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Khun Jean

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About Khun Jean

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  1. One of the main reasons is that i want to do most myself. Seen enough shoddy work to be completely cured from the idea of hiring someone to build my house. I have the containers in my garden and can work on it whenever i please. Some tools i bought makes it easier, like a plasma cutter, cold saw, grinder etc. Still have to learn how to weld. :) Windows/doors can be bought standard in Homepro/Thai Watsadu/Global House etc. I will make sure they fit right, are fitted correctly without using 2cm caulk etc. A roof that will not leak, insulation to keep out the heat. Floor tiles without tripping over the lippage. Bathroom floor that actually slopes to the drain, windows that close and not leave open spaces for insects, noise and hot air to enter. Electricity sockets and switches that are wired correctly so that it is not a hazard to live in your own house. Sliding doors mounted the right way so that they can not just be lifted out from the outside. It goes on and on. And i want to prevent most if not all of that. Most houses i have seen and that includes ones that are 6Mb and even 17Mb are depressingly bad quality. I guess the concrete was never tested for slump and they just used what they got. (Often too much water which results in weak concrete). Lots of slabs are even without rebar! The mind boggles how many mistakes are made. As i intend to live in it for at least 20 years i decided that i can do without sub standard work as it will be a constant irritation. The main reason is to have a quality house later. The price will be a bit higher. Being somewhat portable is nice as maybe in some years i get bored of the place and would like to move. I have been to a few companies that build container 'houses' and was not impressed at all. Slamming some panels on the ceiling/walls does not make a house. Often 20ft containers are really 40ft containers cut in half and the corten steel beams are substituted for standard mild steel. The whole point about the sea container is that the steel is resistant to corrosion. Again so many shortcuts and trying to save a few hundred baht by choosing the wrong materials.
  2. Anything you need to know: https://www.samuiforsale.com/ Read it until you know more then your lawyer. :)
  3. One of my projects i am currently working on is to build a house made from seacontainers. I currently have five of them. All 20ft as they are much easier to transport and place. The empty ones can be bought for as little as 25.000 baht but don't expect it to be in any good order. Better ones are about 35.000-40.000 baht. They will have working doors, not to many bumps and not as much rust. One of the drawbacks is that they are only 235cm wide internally. This is very narrow and does not work very well for building 'units' that can combine into a house. My solution is to build 'units' with two containers. They are then 470cm wide and almost 600cm long. This size can be easily used as a living room, kitchen/dining room, master bedroom etc. Currently working on the 'master bedroom' 'unit'. It will have a walk in closet and bathroom. Next up will be the kitchen/dining room. Probably take a few months but i am working on them only 1-2 days a week. If you have time and the will to build yourself then a container is a great way to build your own house. Structurally it will be very strong and you can work on them one by one.
  4. Yep, that is how i end up doing it. Mostly the important and visual stuff especially plumbing, electricity and most tile work. The kids (not that small anymore!) do the painting. They got pretty good at it. I just use workers to do the heavy lifting. :) Now it takes about 1.5-2 weeks to completely gut out and renew a 30m2 condo and bring it up to modern standards. Between 50k-75k depending on what is replaced and added.
  5. In my experience great contractors are in such high demand that they are mostly not available and if they are the job must be 'big' enough to make it worthwhile for them. Often that leaves the shitty ones who are available.
  6. Waterford

    Just to make sure that everyone knows about which building i am talking i mention its name again 'Morning Dew Condominium'. It has 8 floors, indoor small swimming pool great for some kids or having a dip when it is hot. :) Most units are like a studio 40m2. Bigger ones are made from multiple studio units. I have seen 1,2,3,4 bedroom variations. The one i rented was number 305-307 (3 units). Large living room and four bedrooms, three bathrooms. Going price 2 years ago was 1.3-1.5 Mb per unit. Combined units a bit cheaper. Rental prices were 7000 baht including simple furniture. The one i rented for 11.000 was unfurnished. When i left the new tenant paid i think 12500. I just mentioned this Morning Dew condo because you walk passed it easily, the building is not anything special. I saw it after i inspected four different condo's in Waterford. I didn't like any of them as they were mostly long and narrow. Accessing the swimming pool requires you to go through the parking garage. With small kids i did not want to do that. Even with a condo on the 2nd floor which had view over the swimmingpool would mean that the kids were out of sight through a pretty scary and dark garage. Also the ones available were on the wrong side (west) of the building which means a lot more use of airconditioning is required. My wife also not felt comfortable walking the distance between 7-11/Tesco Lotus Express and Waterford. Especially the part before the bridge is dark and she heard to many stories about robberies and even raped that happened there. The distance to Mornign Dew is shorter and more bright/lively.
  7. If you feel you are mistreated by a public official, record their name, time and short description of why you feel mistreated in their presence to make sure they know! A picture will work very well. If they crawl back, you will have the upper hand. I would use it to get the normal taxes and costs and report them anyway. Use the Thai Ombudsman to report it. http://www.ombudsman.go.th/10/eng/index1.asp It is always best to create the right circumstances. Normally i go there for information first. Just to ask what the cost will be. As nothing is going to be transferred the information given is mostly correct. You can ask for the official estimate of the property and ask how much the taxes will be. With this information written down, you can then proceed accordingly. If you know for sure it is the wrong information, come back the next day and ask the same info from another employee. If necessary repeat. I got this strategy to work very well when i had to deal with customs. Knew everything i needed to know before hand. And i have time, so much time that i can waste theirs. :)
  8. Waterford

