Searching for a house in a new country is an exciting experience but can also lead you to some unexpected surprises. Some serious research is necessary in order to find your ideal home, but with the right resources, you will be able to find your home sooner rather than later. Here's a few points to help you get started.
Take a Helicopter View.
What does your ideal house look like? And is it for personal or investment purposes? Note down your expectations of a new house, and list the items from the most important to the least important. This will allow you to better understand what you would be willing to sacrifice when you are on the hunt, such as size of the house versus number of bedrooms versus location. Having this list will help you start selecting choices for your dream home.
Set a clear Budget
Setting a budget is important when searching for a house. Being aware of the costs associated with purchasing a house will help you create a realistic budget. Also keep closing costs in mind, which more than likely will need to be paid in cash and can run anywhere from 3-7 percent of your total purchase price.
Searching for a house can be done by yourself if you are familiar of the area, otherwise it can be done with a real estate agent as well, based on where you live and where you are looking to live. Use online resources to browse homes that fit your budget and are in the location where you would like to live directly. You can also talk to your friends who live in the area, in case they have advice or have seen homes that fit your criteria. Having an extra helping hand will make the house hunting process much easier and less stressful.
Once You Find a House
Once you find a few houses that you are seriously considering for purchase, do some more research in terms of the house itself. For example, evaluate the foundation of the home for wall gaps, stress fractures, cracks, unleveled walls, etc. Also evaluate electrical and plumbing. Some older houses don’t have enough electrical lines to withstand the demand of new appliances. So adding more lines will call for additional expenses in regard to renovations. With plumbing, leaky pipes must be inspected as well as pipes that are exposed. Check the toilets and faucets to be sure they operate correctly and check for water pressure. The more informed you are about a house, the more confident you will be in your decision making.
To buy off-plan property directly from developers is a popular alternative for many expats who come to Thailand. Select the right & reputable developer is crucial to assure you’ll not end up with paid installments that were spent in vain, or with a project that won't finish in time.
When purchasing a new home it is necessary to go though the painful but necessary process of furnishing the place. Wether it is for a permanent residence or an investment property for letting out, it can sometimes be difficult to manage in a new country where language and culture can be an obstacle. Regardless, there are some choices to be made.
Do your homework:
Make a proper search on internet for the local alternatives, compare designs and prices, eventually visit the retailers and actually touch the goods before spending any money.
Remember where you are:
If you are coming from cooler climates you need to be aware that is the tropic climate like Thailand, some materials that you use back home will just not last over here, melamine faced particle board being the main failure. e.g. Local solid wood is usually the best alternative as it is still relatively cheap compared to similar products overseas. Do not exclude the use of “exclusive “ materials as on this market, the prices might actually surprise you in a positive way.
If you are shopping furniture for outdoor it’s even more important to select proper materials so your investment does not rust away or simply disintegrate due to the harsh outdoor conditions in Thailand, it does not get any more challenging than this in terms of outdoor products, so be careful to ask yourself the following:
where am I placing the furniture? If under a roof like a Patio, chances are that they can last longer. If exposed under the sun all day ( like sunbeds ), the material selection is PARAMOUNT.
There are woods available locally that you might not have of back home, some of them are very suitable for outdoor purposes, Teak being the main one for furniture use outdoor. Unfortunately this wood is very expensive due to the massive deforestation of this material the last century and it is banned from export in some markets. You may consider Acacia wood as an alternative, it is almost as durable as Teak, more economically friendly and can be oiled and maintained regularly.
Many companies provide complete furniture packages for interesting prices, different designs and quality levels. Generally, if you purchase a property, the developer will offer a furniture package voucher for a certain furniture shop, This is good deal and we encourage buyers to evaluate this option as the saving is relevant. It also saves a lot of trouble and time as the complete furniture comes from one shop with the colour combinations under the buyers control.
Generally we would advise from excluding the mattresses from the furniture package as these are a very individual choice, either soft or hard. There are local mattress shops in Hua Hin that deliver the same day if requested.
Most times they include a package of basic decoration items such as vases, artworks and lamps. If one has the time, JJ market ( Chatuchak market ) in Bangkok has a multitude of shops providing decor items, but one needs to spend the time to find what they like (and hustle with the vendors).
TRANSFORM YOUR NEW HOUSE INTO A HOME
So you’ve survived the move, and you are finally in your new house, but what now? The first few days (Even weeks) in a new place can be totally overwhelming, especially if you are desperate to make your house more homey in the shortest time possible.
Choose a comforting color tone
No matter what colour the walls, opting for furniture and soft furnishings in a soft color tone, stone and grey tone usually make the room feel relaxed and homely instantly.
Add layers and texture
Even a barren space can feel like a cosy cabin with layers of soft textures. Crisp white bedlinen, chunky knits and basket weaves are all it takes to transform a bare room to a snuggly hideaway.
Display your favourite & add loads of artworks
Putting up photos of loved ones, your favourite objects or anything relate to your childhood memories immediately adds personality to any room. Lean large scale prints against a wall, peg photos or postcards from a piece of string then hang them over a mirror, headboard or curtain rail.
Create a cosy glow with lighting
Want to add a cosy feeling to your room? Steer clear of blue-tinted or bright white lights, and opt for hues that add a soft glow instead. Make your lighting work harder by adding an origami pendant shade to an existing bulb, or arranging tea lights and candles.