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Managing properties in Cambodia as an overseas investor
Managing properties in Cambodia as an overseas investor
June 7, 2022, 4:45 a.m.
Realestate News
Home & Living
Property management is an integral part of Cambodia’s booming residential and commercial sectors. The fast-paced growth is most apparent in the capital Phnom Penh where new developments are announced and finished almost every year.And as the property market in Cambodia matures, developers, agents, and investors alike are seeing that the long-term success of the building largely depends on how good its services are once it’s handed over.So, what’s property management in Cambodia like? To help us understand the landscape, Realestate.com.kh invited Mr. Veasna Meas, CEO of Naki Realty, Cambodia’s premier property management firm.What’s Property Management in Cambodia like?Property management in Cambodia is not too dissimilar from what one can expect from more developed markets like the United States. According to Veasna, “Property management in Cambodia is similar to what is offered to both developers, owners, and tenants”He explains that property management in Cambodia covers essential aspects of maintaining a given property in multiple ways. For example, property management for condominiums in Cambodia looks after lobbies, passenger/service lifts, and other common areas used by co-owners or tenants in the building.Much like in the U.S., a homeowners’ association (HoA) can be formed by co-owners in Cambodia. This collective body is usually formed once a building is 70% occupied and has the option to pick a property management company to maintain shared spaces using the fees paid by either the tenants/co-owners.Veasna gives us a better understanding of how property management works in Cambodia by giving us its 2 main aspects: Facilities Management and Physical Management.Facilities Management Like that pool? It's thanks to property management that this pool is clean and clear! Photo from Silvertown Metropolitan.Facilities management refers to maintaining the exteriors and interiors of the building including windows, landscaping, driveways, lobbies, passenger lifts, gyms, and all other facilities part of the building.Veasna highlights the importance of having facilities management as buildings with multiple owners like condominiums have a need for someone to look after common/public areas. The fees paid as part of the management fee go into facilities management.Physical ManagementLooking for a clean living space? Property management helps you with regular cleanings. Photo from Silvertown Metropolitan.Physical management refers to the service provided within individual properties (be it a unit in a condo, a landed home, or even a shopping centre). This aspect of property management is more relevant for buyers who buy for investment purposes and require someone on the ground to manage their properties.Veasna notes that this aspect of property management is beneficial for overseas buyers. The importance of this service was emphasized during the COVID-19 pandemic when international travel was mostly restricted and where it was possible to travel required costly quarantine stays.Physical management services, like those offered by Naki Realty, allow overseas investors to manage their properties in Cambodia without physically being in the country. Benefits of property management for overseas investorsA good portion of property buyers in Cambodia come from overseas and the surge of foreign interest in properties in Cambodia has created a demand for property management services. Here’s how property management benefits overseas buyers in Cambodia’s real estate market:Allows investors abroad to oversee their propertiesGiven current travel restrictions, it has been property management companies like Naki Realty has made it significantly easier for overseas buyers to manage their property (or multiples of them) with little to nothing to worry about.One-stop solution to manage multiple propertiesOverseas investors usually have more than 1 property at a time. Managing multiple properties, be it in the same development or across different projects can be a headache. “Regardless of whether how many properties an investor owns,” Veasna said, “the objective of a property management company is to provide overseas buyers with someone they can count on to look after their properties”.Tenant management made easyOverseas investors can expect services like screening, leasing, and receiving requests from tenants to be handled by the property management firm they choose to hire. Property management services in Cambodia are open to receiving tenants requests 24/7. This saves the need for tenants to directly contact the owner who is likely located abroad and in a different timezone.Property management fees in CambodiaProperty management fees in Cambodia range from $1 to $2 and are multiplied by the gross area in square metres. Gross area refers to the size of the unit itself plus a share of the common areas. For example:Gross unit sizeUnit size50 sqmShare of common area40 sqmGROSS AREA (unit size + common area)90 sqmManagement feeGross Area90 sqmManagement fee (per sqm)$1.5MANAGEMENT FEE$135 per monthManagement fees go to the maintenance of facilities, with some developments allocating a portion for a Sinking Fund - a separate fund used to address unforeseen expenses in the building.Does the management fee include tenant screening and leasing?This is classified as an optional service and would cost a nominal fee. The cost of this additional service is a portion (around 10%) of the rental fee. By extension, dispute resolutions such as evictions would also cost a nominal fee.Can I negotiate a lower management fee for fewer services?Negotiating would be difficult as prices are set based on what type of unit is owned and the amenities available to it. Property management fees cover the cost of utilities and maintenance of facilities used by all tenants and co-owners residing in the building.Regulations surrounding property management in CambodiaDespite being a relatively new service, there are a few regulations surrounding property management in Cambodia.Property management licenseThe Ministry of Economy and Finance issues licenses for property management in Cambodia. Veasna explained that the Ministry started issuing licenses around 2015-2016, with Naki Realty obtaining the first few of these licenses when they were made available.Since getting the license, Naki Realty has been impactful in shaping the concept of property management to Cambodian regulators.Strata-titled buildingsStrata titles are a form of ownership applicable to buildings designed to have multiple owners. This is the only property available for direct foreign ownership. You can learn more about strata titles and other property titles in Cambodia here.Strata-titled buildings are required to have a form of property management in place. However, given the concept’s relative novelty, developers are still navigating how to implement this regulation.The future of Property Management in CambodiaOf course, there will always be a challenge with any new concept introduced in a market. According to Veasna Meas, the current challenge within Cambodia is the acceptance of property management as a standard of post-handover planning. However, he explains that more developers are starting to realize that they cannot be a jack-of-all-trades and would require expert property management.Additionally, the rising competition between developers has caused a number, especially those with international backgrounds, to seek out companies like Naki Realty to provide property management services to ensure the long-term value and overall success of their building, a period that goes well beyond the handover date.“Property management will continue to develop alongside the larger real estate market,” said Veasna Meas. “As more condos and office buildings come online, developers will see the need for this type of service”.Looking for a well managed property in Phnom Penh? Let us help!Article by:
What makes a luxury property in Phnom Penh?
What makes a luxury property in Phnom Penh?
June 6, 2022, 5:06 p.m.
