It's just a "piece of paper", but obtaining it has opened the door of opportunity for Horizon Homes
With current issues of land encroachment, illegal land papers, building regulations and zoning, Horizon Homes has removed any customer concerns by obtaining a developer's license for its Horizon Villas project.
So what's a developer's license? Why is it needed? And how is it beneficial? Well, firstly, a license is required if the developer intends to subdivide land plots in a certain way. Under Thai law one plot of land cannot be divided more than nine times every three years. However, if a license is granted, the land can then be legally subdivided as many times as the developer requires. But there are restrictions and conditions placed on this by the grantors. The project must have an entrance that is a minimum of 12 metres wide; all roads must be 8 metres wide with 1 metre on either side for drainage; the project must contain a green area with no buildings that's at least of 5% of the total development area; and the project must have underground government drainage.
These stipulations must be guaranteed in any application before the license will be granted. And that's not all. All infrastructure plans, paperwork and prices must either be completed prior to obtaining the license, or the equivalent amount required to complete the infrastructure must be paid into a Thai bank account and the bank must then produce a letter guaranteeing that the infrastructure will be completed.
So, once a company applies for a license they are legally obliged to complete all infrastructure work. In fact, the bank will not return the money to the developer until that work is finished.
In relation to Samui, the government officials in Surat Thani are the only people who can issue a license. And an application can be put forward to them via the Samui Land Office, or it can be done directly.
The Governor of the Province has to actually attend the meetings and make the final decision on which licenses will be granted. It's worth pointing out that this isn't an easy process. And that's mainly because it's not something that many developers have ever done. As with most things, there's a lot of red tape; a company representative must attend all the meetings on the mainland; and although, in theory, the license can be issued after one meeting, this is unlikely. In Horizon's case the process has taken a whole year from application to receipt.
When you submit the application, including all your infrastructure specifications, each part has to be assessed and agreed. And Horizon Homes raised a number of new suggestions that had never been specified by any previous developer. For instance, its application was the first to request permission to install underground electricity, and it was the first to declare that each property would have stand-alone sewerage disposal systems. The government does check the land, and the proposals, prior to issuing the license, so it pays to be completely open about your intentions.
Alex Armitage, the Managing Director of Horizon Homes, states that it's been a long, and sometimes frustrating, process but the benefits are now there to be enjoyed by everyone.
So, what are the benefits to his customers? Well, anyone buying on Horizon Villas now knows that it's a licensed and, therefore, government-approved development; the completion of the infrastructure is 100% guaranteed; all subdivision of the land has been done properly, and each plot has the correct legal Chanote land paper; and all contracts written and prepared by the lawyers have been assessed and agreed by the government to ensure that all the required stipulations have been met. And the final benefit is the knowledge that the development has been built within an appropriate zone. Licenses will not be issued to developers seeking to build a project in the wrong zone.
The benefit to the developer is being able to promote all of the above facts. And this is especially beneficial on Samui, as less than a handful of licenses have ever been granted on the whole island. And, in the current climate where customer confidence has been rocked by various issues, the possession of such a license will certainly negate many fears and concerns.
Horizon Villas occupies a spectacular location in Choeng Mon, and each plot is for sale with the proviso that the buyer has a house built by Horizon Homes Construction Company or any other construction company approved by Horizon Homes. Having homes built to the highest available specification is a must, and this is guaranteed when using our company, which will monitor every phase of the construction process and will send every owner monthtly pictures of the construction progress.
The development will consist of garden and sea-view villas and the whole project is scheduled to be completed by 2010. Now the license has been issued, the underground electrics and water are set to start being installed in the next three months.
This exceptional project has sold particularly well, even through the difficult year experienced by the Samui real-estate industry. In fact, the sea-view villas are already 70% sold and the first phase of the garden villas are 50% sold. With show-houses available, the license obtained and prices starting at only Bt11 million, this is a development that should quickly sell the remaining villas.
The top quality homes and value for money on offer here is unrivalled when you put that together with the confidence and reassurance provided by the issue of the developer's license. Horizon Villas is now a project that's literally licensed to thrill.
Alex is very happy with the future outlook on Samui. He is impressed by the amount of work finally taking place on the island's infrastructure. And when you add this to other things, such as: a new golf course; two new ports; and better shopping facilities, it's apparent that Samui is continuing to improve and become a better place for both full time residents, and visiting tourists.