Home Lifestyle Retiring in Thailand – Searching for a Condo in Jomtien

Retiring in Thailand – Searching for a Condo in Jomtien

by Kim
Retiring in Thailand

My search for a Condo in Jomtien

Once having decided to live in Thailand, the first major challenge is your future location. Having made painstaking research a choice has been made and now it is time to find a place to live! Having made my decision to leave Bangkok and move to Jomtien, I have spent frustrating hours searching for a suitable apartment and appreciate what a time consuming and frustrating mission this can be. Looking for Condo in Jomtien that was suitable to my needs was challenging but, with an open mind, I was able to find a new home that I believe is ideal to my needs. With this post I am sharing my experiences in the hope that they will assist other people in their quest.

I personally do not like Pattaya, however just over the hill is Jomtien and Jomtien beach which offer a very different atmosphere and lifestyle to the flamboyant and noisy streets of Pattaya. I am sure that some will disagree and say that they are happy in Pattaya, but each his his/her/their special requirements. Having settled on an area that suited me, I set out to find a suitable apartment/studio in Jomtien.

My first advise is to write down your fundamental requisites. Mine were:- High Floor, Outside/Sea View, Studio or 1 bedroom, large balcony, good swimming pool and budget THB.10,000-15,000. High Floor as the higher you are the fresher the air and the less chance of annoying mosquitos; Outside View as I don’t really want to look towards the pool and hear the kids plus I am living near to the beach and I want to see the sea!; Studios I find in Jomtien are of a good size, whilst a sperate bedroom is nice to have, is it really necessary as it does reduce your floor space?; If you like to swim make sure that the communal pool is a nice size as this will be a big plus in this warm environment; and budget what you can comfortably afford. One word of advice, whilst having set out your pre-requisites, be prepared to keep an open mind. You will be seeing a lot of different properties and locations, you may have to compromise but with the choice available you can find more than you expected.

My search for an apartment in Jomtien started online. There are a number of excellent on-line resources and a vast choice of Real Estate Agents each with their own view on how to promote their properties. On one excellent site(listed below) you can search by location and requirements. After several hours perusing this site I made a list of 21 potential properties that I listed into price categories 10-13,000, 13,000-15,000 and 15-17,000 Whilst this site indicated if a property was rented out, I found to my dismay that almost all the properties were unavailable for a variety of reasons! Frustrating!

I contacted 3 agencies and provided them with my requirements. 2 contacted me immediately and promised to send details. 1 did send some offers but I never heard from the other 2! Frustrated, I looked for Facebook Groups and started posting my requirements. This produced some interesting results with direct contact with owners but still not what I was looking for. I did however make contact with an agent who turned out to be an super efficient angel and thanks to her and her colleagues I found better than I was looking for!

You will have to go to Jomtien and look. Do not take the change of booking for a long term rent unless you have visited the area and seen the options. There is a vast, and growing choice but it will take time for you to look around and find an apartment that suits what you are looking for. So it was just a shirt drive to Jomtien and I started by driving around to gain my orientation and try to see where I would like to live. I looked at building from the outside and compared name to a list of possible locations. I also found the offices of a large and professional looking real estate agency. Whilst it was a holiday their office were open and I went it. Extremely professional staff, great use of technology, a great deal of detail requests and given and a promise to call the next day. That call never materialised! Be prepared for such experiences on your hut for a suitable property in Jomtien!

My first viewing was at the Supalai Mare building. This was an agent that had contacted me following my post on Facebook. Despite it being a holiday, Oil was waiting to show me around. The apartment was on the 13thfloor facing to the sea. New, bright and well furnished it was a 1 bedroom with a large balcony. The Supalai Mare is located on Tepprasit road which is a commercial area, so lots of shops and facilities nearby. Approx 1.5 kms to the beach. The major disappointment was the pool which the developers seem to have added as an afterthought. It was small and not sufficient for such a large building. Oil appreciated my comments and always stated that she wants her customers to be 100% satisfied. Tomorrow she said, I will find alternatives, and she did!

When you commence your research you will often come up with the name “View Talay”. These are vast condo buildings throughout Jomtien. I believe that there are 8 complexes and whilst the basic design has remained unchanged for more than 25 years, the buildings vary immensely in quality. The are however almost ‘nests’ of expats with people from all around the world living in these vast developments. My second visit was to the first of these mammoth apartment buildings, View Talay 1B where I viewed a 32 sq meter studio on the 13thfloor. The building is old but has been solidly built, it is in good repair but is reminiscent of any large city apartment building with people coming and going all day. The studio was adequate, furniture ok and I suppose excellent value for money at THB.8,000 per month. However not my style.

