Development, or lone wolf??

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Development, or lone wolf??

Post by migrant » Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:36 pm

I don't know if we discussed, but for those living in Thailand what do you prefer, a development, or a single house stand alone?

As a rental I can see the definate benefits for a development, but I've always been a lone wolf when it comes to a home.

I like the privacy, lack of common area charges, and the ability to do as I wish without a community homeowners association.

It is nice to have a shared expense pool, although I like the privacy of having your own, and security at a development should (working word) be better.

But always interested in others views!! :cheers:
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Re: Development, or lone wolf??

Post by dtaai-maai » Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:52 pm

Like everything else, migrant, it's horses for courses.

I have a 3-bedroom bungalow with a decent sized garden (and someone to take care of it) on a very quiet development with a very nice pool that you can really swim in and is pretty much for the exclusive use of anyone who happens to be there (at least, whenever I'm there!), less than 5 mins drive from a (very nice, very quiet) beach and 15 mins from central HH.
Provide me with all that for 9k bt per month and I really don't care if it's on a development or not!
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Re: Development, or lone wolf??

Post by hhfarang » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:36 pm

Yes, I've pondered that question a lot Migrant, while our house was for sale and had some prospects.

There are advantages and disadvantages of both and there can be real development disadvantages if the owner/developer is not completely honest and ethical (and from what I hear from others who live in them, few are). We have our own house and land and if you have a Thai wife that you've been married to a while and trust that you will be married to her until you take the big dirt nap, ownership of land and house outside a development (in her name) has big advantages in simplicity as you don't have to worry about a lease or a company and can do whatever you want with it.

You also don't have to worry about development maintenance fees or common water, electrical problems as many have here and you don't have to worry about being in a six house development that was supposed to be sixty but never developed because of financial problems.

Remember that Donald Whiting was shot allegedly over a water bill dispute in a shared water development so think on it carefully.... and if you do decide on a development, meet some of the people who live there first and find out what they like and don't like about it if they'll tell you the truth. There are very good, average, and nightmare developments here to buy in so if you go that route just do your homework and don't be in a hurry.
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Re: Development, or lone wolf??

Post by wpcoe » Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:56 am

I prefer a condo because I can do so legally in my own name. I'm single and don't have any family or pets, which might sway me towards a house.

Right now, I'm renting a townhouse on a relatively quite soi. It's a compromise between a condo and free-standing house. There's a neighborhood feel, which adds to a sense of security, as well. If/when I decide to buy something, though, it will be a condo.

I understand that legally, a row of townhouses can be built as condominium if the relevant paper work is filed, but have yet to hear where it's been done. I would consider a townhouse in such an arrangement, since I could own it in my own name.

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Re: Development, or lone wolf??

Post by Big Boy » Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:01 am

What about that place next to Sport Villa? When I was there, that was being advertised as a condo, but looked like rows of 2 story houses (very similar to traditional town houses). Apologies if the finished product looks nothing like - I'm just going by the drawings I saw in November.
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Re: Development, or lone wolf??

Post by Johan » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:06 am

Developments are double priced, so i would recommend to build your own place. These guys are making money with developments, near my home they are building a lot of houses saving money everywhere they can using cheap materials.

Also in developments land area is very small because they are selling the land for 5 to 8 times the price.

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Re: Development, or lone wolf??

Post by hhfarang » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:30 am

^ That's true Johan, plus some people want to be in a development for the security and social aspect of that type of living and those do not necessarily pan out either. Several developments in my neighborhood have had multiple burglaries in the last couple of years while our house has been left alone (again, knocking wood), in part because their security usually consists of only a guard at the front gate so other than the first couple of houses next to the guard house, there really is no security; plus several of the burglaries I heard about were actually perpetrated by the developments workers or friends of the guards. As for the social aspect, if you are going to live here full time, many find themselves living in a "ghost town" development as in some 80 to 90% of the owners bought them as vacation homes and they are only occupied from one to three months per year.

If I were going to buy in a development, I would pick a small one of a dozen homes or less like the kind I think some of the forum member-builders do (SJ, or Crazy88 maybe?) that was mostly full timers and the security was arranged so that all homes are visible by the guard or he does rounds (while still adding more personal security to my individual home).
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Re: Development, or lone wolf??

