If you and your partner have worked hard for a few decades and are looking forward to spending your golden years in the tropical paradise that is Thailand, there is much to consider. While you could buy a property in Phuket, the ideal solution would be to acquire a plot of land somewhere nice and have a custom builder create the perfect home.
If you have a mental image of a dream two storey house located near the beach, a Google search will help you to find the best custom builder. The company can even acquire the land if you have not got that far and once that is done, they can help you to design the perfect retirement home and they have the resources to carry out the project. Start by looking at the various design templates on their website and discuss various designs with your partner; you might prefer a traditional two storey house (called แบบบ้านสองชั้น in Thai), or a bungalow spread out over a large area, the choice is yours.
Visiting Completed Projects
While viewing images and diagrams online is fine, if you really want to see the quality of their work, you should ask to visit a few of their previous projects and developments. Any master builder would be happy to arrange such an outing and this gives you peace of mind, knowing that the builder knows his stuff.
Dealing with the Legality
Many expats have married Thai nationals and they can have the land in their partner’s name; Thai law does not permit a foreigner owning land (aside from special circumstances) and there are several ways to circumvent this. You can, for example, be the legal owner of a house, but not the land it sits upon and leasing the land for 30 years (with a further 30-year option) is one solution. Whatever you decide, you should seek out an English-speaking lawyer to ensure that you are fully protected regarding the legal status of the property.
Paying by Instalments
This is pretty much standard when having a house built; there would be pre-agreed stages of the construction when the client makes payments. The groundwork might be the first stage; the roof installation and second fixings are also stages when payments are normally made. This is certainly something to discuss with the builder, who might be prepared to build the house based on your mortgage loan acceptance.
If you have a firm budget in mind to spend on your home in Thailand, talk to a custom builder and see what they can do for you.