Realestate News
Home & Living
From the humble shophouses to towering luxury penthouses, Phnom Penh’s residential choices have undoubtedly grown in only a short span of time. Its luxury choices, in particular, have been the highlight of the city’s transformation and put it on the radar of property investors from both within and outside of Cambodia.The word “luxury”, however, has been a buzzword many developers have used to describe their properties to paint a grand picture of the lifestyle you can have. But let’s be honest, only a few can really own up to being a true luxury home.Realestate.com.kh wants to clear the air with its take on what makes the baseline for luxury properties and will give you properties worth considering if you’re in the market for one or if you’re simply curious!What makes a luxury property in Phnom Penh?What makes a luxury property in Phnom Penh doesn’t differ much from what you’d normally consider in buying any home. Generally speaking, these are Location, Quality of Interiors, Available Amenities, and Price.LocationA property’s location influences a lot about it, including other considerations in this list. A property’s location plays its biggest role in determining your daily life/routine, such as where you go and how much time it takes for you to get to where you want to go. Its immense role in your daily life makes it one of the foremost considerations in any property purchase/rental decision.But there’s more to location than just providing convenience. For buyers looking to invest, a great location is somewhere with lackluster surroundings but holds great promise in the near future. After all, when it comes to real estate, the real returns are not just made by selling high, but by buying low.Quality of InteriorsThe quality of interiors directly influences the level of comfort you experience at home. This is where luxury developments often splurge by providing branded appliances and fixtures such as heaters, air conditioners, lighting, mattress(es), and bathroom essentials. How these are delivered is often indicative of the amount of thought the developer put into making their luxury vision into reality.Available AmenitiesAmenities complement the comfort you experience from your residential unit. Fortunately, most luxury properties in Phnom Penh often have a swimming pool, a garden, sauna & spa, rooftop activity areas, fitness facilities, and even in-house commercial areas. It’s sometimes so extensive that the number of things you can do in your building somewhat reduces the need for you to go out!PricePhnom Penh’s luxury property market is rife with choices ranging from expensive to extraordinarily pricey and this last and final factor neatly ties up all the aforementioned considerations into a quantifiable number, because setting prices set expectations.The price per square metre for luxury developments (centrally located) ranges from $2,500 and only goes up from there. Of course, this is not saying that the higher it’s priced, the better the property is overall. But price tags often dictate the kind of market a project is targeting and the level of luxury you can expect from a premium development.The luxury properties of Phnom PenhThere’s plenty of luxury properties in Phnom Penh and this shortlist is showcasing the developments exemplifying what’s been discussed above.Sky VillaSky Villa is arguably the most expensive luxury development in Phnom Penh. While there are other developments within the 1-million USD price range, Sky Villa takes top place as it’s the biggest of the million-dollar apartments to come to the city.Its residential units span more than 500sqm and are styled after the luxury landed villas most rich Cambodians live in, including ornate furniture, generous spaces, and premium amenities like exclusive bars, restaurants, pools, and concierge services. Other luxury landed villas don’t have a sky bar and spa & sauna, nor are they in the middle of the city like Sky Villa.Its central location in 7 Makara puts it in an advantageous central position with easy access to major road arteries that cross Phnom Penh. The closest major shopping destination to it is the Olympia Mall, which is a 4-minute drive away or a 10-minute walk from Sky Villa. If you’re into the more humble side of the city, dozens of shophouses and cafes litter 7 Makara. It’s hard to run out of places to explore in this area.Sky Villa certainly packs plenty of must-haves and even nice-to-haves for a luxury property in Phnom Penh. If you’re interested in finding out more, you can find the Sky Villa property listing here.The Peninsula Private ResidencesA project’s location, for most buyers, means easy access to conveniences. But to the long-term investor, it means something quite contrary but highly profitable!The Peninsula Private Residences in Chroy Changvar district is an ideal example of investing in an area that holds much promise in Phnom Penh’s future. The district is earmarked for major residential projects which have attracted many of the city’s elite political and business circles. Its promise is tied with its suburban appeal as its peninsular geography gives its residents a natural atmosphere that’s become a hook for many of Phnom Penh’s city dwellers.Given its popularity, it’s no stretch that the project has become the landmark development in Chroy Changvar. The Peninsula Private Residences garnered many awards such as the Best Architectural Design 2019 and Best Interior Design 2019. Its awards show as the project’s interiors are built with carefully designed aesthetics that complement the area’s natural atmosphere; providing a premium experience of Chroy Changvar’s environment if you will.The Peninsula Private Residences emphasize the everyday living experience and pull out all the stops to make it as pleasant as it can be. Its quality amenities include the basics with additional features of a private kitchen and patio, co-working space, and even a social club room with a home theater system.If you’re interested in learning more about this luxury development, you can check the Peninsula Private Residences property listing here.The Peak ResidenceWhen it comes to living in a premier condominium close to a shopping area, The Peak Residence certainly peaks the list of projects in Phnom Penh. The Peak Residence is a premium mixed-use development in the highly commercial area of Tonle Bassac in Chamkarmon. It’s one of the first retail podiums with 3 towers in Phnom Penh, making it the premier project offering a commercial experience truly integrated with a luxury condominium.Residents will additionally get to enjoy various commercial shopping choices to more residential comforts like swimming pools, jacuzzis, lush gardens, and premium restaurants right at their fingertips; there’s plenty to discover at this premier development.But if a commercial center integrated with a residential tower is too tame, how about a premium hotel chain on its premises? The world-renowned Shangri-La Hotel will be occupying and housing high-class visitors in one of the Peak’s towers. In fact, the entry of the international Shangri-La hotel brand is expected to attract a new demographic of tourists to boost the Kingdom’s burgeoning tourism sector.If you’re interested in learning more, you can check out the Peak Residence property listing here.Skyline ApartmentThe Skyline Apartments is a high-class rental apartment in Tonle Bassac, Chamkarmon. Conceived by The Room Design Studio, its design immediately catches the attention of passers-by even in the flurry of residential choices within Tonle Bassac. Its designers were inspired by both Cambodia’s rich architectural heritage and the influence of its colonial past to create an iconic residential building in Phnom Penh’s most central area.Skyline Apartment’s premium status is derived from the luxury of feeling at home in Phnom Penh. This is particularly sought after by expatriates as feeling at home in a foreign country can do wonders for one’s mental health, especially during stressful workdays! The Skyline Apartment creates this atmosphere by providing residents with spacious living spaces complemented by an array of amenities that fit the theme of being at home. While it's not as luxurious as previous projects mentioned above, the Skyline Apartment does edge them out in delivering a serene living experience.A lot of rest and a lot quiet are things commonly associated with suburban/provincial properties. Fortunately, the Skyline Apartments is just 100m away from the Preah Sihanouk boulevard, and a few minutes walk away from the many restaurants, cafes, and entertainment destinations found in and around Tonle Bassac.If you’re interested in finding out more, you can visit the Skyline Apartment property listing here.Article by:
What can be considered a Green Building?
What can be considered a Green Building?
June 6, 2022, 5:06 p.m.