Post by splitlid » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:38 am

Yes Johan you are almost correct,
however, you have left out a few things.
1. not everyone want to live on 1 rai of land.(try buying 800sqm or 600sqm).
2. the developer wil supply electric to the development.
3.the developer will supply a road (mostly :shock: ).
4. the developer will supply water.
5. the developer will provide a wall arond your land.
6. the developer will cut the land and pay all fees (constantly increasing) at the land dept.

there are more im sure.
when you buy a plot by yourself, you have to do all of these things and more.some people dont want to do that or cant do that.

NOTE: the above items are things that should be supplied, not what is alway supplied. :(
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Re: Development, or lone wolf??

Post by hhfarang » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:57 am

1. not everyone want to live on 1 rai of land.(try buying 800sqm or 600sqm).
True, too much land as it is a hassle to maintain if you want to keep a nice garden.

2. the developer wil supply electric to the development.
True, but some maintain control of development electricity supply and add a surcharge to the homeowners.

3.the developer will supply a road (mostly :shock: ).
Mostly is the key word here. Make sure the road(s) and other infrastructure is already done before you buy.

4. the developer will supply water.
See number 2 above; same applies, plus with water especially, it may not be from a reliable source. People in many developments find their water supplies running short and have to buy comparatively expensive water trucked in constantly.

5. the developer will provide a wall arond your land.
See number 3 above... this should be in place before you buy.

6. the developer will cut the land and pay all fees (constantly increasing) at the land dept.
True, but those fees as well as the roads and walls mentioned above are reflected in the price of the homes (passed on to the buyer). The developer is not giving you anything for free (as well he shouldn't).
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Re: Development, or lone wolf??

Post by Takiap » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:06 am

Personally I prefer the lone wolf route. Where I stay, all the developments have been plagued by burglaries, whereas we've never been targeted once. Maybe we're just lucky, but I think it has more to do with convenience - it's less risky breaking into a home hidden from view, as is the case with many developments. I also prefer being a part of the Thai community, rather than living in a "Farang compound".

I also like the idea of being able to do whatever I choose, without have to consult with others. As for getting water and electric put in, I have a more reliable government water supply that anyone I know living in the developments around our home, and in fact, in some developments here, water has been a huge issue up until recently, and even now, the pay ludicrous water bills even though that water comes from the government. I also know a few people who pay as much as 18 to 20 baht per unit for electricity, compared to the 3 or 4 baht we pay.

Of course I'm lucky because we bought our land several years ago, and at a time when exchange rates were great. We also saved quite a bit by getting the council to draw up the plans when we were ready to build.


Of course not everyone may be in a position to buy land, so as others have said, it really all depends on your circumstances. For me however, developments are out of the question, unless they're an open style development - no prison walls.....lol.

If you're ever in the Borfai area, take a drive to Natural Hill and you'll see what I mean by "prison walls". While the one side looks great, I really feel sorry for those live along the far side of the development. Imagine having to stare into a ten foot wall lined with rolls of razor wire whenever you sit outside in the garden of your six million baht home :cry: Personally I wouldn't live there even if you offered me rent free accommodation. Sorry if I've offended any residents, but just telling it the way it is. :cheers:
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Re: Development, or lone wolf??

Post by Johan » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:08 am

You needs walls ? Clean water ? Electricity ? You can buy it yourself like i did and you will still save money.

You don't have freedom in developments and your land is too small to build something else on it. You can't do what you want.

You need a road to your home ? Build it.
You need a wall of 10 meters with razors ? Build it.
You need a swimming pool ? Build it.

In developments you can't custom your property. If you build your home, you will have exactly what you need.

At the end of the construction you will still save arround 30% of the money.

Do you think everything i listed is too difficult ? Then pay someone to help you, give him 5 or 10% to take care of everything.

Security in developments it's a joke. Make your own security in your home, alarms, walls, steel dors, guns, police check up, etc.

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Re: Development, or lone wolf??

Post by splitlid » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:37 pm

yes johan, you are right, you can do it all yourself or pay someone to do it.

up to you in the end. :)
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Re: Development, or lone wolf??

Post by sjpthsuk » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:19 pm

Live in a Development, but have for some time now been looking around for land outside of HuaHin where i could build a new house along with some other stuff the wife wants, and me an all-weather lawn bowls green.
However the land prices are extortionate for 2/3 Rai plots, some not even with the appropriate paperwork. Hopefully some normality will return in the future or it won't be happening.

