Phuket is one of the top places of choice for foreign nationals who want to settle down in Thailand for the long term. It is also one of Thailand’s most active tourism hubs. Sitting on the shores of the Bay of Andaman, there are plenty of stuff going on in this island paradise that can make a foreigner, whether tourist or expatriate, feel right at home.
If you’re thinking about living in Phuket for the rest of your life, you should start thinking about investments. After all, when you retire, you need a source of residual income to support your living while still enjoying all that Phuket has to offer.
Here are a few ways through which you can invest in Phuket’s tourism industry and gain an income for life that can, in most cases, work itself for you while you enjoy life in Thailand’s biggest island paradise.
Build Your Own Villa
While Thai law in principle strictly disallows foreigners from owning a piece of Phuket real estate, there are still ways that you can acquire land in which you can build your own villa.
Phuket villas are fast becoming the alternative to hotels. Their rental rates are cheaper compared to hotels, but the quality of their accommodation and amenities are in no way inferior to the branded hotel chains operating in Phuket.
Most villas are also located in exotic rainforest-like compounds or right by the shores, which give them a popularity that is at par with, if not exceeding, that of a hotel. It’s easy to see that there’s a market you can enter into in this part of Phuket’s property market that can be a lucrative business for you when you retire.
Because you cannot own land in Phuket as a foreign national, the only way that you can acquire land to build a luxury villa for business is to enter into a long-term lease with a Thai national. When the lease agreement is drawn up, you will theoretically have the rights to use the land as you see fit and you can own the structure you build on top of the real estate.
You can also acquire ownership in an existing villa if you own a Thai limited company. However, bear in mind that establishing shell companies with nominal Thai shareholders for the sole purpose of acquiring real estate is illegal.
Another piece of real estate that you can turn into a money-making machine is the condominium. The Thai Condominium Act allows foreign nationals to purchase condo units under their name, provided that the number of units in a project allocated for foreign ownership has not been bought out yet.
In the event that there are no more units open for foreign ownership, you can enter into a long-term lease as well.
Why invest in condo units? Condominiums can be converted into condotels, or units designed to function like a hotel room, but retains the legal structure of a condominium. Provided that it is allowed under your lease agreement, you can put it up on platforms like AirBnB.
Condotels are very popular especially with digital nomads, who are looking for luxury accommodation but at less than the price of luxury hotels.
Always secure legal advice when you’re looking to invest in real estate in Phuket, or in any part of Thailand. Contact an English-speaking legal advisor that’s familiar with Thai law before you enter into any agreement.