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Editorial After a lengthy period of stabilization, we are again approaching the start of bullish times for property buying and investing. Most world economists are forecasting the end of the current economic crises by the end of the year, so the markets should start climbing after the middle of this year. This estimation is built on the fact that massive funds in billions of Euros and US$ are being injected into the markets by the EU, US and many other countries. Never in human history has such an amount of money being injected into the markets to support their economies.

Page 38 RELAX Section

CONTENTS New Affordable Pratumnak Hill Residences: Diamond Suites


Warren Buffets Advice For 2009


Middle East Investors :


Lease Land For Your Lifetime


Property In Pattaya Still Looking Good


Relax at Banglamung Country Hills


Feng Shui Money Tip


Ten Things Your Real Estate Broker Will Not Tell You 22 Top Property Offers

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Therefore, it is a good time for individuals and investors to search for the projects they would like to invest into and then select the right time to buy, before the prices start hiking upwards again. It is definite that the dark cloud is departing and the sunshine will once again brighten our lives. The positive attitude starts in our minds and this will be translated into a great future for all of us. Die meisten Weltwirtschaftswissenschaftler prognostizieren das Ende der gegenwärtigen Wirtschaftskrisen bei Ende des Jahres, deswegen die Märkte sollten nach der Mitte dieses Jahres nach oben zu klettern beginnen. Deshalb ist es eine gute Zeit für Käufer und Investoren nach Projekten suchen, in denen investieren und das rechte Zeitpunkt wählen in dem sie kaufen möchten, bevor die Preise wieder anfangen nach oben zu klettern. Большинство мировых экономистов предрекают окончание текущего экономического кризиса к концу года, таким образом, рынки должны начать подниматься с середины этого года. Этот период - хорошее время для инвесторов, для поиска проектов, в которые они хотели бы вложить деньги и для правильного выбора времени покупки, прежде чем цены снова поползут вверх. ‫ﻳﺘﻮﻗﻊ ﻣﻌﻈﻢ ﺧﺒﺮﺍء ﺍﻹﻗﺘﺼﺎﺩ ﺍﻟﻌﺎﻟﻤﻴﻴﻦ ﺑﺎﻥ ﺍﻷﺯﻣﺔ ﺍﻹﻗﺘﺼﺎﺩﻳﺔ‬ ‫ ﻭﻟﺬﻟﻚ ﻓﺎﻥ ﺍﻷﺳﻮﺍﻕ‬،‫ﺍﻟﻌﺎﻟﻤﻴﺔ ﺍﻟﺤﺎﻟﻴﺔ ﺳﺘﻨﺘﻬﻲ ﻣﻊ ﻧﻬﺎﻳﺔ ﻫﺬﺍ ﺍﻟﻌﺎﻡ‬ ‫ ﻭﻟﺬﻟﻚ ﻓﺎﻧﻪ ﺍﻵﻥ ﺍﻟﻮﻗﺖ‬.‫ﺳﺘﺒﺪﺃ ﺑﺎﻹﺭﺗﻔﺎﻉ ﺑﻌﺪ ﻣﻨﺘﺼﻒ ﻫﺬﺍ ﺍﻟﻌﺎﻡ‬ ‫ﺍﻟﻤﻨﺎﺳﺐ ﻟﻸﻓﺮﺍﺩ ﻭﺍﻟﻤﺴﺘﺜﻤﺮﻳﻦ ﻟﻠﺒﺤﺚ ﻋﻦ ﺍﻟﻤﺸﺎﺭﻳﻊ ﺍﻟﺘﻲ ﻳﺮﻏﺒﻮﻥ‬ ‫ﺍﻹﺳﺘﺜﻤﺎﺭ ﺑﻬﺎ ﻭﺇﺧﺘﻴﺎﺭ ﺍﻟﺘﻮﻗﻴﺖ ﺍﻟﻤﻨﺎﺳﺐ ﻟﻠﺸﺮﺍء ﻗﺒﻞ ﺍﻥ ﺗﺒﺪﺃ‬ ‫ﺍﻷﺳﻌﺎﺭ ﺑﺎﻹﺭﺗﻔﺎﻉ ﻣﺮﺓ ﺃﺧﺮﻱ‬

