The sun is shining, the ocean is calm and a couple of small fishing boats are slowly going about their business below me. I’m checking out a 14th floor rental looking south along the beach. The window is floor to ceiling. The only thing stopping this apartment from being absolute beachfront is the 25-metre resort pool that has that privilege.
It’s been two years since my wife Vivien and I bought our house here in Hua Hin, Thailand’s royal beach town, and we’re very happy with it. But it’s always good to keep an eye on the market.
And this 64-square-metre apartment is typical of the value you’ll find here. The complex is well maintained, the apartment is fully furnished with parquet floors throughout and the rent is just $920 a month. That’s a steal. As it’s on the northern end of town, you would need your own wheels.
If you prefer to be in the thick of things, I also checked out a fully furnished, 50-square-metre, one bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in a smaller complex close to the centre of town. No sea views, but it is situated right on the main road and only 200 metres from the beach. It has a lovely resort-style communal pool to cool off in if the walk to the beach is too far.
One of the town’s fantastic ‘Eat Streets’ is directly opposite and the Market Village Shopping Centre is only 500 metres’ walk away. No need for a vehicle here as everything is on your doorstep. Monthly rental is $1,040 and I think it’s an excellent option for a couple wanting to be close to the heart of the action here.
Hua Hin is sandwiched between the beach and a low mountain ridge running parallel to the coast, three kilometres back from the shoreline. Move away from the downtown region, go over that low mountain ridge and a whole new world of opportunity opens up.
If you’re interested in buying, look beyond the centre of town and get your boots on the ground. I think pool villas present much better value than apartments here. Let me give you an example… I found an apartment within walking distance to Market Village and only five minutes’ walk to the beach. It’s a two bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with panoramic city and mountain views south from the lounge room and both bedrooms.
At 91 square metres, it’s a good size. The complex is around 10 years old, well maintained and has a small communal pool on site. It’s for sale at $270,000. But pay a visit and you’ll find a railway line runs directly behind the building.
Compare that to what my wife Vivien and I have. We bought a two-bedroom, two-bathroom villa with our own small garden, plunge pool and Jacuzzi—fully furnished for $140,000. It’s just five kilometres south of the apartment I’ve just described.
Driving over that low mountain ridge you’re in the ‘out-of-town’ region where I found a bargain. Completed in 2016, in a gated community called “The Lees”, it’s a villa featuring open-plan living and dining with a fully fitted European kitchen plus three good sized bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Outside is a covered terrace, your own private swimming pool, landscaped gardens and stand-alone storage room. It comes fully furnished, with mosquito screens throughout and is air-conditioned. Look up from your poolside deck chair and you have mountain views.
Unfortunately for the current owners, they have had to return to Canada so this villa, which went on the market at $248,000, is now priced at $225,000.
A savvy buyer may get it for $200,000 if they play their cards right. A quality home, less than two years old, just 10 kilometres from central Hua Hin and ready to move in—nothing to do except unpack your suitcases and relax…