House or apartment. Which property type is better to purchase in Thailand for a permanent residence?


When you decide to move to Thailand permanently, real estate becomes an important issue. Buying or renting? Apartment or house? If you are planning to buy a house, you must first decide which kind of property best suits your needs.

Apartments - also called condominium units -, townhouses and detached homes are among the most frequent types of housing in Thailand, each one having their pros and cons. Let’s take a look at them!


The pros of an apartment

It is less expensive to manage an apartment. You are the only one accountable for your apartment. The management company of the residence, also called juristic office, to whom you pay a monthly fee, is accountable for the care of the common areas, including the façade, corridors, lifts and facilities.

Thai residential complexes provide residents with a wide range of facilities including co-working spaces, fitness and swimming pool.

Apartments are usually located in prime areas close to bus stops and subway stations, restaurants, shops, cafés and shopping malls.

The cons of an apartment:

Apartments can sometimes prove too small, especially if they do not feature a smart layout. In Thailand studio apartments ranging from 25-30 square meters are very common.

Not all apartments are equipped with entry halls and storage rooms and the units sometimes have only one bathroom, which is not practical when you have guests.

You could also potentially face problems with loud neighbors and the majority of apartments in Thailand would not allow you to have any pets.

In Thailand foreign nationals can only purchase in their own names 49 percent of all units in a given building. There could be a case in which you are interested in an apartment unit but the foreign quota in the building has already been filled so you could not purchase the said unit.

This is why it is important to use a property agent who will check the unit is either foreign owned and as such eligible for foreign quota or Thai owned but with remaining foreign quota in the building.


The pros of a house

Houses are usually larger than apartments and offer more space for storage. You are likely to have less neighbors and therefore more privacy.

You can plant some trees, grow some plants and even create a space in your garden where you would cultivate fruits and vegetables if you’d like!

You can remodel or rebuild the inside of your house without the need for permits and without causing much inconvenience to neighbors.

Additionally, you can also keep pets.

The cons of a house

It takes more time to maintain a house than an apartment and it requires much care not only inside the house but also outside the house.

If you'd like to have a private pool, you'll have to clean it and add chemicals into it. Taking utmost care of your garden is also essential and would mean cutting weeds and lawn, watering plants, adding manure when necessary, etc…

It can be difficult to keep both the inside and outside of a house tidy with such a hot weather and people often turn to the assistance of house cleaning staff to do so. This naturally adds additional costs.

The cost of electricity and water can also be high, especially if you have a swimming pool, a lot of electric appliances and large air-conditioning units. You would have to control your consumption wisely.

You may also require your own transportation if you purchase a house since it would be a bit further from downtown than apartment units.

Since you would live in a tropical country, you would also have to be prepared to face with tropical animals such as mosquitoes and lizards.


In summary we can conclude that houses are better suited for families who require more space. It would also feature a garden in which children could enjoy their playtime without the need to go anywhere else.

It is nevertheless more convenient to commute to work via public transport from an apartment which is likely to be within walking distance to the bus stop or the subway station.

Private houses are usually preferred by Thais since many generations of their families would typically live together. This property type is sought-after both in Bangkok and in other provinces.

In order to decide which property type better suits your needs, you have to weigh all pros and cons and think about your lifestyle and the reason why you settled in Thailand.

If you're in search of a tranquil life in the countryside, plan to work, and would like to live near the ocean, the best choice for you is probably a house and this is all the more true for families. If you're moving due to work and you need to be able to commute easily and quickly, then an apartment is more appropriate.