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New Affordable Pratumnak Hill Residences


he new “Diamond Suites” project on the southern side of Thappraya Road is owned by a Thai business family, who already owns a host of businesses in Pattaya, such as the Diamond Beach Hotel, Diamond Badminton, and the Diamond City Centre. The Diamond Group of companies do not see themselves as just another property developer, but rather as a conglomerate engaged in many areas of the hospitality industry, with these new “Diamond Suites Resort Condominiums” being their first venture into Pattaya’s residential property market. This family company is very capably led by the family matriarch, Mrs. Suwanna Supachartkaisorn, and this is a very large complex, on approximately 6-Rai (9,600 square metres) of land, consisting of no less than four seven storey buildings, plus three 8-storey buildings, which will add up to over six hundred new residences. This is all located on family owned

land, a short distance down Soi-15 on the western edge of Thappraya Road, which is the major link road between South Pattaya and the rapidly growing Jomtien Beach area. Many potential expats and investors are coming from Russia, China, Europe, Australia and the Middle East, to buy these competitively priced residences. The company group’s Managing Director, also stated that she expected that around 60% of their sales would be to the growing number of affluent Thai citizens. The Managing Director, Mrs. Suwanna Supachartkaisorn, has had a lifetime of experience in developing large business enterprises, and is well qualified to take on new ventures. Her son, who is affectionately known as ‘Giant,’ studied Hotel Management at West Virginia in the USA, then further management positions in Thailand, which has given him a wonderful insight into the accommodation industry within the kingdom. Likewise, Khun

Suwanna’s daughter Khun Aonny has studied Business Management in England. Location Is The Key This innovative new condominium project is ideally situated very close to the busiest area in the city, but at the same time having the advantages of being in a very quiet and clean location, that also sees very little crime. It has a very nice scenic aspect, because it is very close to the western slopes of scenic Pratumnak Hill, (otherwise known locally as Bhudda Hill), and to compliment this, the condominium buildings have 360 degree rooftop sky-walks. Here, the location of these individual condominiums is also well worth mentioning, because they are set in over 3,000 square metres (2.25 Rai) of lush tropical gardens based on the theme of a Caribbean tropical paradise. Configured to a water world design, with reflection ponds, infinity swimming pools and a 3-metre high waterfall, this adds up to


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some real enjoyment for the residents, and includes such luxuries as a ‘floating’ sunbathing area, rooftop sundeck, children’s pool, Jacuzzis and a nice international restaurant. The registered project owner, Kiyana Co.Ltd, has a fully paid up registered capital of 30-million Baht. The project is on eight separate title deeds (Chanots), and the construction of two of a total of seven separate condominiums is expected to be completed late in 2009. A Multitude Of Features As far as indoor facilities go, the list of amenities is endless, with a fitness centre, sauna, restaurant, Mini-mart, laundry & dry-cleaning, being a few of the essential services, while security is also strong with key pads for building admission, electronic gate tags for vehicles, individual door bell answering, in-room CCTV cameras, and naturally 24-hour on-site security guards. The whole area is Wi-Fi ready for computer use in all apartments, and these range from studios and small rooms of 30 – 40 square metres, up to larger family residences and even penthouses, typically of 86 square metres or more. Prices To Suit Everyone

As well as a wide range of facilities coming as standard services, the prices are exceptionally good, with the 38 square metre studios starting from 1.6 million Baht, while two bedroom family units range from 3-4.1 million baht. Penthouses are phenomenal value, ranging from 4.3 to 6.1 million Baht. Show rooms in their finished state are available for inspection at the new “Diamond Suites Resort Condominiums” sales offices, which are situated on the building site, and many clients think that the prices are so good that they can purchase two units and link them together to create one very large sized residence. Their Director of Sales & Marketing Mr. Nicolas Ihle stated - Our first (A and B) buildings have already had their 49% foreign owned quota fully sold out to foreign buyers.” He also said, – “The whole concept, design, and construction is based around giving buyers what they want at an affordable price, and the family behind the ‘Diamond Group’ of companies is well equipped to do just this, with their decades of experience in the hotel and hospitality industries.” The new “Diamond Suites

Resort Condominiums” will give that to buyers at an affordable price, and as their catchy sales slogan states, - Diamond Suites is certainly “Where dreams become reality.” Die neuen „Diamant-Suite Resort Condominiuims“ bietet Kunden qualitativ hochwertige Eigentumswohnungen zu erschwinglichen Preisen in einer von Pattaya`s prestigevollsten Umgebung. Dieses Bauunternehmen aus Bangkok betreibt seit Jahrzehnten große, interessante und erfolgreiche Geschäftsaktivitäten in Pattaya.

