Apartment Hunting in Bangkok
I read your story about apartment hunting with interest because I was due to arrive in Bangkok at the end of September and was planning on just winging it again and probably ending up on Soi Phumichit in Farangville. My old apartment wouldn't allow me to stay unless it was a minimum of a 6 month contract and that was pushing it, they really want a year. Even after I had lived there twice before.
One of the links in your story suggested trying MrRoomfinder.com and the morning after I arrived I went to my friend's house and started calling around to the places that looked suitable and had the best photography.
I wanted a place with a kitchen, balcony, a view and not too expensive that was close to my gang near Phrakanong, Ekamai or On Nut, as this is my usual for the past 7 years.
My friend is a photographer and has a good eye and speaks Thai so he did the phoning. After not getting any response after 3 or 4 of my top choices I finally got someone to pick up the phone on a Saturday morning. The lady said I could come see the place in the afternoon.
We jumped on my friends bike and arrived early. The place was at the end of a long 800 meter soi off of Ramkhamhaeng, close to the hospital and the university and the Mall Bangkapi. When the lady opened the door to the apartment I couldn't believe how it looked so much better than the photos, and the photos looked great!
She was fine with me staying only 3 months and the rent is 11000 baht for get this…85 square meters.
Completely furnished serviced apartment with kitchen, stove, hot plate, microwave, deep fryer, toaster, sink, all the dishes, pots, frying pan, utensils… a fan, hard wood flooring, leather fold down sofa, dinning room table, 12 foot glass cabinet separating the sleeping area from the living room, big bathroom with glass block wall separating the shower area.
A walk-in closet with a table and big mirror (my girlfriend loves it) and enough space to hang 10 Thai girls complete wardrobe. Free UBC and Wifi. electric is 5 baht per unit and the water is free.
The roof is amazing, it's about 500 square meters that is covered and the free laundry is also there with some exercise equipment that looks like it's from the 1970's.
I've never seen anyone else up there except the maid. Did I mention this is a serviced apartment and the maid comes twice a week to mop my bowling alley?
Also , the bottled water is free, all I have to do is pick it up. There is also a water filtering machine. There is only 9 units in the whole building but the maid told my girlfriend that only 4 units are occupied.
Although, I'm not telling anyone where it is because no good deed goes unpunished and I like living in a place where I never see any neighbors.
Apparently there is one other farang and a Japanese couple but not once in 2 weeks have I seen another soul except the landlady, her family and the maid.
It's like I have a complete mansion to myself. There is no elevator but I live on the second floor. The lobby looks like a 4 star hotel. I have one window and it's southern exposure and not hot during the day and I look down a quiet soi.
The downside is that it is so far from Suhkumvit, but since I'm not dating anyone this year and have no desire to visit the farang ghetto along Suhkumvit I'm fine with it.
There is a baht bus that comes about every 5 minutes to take me to Ramkhamhaeng and from there I'm about 50 baht to either The Mall or Big C. If I want to visit my friends, it's 100 baht taxi and 20 minutes to Suhkumvit in good traffic.
I moved in the following day on Sunday 29th and was expected to have 22000 baht, but I was a little short with 17000, .the landlady didn't bat an eye, in fact I had to call her a couple of times to come and get it and sign the papers.
The bottom line is that everything is a trade off and if you want to live on Ekamai as I did last year it cost me 12000 baht for 25 square meters, no kitchen, no balcony, and extras at every turn. It was also noisy with cockroaches and my place this year is like a morgue with no bodies or pests.
I had friends over on Friday and cleaned up at poker and got drunk and a little loud with 4 Canadian guys drinking whiskey for 7 hours, and was expecting a phone call on Saturday morning, but got again, only silence.
Getting a real estate agent is redundant and superfluous and they are as useless as birth control after a vasectomy.
In 2009 I used a real estate agent that I had dated once and she found me a place near On Nut for 15000 baht a month for 6 months. It had cockroaches and it was about 35 meters and the owner was always coming on to me and showing up at odd times and even weirded me out by getting dressed to go out one night…she thought it perfectly normal and acceptable to show up unannounced and use my bathroom to apply makeup and put on a party dress. I can only assume she was expecting to turn me on and get me to lose control. .
I'm convinced now, the best bet is to just look online, pick your choices and make your way on foot with a Thai speaking friend and try to spell out what you want over the phone before you leave to look at the place. Just do your research and as always, listen to Stickman's advice.
Sounds like you got a great deal…and I bet you're going to have some readers doing various Google searches trying to figure out where it is!