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Across the Land: Is bigger always better?



PHUKET: If you are planning to buy a home with the intention that it will become your dwelling when you retire, it is advisable to consider a few factors. Firstly, size should be a major consideration. Please be realistic; is it really necessary to own a large home with four or five rooms if it’s just you and your partner who will be living in the property most of the time, with some visiting guests once in awhile?

I have on many occasions encountered owners who eventually put up their home for sale as they have come to realize that it is now just too big for them.

Prior to purchasing their home, it’s almost always the case that owners consider extra rooms for the children, grandchildren, family and friends who will visit, and so end up buying a large property with the expectation that these people do come.

Realistically, once the parents are starting to retire, the adult children are so engrossed with building a career and starting a family that it becomes very tough for them to find the time to travel long distances just to spend a week or two vacationing. Eventually, it is the parents/grandparents who are travelling to see their children or grand children, as they are retired and have all the time in the world.

I knew one property owner in Phuket who ended up doing all the travelling to see his grandchildren in Europe as travelling out to Phuket for the young grandchildren was too strenuous due to the jet lag and the limited time that they could visit.

As Phuket is such a holiday destination, there is no shortage of accommodation throughout the island and if the children, grandchildren, family or friends do come for a visit they have a host of choices of where to stay.

Secondly, is it really necessary to have a games room, pool or billiards room, theater room, gym, sauna, steam or massage room?

Interestingly, most owners I know have never even used their games room or steam room, though many have lived in the property for years. The most frequent thing we get told by owners is that they have used the bath tub in their en-suite only once and some of these bath tubs are huge within a bathroom that is about the size of a studio apartment in Bangkok. Eventually, these additional rooms become a burden to the owners as appliances or equipment within them breaks down.

Thirdly, of course, are the costs of maintenance of a home whether the owners are living in it permanently or seasonally. This relates to size and the larger the property, the more the expenses incurred to maintain and run it. Not maintaining the property well would eventually make it more difficult to sell, as it would not present as well as it should.

Amy Koh is the sales manager of Engel & Voelkers Phuket. To contact Amy or for more information, visit

— Amy Koh


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