Новые кондоминиумы, предложенные в рамках проекта «Даймант Суитс Ресорт Кондоминумс» (“Diamond Suites Resort Condominiums”), стали настоящей находкой для покупателей. Высококачественное жилье, умеренные цены и все это в самом престижном районе Паттайи. Задействованная предпринимательско- строительная компания в течение вот уже нескольких десятилетий инвестирует в Паттайю, и доля этих инвестиций продолжает расти. “‫ﺩﺍﻳﻤﻮﻧﺪ ﺳﻮﻳﺘﺲ“ ﺷﻘﻖ ﺗﻤﻠﻴﻚ ﺳﻜﻨﻴﺔ ﻋﻠﻰ‬ ‫ﻃﺮﺍﺯ ﻣﻨﺘﺠﻊ ﺗﺠﻠﺐ ﻟﻠﻤﺸﺘﺮﻳﻦ ﺷﻘﻖ ﻋﺎﻟﻴﺔ ﺍﻟﺠﻮﺩﺓ‬ ‫ ﻓﻲ ﺃﺣﺪ ﺃﻓﻀﻞ ﺍﻟﻤﻨﺎﻃﻖ ﻓﻲ‬،‫ﻭ ﺑﺄﺳﻌﺎﺭ ﻣﻌﻘﻮﻟﺔ‬ ‫ ﺍﻟﻤﻄﻮﺭ ﺷﺮﻛﺔ ﻣﻦ ﺑﺎﻧﻜﻮﻙ ﻟﻬﺎ ﻋﺪﺓ‬.‫ﺑﺎﺗﺎﻳﺎ‬ ‫ﺍﻷﻋﻤﺎﻝ ﺍﺳﻌﺔ ﺍﻟﻨﻄﺎﻕ ﻓﻲ ﻭﺷﺮﻛﺎﺕ ﺍﻟﺒﻨﺎء ﻓﻲ‬ ‫ﺑﺎﺗﺎﻳﺎ ﻣﻨﺬ ﻋﻘﻮﺩ ﻋﺪﻳﺪ‬.


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Warren Buffets Advice For 2009


e began this New Year with dampened enthusiasm and dented optimism. Our happiness was diluted and our peace threatened by the financial illnesses that infected our families, organizations and nations. Everyone is desperate to find a remedy to cure their financial illness and help them recover their financial health. They expected the financial experts to provide them with remedies, forgetting the fact that it was these experts who created this financial mess.

Hard Work: - All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

Auditing: - Beware of little expenses; - A small leak can sink a large ship.

Laziness: - A sleeping lobster is carried away by the water current.

Risk-taking: - Never test the depth of the river with both feet; (Have an alternate plan ready).

Earnings: - Never depend on a single source of income; - (At least make your investments get you a second earning)

Investment: - Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Every year, I adopt a couple of old maxims as my beacons to guide my future. This self-prescribed therapy has ensured that with each passing year, I grow wiser and not older. I invite you to tap into the financial wisdom of our elders along with me, and become financially wiser.

Savings: - Don’t save what is left after spending; - Spend what is left after saving.

Spending: - If you buy things you don’t need, you’ll soon sell things you need.

Borrowings: - The borrower becomes the lender’s slave. Accounting: - It’s no use carrying an umbrella, if your shoes are leaking.

I’m certain that those who have already been practicing these principles remain financially healthy. I’m equally confident that those who resolve to start practicing these principles will quickly regain their financial health. Let us become wiser and lead a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful life. (American, Mr. Warren Buffet is billed as one of the world’s wealthiest men).


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Lease Land For Your Lifetime E

land contract at the end of the 30 years. (This is explainaed in my article Does a 90 years lease of land exist in Thailand?)

the lifetime of the lessee or of the landowner is expressly provided by Section 541 of the Civil and Commercial Code: “Lease contract can be made for the duration of the life of the lessor or of the lessee”

Please note that advisors do not recommend a 30 years lease of land contract plus promises by landowner to renew the lease of

Foreigners are commonly advised to enter into a risky 30 years lease of land contract with promises by the landowner to renew the lease. However, these foreigners may not be aware that a lease of land contract can be made and registered for the lifetime of the foreign lessee. Leasing land for

xcept in rare cases, a foreigner (a non Thai person) cannot acquire land ownership title in Thailand. As a result, leasing a plot of land for 30 years and registering this long term lease of land contract at the local Land Office is one of the ways known and practiced by foreigners.