Realestate News
Home & Living
Greening the building sector is one of the priorities to ensure sustainable development in Cambodia. But do we really understand what is sustainability? In 1987, the United Nation’s Brundtland Commission defined sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”From the time of humanity’s resource-intensive lifestyle and the Industrial Revolution, the number of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere has increased significantly. As a result, global warming and air pollution are occurring. With the Paris Agreement in 2015, the international community agreed to limit global warming to 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius until 2050. Buildings are responsible for about one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions.Green building (sometimes called a Sustainable Building) are eco-friendly, have no adverse effects on physical health, and are adapted to the local climate and environment. Green design starts from the planning of the building to the design, construction, and operation process. In other words, it covers lifetime cycle of the building, from the planning of construction to the end of commissioning.It is estimated that the construction sector accounts for 10% of world GDP, 23% of greenhouse gas emissions, and 40% of material flows. Therefore, green building is not only a major step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but also a revolution in the architectural industry and the environment. Green buildings are economically feasible, eco-friendly, and energy-efficient. They have a long service life, and most importantly, provide us with a comfortable living and working environment.Green buildings have the following features:Energy efficientWater-efficientUses renewable energyReduce waste generation and promote recyclingGood indoor air qualityNon-toxic and green construction materialsEconomically and environmentally friendly starting from the planning phase to the operation phaseAdequate parkingPromote a healthy lifestyleProvide a comfortable indoor and outdoor environmentSome of the main elements that make up a green building that incorporates the features mentioned above are the building materials, energy, water, and health requirements which are further explained below. Construction materials: The building materials to be used in the green building should be non-toxic, and natural or recycled material. Green buildings should use local materials to reduce transportation costs and transport-related greenhouse gas emissions. Energy use: The building design of green projects is optimized to reduce energy use inside the building. In hot and humid climates like Cambodia, small to medium size windows areas is recommended to reduce the solar heat gains and, thus, the cooling demand. Shading devices and high-performance windows can further protect from the sun.The New Khmer Architecture style developed in the 1950s by Vann Molyvann shows how architectural design can provide comfortable indoor spaces with little need for air-conditioning. Solar panels on the rooftop or the façade of a green building can provide green electricity to the building. Energy management and energy monitoring will ensure that the green building has low energy bills in the long run. Water consumption of green buildings: Water consumption in green buildings should be minimized by using water-saving faucets, automated taps, reuse of gray water, and the collection and reuse of rainwater. Health: The building must meet the requirements for the use of non-toxic materials, good indoor air quality which helps to prevent allergies and bacterial and virus infections such as COVID-19. Air quality monitoring installed inside the buildings will ensure that mechanical ventilation and cooling system are operating efficiently.Nowadays, there are specialized organizations and individuals who provide advice on green building planning and operation. Green building professionals understand synergies among professions, building systems, the environment, opportunities for economic development, and occupant wellbeing. They support building developers, architects, building planners, and engineers to optimize the building project with the goal to make it a profitable investment with the highest quality.*This article is written by Susanne Bodach, Managing Director of BEE Incorporations Cambodia
How to maintain and manage your property during COVID-19 outbreak
How to maintain and manage your property during COVID-19 outbreak
June 6, 2022, 5:06 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced a majority of people all over the world to stay indoors for an extended and unknown period of time - a situation that puts a special strain on the facilities of any property. So, whether you lease or own your space, have a broad portfolio, or a single asset, as a property owner, the attention you give to your assets, and its facilities, is more crucial now than ever.Equally imperative are the decisions that need to be made in the coming weeks, such as: “Who can enter or use my building and its facilities,” “How do I respond to suspected contamination?” ''How will I keep my buildings operational and protected while most of my workforce is home?” and ultimately, “What is our facility showing our community about our company and our values?”CBRE, a property consulting and management firm, oversees a number of buildings throughout Cambodia alongside millions of sqm of office space, apartments, and condominiums across China, South East Asia, Europe, and America. We have a regional hub in South East Asia where each of the heads of Property Management is in regular contact; sharing information/experiences and jointly developing plans and procedures, especially in these times. This has imparted valuable lessons behind my no-regrets, action-oriented recommendations:Manage entriesThe best way to keep your facility safe is to keep people with the virus at home. There are several ways to approach this, including temperature screening and other sophisticated equipment that could become permanent installations. There are also low-cost options, like increasing lobby signage reminding people to stay home if ill, restricting visitors, and setting up self-check temperature stations.Plan for an exposure-related shutdownIt is likely that you will experience a suspected or confirmed case in at least one of your facilities. Rather than waiting for that moment and having to scramble, prepare a written plan, and educate your site managers, staff, and providers proactively. What to do with the individual? How to isolate them? How to get them home safely? What steps to take? If you think all of this through and get it in writing beforehand (working with your legal, HR, building owner, and key stakeholders) you will mitigate risk and reduce anxiety when the event happens.Clean oftenIncreased cleaning has a direct, infection-control benefit and should be implemented as a preventative move. A full daily disinfection may not be necessary, but the virus lives on surfaces for up to 3 days; and proper, increased cleaning will help lower your exposure. Clean more often and be visible with these services, especially in common areas. As the world opens back up for business, we should expect a lot more cleaning.Energy management and  energy costsAs energy often takes up to 40% - 50% of your building running costs now is the time to be more vigilant. You don’t need sophisticated building management systems or controls but you should watch equipment carefully as you run and you run it differently. Ensure lights and AC are switched off in vacant areas, keep up the maintenance especially on your AC systems for air quality and running efficiency.Treat your suppliers wellFacilities suppliers are becoming critical to business continuity – especially cleaners. A number of our clients have instructed us to work with suppliers to be sure they retain staff and maintain capacity even while client sites are closed or in partial use. These clients understand that their supplier partners operate on thin margins and that their employees operate on even thinner margins with no safety net. We believe these clients are going to be very well served for these actions.Take advantage of the downtime to prepare for re-openingEvery facility has deferred projects and tasks that were waiting for a weekend when the building sits empty. Planned correctly, now is your chance for these projects. We are working with clients to complete delayed projects, replacements, and repairs. Put in place more energy-efficient equipment. Finish that asset condition survey. Our teams in China realized that deferred maintenance on older equipment just could not respond to more intensive HVAC demands, so we are working hard to repair, replace, and upgrade.Communication Keep up to date with all local newspapers and government departments so that you are ahead of the game and ready for any changes that may be enforced. Keep your company, all your clients, tenants and occupiers updated regularly but also limit the channels of communication and avoid participating in gossip groups as misinformation creates confusion and worry.The Future New NormalAs you plan for re-opening, your employees, customers, and suppliers are going to have new expectations for how to run, clean, and manage your facility. At the same time suppliers, landlords, and maintenance teams are going to be managing the surge of work. Consider focusing on three areas:Operations: Inspect and test key building systems to ensure the building is safe and comfortable as you come back to full occupancy.Service Planning: Allow providers of cleaning, food, concierge, HVAC, security, etc. ample lead time to ensure they can get their teams back on-site and fully operationalChange Management: Ensure the occupants are aware of what’s been done, what’s different, and what protections need to stay in place to keep everyone healthy. Set up a hotline to take their questions.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!*This is article is written by Dan Davies, Director of Property Management at CBRE Cambodia.*Note: CBRE Cambodia has set up an unofficial building owners /managers PP Covid-19 group. If you are interested to join please call +855 85 986 934 or email: dan.davies@cbre.com
Amenities & Fixtures: What to expect from Cambodian properties?
Amenities & Fixtures: What to expect from Cambodian properties?
