Real estate is a good investment in Thailand. Expats invest in Thailand by acquiring property in the form of buildings, condominiums, or apartments. Expats in Thailand are allowed to own the structure of the building, but not the land where the building stands.
For a foreigner to purchase real estate property in Thailand he or she can choose one of the following methods:
By marriage to a Thai national
The foreigner can own a property in Thailand through marriage to a Thai national, and by adhering to following conditions: that the land must be registered under the name of the Thai spouse; that the foreign spouse must sign a document that the land was bought with funds owned by the Thai spouse, therefore the foreigner is waiving his right of ownership over the land.
Taking a lease on a property
Another way of owning the land would be by getting a long term lease (30 years) on a Thailand property with an option to renew the lease indefinitely. The downside of this option would be: lease renewals cannot be registered and would be useless should the Thai property be sold to a Thai buyer. Also, there are limitations set to a lessee: he is not allowed to sublet, sell or transfer his interest without the consent of the lessor.
Setting up a Thai Limited Company
The last option for a foreigner to own land would be to set up a Thai limited company with Thai partners.
A foreigner can purchase a piece of land which will be under the name of Thai Limited Company, provided the majority of the company shares are Thai-owned. In this set-up, a foreign owner can have both control of the company and freehold ownership over the land.