Moving to Bangkok?
Accommodation in Bangkok
Other Neighborhoods Worth Considering
Nonthaburi is officially a neighboring province of Bangkok, one of the six that make up the Bangkok Metropolitan Region. It is again divided into several sub-districts, called amphoe. Among them, the amphoe of Pak Kret is especially popular among expats. Pak Kret is home to the International School of Bangkok. The school has become the center of an expat-heavy community around Soi Nichada Thani.
While Nonthaburi province was hit very hard by the flooding in autumn 2011, most of Pak Kret — including the expat neighborhood in Nichada — was not flooded directly. However, the bus routes and public transport links were often disrupted for months, mainly in October and November 2011. By now, expat life in Pak Kret has long since returned to normal, although it took some time to clean up the province in general.
Purchasing Property vs. Renting Accommodation
In the suburban residential areas, it is much easier to find free-standing family homes, estates with a surrounding garden, or housing situated in modern communities available for rent. Owing to restrictions on foreigners purchasing property in Thailand, most expats — even the more affluent ones — do not try to buy housing for a longer stay in the hope of making a profitable investment.
Renting is much more common than buying. Due to the population growth of the Bangkok Region and the popularity of property investment among well-to-do Thai, the local real-estate market tends to move rather fast.
Finding a Real Estate Agent
It is best to get recommendations for several trustworthy and experienced realtors from personal acquaintances on location. Your new colleagues, your company’s HR department, your children’s school, and your expat friends should be able to help you.
Since personal contacts and networks are important for doing business in Thailand, these real estate agents may have their own contacts and sources to locate available housing. If you simply start going through the classified ads in the Bangkok Post on your own, you might miss out on a number of opportunities that are never openly listed.
A Checklist for Your Rental Agreement
When you have found the home of your dreams, always make sure that the rental agreement includes the following specifications:
- full name and contact details of the parties involved
- detailed description and complete address of the property
- term of lease
- length of stay
- number of tenants
- amount of rental payment and due date
- penalty for late rent payments
- services, equipment, and furniture included in the rent
- responsibility for utility bills
- security deposit and conditions for getting it back
- limits on occupancy
- responsibility and costs for repair and maintenance
- termination clause (in case that you have to return home early)
Registering as a Foreign Resident
As soon as you have a sort of permanent residence in Thailand, do not forget to notify the authorities (immigration office or local police) of your change of address. Every foreigner who is going to stay in the country for more than 90 days has to hand in a written registration anyway and repeat this every 90 days.
In central Bangkok, this registration procedure can be taken care of here:
Government Center B
Chaengwattana Soi 7
In some older sources (including some government websites), you may still find Soi Suan Phlu listed as the address of the Bangkok Immigration Bureau. However, the premises have moved, as indicated above.
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