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
Curious what about amenities and fixtures can you expect from Cambodian properties? Don’t worry! This guide will run you through the most common amenities and fixtures that you can expect in most Cambodian properties, whether for sale or for rent.NOTE: Common amenities/fixtures DOES NOT mean standard amenities/fixtures. These are merely based on the observation of the most commonly recurring amenities/fixtures from listings. The actual amenities and fixtures will ultimately vary from developer to developer and property to property.Common Apartment/Condominium AmenitiesModern amenities have become more commonplace in Cambodia’s apartments and condominiums. This is not, by any means, an exhaustive list of amenities, but a shortlist of what you’re more likely to see in your search. The rule “your mileage may vary” applies.Fitness Centre(Most fitness centres are located at the top floors such as this facility from The Peninsula in Phnom Penh. Realestate.com.kh)This can be called either a fitness centre or wellness centre, both are essentially gyms where you can exercise or work out. Some developments (on the higher-end, mostly) offer classes like yoga. How well-equipped a fitness centre depends entirely on how premium the development is. But most will likely have the basics of any workable gym.Swimming Pools(All high-end and some mid-tier developments have pools as part of their amenities such as this one from Garden One. Realestate.com.kh)Phnom Penh can get hot, especially around the months of March to June. Luckily, more developments are including swimming pools as part of their range of amenities. It’s hit-or-miss when it comes to mid-range developments, but high-end developments will have all the bells and whistles in a premium swimming pool.Public Wi-Fi(Most, if not all, developments have wifi included in their properties. But since these are for public use, you may want to consider getting your own. Realestate.com.kh)Residential units you buy or rent usually come with their already-provided Wi-Fi. But as with anything public, connection bandwidth will be shared. The public WiFi will certainly suit most people, but if your work is better (and more secure) through dedicated bandwidth, then we suggest getting your own.Public WiFi is mostly decent in Phnom Penh and it’s relatively inexpensive. A single person is fine using a 10 Megabit (Mb) fiber connection (yes, Phnom Penh has a commercially available fiber connection) and it’s enough to watch 1080p 60 fps YouTube videos - all for around 140 to 300 USD a year.Car Parking(Car parking is a must-have in Cambodia. Luckily, most Cambodian properties have parking available for their residents. Supplied)Parking is crucial if you have a car in Phnom Penh. The city is becoming increasingly busier every year and roadside parking is starting to become scarce and inadvisable. Fortunately, developers today incorporate parking spaces for cars and motorcycles in their projects. Even the smallest tower developments find ways to include motorcycle parking at the very least for their inhabitants. If you have personal transportation, this is a must-have in modern-day Phnom Penh.Common Residential Unit FixturesA lot of apartments and condominiums in Phnom Penh make it a point that their units make it easy for tenants to move in, especially when there’s a healthy expatriate population moving around the city every year. As a result, Cambodian residential units are quite generous with fixtures, even from the low end of the market. Here are a few of the most common fixtures included if ever you decide to move in Phnom Penh:Washing Machine(Most properties in Cambodia include washing machines such as this one from The Peninsula Phnom Penh. This is a major bonus for DIY-people out there! Realestate.com.kh)A range of apartments, from the low-end to the high-end already include washing machines in their units. If you’re the type to Do-It-Yourself, then the inclusion of washing machines is definitely something you’ll like. Most apartments and condos include places where you can air out your laundry, so you don’t have to worry too much about that part as well.Airconditioning(In a tropical country like Cambodia, and especially in the concrete jungle of Phnom Penh, air conditioning is a must. Realestate.com.kh)If you’re coming from a country with a cold ambient climate, then you’re in for a treat in Cambodia. Fortunately, all the units you could be looking at have air conditioning units. Do keep in mind, however, that electricity costs in Phnom Penh range from 0.20 to 0.25 USD per kWh - which makes electricity in Cambodia is pretty pricey relative to its neighbors.Electric Kettle(Part of the offensive charm of making it easy for you to move in is the inclusion of simple things such as an electric kettle. Supplied)This is a nice fixture some apartments include and you could even negotiate this as part of the deal whenever you move into an apartment/condo. A landlord might be more than willing to oblige if they can close a deal with this.Bidet / Bum Guns(Bidets or bum guns, as they're more known, are a staple in any property such this one from The Peninsula Phnom Penh. Realestate.com.kh)Bidets are a 21st-century invention seemingly from the heavens. This magnificent piece of modern technology is quite popular throughout the Indochina region - almost like a standard - even in public toilets. Bidets are usually affixed to most Cambodian residential units for rental/sale. A lot of western expatriates have shared their wonder of bidets, so to speak. Some even went so far as saying “Bidets have ruined toilet paper for me”.Television (with basic cable access)(Televisions are nice to have even when internet access is widely available. Most Cambodian properties still include it such as Wealth Mansion in Phnom Penh. Realestate.com.kh)Some apartment/condominium units come with a flat-screen TV. It’s nothing fancy but it’s definitely worth something. They usually include cable channels in it, so, if you’re a tourist/expatriate, you’ll have something to entertain yourself with right away. It’s part of the attractive selling points landlords build to make their properties more appealing to potential renters. Knowing what to expect from a potential purchase or rental can help you better evaluate the bang for the buck you’re gonna spend. While amenities and fixtures shouldn’t be the sole factor to make or break the buying decision, they certainly are worth considering since they affect the quality of life you’re going to have.Looking to buy/rent property in Cambodia? Let us help!Article by:
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Typical payment terms for new developments in Cambodia
Typical payment terms for new developments in Cambodia
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
If you are thinking about investing in the Cambodian property market, then you may start to think about how you're going to make payment or payments for the investment, and what is typically accepted in the Cambodian market by developers.Just as important you might want to start thinking about what you are most comfortable with. Below we highlight some common practices around payments and payment terms in the Cambodian market and what you can expect.In this guide, we highlight some of the typical payment terms offered by property developers in Cambodia and home loans available for foreigners.Booking feeAs soon as you have made the decision to purchase a property, you will then have to sign a Sales & Purchase Agreement. Upon signing this agreement you will be required to pay a small booking fee usually between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. This can also be known as a reservation fee. By this stage, you will have already chosen your "payment plan" with the developer.Down paymentAfter you have paid the booking fee (commonly within 2 weeks) you will be required to pay a down payment for the property. The most common down payment ratio is 30% of the property's total value, (e.g. $100,000 unit, downpayment of 30% = $30,000)Instalment payment planAs the name suggests, the most common way buyers pay for the balance of their investment is by (monthly) instalments. Which will be a percentage amount over a period of time. Often 3 years or in line with the completion of the development.Stage payment planThis is very similar to the Installment payment method, however, payments are made in line with construction stages until the building is completed, rather than even monthly payments. (e.g. Once the building has reached the 5th floor out of 10 you will be required to make a stage payment.)Upfront paymentIn this plan, buyers will be required to pay the full amount often within 30 days of signing the Sales and Purchase Agreement. This is the most attractive payment plan if you are looking to get the best price for your investment.Note: there is typically no interest to be paid involved with the payment plans above.Home loans for foreignersAlthough bank loans for off-plan (Condo) properties in Cambodia are increasing in popularity. Most if not all banks in Cambodia will not lend to international investors based outside of Cambodia. However, if you are an expat based in Cambodia with a track record of employment you may qualify for a home loan from a bank.If you have already enquired about a property, make sure you ask if the developer is working with any banks for possible home loans. And remember you can also inquire for a home loan via Homeloan.com.khDevelopers' loansAlthough not very common for foreigners, some developers will offer loans or financial assistance to potential buyers. If you purchase a property on this type of payment plan or via a bank loan you will be paying interest on the loan.To provide property seekers with an idea of what a bank loan may look like for a buyer in terms of monthly payments, you can find a home loan calculator within the property details page on Realestate.com.kh.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by:
Long-term visa options in Cambodia
Long-term visa options in Cambodia
June 7, 2022, 7:11 a.m.
