By Kevin Cain
There are many outstanding property developers in Pattaya with an incredible portfolio of projects in all areas across the city. The demand for an ocean view has not waned, but there is also a growing requirement for condos and houses in the city.
As Pattaya has grown, so too has the number and quality of venues, amenities, restaurants, and shopping malls etc. There is a new influx of buyers that demand to be near the heart of all this and have a city location.
There are some developers that will sell direct to the public, whilst other buyers prefer to utilise the extensive number of real estate agents that exist in Pattaya.
Some of the current hip developments in town are: Riviera, New Nordic, Southpoint, Dusit Grand Condo, Pure, Laguna Beach Resort, the City Garden projects, the Cloud, Arcadia, Movenpick White Sand, Grande Caribbean, the Venetian, Centric Sea, the Aeras, the Palm, and Savanna Sands.
Numerous of these developments are still under construction but many are ready for occupation. The projects are a mix of city centre dwellings and beachfront locations, basically there is something for everybody.The choice of villas and detached houses is also extensive, but due to the lack of available city centre land, most new housing developments are slightly away from the city centre.
So the question is should a potential buyer purchase direct from the developer or use a real estate agent? Most buyers are under the impression that buying direct from the developer means that they will always pay less but this is not always so. The discounts agents receive from the developers, often mean they can compete favourably on price. There are also companies such as Ocean Residential Property who specialise in buying entire floors of new condominium projects whilst they are under construction. In this way they can often buy below developer’s costs as they are helping to fund the building of the project. The developer then makes profit on the rest of the building whilst ORP can sell their floor below the price of the other floors in the same building, even direct from the developer.
So, once again we come back to the same question, should you buy direct from a developer or via a real estate agent? As in many things in life there are pros and cons to support both sides of the argument.Buying direct, and off plan does carry substantial risk, the main one being whether or not the development has the right funding and actually gets completed. In most cases, potential buyers can take a risk insurance out against such an event, either with a third party insurer or with the actual developer themselves.
Buying direct can offer better financial benefits, these could include maintenance packages, furniture packages and so forth, on top of discounts. Some developers such as Global Top Group can also arrange mortgages through their financial arm.
Real Estate agents bring another aspect to the equation: Alan Bolton, Siam Properties, Pattaya Realty, Pattaya Estates Rentals, Pattaya Foreigner Service company and many others, all offer one thing that the developers do not. Namely they are impartial and although certain developments might earn them more in commission, they are quite open to sell you any property in their portfolio.
Having an agent with local knowledge, impartial financial advice and sales support, can be a great advantage to the would be purchaser. A good agent will know what properties are likely to offer the best rentals and which are likely to offer the best investments even what properties are likely of offer the best resale opportunities.
Many agents will also be more than happy to take possible clients to view numerous developments and projects by more than one developer. It opens up more choice to the buyer and provides a free personal chauffeur service for the day.Agents and developers both offer additional services to that of the actual purchasing of property. Many of them will give advice on legal aspects of purchasing property in Thailand. For instance many foreigners do not realise they cannot own land in Thailand and that only a percentage of a condominium development can be foreign owned. Other services include introductions to local schools, advice on joining sporting clubs, the best hospitals and doctors to visit, emergency services and many other useful guidelines..
Their intimate local advice of the best areas to search for property is invaluable. You might have found the perfect property and during your day’s visit found that everything was quiet and serene but later discover that the locale is totally different at night. An agent will know where there are notorious noise problem areas, perhaps there is a market that only opens at night or weekends. Or a local karaoke bar or nightclub’s music or general noise that is very intrusive. Perhaps in the evening your property’s location is near a popular restaurant, and it is most difficult to park nearby.
Or perhaps your chosen location is notorious for break-ins or robberies. You would only know this fact if you had local knowledge of the area and would a developer tell you?
The choice between choosing to purchase direct or through an agency really depends on what property you wish to buy. If you have already narrowed down your choice to one development then it would make sense to go straight to the developer. However, if you have not decided what or where to buy, then perhaps an agent is your best bet.In both cases Pattaya has some superb properties to choose from, at some of the most spectacular developments on the Eastern Seaboard.