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How to find a place to live in bangkok
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  1. #1
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    so happy!

    HOW TO...: Find a decent place to live

    The Nation, Published on Feb 28, 2003

    Determining where to live while in Bangkok is one of the most important decisions you will make. While many expatriates on a good salary or a package that includes the boss forking out for the rent can virtually pick and choose without the more prosaic considerations of how much it will cost, most of us do not.

    If you are new to Bangkok and without a lot of time to find the ideal home, it is probably best to find somewhere adequate to begin with, try to obtain a short-term renewable lease (just in case) and begin searching for a place that suits in your own time.

    Many expats settle for the Sukhumvit or Silom areas because of the quality of accommodation and convenient transport, shopping and other facilities. But in these areas, you will be paying for the privilege.

    On the low end of acceptable, a one-bedroom, half-decent apartment in a reasonable complex can go for as little as Bt5,000 to about Bt20,000 a month, with the cheaper of these deals being harder to find. Prices then climb and climb. If you like a bit of space, maybe an extra room for a study and decent furniture included, then prices will begin at about Bt35,000. Large three bedroom apartments of about 1,200 to 1,500 square feet range from about Bt45,000 to Bt55,000.

    With these sort of prices, the apartment complex will probably have a decent swimming pool, fitness centre and a small convenience store.

    Standard leases are generally for one year, with the equivalent of two months rent as a deposit and one month's rent in advance.

    Charges for electricity, water and telephone are commonly channelled through the condo or apartment management and a surcharge for each is added. Surcharges vary from place to place. Check around to see what rates are acceptable to you. If you rent, for example, a Bt25,000-a-month condo, don't expect much change from Bt40,000. In some places, bills from utility companies are sent directly to the tenant, so there are no management surcharges.

    Rents for apartments and condos further down Sukhumvit, from Thonglor onward, tend to be cheaper, although the quality is sometimes lacking. However, adequate condos and apartments in areas such as Thonglor, Ekamai, Prakanon, On Nut, and beyond can be had for Bt10,000 or less.

    Head even further east along Sukhumvit to Udom Suk or Bangna areas and you can pick up one- and two-bedroom condos in pleasant complexes for Bt7,000 to Bt12,000.

    Areas such as Phetburi and Phayathai tend to have apartments and condos that offer the same convenience as the lower end of Sukhumvit, but at rents around 25 per cent to 30 per cent less. But if you are in search of real bargains and are hardy enough to handle to commute if you work in the city, areas in greater Bangkok offer extremely good value.

    The pre-Asian finance crisis real estate boom left a glut of empty townhouses and free-standing houses in the outskirts of Bangkok, with many owners more than eager to rent at knockdown prices. In these areas, notably Bangna-Trat, a furnished two- or three-bedroom townhouse, with furniture and air-conditioners can be rented for as little as Bt5,000 a month. Large free-standing houses, with four bedrooms and big gardens go for between Bt15,000 and Bt20,000.

    Also worth exploring are the some of the peaceful pockets of back-soi Bangkok that have escaped the bulldozers. I recently spotted a large three-bedroom house with a garden tucked away in a very quiet area only 100 metres off a main road in the Phetburi area for Bt18,000 a month. Across the road was a two-storey, two-bedroom, semi-detached apartment going for the same price. If this apartment was in the expensive part of Sukhumvit, it would be renting for three times that amount.

    Finding places like these rely more on luck and legwork more than anything else. If you know what office you are based in, it makes things easier and you could start by looking for places nearest to work.

    English-language newspapers carry classified ads for rentals most days, but most tend to be aimed at the expatriate market, so prices are inflated.

    Many landlords post “for rent” signs in English (a sign that foreigners are welcome) on utility poles or fences of the house or apartment building. Some don't – and leave it up to you to find out if a place is for rent. If you see an apartment building that you like the looks of, go inside and asked if they are any units for rent. Chances are there will be. Also, chances are the landlord will be asking above market price, so be prepared to bargain. Also make sure you get a rundown of management fees, utility surcharges and other tacked-on extras.

    The same applies to houses. If you see a house that looks well maintained but empty, ask the neighbours who owns it, get the phone number of the owner, call, and make the case that renting the place to you is a good idea.

    phil macdonald
    Support the forum and chat rooms and buy computer software and books for learning Thai at www.BuyThaiBooks.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I've lived in a few different areas around the city, and I have to say that so far I like living on Sukhumvit Road the most. There are a couple of downsides to living on Sukhumwit road though. For example, the price of having laundry done on Sukhumwit Road is phenomenal when compared to the price of having laundry done in other areas away from the center of the city. However, for every downside there is an upside. For example, not having to leave the house an hour and a half early just to get to the movie theater on time to meet a friend. From Sukhumvit road, one can just hop right on to the skytrain and leave all the worries of parking the car behind. It's beautiful I tells ya!
    "Random Witty Comment"

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