Finding a Home in South East Asia

Selecting a place to live is one of the biggest decisions you make when moving to South East Asia. If you have lived here for some time, finding a better place to live is not much easier. 
         Foreigners do in general not have the right to buy a house on a piece of land anywhere in the region. There are ways around this rule but the basic rule is that you are only allowed to rent. As for apartments, foreigners are on certain conditions allowed to buy.
         If you are here for business, your geographical options are limited to the areas in or near the metropolis but if you are looking for a retirement home, your options are much wider and prices can differ more dramatically from location to location.
         Singapore is home to the biggest concentration of Scandinavian expatriates in the region. Most Danes live in the areas River Valley, Ridley Park, Thomson Road. Holland Hill, Clementi Loop, Beach Road, Bukit Timah, Leedon Heights, Farrer Drive, Tanjong Rhu and Bayshore Road. 
         In Bangkok, which is home to the second largest Nordic community in South East Asia, the most attractive areas are the Sukhumvit, Silom, Sathorn and Rama 4 areas. Not surprisingly they are also the most expensive both renting and buying. 
         If you don’t need to live in Bangkok, there are special Nordic housing projects in several; attractive locations along the tropical shores of the country. Thai Dream House in Prachuab Kiri Khan, the Scandinavian Village in Bangsaen, Nordic Village in Pattaya, and Phuket Property Group are the good examples of this new trend among well-off Scandinavians.
         For Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Philippine the properties along the seaside are reasonably priced. Tropical paradise is waiting for you there.   
         The first thing you need to do is find yourself a good real estate agent experienced in working with expatriates. In many locations you may actually find Scandinavian agents like Abdullah Johari in Singapore. Ask your local embassy and or business association – in all countries in the region there are Nordic people working in the housing or construction business whose advice is worth listening to. Prepare yourself with the answers to the following questions: 
         Do you want to live in a house or an apartment? 
         Do you want to rent or buy? 
         How many rooms do you have in mind? Do you have your own furniture? 
         Do you have children? Where will they be going to school? 
         Your real estate agent will draw up the contract for both buying and renting. If buying, a good advice is to find a local lawyer to help you.  If renting the usual deposit payment is three months rent and signing of a one year contract.

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