Finding your first Bangkok Apartment Part 3: Viewing properties
With lots of research done and a good game plan in place you are more than ready to start viewing your potential new Bangkok apartments. Having looked at facts and figure, weighed up the things you want against the things you really need, you should now have a good idea of what you are looking for, and no doubt you have already looked through the property listings and are just itchng to get out there and see some properties in the flesh.
The Bangkok property market is pretty frantic, and good properties come and go within days, with the absolute gems getting snapped up even quicker. With the in mind there i no need to arrange to see any properties ahead of the time, and it’s certainly not worth your bother arranging views more than 2 days before your arrival, by that time anything decent will have probably been taken.
The best advice is to wait until you are in Bangkok and well rested, perhaps arranging to view properties the day before. Pick 3 or 4 condos that you really like, preferably with the same agent, as well as some alternative choices with a second agent, and arrange to see them in the am. There are so many properties available in Bangkok there is no need to stress yourself out by trying to see too many of them in on day.
When you contact the agent let them know the properties you are looking for, as well as your idea apartment and location, noting that you are available to see anything else that fits you requirements. To play it safe it’s also worth contacting a second agent with properties you like to arrange a viewing of 2 or 3 in the afternoon.
Dealing with property agents
Property agents, just like lawyers, and second-hand car salesmen, don’t have the best reputations for being honest and open, but just like any person in any profession, there are good one and bad once. Ultimately you want to rent your new Bangkok apartment from an agent you like and trust, so if you don’t like the agent you are dealing with don’t be afraid to cancel any further viewings. For the most part you shouldn’t encounter such a situation, the property agents of Bangkok tend to be a lot less ‘cut-throat’ and far more friendly and trustworthy than realtors and estate agents in some Western countries.
Always try to stick to your budget, try to avoid seeing too many properties that are close or just over the top end of your budget, instead consider seeing more properties that are at the low end of your budget but perhaps need a bit of love and attention: it’s much easier to save up and spend money on decor than to live under pressure having to struggle to meet the rent each month.
If you don’t ask you don’t know
If you’ve done all your prep work no doubt you have a long list of tick boxes and questions you will want to ask during your view Don’t be afraid to keep asking, no matter how silly the question may be or how annoying you might thing you are being, it’s far more annoying to tell an agent you want to break a contract you’ve signed because you’ve discovered the apartment isn’t what you wanted. and besides, answering your many questions is why the property agent is there!
A few questions you should consider asking:
- What are the bills?
Do you pay a fixed water rate? Are you paying for a landline? How about building fees? How about cable TV? WIFI?
- What is the electric rate?
The answer you are looking for is ‘government rate, meaning you pay the lowest possible amount. Some landlords want you to pay them and will charge you up to double.
- How much deposit is required?
Usually 2 months, plus 1 month in advance.
- Are there any apartment or building rules you need to be aware of?
Once you have found an apartment you really like take a closer look at the neighbourhood, and if you are serious about it make the afford to visit the street during the day and evening, just to avoid any nasty surprises! If you are feeling a bit brave it doesn’t hurt to try to chat to a passing neighbour or two, to get a better idea of the vibe and atmosphere of your potential new home.
Once you’ve found and fallen in love with your new Bangkok apartment then it’s time to get serious and sign the contract!
NEXT WEEK: Finding your first Bangkok Apartment Part 4: The Contract
Finding your first Bangkok Apartment Part 1: Research and prep
Finding your first Bangkok Apartment Part 2: Starting searching