The ‘real’ story about real estate


Dear Hillary,

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 Chris,

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!