So, you’ve decided to make Thailand your home for the next few years – congratulations! As 500,000 other expatriates will tell you, this is a beautiful place to live. Living in Bangkok, in particular, is a smart and safe choice. From world-class hospitals and schools to excellent accommodation, easy transportation and wonderful entertainment options, there is a lot to love about the City of Angels. If you’re coming here as a family, the most challenging part of your transition will be selecting where to live. If you’re coming for work, you’ll want to find a condo or apartment near an international school in Sathorn, to cut down on your commute time. Whilst Bangkok does have good public transport don’t forget that it’s home to over 8 million residents, many of whom drive. So, bear this in mind when selecting where to house your family, unless you want drives to and from school to take over an hour. We recommend you find somewhere convenient for both work, school and leisure. To help you make your apartment or condominium (aka ‘condo’) hunting easy, we’ve put together this quick reference guide.
Apartment vs Condominium
First and foremost, let’s get to know the difference between a condominium and apartment. The most significant difference is regarding ownership. An apartment is a residence that is rented, often as part of a largerapartment complex, with all units being the same. A condo is the same as an apartment in terms of looks and facilities, but these units are owned instead of rented. Put another way; often, one person will own an entire apartment building, and rent out units to different people. With a condo building, the units will be owned by various private owners, some rented out, and some lived in by their owners.
Because the structure of condominium and apartment communities is similar, they often have comparable amenities and locations. For example, most Bangkok buildings will come with a pool, gym, trash disposal, public green spaces, working space/library, kids’ playroom, tuk-tuk shuttle, etc. As an owner, the big difference is that a condominium owner is responsible for paying monthly homeowners association (HOA) fees, for helping with the maintenance of the facilities mentioned above. And they are fully responsible for the interior maintenance of their unit. With an apartment, as the owner typically owns the whole building, they don’t have HOA fees, but of course, they must still maintain every aspect of the building, inside and out.
Things to Consider
As a renter, you won’t have to worry about any maintenance to your unit. But if you decide to buy in Bangkok, you’ll need to keep these points in mind, especially as HOA feeds can run to thousands of Baht each month.
As a renter, the pros and cons of an apartment vs condo are quite slim. They will both offer the same level of comfort, service and location. One thing to consider is that an apartment building typically has 24/7 staff on hand to help with any kind of emergency (leaky toilet!). With a condo, you’ll have to contact the landlord, and they’ll have to hire a private contractor to come in and fix the problem, this can often take several days to arrange.
In terms of location, which is vital in a mega-city like Bangkok, these types of buildings sit side-by-side, they are not in designated areas. As we mentioned earlier, if you’re keen to make the downtown area your base, you’ll have no problem finding a superb condominium or apartment near an international school in Sathorn. This part of town is very popular with expat families because of its excellent area facilities, schools, hospitals, shops and cultural attractions.