Special Reports
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Are you planning to retire in Cambodia?In the 2019 InternationalLiving.com's Annual Global Retirement Index, Cambodia was named as the 12th best place in the world to retire.  This was the fourth year in a row that the Kingdom held that title.In the 2021 edition, Cambodia again ranked as one of the most affordable destinations to retire and one of the best countries to retire overall.You can find out more in our ultimate guide to retiring in Cambodia which details the costs, benefits, property, and insurance expectations. See more below about the visa required by retirees in Cambodia.Is a visa required to stay in Cambodia?Yes, a visa is required to stay in the Kingdom of Cambodia for all foreigners. However, Cambodia has some of the most flexible visa regulations possible for foreign tourists, expat professionals, and retirees to visit and live in the “Kingdom of Wonder,” in the region.Whether you’re a tourist or a resident, a visa is required to visit, or stay in Cambodia long term. In 2019 the visa rules were constricted regarding long-stay visas, giving a preference for those who are locally employed or of retirement age.Types of Cambodian visasTourist visaThe tourist visa (T class) is for travellers who know they will be staying for 30 days or less. The 30-day tourist visa is available to travellers in advance or on arrival (for most nationalities) for a cost of $30 if you obtain it directly at the airport. The tourist visa is single entry only and can be renewed once only for an additional 30 days for a fee of between $30 and $50.At the expiry of the additional 30-day extension on your tourist visa, you must leave Cambodia and come back to obtain a new visa. If you are planning on staying in Cambodia, a tourist visa is not the best one for you, so start with a renewable ordinary visa instead.Cambodian “ordinary” visas (E class) If you wish to stay in Cambodia for an extended period of time, you will need to apply for a 30-day E-class visa (not an online e-visa) when you arrive. The visa is valid for 30 days and costs $35 (subject to your nationality). An ordinary visa can be extended indefinitely.Prior to your 30-day expiry, you will need to go and extend your visa. Due to language barriers and uncertainty, if it is your first time extending your visa, a lot of expats will use the services of an agent. You can choose an EB, EG, ER, or ES visa extension, known as an EOS, or extension of stay.The four E-class visas in Cambodia(Please note: that during the global COVID-19 pandemic - the visa situation in Cambodia has been temporarily different and no visas on arrival have been offered. Visa regulations and requirements should be checked with your relevant embassy from overseas. We recommend you follow the official government announcements on issuing visas).EB visa extension The EB business EOS (Extension of Stay) covers most expats in Cambodia, including those who are working, their partners and children, freelancers, and volunteers. The current rules (as of January 2019) require applications to provide a stamped letter verifying their employment with a Cambodian company). This visa extension is renewable and can last for 1, 3, 6, or 12 months. Please note only the 6- and 12-month visa extensions allow multiple entries.Spouses and children of EB visa holders will need to submit the visa holder’s employment letter. The letter needs to state that the company supports the application for the spouse’s EB EOS as a non-working dependent, and includes the dependents’ passport information. You will also be required to bring proof of your relationship to the visa holder to renew your own visa extensions.If you are self-employed and have a registered business in Cambodia you can write a letter confirming your own employment. This letter must be stamped with the registered Cambodia business stamp. Further information on setting up a business in Cambodia can be found here.An EB visa extension does not automatically give you the right to work in Cambodia. In order to be legally employed, you will need a Cambodian work permit and employment card issued by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training.EG visa extension The EG visa extension is designed for those seeking employment in Cambodia and can last 1, 3, or 6 months. If you have had a previous EB visa extension you probably will not be granted an EG visa, as they are not intended for expats who have already been in the country for a long term. The EG visa is only for first-time visitors to Cambodia.ER visa extension The retirement visa extension is for expats of retirement age. You simply apply for ER (retirement) extensions. Here are the requirements:You must be 55 or older.You cannot be employed.You must be able to prove you are retired (with a pension or social security documentation) and have enough funds (bank or retirement fund statements). For more information, please read our ultimate guide on retirement in Cambodia. These extensions can be valid for various lengths of up to one year. Prices are similar to working visa extensions which cost around $290 for a full year with multiple entries. There are various agencies throughout the region that can assist and help you with processing.Although the ER visa is popular and the price point is much lower than in neighbouring countries, you are not permitted to seek employment in Cambodia. For those wishing to work or operate a local business a Business Visa is required. It is worth noting some US companies are present in Cambodia and you might find them with job postings on popular US employment portals. More jobs in US here.ES visa extension The ES visa extension is a student visa. Applicants for the ES visa extension are required to provide a letter from a registered Cambodian school, as well as documentation to demonstrate they have sufficient funds to support themselves. The ES student visa extension can be issued for 1, 3, 6, or 12 months.Other Visa Types for CambodiaThe visas mentioned above are the main types most foreigners will be looking to secure for a long-term stay in the Kingdom. However, there are some other visa types for children of foreigners and those working in the NGO and international visitors of the government.K-class VisaThe K-class visa is intended for those of Cambodian descent who hold a foreign passport, which is valid for free for a lifetime visa.B-class VisaThe B-class visa is for employees of organizations that are in Cambodia at the government’s invitation EG: United Nations or World Health Organization.C-class VisaThis is a free visa for employees of international NGOs that have a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Cambodian visas for childrenAll non-Cambodian children are required to have an E-class visa to enter the Kingdom. If the child has at least one Cambodian parent, they can apply for a free K-class visa.Work Permit in CambodiaThe Cambodian Department of Immigration requires all foreign nationals to obtain an official work permit/employment card to be eligible to work in the country.Foreign nationals wishing to work in Cambodia must also meet the following conditions:Have a job offer from an employer compliant with relevant regulations regarding the employment of foreign nationals.Have legally entered the Kingdom of Cambodia.Possess a valid passport.Possess a valid residency permit.Be fit for the relevant job.Have no contagious diseases.You can read more about being an expat in Cambodia in our guide.Register on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS)The FPCS app records foreign information when they arrive in Cambodia at any entry point. It also records their data when they leave Cambodia.The main purpose of FPCS is to protect foreigner safety and security in case of an emergency when they are traveling throughout Cambodia and was introduced and enforced in early 2020.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by
Thinking about property in Cambodia, What’s your motivation?
Thinking about property in Cambodia, What’s your motivation?