The lease will be registered as a lease for the lifetime of the foreign lessee. This registered right on the land or “real right” is binding on any third party for the


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lifetime of the lessee, this would include the landowner’s heir(s). In other words, no one, not even the landowner’s heirs, will have any rights over the leased land unless and until the lessee dies. A Land Office rule, effective since December 2008, confirmed that a lifetime lease registration made for the lessor’s (landowner) or for the lessee’s lifetime is only applicable to individuals or “natural

persons”. The Land Office cannot proceed with the lease registration if the foreign lessee is a company, a partnership or any kind of juristic entity. Tip The lease registration fee payable at the Land Office is calculated based on the rental amount for the first 30 years lease period. The foreign lessee’s responsibility here is 50% of this fee, unless

agreed otherwise between the landowner/ lessor and the lessee. Also, there is a stamp duty payable. Written by David Tan. David is a Lecturer of Business Law at Asian University and author of the book - A Primer of Thai Business Law, available online at www.chulabook. com . In Bangkok, the book is available at all Kinokuniya and Asiabooks bookstores. Any questions to David regarding land leases should be sent to


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Property In Pattaya Still Looking Good


hile many local real estate brokers and property developers feel that business is a bit slow after the boom of the last few decades, they should be thankful that they are not in some of the western countries such as America. As one Californian broker stated, - Things are so bad that we simply do no know when real estate is going to recover from this recession.” (needless to say it will be many years ‘down the track’ or maybe even a decade or more). The whole messy situation was fuelled by greed on the part of both the financial institutions mak-

ing unviable loans and investors pushing their finances to the limit to “get rich quick.” In Thailand, a slight easing of prices on a few of the high end housing properties is something that the local real estate market can comfortably ride out. There is always the alternative of offering add-ons instead of price discounting, and these may include free furniture, free monthly maintenance for extended periods of time or guaranteed rental returns for extended periods of time on unoccupied residences.

In England a combination of a 20 – 30% fall in real estate prices plus a huge devaluation in the British pound sterling currency, has see prices tumble in London by as much as 50 – 60%. Brokers have named this phenomenon the “Half price sale,” and are experiencing a boom in overseas buyers from some of the nearby affluent European countries, where their own currencies are still strong. All very nice if you have your heart really set on living in England, but if you want to retire to a more cost effective economy where your


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money goes further, then Thailand is still looking better. By comparison, English residences are not as price competitive as those in Thailand, even with the recently perceived price falls. A quick survey of the prices of apartments in places like London show that these do not come cheaply and a survey in one area showed that the lowest priced residence available was still way above local Pattaya prices, and no renovations had been carried out for over forty years.

chased at such competitive prices, in a city offering such a range of entertainment, plus a unique infrastructure. When viewed in their totality, these factors still leave Pattaya leading the field as one of the world’s most desirable residential destinations. Some of the Kingdom’s major property developers set a fine ex-

ample of offering excellent value for money, and Thai owned companies such as Pattaya’s Diamond Suites, The Cove, and Banglamung Country Hills are notable in the Chonburi Province. Looking further afield, international developers such as Raimon Land and Siam Royal View are undoubted experts on a wider national basis

Furthermore, what you get for your dollar is a big plus, with the best fixtures and fittings coming as standard on most homes, plus the option of fine furniture as an optional extra. The latest Siemens kitchen & bathroom accessories may come as standard and the woodwork by Thai tradesmen and women is excellent. Nowhere else in the world can fully finished & outfitted condominiums and homes be pur17

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Relax At BANGLAMUNG COUNTRY HILLS Quiet Country Living At Affordable Prices


e came across this unusual location by accident,when we got a little lost out behind the Eastern reaches of Banglamung District and in an area east of Sukkumvit. Like our readers, we had no idea that a large scale housing development was going on in this serene rural setting, and the husband & wife owners, Khun Saravuth and his wife Pornthip, are indeed an unusual and highly accomplished couple. They have set about constructing a quality housing project in a serene rural environment where home dwellers can have complete peace & quiet. Saravuth is a retired Thai engineer, who was the Governor of the entire Thai Railway system, then ceased work to enjoy a retirement of playing a few relaxing rounds of golf. However, together with his wife Pornthip, who is a very experienced property developer, they decided to do some residential development on 102 Rai (163,000 square metres) of

land, which they had been holding for around five years. “Banglamung Country Hills” is only a very short drive of a few minutes, off the highway which runs from the northern boundary of Pattaya through to Rayong. This is an ideal location for people working around the big industrial area of Baen Sang, Sriracha and the northern areas of Pattaya, with good highways extending almost right to your home, except for the last few kilometres of very quiet country road. Amazing Achievements Khun Saravuth’s academic successes started early in life when he attained a Batchelor of Engineering Degree at the Chulakongkorn University in Thailand, after which he went on to study further and was awarded his Masters Degree at the University of Austin, Texas in the USA. Not content with this, Khun Saravuth completed a 3-month Advanced Management course at Sydney in Australia in

