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How To Plan A Retirement House For Thailand - Essential Factors To Consider : Pitching Your House Specification - The Important Factors You probably already have a good idea of the type, size, layout etc of the house you are planning to build in Thailand for your retirement. After reading this article you may decide to review your ideas. In the time it has taken to get my house half finished in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, two colleagues have seen their houses started and completed and at half the cost. In fact the build of our house has turned out to be a nightmare of the kind you hear about in the newspapers or read on the Thai forum websites. On the other hand, these other houses were built quickly and cheaply with no hassles at all. (Compared to my problems anyway) So what was the difference between their house and ours that made all the difference? It All Begins With The Concept - What You Want Your House To Be What you want your house to be will depend upon many factors, who will use it, how do they want to use it and more importantly who is the house for and what are their expectations? Who Is The House Intended For? Our house was essentially my design. The layout of the rooms, style of house, type and quality of finishes etc was based on what I wanted as a retirement house and was of quite a generous standard. My Thai wife of course loved it. My colleagues houses on the other hand appeared to be based on the minimum that they could get away with whilst satisfying their Thai wives requirements. Essentially those houses were based on a Thai wifes expectations. They were designed for the Thai wife not for themselves. The standard of houses in the west tend to be much higher than in Thailand and the westerners demand more mod cons, western kitchen, security doors and windows, high grade fittings and finishes etc. On the other hand, such features of western houses are not commonly found in Thailand, the Thai spouse isnt aware of them and doesnt need them. Hence a house based on a Thai wifes perspective can be much simpler and cheaper than a house based on western standards. Sometimes the designs of these other houses were simply copied from one of the many pre-designed Thai houses that you can download from the Thai Government website. In short they were off-the-peg houses. In contrast I had a set of construction drawings produced by a registered Thai Architect in Bangkok and the set of drawings comprised some 42 sheets! Im glad I had those house plans made and for my large, high spec house, they are essential. Key Thai House Configuration Considerations Whereas there are a number of key considerations that will considerably affect the cost and time to construct a retirement house built in any country, number and size of rooms for example, there are some key considerations that apply specifically to a retirement house built in Thailand. These key considerations relate to the differences in what is considered as normal practice in a Thai house and in a western house. The key considerations are related to the number of floors, the bathroom, the kitchen where there are fundamental differences in approach between western practice and Thai practice. Another key considerations is whether the house is to be provided with air conditioning or not. One Or Two Floors What number of levels you intend to have is one of the most important criteria that can affect the price and speed of building your retirement house in Thailand. For thousands of years Thai houses are built with the living spaces lifted up from the ground on timber or concrete columns, or posts as the Thai describe them. A standard Thai house may exhibit, for example, a dozen posts set in a 3 x 4 matrix, and this is termed a 12 post house. My own retirement house is a 16 post house and the upper story containing the living spaces is 3 m above ground floor level. This is considerably harder to construct and costlier than a bungalow construction having all the living accommodation on the ground floor. I undoubtedly wanted to have a post house, and my Thai wife really likes it, but Im convinced she would have been equally happy with a bungalow. I am paying for my idea to have a traditional Thai post house both in terms of cost and time to construct. Thus think wisely if you certainly want a post house or if you can put up with a one-floor construction which will be less expensive and faster to build. Bathroom Or Shower Room This is a further decision that is most likely to s the price and period to build your retirement house and again, it is a Thai compared to Western subject. Conventional style and basic Thai houses are frequently not provided with a bath as is usually common in a western bathroom. Surprisingly, I prefer not to have a bathtub, because I dont use one. I usually enjoy a shower thats why a basic shower room is all I want. Unusual for a Thai, though my wife does like to relax in a bath tub filled with hot water and those smelly bath salts or bubble bath. So we are having a bath tub. Since i want a walk-in shower room, we are having two bathrooms, one is a western style bathroom with hand wash basin, WC and bat tub, the other a shower room with hand wash basin and shower only. Again, the decisions are made on the basis of answering the question who is the house for?. Type of Kitchen - Thai Style or Western Style Kitchen The style of kitchen you decide to construct is another area that can have a large impact on the cost of the house. Traditionally a lot of preparation of Thai food for cooking is done on the floor. Even though we have a normal western style kitchen in our house in the U.K., my wife still put the crok on the floor to pound the ingredient e.g. for a nam prick. Also the Thai food is often cooked on a single heat source, or at most two heat sources, one for the rice and the other for a pot of food, e.g. soup. In line with this pattern of usage, Thai kitchens traditionally are very simple affairs, and do not have the long waist level counter tops and ovens like a western style kitchen. Frequently the Thai kitchen even in modern Thai houses, is not an enclosed room, but is a simple external area with a roof and perhaps a short table and sink. So you do not really need the expense of a western style kitchen will all the counter tops, cupboards, cookers, grilles, cooker hoods etc that go into a modern western home. In Thailand you will need a refrigerator but many Thai kitchens do not have a freezer or a washing machine for clothes or dishes. Again, my retirement house in Thailand is designed with a western style kitchen, complete with long granite counter-top and integral dual sink, Fridge and Freezer. Provision of cupboards, drawers and washing machines is not part of the current scheme, however, but may be provided later.