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
What is the driving force behind your decision to invest in a market that may be completely different from your present portfolio?Cambodia is an emerging nation, known for its beaches and mountains, historical sites, you can step back in time in a local village, unchanged for decades, or enjoy bustling vibrant growing capital city.Thinking about retirementWhile Thailand has historically been a popular destination for retirees, Cambodia is rapidly gaining interest both for those retirees presently based in Thailand, or those looking for an alternative to retirement in their country of origin. In fact, InternationalLiving.com's Annual Global Retirement Index for 2019 has named Cambodia as the number 12 best place in the world to retire. Access to inexpensive quality healthcare, ease of visa processing and an ever-increasing expat community makes Cambodia an attractive retirement destination.Holiday Home & InvestmentWhile the average rental returns may not equate to those achieved in your country of origin, the lower market entrance costs, fees and services combined with the local purchasing power of your dollar, puts Cambodia on your investment portfolio. Whether you enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life or the beachside lifestyle opportunities abound for those investors wishing to combine the flexibility of having a holiday home, while receiving an income in your absence.For personal use onlyWhether you are contemplating retirement, using Cambodia as your home base or working here, purchasing a property versus renting is a common occurrence for expatriates. Finding just the right place, in the right location for the right price requires research and access to market knowledge. Click the link below for further information.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by:
Buying a condominium in Cambodia with leasehold
Buying a condominium in Cambodia with leasehold
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
Foreigners are 100% eligible to own a freehold condominium in Cambodia under certain conditions.The Cambodian Foreign Ownership Property Laws (legislated in 2010), allow foreigners to buy and own properties in Cambodia on the 1st floor or higher of a condominium. The property must possess a strata title and cannot exceed 70% foreign ownership.Buying a condominium in Cambodia with leaseholdThis method allows foreigners to purchase real property, either landed or strata-titled, and register the title deed in the name of a Cambodian citizen. The foreigner and the Cambodian enter into a long-term rental agreement by which the Cambodian citizen leases the property back to the foreigner for a set lease period. This lease period could extend to 99 years.Have a read of our guide on purchasing a condominium in Cambodia as a foreigner.Purchasing through a leasehold does not allow the foreign to enjoy the feeling of freehold ownership. Most foreign investors expect full ‘ownership' of their property, therefore the concept of paying a large amount upfront, effectively renting back property for decades, can be an issue for many foreigners.However, by engaging suitable trustworthy legal representation, the drafting of a watertight agreement in terms of the property and the lease arrangement can make this a reasonably secure method of owning real property in Cambodia.Under this arrangement, the foreigner may sell the property at any time and keep 100% of the revenue from the sale.Get more information on understanding property titles in Cambodia.A Cambodian citizen is not permitted to disagree with or obstruct the sale. The foreigner retains the original copy of the new title deed as a security precaution.It must be noted that the sale of the property is impossible without the original copy of the title deed.Relationships are importantAlthough the foreigner can sell the property at any time, there is a requirement for the Cambodian citizen’s signature or thumbprint identification to be included in sale documentation, therefore entering into such an agreement requires an excellent relationship and a high level of trust.Realistically, if a foreigner has the capital, the building falls under the 70% foreign ownership threshold and the apartment is not on the ground floor, there is no real reason for purchasing a condominium on a Purchase – Leasehold basis.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by:
Buying a condominium off the plan
Buying a condominium off the plan
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
Foreigners are 100% eligible to own a freehold condominium in Cambodia under certain conditions.The Cambodian Foreign Ownership Property Laws (legislation passed in 2010), allow foreigners to buy and own properties in Cambodia on the 1st floor or higher of a condominium. The property must possess a strata title and cannot exceed 70% foreign ownership.What does "off the plan" buying mean?Off the plan purchasing is literally what it sounds like. You are purchasing the condominium (condo) prior to its construction based on its design and construction plans. You sign a contract that reflects the agreed price of the condo as per the architectural specifications, any additions or changes you require. Generally, a deposit is required, (the amount of deposit is at the developer’s discretion and can be as high as 50 percent of the purchase price, or even higher), with the payment of these funds made by installments based on construction milestones set by the developer.Investors should develop an in-depth understanding of the installment payment plan triggered by construction stage milestones. These milestones may be based on various different construction stages. Some maybe a simple percentage of completion calculation or reliant on certain physical construction stages being met, such as floor topping of your level, electrical installation, certification of plumbing, etc. Unscrupulous developers may call for payments on milestones that have not been achieved. It is important to ensure investors have independent, suitably qualified advisors to monitor this process.When the building is finished, the developer hands you the keys to your new condo! Be certain to ensure there is a warranty and defects period included in your contract, identifying what is covered under warranty and a clear defect rectification process is in place, including contact details of the party responsible for addressing defects.What’s the advantage of buying off the plan?By purchasing at the development stage, buyers have the opportunity to select condos with the best locations, or prime units, in the development. Obviously, as the development progresses the availability of these prime units decreases.Buying off the plan offers you the flexibility to customise your condo within the limits of construction design. Whether you want to change the floor plan, surface treatments, lighting etc, these changes are easily achieved and are markedly less expensive during development.Off the plan discounts.Developers have loans to service and construction costs to cover. The more pre-launch sales deposits they receive, the better. This motivates the sales team to offer discounts on the purchase price, particularly if the market slows during the construction period. Many developers now offer rental guarantees to potential investors as enticement. These guarantees are traditionally based on a percentage return on investment.Historically, there have been occasions when off the plan buyers have seen substantial capital growth in their investment compared to purchasers who invest post-construction. Investors and speculators find this compelling, however, it is wise to consider that due to oversupply or global financial issues, the opposite can occur.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by:
Tips to save money for your first house in Cambodia
Tips to save money for your first house in Cambodia
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
(Being in your 20s and even your 30s affords you so much time and opportunity to earn that you might not have later on in life. It’s also the best time to start saving money for your first home investment. Image Supplied)If you’re under the age of 30, working a decent job, and don’t have a home to call your own, then it’s the perfect time to save for your first house. Cambodia’s property selection, especially in Phnom Penh, are plentiful, and in a few years’ time, you’ll practically be swimming in borey/condominium choices!At the back of your head, you might be saying “But I’m young! I want to see the world and experience new things!” or “Have you seen the prices? They’re so expensive!”