In the beginning of 2013, the Stewart family form England bought a four-bedroom villa near Bophut beach on the northern coast of Koh Samui. Chris Stewart talks about some of the things to consider before buying a property on the island.“In 2010 we bought an apartment in Bangkok because we spend a lot of time in Southeast Asia and Bangkok is a good base from where we can easily get to major cities throughout the region. It's likely that we will make the permanent move to Bangkok once our children have moved from home as we enjoy the city and everything it has to offer. There is also easy access to some of the world's best resort destinations, like Koh Samui.After a couple of years we decided we wanted to own a holiday home on Koh Samui. Buying an apartment in Bangkok had been relatively straight forward because foreigners can own condominiums in their own name, but the rules are different when it comes to landed villas and it was important for us to do everything right so we didn't have any unpleasant surprises later. Anyone who has considered purchasing property in Thailand will have heard the stories of invalid land deeds or risky transactions in Thai with little of no translation, so it was important for us to get the advice of someone who was familiar with local rules and regulations.Having found a trustworthy legal firm, we looked at a lot of villas on the west and north coast of the island, which is where most of the villas are located because they're in close proximity to entertainment centres such as Chaweng, Lamai and Bophut. The villa we ended up buying sits on the side of a small hill not far from Bophut which is a charming fisherman's town with lots of nice restaurants and shops. It's a little more laid back than Chaweng and Lamai and we liked it for its local feel and smaller beach. The villa has a private pool with a large deck where we enjoy barbecues in the evening.One of the things we looked for was whether the villa would lend itself for rental use. Koh Samui is one of Thailand's most popular tourist destinations and we wanted to tap into the growing popularity of private villas as an alternative to staying in hotels and resort rooms. While there are plenty of larger villas on the island, we thought that four bedrooms would be a good size, not just for our own use but also for small families wanting to spend some quality time together. So far we're more than covering our own maintenance fees with the revenue we get from renting the villa out.