1969. Further to this, he took up a senior position within the State Rail System in Thailand, and finally was in charge of the whole system as the Governor for a period of six years. Saravuth’s wife, Pornthip is no less accomplished and even though she studied Political Science at University, she did an incredible 180 degree turn in her career by getting into a series of very diversified government contracts. These included road works, buildings, waste water plants, plus water supply and treatment plants, and all of these things she accomplished virtually alone without much help from friends or family. Well Organised Plan The Banglamung Country Hills project has been to construct a total of over 380 nicely finished, affordable homes for expats and middle class Thai clients, in three stages, with the first stage consisting of 134 residences. These are offered in three styles; - namely


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Western, Thai and one design that can be best termed as a contemporary mix of Thai and Western. Even so, the Western styles have been modified to meet the requirements of living in tropical climates. This includes the use of heat resistant Q-Blocks, heat reflecting foil in the roofing, and simulated granite “Granito” floors, which look and have the same properties as natural granite, without costing the earth. On the exterior walls, “Conwood” is used and this is a synthetic building board, which has the attractive qualities of wood, and the durability of concrete, and likewise, synthetic “Chellawood” is used on interior walls. On the roofing, we here again see the use of man made roofing tiles, that are durable and much more cost effective than conventional materials. Due to being a little off the ‘beaten track’ Khun Saravuth and Pornthip employed experienced local tradesmen and have gone for being an independent construction site, even having their own concrete mixing facilities on the site. Three Stage Development After starting earlier last year, the first stage of 134 homes is expected to be completed in two years, with another second stage consisting of 150 residences, which will then be then followed up by the final third stage being another 100 houses. This makes a total of around 384homes, so this housing project is in the big league, when it comes to large scale developments, and the owners have opted to stick

to the type of homes that most families prefer, which are three bedrooms with two bathrooms. The aim is to offer clients affordable houses in a suitable family environment, and the customers have the option of purchasing their new homes either with a furniture package, or supplying their own furniture. A communal swimming pool is in the process of being constructed, and this will be followed later by a substantial park area and a restaurant, all of which are essential amenities in an out of city location. As there is a long road frontage at the entrance drive, Khun Saravuth and Pornthip are considering the possibility of constructing 34 shophouses along the road, which can act as a small business and retail centre for the property owners, and save them having to travel for basic needs. Why Live At Banglamung? On arriving home you have the pleasure of having no high rise buildings in sight, just a 360 degree surrounding of trees and bushland, which is a big plus for a serene lifestyle. For those who

want to live the quiet country life north of Pattaya, the Banglamung Country Hills project is definitely worth a look.

Banglamung County Hills“ ist nur wenige Fahrminuten von der Landstraße entfernt, welche von und durch Nord Pattaya nach Rayong führt. Die Wohnanlage ist ideal für Leute, die um das große Industriegebiet Eastern Seaboard, Ban Sang, Sriracha und in den Nordbereichen von Pattaya arbeiten und eine gute Straßenverbindung bevorzugen, welche die Wohnanlage bietet. Die Wohnanlage ist auch ideal für Leute, die nach einem idyllischem Ort suchen und dennoch sehr nah an der lebhaften Stadt von Pattaya mit ihrer großartigen Infrastruktur sein moechten.

Дорога до «Banglamung Country Hills», занимает несколько минут езды от трассы, которая проходит от северной Паттайи до Районга. Это идеальное место для людей, работающих вокруг крупных промышленных областей Бан Санга, Срирачи и северных районов Паттайи, с хорошей расположением магистрали практически рядом с новыи домами.