. While both are popular concerns, they’re also not as serious as you might initially believe.Why you should start saving for a home while in your 20sBeing in your 20s is probably one of the best times to start saving. Unfortunately, youth is often wasted on the young. Most young working adults spend their money on travelling and expensive food/services - thinking they’ve worked for this, why shouldn’t they spend it?And that’s where the problem lies. Being in your 20s affords you so much time and opportunity to earn that you will not have (to the same degree) in your 30s and 40s. Setting some money aside, especially in your early 20s, will give you a big advantage once you eventually realise the value of owning a home. As the saying goes, “The early bird gets the worm”. The money you should set aside on a regular basis doesn’t have to be big either! By cutting down on things you spend every day or every-now-and-then, you’ll eventually accrue enough savings to consider getting a downpayment.We’re not saying you should completely stop spending on the fun things in life (though if applicable, do it!), but you can definitely compromise on their frequency for the sake of your future home security.Tips to save money every day, every week, every monthLimit the international travel(Carefully selecting and limiting your international travel is a great way to save money. Photo by Economytraveller.com)You’re young and the world is your oyster. But much like the pearl in it, it can get really expensive. If you have a knack for travelling abroad multiple times a year, you might wanna cut that down to once or twice per year, at most.International ticket fares cost no less than $200 USD (return flight included). Of course, airfare tickets aren’t the only thing you’ll be spending on. Depending on how long you’re staying and what you’re gonna be doing, you could budget anywhere from $300 USD to $1,000 USD for accommodation, food, souvenirs, and activities.You’ll be saving around $500 USD per year at least simply by holding off on that trip. We know cutting down on this expense can be a pain for the travel bug in you. But these are substantial amounts you could be saving for a real estate property you can call your own!Limit the expensive restaurants(Good burgers like this can cost upwards of $10 USD per serving in Phnom Penh. Photo by Timothy O’Toole)Cambodia, especially Phnom Penh, is home to a lot of good food! The capital city hosts a multitude of cultures offering their cuisines alongside local Khmer favourites. But as the market for good food grows, so do their accompanying price tags.The best meals are often among the expensive - easily ranging from $20 USD to $100 USD per meal. If you like to spend above $10 USD or more per meal, that means you’re spending around $20-30 USD per day on food. That amounts to around $600-900 USD on food every month, which is a lot!You can scale back on expenses by opting for cheaper (and often better value) food options, or plan your grocery shopping and cook from home more often. Since Phnom Penh is filled with superb food options, good eats can cost as little as $3-5 USD per meal.Food expense breakdownCost per meal (USD)Frequency per dayTotal cost per day (USD)Total cost per month (USD)103309005315450You could save around $450 USD (or more) per month or $5,400 USD per year simply by opting to eat meals at more modest places. Let’s not forget that you can save more money if you know how to cook! And if you don’t know how to cook, it’s a damn good life skill to have, so you better learn.Learn to say “No” to expensive activities/outings(Saying “No” can be good for your wallet and your eventual downpayment for your very own home. Photo by LostPlate.com)We love our friends and family. But constantly saying “Yes” to whatever and wherever they want to do or go can hurt your savings! It’s quite difficult to put a value on activities as these vary wildly. But for the sake of discussion, let’s assume some financial implications:Let’s say you’re spending $40 USD on outings every weekend - and that’s on top of your food expenses such as drinks, movies, transportation, or whatever is trending. If you go out every weekend (4x month) that could be an additional $160 USD of monthly expenses.Activity/Outing cost per monthTotal activity cost per weekend (USD)Frequency per monthTotal cost per month (USD)40416040280Again, activity/outing costs vary wildly. But one thing is for sure: going out every weekend is a bad idea if you’re planning to save money for a future project like owning your very own home.Skip the expensive coffee(Cutting down on your daily coffee can add up to significant savings at the end of the year. Photo by Discover Cambodia)At the risk of being chased out of Phnom Penh with pitchforks and lit torches, we have to say frequent consumption of expensive coffee can be bad for your savings! Let’s crunch some numbers.Cost breakdown of buying coffee per monthCost per branded coffee (USD)Frequency per dayTotal cost per day (USD)Frequency of days buying coffeeTotal cost per month (USD)2.525301502.512.52050You could be spending up to $150 USD per month if you’re spending $2.50 USD per serving of coffee and buying twice a day. Cutting this down to effectively half (in terms of frequency) can save you an additional $100 USD per month or $1,200 USD per year!We understand that this is going to be a tall order for a country that loves its caffeine. But constantly consuming coffee - multiple times a day - can slow down the progress of your savings.If you are looking to treat yourself to one excellent coffee, try out these cafes in Phnom Penh.Track your daily/weekly/monthly expenses(Tracking your regular expenses can you better insight into your spending habits - and know where to save. Photo by Review Geek)Listing down what you spend isn’t a bad thing, it's a smart thing to do to keep you in track! It will provide you with insights into your spending habits. Here are a few questions you can answer by tracking your regular expenses:What am I spending on?How much am I spending on it?How often do I spend on it?Answering the questions above will give you a picture of your spending habits and eventually help you decide on how best to maximise your savings with these questions:How come I’m not able to save any money?Do I really need to spend on this?Can I limit how much I’m spending on this?Knowing your spending habits goes beyond being able to save money, it can actually give you a picture of what your priorities are! Hence, why big companies today are invested in acquiring the financial data of consumers. But that’s a discussion for another day.Curious about home loan options in Cambodia?.Create a separate bank account specifically for savings(Banks like ABA offer convenient ways to create a savings account. Something you’ll need for any savings goal you may have. Photo by ABA)As my mom always says, “Save first and spend what’s left”. Banks like ABA allow you to make a separate bank account easily through your mobile device. Whenever you receive your salary or have money coming your way, we suggest saving a portion first before spending any of it, not the other way around!How much you need to save is entirely up to you as you know your needs best. A piece of good advice on knowing much to set aside is to “save money until it hurts”. This means you should set aside money right away and leave enough to meet your regular necessities. For the sake of putting a figure on it, this could range anywhere from saving 25% to 30% of whatever funds come your way.And remember, do not touch your savings unless it’s absolutely necessary!Read more in our ultimate guide to banking for foreigners in Cambodia.“Save money, it will be worth it”You may have already heard this several times from your elders, and it’s a cliché, we know. But you’ll soon realise that it’s cliché because it’s true.Cutting down on daily comforts will be difficult at first, and the temptation to indulge yourself will be alluring for sure, but trust us when we say it will pay off in the end. Owning a home is the best form of security you can give yourself, and quite frankly, you owe it to yourself to secure your future.So, the next time you’re thinking of buying your 3rd coffee at 5pm in the afternoon, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?”.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by:
Independence Monument in Phnom Penh Cambodia
Living in Cambodia: Expat guide 2022
June 7, 2022, 7:01 a.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
Want to start living in the Kingdom of Wonder? It is one of the best places in Asia to live as an expat. Over 100,000 expats are currently residing here, and life is good! To help you, Realestate.com.kh has put together a definitive Cambodia expat guide.We’ll take you on a complete tour with this guide, include quotes from long-time expats, and even give you some Khmer language phrases to go with each section.ContentsCambodia basicsMoving to Cambodia: What to expectCost of living in CambodiaCambodian visas for expatsCambodian living conditions for expatsBest place to live in CambodiaHow many expats are there in Cambodia?Getting around CambodiaShopping for groceries in CambodiaJobs for expats in CambodiaCambodia basicsBefore you come to Cambodia, it’s good to know a little background information. We’ve got you covered. Consider the following section to be your crash course on where Cambodia is, its history, religion, government and language.Where is Cambodia?Cambodia is in Southeast Asia. On a map, it sits between Thailand and Vietnam and below Laos. Cambodia’s southern coast is off the Gulf of Thailand. Cambodia historyThe Khmer Empire of 800 to 1300 AD encompassed most of Southeast Asia. A great legacy of this era is the Angkor Wat temples in Siem Reap. This site is one of the most significant religious monuments in the world.From 1867 to 1953 Cambodia was a “protectorate” in the area known as French Indochina. This area also included most of Vietnam and Laos. Cambodia is still profoundly influenced by France’s legacy.The other most well-known period of Khmer history is the infamous Khmer Rouge era. This ultra-Maoist regime, led by Pol Pot, ruled the country from 1975 to 1979. During their brief time in power, the Khmer Rouge committed one of the worst genocides the world has ever seen. Nearly two million people were killed, or almost a quarter of the country’s population.Religion in CambodiaRoughly 97% of Cambodia’s population practices Theravada Buddhism, the official state religion. However, the influence of the country’s Hindu past can still be felt, especially at historic sites. Around 2% of the population belong to the Cham ethnic group who practice Islam. In addition to small groups of Christians in the country, there are also many ethnic-religious groups in the north.Cambodia’s governmentCambodia is, by definition, a constitutional monarchy. The King’s power is mostly symbolic. In practice, Cambodia is a parliamentary democracy. Norodom Sihamoni is the current King of Cambodia. Hun Sen, the current prime minister, has presided over the National Assembly since 1985. His Cambodia People’s Party won re-election in July of 2018 for another five-year term.What language do they speak in Cambodia?Khmer is the official language of Cambodia. It is in the same language family as Vietnamese. However, unlike its cousin, which in the recent past converted to use the Latin alphabet, Khmer still uses a unique alphabet.Basic English is widely spoken in Cambodia, and Mandarin Chinese is gaining momentum. Nonetheless, many foreigners coming to Cambodia learn at least a few simple phrases in Khmer.  