Thailand is at the very top of the list of global tourism destinations. The country offers friendly locals, a relatively low cost of living, stunning natural beauty, year round sun, and a culture that embraces ‘sanuk’ (or ‘fun’ in English) above almost all else. It’s no wonder then that along with an increase in tourist arrivals, Thailand is attracting a record number of expatriates who have chosen to make the country their home. Many of those expats make their way to Koh Samui, which has been sympathetically developed into an idyllic tropical island on which to reside. Koh Samui is now one of the most desired residential locations in Thailand.
While many expats initially choose to rent, many ultimately wish to purchase their own home. However, with unfamiliar property laws, a litany of self-proclaimed ‘expert’ real estate agents, varied building standards, and property listings of sometimes questionable accuracy, the path to property ownership as an expat can be fraught with confusion. Fortunately, choosing to work with the right people from the beginning can deliver simplicity and total peace of mind.
Azur Samui is ideally located on Soi 2 in Maenam, on the North side of the island, only ten minutes or so from Fisherman’s Village, and 25 minutes to both the airport and the vibrant shopping and nightlife of Chaweng. On offer at Azur are luxurious private pool villas, ranging from 500 SqM to over 800 SqM. Apartments range from 55 SqM studio suites to 270 SqM private pool penthouses. The Clubhouse boasts a 26-metre infinity pool, fitness centre, yoga and Pilates studio, business centre, spa, private massage rooms, herbal steam room, and fully-equipped locker rooms. The entire environment has been carefully planned to maximise privacy, meaning no one unit has a view into or over any other.
Azur Samui was conceived by Tim Dean-Smith, the founder and developer of one of the island’s premier hotels, Beach Republic. A resident of Samui since 2008, Tim has decades of experience in construction and property development in the UK. In late 2015 Tim teamed up with another seasoned professional, Mike Ryan. Having run multiple successful developments spanning more than a decade in South Africa and the UK, Mike now brings his contagious enthusiasm, determined focus, and famous attention to detail to Azur Samui. Together, Tim and Mike offer more than just an excellent track record. The pair have a genuine passion for detailed design, quality craftsmanship, and environmentally friendly living – traits which are made abundantly clear on a visit to Azur Samui.
The build quality at the development is actually far in excess of what is typically considered ‘acceptable’ on the island, with offerings like solid thermal insulation walls, inverter air conditioning units, energy-saving LED lighting, and heat pump hot water systems all coming as standard. All residences at Azur Samui face North, with what can only be described as phenomenal panoramic views of the Gulf of Thailand and the neighbouring island of Koh Phangan. With so many desirable attributes, it’s not surprising that already all of the apartments in Phase 1 have been sold and completed, together with eight of the impressive villas.
When purchasing a home in a foreign country, security is an obvious consideration. Here too, Azur Samui excels. As Mike cheerfully explains, “There is a single entrance road, where the guardhouse is manned round the clock. The entire property is monitored 24/7 by an advanced HDCCTV system, and owners can view live footage on their smartphone from anywhere in the world.” Purchasing in a secure development also means that owners can leave their homes unoccupied for months at a time if they so wish, with no concern at all – a claim that can’t always be made by those who choose to buy standalone residences.
The ongoing cost of ownership at Azur Samui is transparent and inexpensive. Electricity and water rates are charged at the standard government tariffs, plus a small 10% surcharge which is used to contribute to the cost of running the estate. The owners control all of the common areas, and the levies for upkeep and maintenance are set at actual cost, which the owners also control.
Azur offers prospective owners the opportunity to purchase a fully completed apartment or villa, or they can choose to purchase off plan, working with the Azur Samui team to completely customise the unit. Obtaining financing to purchase a home in Thailand as a foreigner is notoriously difficult – even when approved, loan amounts are nominal and terms are arduous. Azur Samui offers up to 50% in-house financing, with a custom repayment plan to fit the buyer’s needs. And with the option of the rental management program, owners can offset the finance payments (or the purchase price if they are cash buyers) with passive rental revenue.
Construction of the Clubhouse Residences, plus swimming pool and gym, is currently well underway, with scheduled delivery of completed apartments starting in Q3 2017. With the unique layout of the property, construction noise is kept to a minimum, which has allowed some owners to move in and others to rent out their units.
The financing and rental options available, coupled with the location, build quality, facilities, services, variety of residences available, and of course the breathtaking view, make Azur Samui truly one of the most affordable and desirable developments on Koh Samui and perhaps in all of Thailand. Azur Samui is in a class on its own.
Rob De Wet
For further information, telephone 0 961 986 998.