What does a 1,000 baht a month house in Thailand look like?
If you have ever thought about renting a house in Thailand, your first thought will, of course, be how much is it going to cost you for rent every month?
After all, Thailand is cheaper than many other places in the world, right?
Yes, Thailand is much cheaper than countries like the U.S,. or regions like Europe, when it comes to renting a house, but it does depend where in Thailand you rent.
Phuket is now notoriously expensive, as are certain areas of Bangkok. Even some of Chiang Mai’s rental prices have increased in recent years, as the city becomes an even more popular place to live. Particularly by ‘digital nomads’.
That being the case, however, there are still cheap places to live in Thailand. Generally, small towns and villages in northern Thailand, in Isaan and in the far south.
Today, I came across a video on one of my favorite Thailand YouTube channels — Graham and Pie. In it, Graham talks about just missing out on renting a house for 1,000 baht a month.
Yes, you read that correctly. 1,000 baht a month or currently around $32.
How do you rent a 1,000 baht a month house in Thailand?
Graham and his Thai wife, Pie, live in Chiang Saen in Chiang Rai province in far north Thailand, just meters from the Laos border.
In his video (see below), he explains they saw a sign for a house for rent while driving past it on their motorbike, and so went to ask the owner how much the rent was and if they could rent it. They discovered the rent was only 1,000 baht a month, and the house was perfect for what they wanted.
As it turned out, however, and unluckily for Graham and Pie, the house had literally been rented by someone just a couple of hours beforehand so, yes, they missed out on this incredibly cheap house. A house that was dirt cheap even for Chiang Saen standards.
So, why was the house so cheap?
Related: What are the average monthly living expenses like in Chiang Mai?
The owner told them she had had the house built a couple of years before, didn’t currently live in it, and could not rent it out. Yes, she had tried, at 3,000 baht a month, but nobody was interested as the cost was just too high.
And, while you might think 3,000 baht for a rental house in Thailand is cheap (at $96 a month for a westerner, yes it is), the average monthly salary in many rural areas of Thailand is between 3,000 and 6,000 baht a month. So, yes, 3,000 baht to rent a house is out of the reach of many.
That day, however, the owner of the house had decided to rent out the house for 1,000 baht. Cheap, she knew. But, she figured, it is better to have some income coming from the house and have someone living in it who would take care of it than leave it unoccupied.
So what does a 1,000 baht a month house look like?
What does a 1,000 baht a month house in northern Thailand look like?
In this instance, the house had 140 square meters of living space — three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen.
It was also located on about 1 rai of property, had a small pond and a garden, and a covered area where you could park up to three vehicles.
Of course, in many other areas of Thailand, that size of a house on a similar amount of land would rent for between 6,000 and 20,000 baht, depending on which city it was located in.
In small Thai villages, however, you can get a bargain. If you do not mind living so far out from what most westerners would term as ‘civilization’.
How can you rent a cheap house in Thailand?
Even though this 1,000 baht a month house is ridiculously cheap and you won’t come across a chance like this often, it is still possible to find cheap houses in Thailand. Houses that rent for as low as 3,000 baht in some areas of the country and, for that price, are very nice.
The easiest way to find them is to just drive around the local neighborhood, and make a note of phone numbers on any signs you see. Then call, or have a Thai friend call, and arrange to look at them.
You can also ask any Thais you know if they know of anyone currently renting a house.
A western friend of mine recently rented a lovely house in a quiet area of northern Bangkok.
He was able to find that through a Thai friend and, although rent in the area is typically 10,000 to 14,000 for a similar sized house, he is paying just 8,000 baht. Again, due to a ‘special price’ as his Thai friend is a relative of the owner.
In other words, knowing people in Thailand can often get you much better deals than it might in the west. That is also why making as many Thai friends as you can is always very smart.
Related: What to expect living in a Moo Baan, or gated community, in Thailand