‫ﺗﺒﻌﺪ ﺍﻟﻤﻨﻄﻘﺔ ﺍﻟﺴﻜﻨﻴﺔ »ﺑﺎﻧﻐﻼﻣﻮﻧﻎ ﻛﺎﻧﺘﺮﻱ‬ ‫ﻫﻴﻠﺰ« ﻋﻠﻰ ﺑﻌﺪ ﺩﻗﺎﺋﻖ ﻗﻠﻴﻠﺔ ﻣﻦ ﺍﻟﻄﺮﻳﻖ ﺍﻟﺴﺮﻳﻊ‬ ‫ ﻫﺬﻩ‬.‫ﻣﻦ ﺷﻤﺎﻝ ﺑﺎﺗﺎﻳﺎ ﻭﺍﻟﻤﺆﺩﻱ ﺍﻟﻰ ﺭﺍﻳﻮﻧﻎ‬ ‫ﺍﻟﻤﻨﻄﻘﺔ ﺍﻟﺴﻜﻨﻴﺔ ﻣﻨﺎﺳﺒﺔ ﻟﻠﻌﺎﻣﻠﻴﻦ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻟﻤﻨﻄﻘﺔ‬ ‫ﺍﻟﺼﻨﺎﻋﻴﺔ ﺍﻟﻜﺒﺮﻱ ﺍﻟﺸﺮﻗﻴﺔ ﻭﺍﻟﺘﻲ ﻳﻤﻜﻦ ﺗﺎﺟﻴﺮ‬ ‫ﺍﻟﺒﻴﻮﺕ ﻟﻠﻌﺎﻣﻠﻴﻦ ﺑﻬﺎ ﺃﻭ ﻟﻸﻧﺎﺱ ﺍﻟﺬﻳﻦ ﻳﺘﺤﺜﻮﻥ‬ ‫ﻋﻦ ﺍﻟﻬﺪﻭء ﻭﻓﻲ ﻧﻔﺲ ﺍﻟﻮﻗﺖ ﻳﺮﻏﺒﻨﻮﻥ ﺍﻥ‬ ‫ﻳﻜﻮﻧﻮﺍ ﻗﺮﻳﺒﻴﻦ ﻣﻦ ﻣﺪﻳﻨﺔ ﺑﺎﺗﺎﻳﺎ ﺑﻜﻞ ﻣﺎﺗﻘﺪﻣﻪ ﻣﻦ‬ .‫ﻣﺴﺘﻠﺰﻣﺎﺕ ﺍﻟﺤﻴﺎﺓ ﻭﺍﻟﺮﻓﺎﻫﻴﺔ‬


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Feng Shui Money Ti ps

o you know where your financial “power spots” are? The contemporary methods of feng shui associate prosperity issues with the back left corner of any space. Stand at your front door facing into the house; your wealth area is at the back of the house on the left-hand side. There’s also a wealth area within each room: facing in from the doorway, it’s the corner area in the back of the room on the left-hand side. Where are the wealth areas within your office, living room, kitchen, and bedroom? Now that you’ve identified your money power spots, here are some quick and easy ways to apply feng shui to these spaces: Clear out any clutter from these important areas. Clutter is a sign of stagnant energy, and clutter in your money power spots can clog

up your cash flow. Getting rid of clutter is one of the most powerful ways to shift the energy of your power spots into high gear. Fix things that are broken. Anything that doesn’t work as it should

symbolizes success and prosperity to you. Accent your money areas with the colors green and purple. Green symbolizes vitality and growth, and purple is the color of wealth. Pay attention to how you handle money every day. Do you keep paper money neatly sorted in your wallet or money clip, or is it jammed in there any old way, or crumpled up at the bottom of your pocket?

is a sign of something wrong in the area of your life that corresponds to that part of your space. Enhance your power spots with symbols of prosperity, such as a bowl of coins (add your loose change to it every day), a “lucky bamboo” plant, or anything that

If you neglect your money, it will neglect you, so be sure to balance your checkbook regularly and pay your bills on time. Live generously. Money is a form of energy, and it needs to flow through your life, not just into it.


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Ten Things Your Real Estate Broker Will Not Tell You 1) “Your Open House Is Really A Party For Me” Hire a real estate broker to sell your home and one of the first things he’ll likely suggest is hosting an open house, on a weekend afternoon; - (research shows that in America their success rate is only 2%). Having an open house gives the broker a database of clients consisting of all kinds of people; - some are seeing how much to sell their own places for; others want to get a look at what’s out there, and all are perfect pickings for a broker looking to increase his data base of buyers and sellers. The broker is devoting a couple hours of his weekend, so won’t do that unless it helps him in a big way. 2) “My Fees Are Negotiable” In a brisk market, brokers fiercely compete for properties that they

