Jan Nuyten in Koh Samui with “New” New Nordic
by Barton Walters
Holland native Jan Nuyten has been a fixture in Pattaya’s real estate scene for a long time. In July he made a couple of big moves by joining the New Nordic Group and heading up their office in Koh Samui. I caught up with the mobile big man and got details about his long successful run and his projections for the future.
BW: Good to see you Jan! Let’s start from the beginning. When did you first come to Thailand?
Jan Nuyten: About 12 years ago I sold my Security Company in Holland (Pro Host Security) and came here to enjoy Asia for a year. I planned to return to Holland after one year, but after traveling around Asia, I felt a special connection to Thailand. This has been my home ever since.
BW: What was your first job in Thailand?
Jan Nuyten: After a year I needed to start work again. I had money from the sale of my company and decided to buy properties in Thailand. So I put one and one together and started working in the real estate business. This way I could get the best deals on real estate. I worked for 4 years as the General Manager at Premier Homes in Pattaya.
BWi: When did you form Pattaya Prestige Properties and how long was it in operation?
Jan Nuyten: In Holland I owned a total of four different companies and only worked for somebody else when I was a student. After four years of working for somebody else it was time to work for myself again. In 2010 I started Pattaya Prestige Properties and ran it for over five years. I sold Pattaya Prestige Properties in 2016 and it is still in full operation today.
BW: Why did you sell Pattaya Prestige Properties?
Jan Nuyten: I sold Prestige Properties because it was time for something new. My life tends to run in five year cycles. I like change. The plan was actually to move to Mexico. Central and South America always has been a favorite area for me. The problem is that Asia is literally on the other side of the world and it’s not easy to spend some holidays there. I figured why not go live for a few years in Mexico?
BW: What convinced you to work with New Nordic?
Jan Nuyten: My longtime friend and visionary behind the New Nordic Group, Kurt Svendheim, asked me to become his General Manager at the new Koh Samui Sales Office. I was honored by the offer and immediately accepted the job
BW: How did you feel about leaving Pattaya?
Jan Nuyten: I lived for 11 years in Pattaya, but to be honest, I’ve never really been a city kind of guy. I always lived on Pratumnak Hill and had my work in the Jomtien area. After 11 years of the hectic life in Pattaya I am actually very happy to live on Koh Samui.
BW: Were you enthusiastic about moving to Koh Samui?
Jan Nuyten: Not at first as I was afraid it would be too small and island life can be difficult. Now that I’m here I absolutely love it and plan to stay here for many years. When you live here you don’t even have the feeling of being on an island. It is actually quite large and the infrastructure is amazing. On top of that there are loads of good restaurants, nice entertainment areas, great people, a new Central Shopping Mall with a state-of-the-art cinema. And, because it is a real growing area, new exciting venues pop up every week.
BW: How are New Nordic’s Samui projects different from Pattaya?
Jan Nuyten: In general our philosophy is the same, ‘resort style living’. You don’t just buy a home, you buy a lifestyle. We will use the same contractor as in Pattaya so standards and quality will be the same. The one real difference is the building height. In Pattaya most of our buildings are eight floors. In Koh Samui we will only build four stories which actually works better for resort style of living.
BW: I understand the Koh Samui projects are leasehold rather than full ownership. What is your answer when people object to leasehold versus holding title?
Jan Nuyten: This is easy for me as I am an experienced buyer myself and have purchased a lot of leasehold properties. I always liked leasehold as it is the easiest and safest way of owning property in a country which is not your own. Laws regarding leasehold for example in Thailand have been always the same and never been challenged. Since there is no exchange or ownership of land involved, the Thai government feels no threat nor is it perceived that wealthy foreign citizens are “buying up Thailand”.
As an extra we give a ‘Buy Back’ guarantee to our owners. This Buy Back literally means that we guarantee to buy apartment’s lease back after ten years for the same price the client paid. Also we pay for the registration of the lease at the Samui land office.
BW: Will there be more than just two projects on Samui?
Jan Nuyten: For sure. We have secured three plots of land right now. Two plots are in the central Lamai area and one is a beachfront plot of land just outside Lamai. We chose these plots partially because there is more land available around it. As mentioned before our philosophy is resort style living with many facilities and amenities. The optimal way to give our clients the best experience is to have all our projects close together.
BW: Do you plan to stay in Samui or move on when the projects are done?
Jan Nuyten: It’s hard to say. Call me when my five year cycle is up!
So it appears that after a very short “retirement”, the big man from Holland is once again shaking hands, slapping backs and accommodating tropical lifestyle seekers. Should you find yourself on the paradise island of Koh Samui, stop by the “New” New Nordic office in Lamai Beach to wish him well.