Whilst a majority of the complexes have been built towards the beach, Jomtien is expanding and many Condo Resorts have been constructed between the Beach Road and Jomtien 2ndRoad, One of these is the Dusit Grand Park. Whilst you may feel that you are in the middle of nowhere this is a pleasant development. It’s a series of low rise buildings positioned around a large swimming pool feature. There is a nice relaxed vibe in the development and would suit couples. They do offer a shuttle so maybe not as isolated as it initially feels. I was offered a very well furnished 1 bed on the 5thfloor. I know that I want high floors but difficult in a low rise complex. However there are nets on the windows to keep out unwelcome insects. This 38 sq meter apartment was prices at THB.12,000 monthly.(Probably some bargaining available).

Next I did some more exploring towards the south of Jomtien Beach and found the massive Paradise Condos. A functional, older building in a quite but not isolated location. The advantage with the older buildings are that the units are generally large with good sized balconies. There is a simple but good sized pool and this could have been a possibility if I could view some units here. However as rentals appear to be handled by one person who was not in town. I was offered a 42 sq meter studio n 42ndfloor for THB.11,000 and a 90 sq meter, 1 bedroom on the 28thfloor at THB.16,000. Both look well furnished. 

From the sublime to the ridiculous! Located close to the Paradise is the recently completed Cetus Tower, a glistening edifice standing at 49 floors. It is a beautiful property and one of the few where I felt that the management is really taking care and not just turning over to the owners and their AirB&B guests. There is a superb pool in front of the building worthy of any 5-star hotel. Another pool is located on the 5thfloor with a superb fitness room and a vast lounge and terrace to capture the sea breezes. The 1 bedroom was located on the 33rdfloor featuring panorama windows with a view to Na Jomtien. Perfectly furnished with a very clever sliding door if you want to close off the bedroom. Beautiful, fully equipped and priced at THB.25,00 per month. This figure soon came down to 20,000 and I believe that it I had wanted to proceed with this one I could have negotiated to 17,000.

The next was also a recently completed tower, the new Dusit Grand. It is located on Jomtien 2ndRoad and conveniently located to all amenities and the beach. I viewed 3 1-bedroom units all with the same floor plan. The 13thfloor at THB.13,000, south view, 29thfloor THB.15,000 also South view and on the 33rdfloor with North View, THB.16,000. This is really a spectacular view over Pattaya and to the ocean beyond but subject to a lot of direct sun. It’s a fully equipped apartment but being modern construction is restrictive in size. I was tempted but the building does not give off a good feeling. People are coming and going and nobody seemed to respect is as their home. Good fitness studio and whilst the pool is nice, it is small for the size of the building and the potential number of residents.

At this stage in my search I had a better understanding of the ‘mechanics’ and whilst tempted by the modern facilities of Cetus and Dusit Grand, I had still not found my future home! The next day started with a visit to View Talay 3. Another of these Condominium monsters but with a completely different feel. Down a private road shared only with a luxury hotel, the buildings are very close to Cozy Beach. This is actually not in my preferred search area, however keeping an open mind, I let my persevering agent lead me to the Pratamnak Hill and down to this surprisingly quiet area. View Talay 8B is a well-kept building with a sedate and peaceful aura. The studio was located on the 10thfloor, 45 sq meters, large balcony, screen doors and classically furnished. Actually very nice, comfortable but was it too quiet? Enough for day 2, still so much to think about!

One more alternative was offered. This was in the vast monolithic tower of Jomtien Plaza Condotel. Superb location at the start of Jomtien Beach Road, this institution has surely many stories to tell. It is cavernous but has an institutional feel, initial impressions were not good. The building must be over 30 years old and if not growing old gracefully. Whilst renovations are taking place, it has a long way to go. The studio that I viewed was a 52 sq meter studio with a spectacular sea view on the 16thfloor. If renovated it would be magnificent, however with a hotchpotch of furnishings. Offered at THB.15,000 it was overpriced for the poor condition. 

The next day saw me verging towards this latest offer but the industrious Oil and her assistant had another offer, next door in View Talay 3. Maybe love at first sight but I felt that I could live comfortably here. This is a beautifully furnished 48 sq meter studio on the 14thfloor. It has a large balcony with views towards the sea with the Heritage Pattaya luxury hotel with a neighbour. This building has a large pool located next t the beach. I will have access to the beach so walks along the beach to Jomtien will be my order of the day. It does appear to be a very quiet location and I am looking forward to this. The only slight drawback is the lack of transportation. However it is possible to rent a Motorbike for just THB.2,500 per month. I will be moving in in mid March.

So what have I learnt from this challenge?

  1. Firstly remain open minded, don’t say no and keep looking!
  2. Find a good agent who is looking after yourinterests
  3. The more you see the more you will find! Remain focused
  4. There is leeway on the rental price. Always negotiate
  5. If you are looking for a 1-year rental you will enjoy better prices but you are locked in to a 1 year contract
  6. Rely on your instincts as you first enter any complex

It is quite a daunting task and one that I took on not only for myself, but also with the view of being able to help others also considering a move to Jomtien. If you need and assistance or advice on looking to rent of buy a Condominium in Jomtien, please don’t hesitate to write. kim@meanderingtales.comI would be pleased to assist and to introduce you to my tenacious agent, Oil.

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