And yes while it is restrictive in a development, certain things can be done as long as it is not to the outside of the house.

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Re: Development, or lone wolf??

Post by Super Joe » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:36 pm

Johan wrote:Also in developments land area is very small because they are selling the land for 5 to 8 times the price.
You what!?!?, so all this time ever 1 rai I've been buying (ave. 2.5 houses on it) at around 1.2m Baht, then adding infrastructure too, I should have been selling the land plots only for an average of 4M Baht?... something odd there Johan, we only charge 3.9M for the land and the house :D

Johan wrote:Developments are double priced, so i would recommend to build your own place. These guys are making money with developments (bar me and my stupid land pricing - see above)
So someone on a development's investment is worth double that of the same stand-alone house down the road then, so they've been making more money as property prices have increased then. Cool :P

Johan wrote:You needs walls ? Clean water ? Electricity ? You can buy it yourself like i did and you will still save money. You need a road to your home ? Build it. You need a wall of 10 meters with razors ? Build it.
Haven't the faintest where you're coming from here. I would charge more for a stand-alone house than for a development house given like for like conditions...
Walls - Stand-alone house you'd build yourself 4 walls, development it's only 3. You pay 33% more.
Water - A well costs the same 100-150k whether for 1 house or 12. You pay 12x as much.
Electric - If you want/need stable electric in certain areas, and need a 3-phase transformer (hhfarang's house, my house), lone house you get a small one for 50,000 Baht one, 12 house development 12 people split a 150,000 Baht one. You pay 4x as much.

Ditto for drainage, water mains, elec posts/cabling, internet infrastructure, architects drawings, rates for land clearance/landfil, 'fees' to local PYB to dig up 'their' public road, blah blah. More is less.


Johan wrote:Security in developments it's a joke. Make your own security in your home, alarms, walls, steel doors, guns, police check up, etc
We specially design our project entrances so they're wide enough to enable all these things to get in, it's even been known for people to squeeze cars through. Don't you mean security is exactly the same (if none at all), or marginally better on a development (sleeping guard). After that it depends on individual circumstances, imo a development with guards awake/patrolling properly, CCTV in roads, security in houses would be safer than a lone house isolated down a dirt track. Conversely a development with sleeping guard would be less safe than lone house in soi with Thai families in proximity. Developments would be more attractive propositions to burglars overall imo, and a lone house would be more attractive for a targetted 'tie-up' or more sinister plot.


Johan wrote:At the end of the construction you will still save arround 30% of the money.
That's correct in my experience, a more realistic developer mark-up than 'double'. There's obviously risks associated with developer or direct with a builder, although this isn't 2006 the market here has 'matured' enough for people to play safe with a tried and trusted developer, who was probably just one of the many unknown entities back then. If you know enough about building, are based here (imperitive), have a Thai partner who's already come out of his/her shell and can handle you ranting at her, and can handle a fair bit of stress & frustration, then why not.

There is 30% up for grabs, but bear in mind you are not getting a fixed price, it may or may not end up the original cost. With the good developers the price will be fixed, unless you change the spec, when the well driller run off with the 50k deposit after hitting rock the buyers didn't even get to hear about it, but you'd pay that. If a builder runs off with a payment/goes bust and developer has to pay through nose to get a.n.other to take over, it's no cost to buyer.

There's dozens and dozens of things that 'may' pop up that I have personally seen (often paid for out of margin as not buyers responsibility) like the land office increasing their 'fees' to cut land from 5k to 30k, PYB demanding 10k to let you dig public road up to put drains in, elec company adding 50% to cost of transformer, build permit charges, local charges for a well, public health adding large 5k grease traps to kitchen waste, pool equipment packing up within warranty period but not paying out as you serviced it wrong, so developer pays. Ditto air-cons, ovens, water pumps, well pump motors. Everyone is looking to squeeze you, at least you get to laugh about double-pricing to get in National Parks and extra photocopies for visa renewals etc :D

SJ

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Re: Development, or lone wolf??

Post by STEVE G » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:22 pm

There is 30% up for grabs,...
I work in an industry where 5% profit is considered excellent!

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