There are a number of property options in Thailand that you can consider. Each has its pros and cons however there are enough options that one of these will fit your risk and profile. Some are married to a Thai national while others are not. These are the options available for the married as well as single or married to another foreigner. Speak to a lawyer in Bangkok for more information when it comes to property.
Buying a Condo
If you are single you can buy a condo in Thailand and you simply have to ensure that there are still units available to foreigners as foreigners may only own 49% of the units in a development. If there are none available then you would have to consider a number of options. These would include buying it in the name of your Thai wife and then register a usufruct over the property. Speak to a property lawyer in Thailand in this regards.
Building a House
Most expats who are married to a Thai tend to place the land in the name of their Thai wife and then register a usufruct over the property for their lifetime. This ensure that in the event of a divorce since they cannot claim the land they will still have a place to stay unless they come to an agreement to sell the property and cancel the usufruct.
Many married or not do opt for a superficies where someone else owns the land and they own all the structures on the land. You can now build you house of the land of your landlord. This is one way of building your own home in Thailand. As you are well aware foreigners normally cannot own land in Thailand. These are the two options if you wish to build a house in Thailand.
Buying a House
Much like above there is the option of a usufruct which can be registered against the title deed of the property. This which you will have to place in the name of your Thai wife. You will have no claim against the land but with a usufruct you can live in the house until your death. The Land Office will more likely than not allow you to contract a leasehold agreement. This with your wife as this would not make much sense for legal as well as tax purposes. See the issues on Leasehold Agreements.
You can take a leasehold agreement over a house or condo for a maximum period of 30 years. If someone offers anything longer than this then you should speak to a registered lawyer for sound legal advice. There are many property marketing schemes but many of them are not very good. Don’t lose your investment to uncharted territory as many have lost their investments in these over the years.
These are the basic of property ownership options in Thailand. Take proper legal advice in this regards.This as there are many marketing schemes used by developers. Those which may not stand a test in the Thai courts. Normally if it is too good to be true then it more likely than not is. You options are thus: purchase the property, lease the property for a maximum of 30 years or register a superficies or a usufruct.