Top 8 Open House Mistakes a Seller Can Make : When youre ready to sell your house, you will need to get it in its best possible condition, especially in todays competitive environment. An open house presents an opportunity to showcase the best features of your home and allows the potential buyers to get a feel for the property. If you re a fist time home seller, you may think of the open house as the point at which your Realtor waits until you leave, turns into a magician and with a flick of his/her wrist, completely transforms your home into something out of Bravos Million Dollar Listing. But here is the truth of it Your real estate agent is not practicing wizardry on the side. And you arent completely free of responsibility when it comes to the open house. In fact, although you arent present for the open house (and you never, ever should be, if you want to sell the home), there are still quite a few ways that you can mess it up and drive away potential buyers. These eight things could very negatively impact your chances of having a successful open house-and, potentially, the house sale. Leaving your pets at home/Open house mistakes Pets bring a lot of joy into our lives. Nevertheless, they can be a real problem when youre showing your home. This is true for several reasons. Logistically pets make things difficult because you will have to keep them separate from the potential buyers, who might not like pets and certainly cannot picture themselves living in a house that once housed cats or dogs. This means that you will have to block off areas of your home, a real no-no in an open house. Pets also behave unpredictably. The last thing you want is your pet leaving his/her mark on the floor right in front of the viewers or even scaring the potential buyers. Which could also prevent them from viewing rooms and prove to be a distraction overall. Take your pets to a friends for the day when youre showing your house. You should also do your best to eliminate any signs of pet habitation, including bedding, toys, smells and stains. Selling a house with pets takes extra consideration and care. There are some home buyers who will see any signs of pets as a complete turnoff. This is definitely one of the top open house mistakes you should avoid. Ignoring your kitchen needs/Open house mistakes You may be surprised by how many home owners ignore their kitchens when selling their house. Putting the dirty dishes in the sink doesnt make them invisible. Even if the rest of your house is staged to perfection, a repugnant kitchen will turn off the potential buyers-and that goes for the dishwasher too. The potential buyers will most likely want to investigate the fridge and open the dishwasher during the open house, hence its vital that you prepare your home accordingly: Clean and store the dishes, and remove any smelly food from your fridge. You should consider removing any kitchen appliance that can be neatly stored instead of being left on counter tops. The less clutter, the more spacious and inviting your kitchen will feel. If its an appliance that is used daily, such as a toaster or coffeepot, be sure to wipe it clean after each use. Open house mistakes made because of the Kitchen not showing well, can kill just about any deal. You should also ensure that you check out and clean the other rooms in your home, even those that you think the potential buyers will not bother checking out, such as the closets garage or laundry room. Because guess what? They totally will. You arent selling part of your home; you are selling your entire home; hence you should ensure that everything the potential buyers will see during the open house is in showcase condition. Not hiding your dirty bath towels/Open house mistakes Keeping the bath towels you have used (and intend to use again) tucked away in a closet benefits you two-fold: Not only does it make the bathroom look well staged, but it also keeps them free of germs and dirt from the days parade of viewers. Instead, swap in a clean set of decorative hand and bath towels for each open house. You do not want (people) wiping their dirty hands on the bath towels you wipe your body with. Cleaning solo/Open house mistakes When you think about how much money a house actually costs, its easy to understand why people expect cleanliness in an open house. Surprisingly, not everybody meets the mark when it comes to a clean house. If you have to hire a cleaning service to get the job done, do so. Professional cleaners will scrub all the hidden spots you may miss (think switch plates and base-boards), they can also help eliminate messes and odors that go back years. Preparing for showings is particularly important when there are potentially a large number of visitors dropping by for a look. Showing dirty, messy homes to potential buyers is by far the greatest mistake most sellers make when holding an open house. Not getting a second opinion/Open house mistakes After you have cleaned and staged your house, a blunt tongued neighbor can be a blessing. Over time, you can easily get used to odors and smells that may linger in your home, even after a thorough cleaning. You need a neutral third-party wholl tell you like its, not what you would like to hear. So do not be offended if the third-party tells you that your place stinks- literally or figuratively. You arent in a position to be all ego, you are trying to sell your home - and that is what you should focus on to avoid simple open house mistakes. Not maintaining the yard/Open house mistakes The front yard is the first thing the guests see, so ensure it is spotless. You want the potential buyers to focus on the curb appeal of your home - not your collection of yard tools. Additionally, objects strewed every which way can also be dangerous. You should also make sure that the grass is trimmed nicely and any bushes or flowers are in good shape. And unless its trash day, keep your bins out of sight. Nothing turns potential buyer off faster than a pile of trash and the thought of potential yard work. Dirty exterior/Open house mistakes Depending on where you live, the exterior of your house may gather a significant amount of grime as the seasons turn. You might not have noticed it if it occurred gradually, but visitors to the open house are sure to see the mildew and mold on the siding, the dingy windows and the clogged gutters. Like the homes interior, the exterior should be fresh and clean-looking if you want to impress the potential buyers. Dont make these simple to fix, open house mistakes. Photos, religious art, drugs and politics need to go/Open house mistakes When the potential buyers walk into your home, they should picture their family living in the house, not yours. They do not need to see your family photos or be able to tell your religious or political views as they walk through the house. These are huge open house mistakes. There is a reason home staggers de-personalize your house. Certainly, they want the buyers to visualize themselves living within its walls-but they also want to remove any ammunition that may be used against you during the negotiating process. One of the places to look is the medicine cabinet, which should be emptied during the open house. The same goes for family photos and things such as canes and walkers: For instance, if you are elderly, they may consider underbid your price under the assumption that you can no longer be able to take care of your house. Keeping the potential buyers from learning your personal details is not just good staging.



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Gallery of Atrium House by Fran Silvestre Arquitectos

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