live, and although not every type of property will be consider by every Bangkok resident or expat looking for accommodation, it is worth analyzing the various advantages and disadvantages presented by each type of property.

Condominiums

Advantages

1. Often located within walking distance or short motorbike ride of a BTS/MRT station
2. Often new and well designed
3. Utility bills paid direct utility company, no premiums
4. Flexibility of amenities (choose your own internet package etc)
5. Facilities often generous - swimming pool, fitness studio, car park etc
6. Security usually good and very safe

Disadvantages

1. Often smaller than other forms of property
2. Often more expensive per square meter than other forms of property to rent
3. Landlords can be a mixed bag - could get unlucky of you deal direct with an unscrupulous or naive landlord
4. Difficult to meet neighbors - not much sense of community
5. Almost certainly will not allow cats, dogs and large pets
6. No gas cooking allowed

Apartments

Advantages

1. Often located within walking distance or short motorbike ride of a BTS/MRT station
2. Usually better value for money to rent per square meter than a condo
3. Facilities often generous - swimming pool, fitness studio, car park etc
4. Security usually good and very safe
5. Kitchens may be fitted with gas cookers
6. Will possibly allow small pets such as cats and lap-dogs

Disadvantages

1. Can be old and have poor lay-outs - wasted space
2. Central landlord controls all units, so not much room for negotiation on many aspects of living
3. Amenities often predetermined - no flexibility on internet and TV packages
4. Difficult to meet neighbors - little sense of community
5. May not allow pets - depends on owners building policy
6. Utility bills will often be subject to a premium making bills more expensive

Town-houses

Advantages

1. Will allow pets such as dogs and cats of any size
2. More living space than condos or apartments in general
3. Outside living space as well
4. Often a sense of community in the Moo Baan
5. Easy to meet neighbors
6. Flexibility of amenities (choose your own internet package etc)
7. Gas cooking allowed

Disadvantages

1. Lack of facilities - swimming pool and fitness studios rare
2. May be at risk of flooding if we have a return of the 2011 crisis
3. Security often not as tight as condos or apartments, so theft or break-ins are possible
4. Townhouses near BTS/MRT stations are often expensive if of high quality or new.
5. Older buildings may be subject to problems such as damp or termites
6. Moo Baans are often located further from BTS/MRT stations due to land restrictions and prices

Detached Houses

Advantages

1. Will allow pets such as dogs and cats of any size
2. More living space than condos or apartments in general
3. Outside living space as well
4. Often a sense of community in the Moo Baan
5. Easy to meet neighbors
6. Flexibility of amenities (choose your own internet package etc)
7. Gas cooking allowed
8. Possible garden area for kids, pets or bbq's

Disadvantages

1. Lack of facilities - swimming pool and fitness studios rare
2. May be at risk of flooding if we have a return of the 2011 crisis
3. Security often not as tight as condos or apartments, so theft or break-ins are possible
4. Townhouses near BTS/MRT stations are often expensive if of high quality or new.
5. Older buildings may be subject to problems such as damp or termites
6. Moo Baans are often located further from BTS/MRT stations due to land restrictions and prices

So by taking into account all of the above it is clear that there are some unavoidable compromises that have to be made, by most residents and none of the above options offers the perfect solution. The best way to therefore choose which type of property is suitable for you is to decide which one is best for your own lifestyle and needs.


Neil McDonough is a Director of EasyHomes Property Services Co., Ltd. which specializes in renting and selling Bangkok residential and commercial property to expats. You can contact him directly with any questions or queries relating to Thai real estate




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