Wife owning land


My wife (Thai) and me are looking at buying a little house in the country, for us to use when we go to visit her parents.  Their house is wooden and very primitive, and I just can’t live there.  My wife has been told she can’t own a house in her own name because she is married to a farang, and her last name is now also farang.  I’m not allowed to buy it in my name, so what do we do?  All sounds damn stupid to me.


Dear Confused,

The situation you describe with your wife’s ability to own house/land was once the case, but that was changed many years ago.  She can own real estate in her own name.  You are a different pail of potatoes, Petal.  You can buy the house (under certain circumstances, investment companies, leases, etc.), but you cannot own the land it stands on.  This is quite understandable, as otherwise China will have bought up all the land in Thailand, just like they are trying to do in New Zealand.  Talk to a reliable real estate agent and/or a good lawyer.  I know, I know, just keep looking!

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  • Dill Pickles

    If I may comment Ms. Hillary to Confused, I have found that there are both pros & cons about your wife using her married name. Without going into too much detail about my situation, I would advise you to change everything back to her maiden name. It may still be possible even if you have registered her married name with the Bureau of Foreign Affairs, & changed her Thai I.D. Though I don’t see how that is possible because her family’s Tomboon reflects her birth name.

    My wife spent 6 yrs. in the U.S. all the way legal, Green Card, Social Security Card, C.A. ID. All in both last names. I have spent considerable time changing her survivor retirement benefits, our U.S. bank acct’s, mutual funds, tax documents, both state & federal & Will back to her maiden name.

    An example: She had some funds in her U.S. bank account I did an ACH transfer to her bank account here. The funds were held in Bangkok, because the sending name did not match the receiving the name. Though we are well known in the bank, Bangkok required us to bring all her Thai & U.S. documents, both U.S. marriage license, & Thai marriage registration to the bank to prove she is the same person. Then I had use the bank’s computer to log-in to her U.S. bank & change the name on that account.

    We plan to buy / build a house in 2 yrs. while it maybe possible as Hillary states in her married name, you will run into an unimaginable amount of bureaucratic red tape & expense which could be avoided. Land mngt. has no problem taking your $$$ in a Thai name, but anything that could lead to a civil court case on the rights to the property should things go south, they want to remove even the possibility.

    I know of a case, from Thai lawyer friend of a farang who choose to fight for the property. He eventually won, but in the end it cost him 4 times what the property was worth & yrs. in court as she tried to postpone, & drag things out until he died Then after wining he couldn’t live there because of the hostile environment.

    In 33 yrs. I have seen farangs lose their a## by every means imaginable, by not thoroughly investigating what they plan to do.