can unload fast, because they need leverage. Sellers should shop around for broker’s fees, especially with some smaller brokers; - all you need to do is ask and they’ll lower the commission. If somebody’s willing to commit to selling one place and buying another from one broker, they will often give a discount. If you’re in a particularly desirable area, this can be used, because the broker will use the flow of people to get more potential customers 3) No Offers? (Actually, There’ve Been Several) Legally, brokers you hire to sell your home are obligated to tell you about all offers that come in, but in reality, some don’t. Perhaps they think the offer is too low, but more likely, the broker wants to hold out for a higher price with a bigger commission. Maybe there’s

an outside broker (or “co-broker”) circling your house, and the primary broker is waiting for one of his own clients to make an offer so he can keep the full commission for himself. “You must tell your broker that you want to be informed of all offers, otherwise, you may be leaving him to make decisions that you should be making. Check the listing agreement drawn up when you hire the broker; if the promise to disclose all offers isn’t listed explicitly, insist that it be added. 4) “Do They Talk About You Behind Your Back” You spot your dream house as you’re driving through a neighborhood and call the broker listed on the “For Sale” sign. That’s how a lot of buyers stumble on a broker - who, in turn, happily shows


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you other houses, asking about your needs, laughing at your jokes, so it’s easy to get looselipped and forget that you’re dealing with someone else’s agent. Brokers are obligated to provide their sellers with any information that can help them get the best prices for their homes,” so if you tell the broker that you’re willing to pay $500,000 but want to offer $450,000, they’ll pass that on to the seller; - they have to. 5) “Sometimes I Forget Whose Side I’m On” The past 10 years has seen the proliferation of the buyer brokers; - (agents who are supposed to work strictly in the buyer’s interest, helping him get a fair price on a home as well as avoid pitfalls along the way). Unfortunately, things don’t always unfold so nicely and while buyers may think they’re getting a broker who isn’t commission-hungry, many buyer agents are just that. They usually get about 3%, the same amount any broker typically earns when he gets involved with another agent’s listing. “Buyer brokers are sometimes too focused on closing the sale and getting that commission,” so it’s often in their best interest to see you pay as high a price as possible. Even worse, some brokers who call themselves buyer advocates are actually working for companies that also represent sellers. Brokerages offer bonuses to buyer agents if they sell an inhouse listing,” and many even work on a fee structure rather than on commission. 6) “I Know Zilch About Zoning” Real estate agents love to suggest big ideas to prospective buyers; removing trees to enhance a view, squeezing a rental unit out of a roomy garage, etc - once the deal is done and they’re out of the pic-

ture. Be very careful of local government and environmental zoning regulations, or you might find that you have to put things back the way that they were previously. Before you buy into your broker’s creative thinking, check with all of your local authorities. 7) “I Won’t Let Termites Or Pesky Inspectors - Kill A Deal” If a broker is selling a house, you figure he knows the place pretty intimately - after all, he talks a lot about the new kitchen, the big living room, the air conditioning, etc. What you need to worry about, though, are the home’s features that he keeps to himself, as brokers can be deceptive about termites and flood damage, etc.” You’d figure that the home inspector, who comes to check out the place before you close the sale, might notice those things; well he will, if he’s not in cahoots with the broker. (Realtors give potential homebuyers lists of home inspectors, and those may be people who will “rubber-stamp” the house in return for repeat business). 8) “I’m Not A Lawyer, But I Play One In Your House” Most developed countries strictly regulate the contracts used in real estate transactions, stipulating the use of standard agreements that offer little room for creativity - but some brokers can’t keep their clause-adding instincts in check. If a clause is worded improperly, you as the buyer could end up liable for damage done by your “rental tenant,” and the same goes for purchases of non-real-estate items (such as patio furniture), also owner pay-back, (where the seller provides some of the financing). In both these cases payment terms might not get spelled out clearly and can result in one party taking advantage of the other.

