Buying a new house anywhere comes with its own set of risks. Everything from future market valuation to potential natural disasters should be taken into account. While it may seem daunting, a well-established realtor can not only have greater foresight into general considerations for buying a home, their specific regional experience and knowledge are of great value to a new homebuyer.
While your realtor can provide indispensable insight, and you should certainly engage a local lawyer to carry out due diligence on the property, the following are some concerns that can be overlooked by buyers in Phuket, particularly if buying a standalone property outside of a well-established development.
Things to Watch Out for While Looking for a Home in Phuket | Credit: https://www.opendoor.com/
While this might seem like a basic engineering tenant of which all buildings should abide by, it’s not always the case. Phuket is somewhat of a boomtown and its rapid headlong pace of development can sometimes outpace infrastructure. Improper or inadequate rainwater runoff is common on the island. Just drive around during or after an extended downpour and you’ll see side streets turn into rivers and small lakes appear where drains are non-existent or too small.
Of course, you likely don’t want your house to end up being in a huge pool of standing water after each rainstorm, of which Phuket receives more than its fair share. Does the house have large overhangs on the roof to keep water away from the walls? Has it been fitted with gutters which divert water away from the home effectively? Are there areas on the property where water can pool? Is the ground surrounding the house graded properly so water flows away from the foundation? Since we’re not all hydrological engineers, it can’t hurt to go have a look at a house you’re interested in purchasing during a big rainstorm and see for yourself how it fairs.
As climate changes, the way we build homes must change too | Credit: https://theconversation.com/
Spoiler alert: it gets hot in Phuket. As this fact will surprise no one, it may be surprising how little consideration goes into designing a home to better manage the heat. The vast majority of homes (even upscale villas) are constructed out of cement blocks and have little to no insulation. Many think of insulation as a way to keep a house warm when it’s cold outside, but the actual function is to modulate temperature swings between the outdoor and indoor environment. Insulating a house can come in several forms, having extra-thick walls acting as thermal mass is one way to achieve this.
Other details to look out for are roof overhangs. Further reaching overhangs help to shade the walls and windows of a home when the sun is high during the hottest part of the day. What’s happening on the south side of the house is important as this is the aspect which receives the most sun throughout the day. Are there big windows that are going to let in direct sun? Are there trees or other features to help provide shade?
This might seem like an obvious detail to observe, but it’s incredibly important as picking up and moving would be less than ideal. Sure, having good neighbors is key, but there is more to consider. Viewed from a broad perspective, is the region of the island the right place for you? Do you have kids who will be attending a school? Do you travel often and prefer easy access to the airport?
Neighborhoof | Credit: https://www.zenithydevelopment.com/
Zooming in a bit, try to learn more about the local community. Are there bars or nightlife venues nearby which may be quiet during the day, but loud at night? Are there any parks or adequate areas for kids to play or take your dog for a walk? Are the streets well-maintained? Up to date electric lines? An empty lot across the street where a long drawn out construction project might pop up?
There’s a lot to consider when searching for a home. Spend time compiling a list of things to look for or avoid. If possible, talk to some local residents to get their take on the neighborhood. Doing your due diligence thoroughly in advance will pay off greatly in the long run.