Real Estate Guide For Koh Samui

26 Feb 2024

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The demand for real estate in Koh Samui is great, stronger than it has ever been when it comes to purchasing a property. Buyers purchase land for both private and business uses, and rental return percentages are usually double digits. If you are searching for your own peaceful getaway, a rental or guest-oriented project or even your long-term family house, the time to purchase is now.


Life on Koh Samui

Thousands of foreign nationals opt to relocate to Koh Samui every year. You can live in an area free of ex-pats, if you choose, and immerse yourself completely in the Thai people and culture. The welcoming nature of their people is indeed one of Samui’s biggest attractions. Even a nominal amount of warmth and hospitality will be returned to you ten times. 
If you want to ease into Thailand and its culture, however, or just get plain homesick, Koh Samui also offers many friendly attributes for ex-pats. There are ex-pats in Koh Samui from many different parts of the world. They are typically happy to help if you need some information or help from one of those groups. Or visit your local French bakery or English pub if you sometimes wish to talk about English football or French politics, and you won't be disappointed. 

Koh Samui


For mid-and upper-market holiday travellers, as well as for the increasing number of long-stay and permanent residents, Koh Samui has enormous potential to cement its reputation as one of Thailand's chosen, niche tropical island escapes. Ultimately, it is the sustainability and accessibility of a pristine tropical environment that draws back past tourists and attracts new ones in the case of Koh Samui, a lush, exotic, and graceful setting.


Buying a House

Firstly, buying a house in Thailand means that you need to use a property lawyer who can guide you through the legal process as it can be confusing for foreigners. When we speak of real estate transactions in Thailand, it is a common connotation that the focus of the sale is the land and the house. However, there are limits under the Land Code of Thailand on foreign ownership of land. There are exceptions to this law, although foreign ownership of and improvement of land is not permitted. 

As an outsider buying land or the house can be purchased in two ways: 

1. Long-term Leasehold contracts 
Foreigners can enter into 30-year leasing contract deals during which they are equally protected as freehold owners. The contract may be renewed or extended twice and the foreigner may own the land for a period of 90 years. However, after the agreement ends, he/she will not take ownership of the asset, as the material asset is removed from the estate. 

2. Limited Liability Company 
The establishment in Thailand of a limited liability company is a choice which does not fully accommodate individuals with limited financial power. Every organized company bearing a foreigner's name has its freehold land registered in the name of the company. 
With this strategy, there would need to be two or more foreign shareholders if one investor is eligible for a maximum of 49 per cent. However, the company's international managing director, who controls voting and other shares, gets complete control of the land. 

Between the above two options, the lease route seems to be much more stress-free, particularly due to lower fees. This is in view of the fact that it involves adequate legal aid.

Koh Samui Real Estate

Using an Agent

When searching for real estate in Koh Samui, the option of the right real estate agent is much more important than when a buyer looks for property in his own country. This is since they will be much less acquainted with the real estate business in Thailand and Samui, and would thus be less comfortable with market values and various places. In general, relative to those that occur in their country of origin, they will also have a weaker understanding of the legal problems that govern the purchase of the real estate in Thailand. For these reasons, invest some time finding the right real estate agent. Look for a well-established and independent agent, not linked to any particular development. 



When purchasing real estate, you are making a lifestyle choice AND an appropriate purchase. Many people overlook this and see the light, sea, and sand for those reasons, and purchase a property without even caring about the advantages and downfalls of the place. 
It may be smart to think about future reselling and then pick a position with connectivity to all points on the island, nice tourism destinations, and plenty of amenities. However, this should not deter you from picking property on the edges of the island, since there are some of the most stunning places here. When picking your ground, including your thoughts on possible resale in the future, remember to list the advantages and drawbacks of each area. 
When determining where you will put yourself when you purchase land or property here, you will want to recognize your lifestyle. Different locations have different characteristics and still emotions that are somewhat different.

Koh Samui real estate

Property Type

If you do not wish to build your own home according to your own design and want something you will immediately use or move in, so you would also need to carefully evaluate the sort of house or building in which you want to buy. For your purchase and lifestyle, things such as the number of rooms, whether it has a swimming pool, size of living accommodation, how new the amenities are, etc. would also be significant. There is an opportunity to purchase operated villas, some that will also be rentals if you are not there, which are cleaned and maintained by a company for you. If you want to live there all year round, this is different, but you can recruit cleaners and repairs here for a decent rate. 
If you are designing your own house, then an architect is what you would need. Selecting the right design team for the style and budget of the building is critical. The architect/designer should be chosen from a proven track record from projects that are suitable that suit the develop criteria and layout standards you need. The design team would work on the design brief of the client as selected. At the conceptual design stage, the user can choose how active the desire is. Some customers want to give things to the architects/designers, while some enjoy the whole process and choose to be more involved. This is also valid down below the specification stage when it comes to basic elements of content specifications and finishes. 
Some buyers may need an extravagant, almost luxury-style, multi-bedroomed high-spec villa with a pool, whilst others will be pleased with a more modest house but still follow some more western-style requirements for year-round living. Whatever you like, both property form choices are accessible for buying off the shelf or constructing yourself on Koh Samui.

Buying Commercial Property for a Business

When considering the purchase of commercial property on Koh Samui, investors are drawn to the island's thriving tourism industry and growing expatriate community, promising lucrative returns on investment. Navigating the commercial real estate market here requires a comprehensive understanding of local regulations and market trends. Foreign buyers typically explore two main avenues: securing a long-term leasehold, which can provide up to 90 years of tenure through consecutive renewals, offering a semblance of stability without outright ownership; or forming a Thai Limited Company, where the foreign investor controls a maximum of 49% of the shares but can maintain operational control through strategic structuring of the company's board. This route allows for the acquisition of land and the development of commercial ventures, albeit with more complexity and the need for a solid legal foundation to ensure compliance with Thai laws. Additionally, the choice of location within Koh Samui is paramount, with areas such as Chaweng, Lamai, and Bophut offering high foot traffic and visibility for businesses, while more secluded areas might appeal to niche markets seeking tranquility and exclusivity. Success in Koh Samui's commercial property market hinges on diligent research, legal guidance, and an adaptable business strategy that aligns with the island's unique blend of cultures and consumer preferences.

Opening a Business on Koh Samui


Koh Samui is a beautiful location for living and investing in. If it's to move with relatives for leasing purposes or as a second house, or even for retirement. You can encounter several agents that will assist you with the legal side of things and build high-level jobs, and engineers and design agencies. Koh Samui keeps the appeal of the island, but you can still live here and get more from your hard-earned cash!

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