Neil McDonough

Wet, wet, wet

Going door to door and staying dry!

Before we begin, please note this is certainly not a reference to the singing trio from Scotland headed by Marty Pello, who had huge a hit back in 1994 with a cover of the 1967 Troggs classic 'Love is all around', whilst riding on the coat-tails of the Oscar nominated and witty 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'. More this is an article written as a slight twist to the real estate mantra, 'Location, location, location' and with Songkran just gone, it's apt to refer to the subject of getting incredibly wet whilst living in Bangkok, not so much due to 12 year olds squirting water pistols, but rather due to the heavy downpours we will undoubtedly experience during the rainy season later this year.

Of course there is no control over the weather in a big city like Bangkok, but we can at least attempt to escape a number of the downpours by living as close to the BTS and MRT stations as possible, and in fact some of the condominium developers in Bangkok have gone one stage further and actually linked their buildings to a station, therefore providing total cover for residents during the rainy season, whilst they travel to and from their home via the BTS or MRT.

One of the first condos in Bangkok to do this was the Nusasiri Grand Condominium in Ekamai, which as built with a link to the BTS via a small bridge. The building is multi-purpose and also houses a medi-plex and small retail outlets such as coffee shops and supermarkets. An unusual design with huge condos offering lots of space for tenants. Studios are over 40sqm and one bedrooms over 70 sqm for example, but then this is reflected in the price. However the condominium is very popular due to its sky-link to the BTS station.

Moving just one stop further down to Thonglor and again there is another condo with a link to the BTS station, Noble Remix is a huge condo, housing many units, but again a premium is paid for the convenience of not only being about 50m from the BTS train platform, but also for the sky-link to an from the BTS train system. However of course this will once again mean that people renting in Noble Remix will not have to get wet when travelling to and from their homes to the station. And in fact if they are travelling to another building that links to other BTS stations such s Siam, Chit Lom or Victory Monument, then there is no reason to get wet at all!

The problem is of course, these condos are at the high-end of the market when it comes to budget, but it is getting clear that both the train providers and the condo developers realize that by linking up their respective structures they both gain from customer growth and support. Therefore now other new condominiums are getting in on the act and will be building more links to the BTS stations.

At Bang Na station, there is a new condominium which also houses a mixed use format of residential and retail called The Coast condominium. Again with a sky-link under construction, this will provide the same benefits as Noble Remix and Nusasiri Grand Condo, but at a lower cost.

But if you cannot wait that long, then further up the BTS line at Phraknong it is possible to find the Le Luk condominium and its sister tower the Skywalk condominium, which really speaks for itself. Again a brand new and excellently built new condominium, the Skywalk houses big condos (by modern standards), but at very competitive rates.

So if you are thinking of moving from your current location, or indeed you are planning on living in Bangkok for the first time in the near future, then it is important to consider the convenience, or sometimes inconvenience of living through the rainy season. The rainy season can be 4 months or so long and of course even outside of the so-called season, Bangkok can be hit by bouts of heavy downpours and even storms. So living in a convenient location such as those highlighted above could be a very worthwhile move.

Of course even living within a short walk of either a BTS or MRT station can also provide very similar experiences, and there are plenty of well constructed, smartly styled and reasonably priced condos to be found within a 100m radius of many of the stations around the city. So apart from at Songkran when it is impossible not to, don't get wet, wet, wet unnecessarily and instead use the old mantra, 'location, location, location' when choosing your accommodation you can stay dry, dry, dry.

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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