As any would-be builder knows, finding and acquiring land is a big part of any self-build project. The perfect location or as near to it as possible, the cost restrictions, the planning restrictions, the availability of services etc. etc. In the West, these considerations can be prohibitive – they certainly were for me, anyway. No matter how hard I tried to find a plot and fulfil the dream, it was always just out of reach.
In Thailand, these issues are a LOT less! I mean, literally there is help along the way to smooth the passage of turning your land plot into a building plot complete with any permissions. I am told that in the north of Thailand one can almost buy the plot and then just build the house!
We did not want a plot too near to other family members. No…not because we were ‘not speaking’, but more because we wanted to be somewhere ‘new’. New start together, new life, new location. It seemed to make sense. Of course, we wanted to be within striking distance of that family should any emergency arise, so moving up to Chiang Mai, Isaan or the Mekong areas was out. Similarly, too far South was also off the table, for the same reason.
We wanted peace and quiet, clean air, low to no noise, nothing too built-up, so that ruled out large towns and cities. I am a country boy at heart despite living in the capitals of the Middle East for over 12 years.
Initially we were looking at a plot near to Ayutthaya. The problem there – 1. Cost. Because the area was a massive tourist destination, plots were pricy and small, and 2. A lot of the land flooded during the wet season. This phenomenon happens over a lot of Thailand, by the way and is a factor you need to take into account when choosing where to live.
After that, we looked at coastal locations but again, the idea of 1000’s of tourists descending into the area every holiday season (and it’s a long season in Thailand!) put us off. Land is also costly –you pay a premium for the sea view or the smell of sea air just about everywhere!
But we did want coastal access. So any plot we would consider should be within 90 minutes’ drive of that coast. In fact, that’s a good compromise – you can have a day on the beach if you fancy it, or if friends have come to visit, but then in the evening, you can either stay a night in a hotel or…jump in the car and say ‘good bye’ , and be back home in 1 ½ hours or less.
So… reasonable access to family (they are in the Bangkok suburbs and Rayong). Within a short drive of the coast. Not a big conurbation but access to one, with the shops and services when needed. Not a big tourist destination. Quiet, clean and a reasonable price for land.
Also – flood potential. Check the surrounding properties and even speak to the OrBorTor’s office. Then…will there be a new highway driven past your potential plot? What about other planned development? A new housing estate or worse… a new industrial estate? Are there plans to ‘up-rate’ the road past your front gate? Perhaps there is a new 7-Eleven planned for your street – maybe you would like that, (maybe not !). Also you need to check the availability of services into your chosen location. Electricity and water are pretty much available everywhere but the internet may not be.
One cannot stop time and nothing will stay the same for ever but by taking reasonable precautions, you can minimise adverse impact for the longest time.
For our eventual location, 100Km south east of Bangkok and about 90Km east of Chon Buri, we managed to tick just about all of the boxes.
The other factor, for us anyway, was the assistance and encouragement we got from officialdom to get the land and house purchased, approved and constructed. The Engineer, the architect, the planning / land office – everyone wanted to help you to achieve the goal in as little time as possible.
Lol – imagine that concept in the United Kingdom!