When it’s time for a change of pace or a move into a new location, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Literally. Re-evaluate your priorities, and find out exactly what it is you really ought to be living in. After all, there’s much more to the property market than just your regular old house and lot, and there are plenty of places to rent out that don’t use the word “apartment” in their listing.

Sometimes, it’s not so much the present that matters, but the near and moderately far off future. Are you buying to invest? Do you have kids on the way? Are you single, or getting married? There are a lot of different folks, and for each one there’s a different set of strokes – finding out what fits you and your life best is the key to living a happier life. Foreigners have much more limited options, as well – outside of a lengthy lease, the only property you can own is a condo, and not more than 40 percent of a building can be owned by foreigners, according to Global Property Guide.

So, let’s get right into it and figure out what it is that you really need when it comes to housing.

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Consider Your Pricing

In property, prices fluctuate immensely based on location. While the type of home matters, there’s also the fact that you won’t always find a comparative building when you’re looking for it. So before deciding between a condo and a townhouse, you need to look at the condos and townhouses in the area and see whether you can actually find anything attractive within the location you’re looking to buy in.

Is it close to public transit or businesses? Any schools in the nearby vicinity? What’s traffic like? Your lifestyle and family needs will dictate what’s best for you location-wise – maybe you need to prioritize schools, safety and supermarkets, or maybe what matters most is easy access to the city’s business center.

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In Bangkok specifically, condominiums are still a safe bet when it comes to location and price. It’s a good idea to look into the market and consider whether a second hand condo is what you’re looking for, or whether you’d like to take the plunge and invest in something new.

But for those that don’t need access to the business district, buying outside of city centers gets you the comfort and safety of the suburbs, without the hefty price tag of city real estate. Then, it’s a matter of building style. Apartments will always be the cheapest option, but they’re small and can’t be owned – unless you’d like to go ahead and buy out the entire building.

Townhouses are next – built roof-to-roof, and with partial ownership between the houses in the community. Some townhouse communities are extremely strict with their rules and contract obligations – others are much more lax, giving you lots of room to work with while retaining the benefits of a lower cost than an actual house.

Consider Amenities

Amenities play a decently large role when it comes to choosing your next home. For one, the right amenities may make an otherwise barren location much more attractive. A townhouse community with a gym and supermarket near a school makes for a great buy for a small family, whereas a condo with restaurants and a swimming pool may make more sense than a condo without that sort of selection.

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It’s all a matter of what’s most important to you. While amenities seem more like little perks and benefits to sweeten the deal, they can end up being the real deal breakers and deal makers when it comes to buying your next property.

Consider your Buying Options

There are plenty of ways to pay for a home, but they all really mean the same thing – when buying, you need a lot of money. Whether you’re buying on lease or through installments, or all at once with a hefty mortgage, it’s a requirement to go ahead and talk to your bank about your future purchasing decisions so they can help you figure out how best to use your money.

Other than that, there are plenty of online resources with specific information on what’s best for someone financially based on their financial standing. If you’re not taking a loan out through your bank, then talking to your lender about loan preapproval can also narrow down how much you can afford without a risky mortgage. It’s recommended to do this before going through online listings like DDPropertyfor a new home, as you’ll be less likely to waste your time getting emotionally attached to properties you can’t afford.

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Yet again, if buying isn’t an option, then rent may be. This is especially true if you and your family are in a bit of a problematic financial situation and need a place to reside it while you figure things out.

Downgrading to a smaller place for rent for a few years while selling your current place means that, as long as you move to another location or get a place to own in a few years, you can safely consider renting to be the cheaper short-term option as it takes a while for the cost of buying a house to financially breakeven with the rental costs.

Consider the Market

If you can afford to play your purchase by the market, then it’s worth looking into the research. Consider what’s currently popular, where prices are going down and what locations may be increasing in value over the years. As a developing nation in the heart of the fastest growing portion of the world, Thailand– despite being hit hard by the financial crisis – is a country of property growth.

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Condominiums in particular continue to rise in value, although there has been a considerable slowdown in recent months. Instead of buying a new condo, you have the option of buying a cheaper second hand home, as the market is currently saturated with them and they prove to be attractive for investment, according to Colliers. Families, however, would still do well to consider city outskirts townhouses to be a good place to stay at the moment as markets normalize from recent economic troubles.