    The swimming pool is good for kids as it is not that big. It is not in the blazing sun all day which is good. Their fitness room is small but rarely used and equipment is more then adequate. Sure it does not compare to newer fancier condo's but it gets you more sqm's for your baht. I rented 120m2 for 11.000 baht a month. Hard to beat. Best thing though is management, they are great.
  9. Price is right, i would not start the building without being present. Especially for the footings, slab, pillars etc. That is the foundation of the building and must be done as good as possible. If work does not allow you to be present, start the build later. What is a few months but just a little time in the great scheme of things.
  10. Ah yeah, the typical Thai who insist to keep corruption alive by paying up even without a request as it is 'normal'. We have been to the Land office a few times and only outside of Bangkok there was a subtle request which we totally ignored. If you don't pay, what are they going to do? Not transfer the title? Delay it some? i have time. Just ask for someone else. If it is not on the receipt then i will not be paid. Simple and effective.
  11. Waterford

    6m for a condo in morning dew? Was that a whole floor? :) They normally went for 1.2-1.5 Mb per condo (40m2) about two years ago.
  12. If you want to spend the time and money go after them quickly before the rest of the people who made down payments do the same. Maybe offer them to pay back 75% without going to court. You never know, can always try.
  13. For me prices are irrelevant. It is the ROI that is important. My preference is to have many instead of a few so i like cheaper condos. If not 10% or more per year it is not interesting. These expensive condo's are for the very rich, they want a place in Bangkok so now they have some more choice. If you target a market in Thailand aiming for the very rich segment is not bad as a lot of money is just sitting idle to be invested in something. With current interest rates real estate is much better then leaving it on the bank even at very high prices. There is a lot less risk then holding a lot of currency which can rapidly decrease in value. Chinese are making sure not all of their money is in RMB as it can crash any moment. Having some real estate in other countries saves the rich from loosing everything. It is a good strategy if you have the means.
  14. Waterford

    On Soi Phumchit there is a condo named 'Morning dew'. If you come from Rama4 and walking towards Waterford it is about half way on your left. Older building, relatively large units. Maintenance and juristic office do a great job. No noise and regular maintenance on elevator, everyday cleaning of hallways etc. I lived there for many years in a 4-bedroom 120m2 condo. It has a small pool inside, great for when you have kids. School is close by, 7-11/lotus express even Aikido within walking distance as it is very close to the BTS. Very reasonable prices for rent and sale. I considered Waterford first, as it was the one i found. I thought the units were a bit narrow and long which i dislike. Also going to the common area (swimming pool) requires you to go through the basement (parking area), which at that moment with small kids was a big no-no. The separate parking building with the tennis court on top looked like it would fall apart any moment. At that time there was also some problem close to the bridge which you need to cross to reach Waterford. Right before that it was very dark and lots of robberies took place at night. We were warned about that several times when we spoke to owners of the small local shops there. I hear it is better now. Still better take a taxi or motorcy.
  15. A 30sqm tiny condo in Bangkok or a 2 bedroom house with a swimming pool in HuaHin. She might not know about that. Maybe drive around some places before making a decision. And renting at least 6 months in the area where you think of buying is an absolute must! If there is one advice that is hugely important it is that! It gives her time to evaluate the area, and she will be at the right spot to visit places for sale. Maybe even get back to basics and make sure a visa/extension of stay is not a problem.