Technically (and in most cases) a foreigner cannot own a house in Thailand as the Thai Government does not allow a foreigner to own land (which a house is obviously built on). In Thailand , a house would come with a title deed (Chanode) that will also show a certain amount of land with the house, which will be registered to the owner of the property as well.
As stated above, legally and technically a foreigner cannot own land in Thailand. There are a few small cases and a few new laws (over a certain age……with so much money…….in certain areas of Thailand……..married to a Thai National……etc.) that might accept foreign ownership of land in their name, but the above is the normal scenario.
Most often, foreigners here form a company of dominantly Thai National shareholders (usually about 20,000 THB to 40,000 THB to form and register the company properly). When a registered company’s shareholders sign ‘share release forms” one individual may ‘become’ the managing director and only signatory for the company. The managing director may then sign for property purchases and the company (managing director) owns the property (house and/or land). A Thai national must own 51% of the firm, but the firm will be organized so that you have all the economic and juridical rights. In addition, by using this system, it will be easier for you to buy a car or to get residence permit.
You have to pay at least 30% as a deposit, and then the original owner of the house is committed to you. The company (managing director) is also able to transfer ownership by selling the position in the company which owns the property and/or sell the property outright at any time in the future. Ownership of land is governed by the Land Code BE 2497 (1954), the Civil and Commercial Code, Land Reform for Agriculture Act BE 2518 (1975) and the regulations set forth by the Ministry of the Interior. For a foreigner who is married to a Thai citizen, the Thai spouse can buy property using his or her name only.
A foreigner who invests 40 million baht or more in a Thai Company is eligible to purchase land and a house at the size of maximum 400 square wah maximum total land area.(1 square wah = 4 square meters). A foreigner who invests with a Thai registered company at 49-51% ownership (unlimited amount), foreigner shareholder at 49% of ownership can purchase land and house with unlimited size and amount of investment through company registered name.