When we were house hunting I was sitting at the back of the car while my good lady and her friend were talking away and driving to areas where there were new houses being built These were mainly gated communities, with security and in a lot of cases a shopping, community and sports area.
The Thais call these places “Moo Baans”. Moo Baan means a village, so my girlfriend comes from a moo baan in Chiang Mai, but they also called gated community’s Moo Baans. Some moo baans have a village leader, just like their country name sakes.
So there we were looking at a few places, within our price range. On one occasion we were so pleased when we went to the show room and were shown a few houses within our price range. So sat down and decided to see what we could get for our money as the price was right.
We told them what we could afford and they said, no problem. It was only when they started to put the price together when I saw the price grow. I asked them what this extra price was and they said it was for the land? I said what land, they said the bit around the house. I said the houses you showed us, and the price quoted was only for the land that the house was sitting on. They said yes.
Further questioning and asking, I discovered that extras were the following, light fittings, electrical sockets, the land around the house, and the kitchen sink. When I managed to pin them down and asked them “Can I buy the house without these fittings and the land around the house?” They replied “No”
So I said they are not extras, I have no choice. I would like to point out, that there was no malice or deception on their part as I later found out this is normal practice. The logic being, some people want to choose their own type of light fittings and sink etc. and how much land they will have around their house. It was only when I spoke to them, at length, that I explained that if they are selling to falangs, they will not be used to this type of selling and that in the UK the price quotes is the price for everything. Some may feel deceived by being shown a house, and land and quoting a price that does not show the real value that they are looking at. In one place I would have had to pay for a gym membership, which was part of the Moo Baan, even though I would not be in the country.
We did manage to find a wonderful Moo Baan, and the price quoted was the price for everything. It was very good and even though I am not there, all I need to do it inform them when I will be moving 3 months before I do, they will install a water reserve, the electric and replace the grass. Which by now will be dead. They will also fix the things we have pointed out to them.
So my readers, look around and have patience. We were lucky, and we both fell in love with the place. We have a three bedroom house, with 2 bathrooms, and a tiny Thai kitchen. The kitchen will be turned into a European one as soon as I can. This in an area of 82 Tarang wa ( Pronounced Talen Waa)
The Thai measurement of land 1 Tarang wa is equal to 4 square meters .
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_units_of_measurement )