Whether you’re the buyer or the seller, it’s worth the legal fees to get the contract reviewed by your lawyer before you sign. 9) “My Web Site Is A Dead End” In many countries, over 50% of house hunters look on the Web, but some brokers’ sites are better than others, and you need to look beyond a well-designed home page to figure them out. One common practice is posting houses that sold long ago, and while the mistake can be simple negligence, others think that it’s a “bait-and-switch” style ploy. If a broker has to advertise properties that are already sold, it tells you that he doesn’t have enough listings to keep his inventory of houses looking full. Web-sites should be easy to navigate, because you want to use a broker who keeps himself relatively high on the search engines.. One of the big things a broker should have on his site is community information; - schools, recreation facilities, commuting options, maps, etc, all attract people who are thinking of moving to the community.” 10) “You May Not Need Me At All” Brokers like to create a lot of mystique about selling homes, insisting that the process is complicated and best left to professionals with huge listings and loads of house hunters. If properly priced and advertised, a house sells itself, then when it comes to the inevitable negotiations between buyers or sellers, supple figures involving brokers and their commissions get in the way. Often the haggling occurs over a 5 - 10% difference, and that is, more or less, the broker’s cut of the sale price; - (at this point you may not need him).


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The new “Diamond Suites Resort Condominiums” brings buyers, high quality residences at affordable prices, in one of Pattaya’s most prestigious locations. This Bangkok business and construction company, have wide ranging interests in Pattaya, stretching back over many decades.


As property developers go, the Iguana company at Chateaudale Plaza on Jomtien’s Thappraya Road is rated as the best in the residential building and property marketing industry. They are now the first company in Asia to be awarded membership to the prestigious Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP), and received this award on 27th March 2009. Iguana is a condominium & apartment development company that has gone from strength to strength, and currently have four projects under construction in Pattaya.

Good Time To Buy Real Estate

It’s a property buyers market everywhere, but in Thailand it is not due to the world recession, but because the price of steel has dropped by up to 50% and this represents around 7% of the cost on new buildings. Furthermore, the Thai government have extended tax breaks for another year (now out to 28th March, 2010), so go chase up some building bargains; - they are out there if you look around.

From Boring To Innovative

Here is a smart, but inexpensive idea, to brighten up an absolutely ordinary looking condominium block, and make it stand out from all of the neighbours. A few cans of coloured paint, some oblique lines painted across the outer walls, and the end result is an apartment building that becomes a bit of a talking point in the Central Pattaya area.

Homes Built While-U-Wait

The recent worldwide slowing in building construction has not happened in Pattaya, and new residential developments are sprouting up everywhere. Here is an interesting traditional Thai style home, which this local builder and his tradesmen can erect in a few days. Most of it is based on pre-fabricated panels, and pre-cut fitting points, with the end result being an absolutely adorable “picture postcard” house that is both beautiful and functional.


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Varied Discussions At REBA Meetings

The Diana Garden Hotel off Soi Arunothai near North Pattaya Road has been used for some time for regular monthly meetings of the Real Estate Brokers Association (Eastern Seaboard). In the current economic situation, issues range from the developers prompt payment of sales commissions to brokers, back to increasing REBA-ES membership. REBA meetings are normally held at 17.00 hrs on the second Wednesday of each month.

“Maxx Central” Mainly Sold Before Opening

German developer and businessman Mr. Ralf Haberl, has built a low rise condominium right in the middle of Central Pattaya on Soi-14 and these luxury units have proved extremely popular. Even before the official opening in late March he had sold well over 70% of these units, because not only did he keep costs to a minimum, but he also managed to maintain high quality by closely monitoring the construction stages. Rolf has previously built residential units, which included a restaurant and internet cafe, so he is very experienced in delivering what buyers require.

Successful Property Appraisal Seminar By A.R.E.A.

The Agency For Real; Estate Affairs (AREA) held an extremely successful seminar at Horseshoe Point Resort recently, with over two hundred real estate professionals from Bangkok down to Rayong in attendance. AREA is a 27-year old private company specializing in statistical information on all types of properties from business and residential through to things such as shipping facilities and even airports. Being established way back in 1982, AREA iso 9001 / 2000 certified, a member of the "Thai Appraisal Foundation" (plus a host of other well recognized organizations), and is heavily into research in most Eastern Seaboard regions, including Chonburi, Pattaya, Rayong, plus Hua-Hin etc. They successfully founded their large real estate school in Bangkok and have a very extensive list of book publications, such as the Real Estate Index, Housing Yellow Pages, detailed Bangkok Map and a multitude of individual property reports.

Expert Speaker At Austcham

The recent "Sundowner Meeting" for the Australian Chamber of Commerce (ACCT) saw a huge attendance at the Amari Hotel & Tower Resort’s Ice Bar. There was an equally as big attendance prior to this in the Amari Tower Conference room, where the Director of "Dataconsult" Mr. Christopher Bruton, with over 40-years of experience in Asia, spoke on the Thai business situation and possible future developments.


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Property&Investment Issue13  

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