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Buying Property in Thailand

18th February, 2014

This is a True story about Buying property in Thailand, Relationships with Thai woman, and Bar Girl’s, Not a scam, but an Important lesson from a member who has actually been there and learnt the hard way! He just wanted to share his experiences with the rest of you.

 This account is in the Members own words we have removed any personal details.

I was in a strong relationship with a Thai girl for the past 5 years . She was working as a bar girl in Phuket  when I first met her at 30 years of age . We developed a strong relationship during my frequent trips to Thailand 5 times a year for a month at a time . After knowing her a year I decided to help her leave the bar scene so she could go back to the country and live with her 3 kids . I willingly helped her , she asked for nothing .

To help her I brought a noodle restaurant for her in her home town and she was finally able to live happily with her three children who until then had been bandied about to relatives who she had to send money back to from Phuket regularly to cover the kids care . The Thai father ( typically) had run away years ago.  So my Thai girlfriend went back to Kolat and with my help bought a noodle franchise restaurant that seated 60 people.  

She and her kids lived at the back of the restaurant … not bad accommodation but not ideal for a long time but it sufficed for a couple of years to start with and more importantly didn’t really matter because what was important to her and the kids was that they were all together again . She was the only cook in her restaurant cooking up to 300 meals a day ! ..she worked hard for 5 years, getting up at five in the morning off to the markets then working the noodle restaurant with her 4 staff finishing around 5 pm daily . I would help also from 5 am when I was there . Everything was fine, she was working hard, the children were happy and well cared for and our relationship was good.

After four years I decided to buy her and the children a house. We found a beautiful property,  big established block lovely gardens 3 bedrooms plus office etc etc . The owner wanted 3.5 million baht for it. After some haggling I got him down to 3.1 million baht including all furnishings .. he agreed and the purchase went through. The property needed some work but not a lot really so when I visited my girlfriend and her children I spent time overseeing and helping with some renovations including an extra bedroom attached to an outside bathroom , making a self contained unit for the eldest daughter .   

The house was always hers , not mine , although she said frequently , everything I have here is not mine its yours.  Everything was fine for a year and then suddenly, out of the blue, when I was out of the country, I received a phone call from my girlfriend, she was very upset and told me that she was in debt and deep trouble with mafia money lenders. She told me that although I had brought the property for 3.1 million baht , she, behind my back, fearing that the purchase would not go through, agreed with the seller to pay an extra 100.000 baht for the house (total now 3.2 million baht) but because she didn’t have the extra money she went into debt owing the guy the extra 100,000 baht  as well as borrowing a further 100.000 baht from him at black market rates.

She told me that with interest on the debt (20-30% per month are the black market rates) she now owed the money lenders an enormous 1,030,000 Baht. She thought stupidly , not understanding just how much 200,000 can blow out to at those rates, that the income from the restaurant would cover it all , but that was impossible along with her other daily overheads of family and restaurant .   

She kept agreeing to rolling it over not fully understanding where it was going until at the end of a year when they were demanding settlement that she pay up or forfeit the house. That’s what they wanted all along ..not for her to repay .. they wanted the house now worth 5 million baht ! She finally had to tell me the whole story which I was completely unaware of  and out of sheer desperation she asked me to help her not lose the house and could I pay the debt .

Out of disgust and betrayal I refused . It ended our relationship . I later found out, she agreed to some further deal with the lenders which saw her sell her beloved noodle restaurant cheaply to save them from taking the house. She still is just hanging onto the house and now  without the noodle restaurant is working back at the bar  in Phuket where I originally met her entertaining customers and serving drinks.  

I have been to Thailand 100 times in 16 years and I never once met another couple, Thai girl ,western man that had a stronger happier relationship that we did ..not once !  Over the 5 years I had heard many, many stories from her about other couples ( local with westerner) and now conclude that you never EVER know 100% the full story with your Thai partner.  If you could speak Thai fluently perhaps , just perhaps  but I seriously doubt it even then .

Last I heard she is seeing an older Japanese man an a younger well off Australian guy so with a bit of luck she may be able to keep the house ..I hope so for her sake otherwise it was a complete waste of 5 years and in total not only including the house saga , but 8 million baht I plonked in to her and her kids trying to help their lives ! I believe now its just a part of the Thai culture when it comes to dealing or being with westerners ! you never ever know everything 100% . My word of advice is to never get involved with someone with 3 teenage kids ..the pressures on an uneducated mother  who thinks she’s doing ok , just leads to catastrophe.

FidelityCheckOnline says;

This story is very familiar with western guys getting into relationships in Thailand and the bargirl mentality, he is neither a fool nor naive. We am not sure what he could have done to stop this happening to him as it was all done behind his back and without his knowledge. But it does illustrate just how careful you must be before entering into any type of personal or financial dealings in Thailand.

We can never really be sure if its Thai bargirls or whether it’s the general Thai culture. This girl could have had it all, a beautiful house, happy children, a guy who loved and supported her and a good business (not working in a bar) but somehow and for some reason she couldn’t stop herself from messing it up! It is as if some people just don’t know when they are well off.