Key Khmer phrases: Hello (formal) - jum riab sua Hello (informal) – suos deiCambodia- KompucheaKhmer language – paisa KhmaiYes (male speaker) - batYes (female speaker) - jaaNo – ot teiBack to top  Moving to Cambodia: What to expectNow that you know a little bit about the country, it’s time to layout your plan for moving to Cambodia. Living in a new country can be disorienting at first. Chances are, you’re moving to Cambodia from a country with a different culture. The following section is a practical guide to everything you’ll need before moving to Cambodia. What to pack for CambodiaYou might be tempted to bring a couple of huge suitcases or backpacks when you are moving to Cambodia. Sure, it’s good to be prepared. But don’t go overboard. Cambodia is a country with tons of cheap consumer goods. For example, you can buy a t-shirt here for a couple of dollars. So don’t stress too much about what to bring. If you are concerned, there are many Facebook Groups created by expats living in Cambodia, some are for specific nationalities and discuss specific items they miss from their home country or discuss what items they might bring to the Kingdom.Weather in CambodiaCambodia is hot all year. However, there is a rainy season and a dry season. December to April is considered the dry season. The worst heat comes near the end of this period, just before the rains start to cool everything off in May. September and October are the peak rainy months. The heat can be sweltering in Cambodia. In the middle of the day, it can hit 40C+ (104F). Even in the coldest months of the year, it stays around 30C! Make sure you're a lover of the heat if you’re moving to Cambodia. Here’s the current weather in Phnom Penh:The currency in CambodiaCambodia uses both the US dollar and the Cambodia Riel. The exchange rate is 4,000 Riel to 1 USD, and there are no coins. More and more places are accepting credit cards and digital payments, but cash is still the default currency in Cambodia. The situation surrounding the currency in Cambodia is a bit peculiar. People tend to use USD for larger payments. However, vendors are very particular about the condition of bills. A $100 or $50 bill with a small tear will be refused. Riel, on the other hand, is generally used for smaller amounts. They come in denominations between 100 riels and 50,000 riels.Since 2019 however, the National Bank of Cambodia has been pushing for the de-dollarisation which has been supported by businesses. NBC also launched Bakong, a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and encourage more digital payments since the global pandemic started in 2020.ATMs are ubiquitous in the city, so it’s usually not hard to get cash from your international bank account.Wall outlets in CambodiaThankfully, most buildings in Cambodia have wall sockets that accept Type A, Type C and Type G plugs. No matter whether you’re coming from the US, Europe, UK, Australia, or South America, you won’t need adapters. Even if you do, they are readily available. Anything between 220V and 240V is ok here.Can you drink Cambodian water?Tap water in Cambodia’s bigger cities should be safe to drink. However, plumbing rules are spotty, so most people drink bottled or filtered water. Municipal water is safe for washing and brushing your teeth.In rural Cambodia, most people still collect rainwater for daily use. It’s best to stick to bottled water in this case. Phone service and Wi-Fi in CambodiaCambodia has some of the best Wi-Fi coverage in Southeast Asia. In the bigger cities, every restaurant, guesthouse, and hotel will have it often for free.Mobile service is also, generally speaking, excellent. The leading providers are Cellcard, Smart, and Metfone. You can buy sim cards on every corner (you will need to present your passport), and data plans cost less than $3 a week.Key Khmer phrases: Money - louyPhone - touresapHot - kdauCold - rongeaRain - pliangPants- khaoShirt- auBack to top  Cost of living in CambodiaThe cost of living in Cambodia is quite low. However, it all depends on your lifestyle. The three main expenses while living here will probably be rent, food, and entertainment. Let’s break them down one by one:Rent costs in CambodiaRent fees can vary widely depending on where you live, what type of housing and whether or not you have roommates. You can get a place for as little as $150 per month in a shared apartment, or as much as $500 per month in a luxury building. On average, expect to pay between $300 and $500 per month for each bedroom. Our site has thousands of listings of apartments for rent in Phnom Penh from $300 to $500.You can rent authentically Cambodian digs for less than $300 per month.Western-style luxury apartments, called serviced apartments, are excellent. You can find them for $500-$2,000 per month. These usually come fully furnished and the buildings host pools, gyms and security. We’ve also got you covered here. Start browsing to find a condo for rent in Phnom Penh.You can track the price trends using our Cambodia Real Estate Trends tool.The official rate for electricity is 720 riel per kWh. However, many landlords will round this up to $0.25 for large buildings. The city's official water rate for residential spaces is between 550 and 1,270 riels per cubic metre. You should be paying between $20 to $60 per month for internet. If you pay for cleaning, you should look to spend from $30 to $100 a month, depending on the frequency.Food costs in CambodiaYou can find food for as little as $1.50 per meal. Cheap eats can be located on almost every street corner in urban centres. This dining is bare-bones, however. You’ll probably be outside on a plastic chair and with some covering. A mid-priced restaurant meal for two is approximately $15-20. There are more and more places in this range popping up in the cities and the quality of food and the range of cuisine can be excellent. Some expats in Cambodia eat out almost every meal. Others choose to buy groceries and cook at home. Food delivery apps and home grocery deliveries have also improved massively. Skip down to read more about buying groceries in Cambodia. On average most people spend between $200 and $500 on food every month.Cost of entertainment in CambodiaCambodia is still a developing country. But in the city, there are more and more modern amenities being developed. Shopping centres are some of the hottest destinations in the capital. The most prominent malls in Phnom Penh are Aeon Mall, Exchange Square, Sorya Centre Point, City Mall and Aeon Sen Sok. But there are dozens more planned in the capital alone. Most of these malls host cinemas, restaurants, arcade games, bowling and other forms of entertainment.Nightclubs and bars are also popular venues for expats to spend their time on the weekends. These tend to be in the central part of the city, near popular expat neighbourhoods. Pools are also popular places to hang out during the day. Check out our list of all Phnom Penh pools open to the public.Taking short trips around the country is a popular activity for many living in Cambodia. Since prices are lower in rural areas, you can often head away for an extended weekend for less than $200. Popular destinations include Kep, Kampot, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap and Mondulkiri.The final cost of living can be as low as $600 per month or up to $2,000 per month - it really depends on personal choice and budgets.Key Khmer phrases: Watch a movie - mul konSwimming - hael tukDance - roamDrink - pukCoffeeshop - haang cafeGo on a trip - dal leng Back to top  Cambodian visas for expatsGetting a visa in Cambodia is pretty straightforward. Most people show up and get one on arrival. But Cambodian visas for expats can cover a few different types. Read through the following section to learn about the visa that is right for you.Cambodia airportsThere are international airports in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. If you’re coming from far away, you will usually arrive by way of another regional hub like Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok or Taipei. Cambodia’s airports are quite small, but that means getting in and out is simple. That said, more and more flights are being added each year as the number of tourist arrivals increase. As far as baggage and security, Cambodia airports are generally the same as any other country. The main airports also have seen several upgrades and new airports are being developed in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Koh Kong.Crossing the border into CambodiaCambodia officially has 15 border crossings. There are eight with Vietnam, six with Thailand and one with Laos. The majority of traffic to Thailand passes through the crossing at Poipet. Most buses going between Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Cambodia cross at Bavet. Meanwhile, any passage to Laos goes through the crossing in Stung Treng.Cambodia visas for expatsCambodia usually does visas on arrival*. This means you’ll get them when you land at the airport or cross the border. All you’ll need are your passport and a passport size photograph. If you don’t have a photo, they will charge you $2 to scan the one in your passport. Most people arriving in Cambodia get either a T (tourist) visa or an E (ordinary) visa. E visa does not mean an electronic visa!There are a couple of other types of visas, such as B-type for NGO workers and K-type for foreign-born Khmer, but most people get T or E visas. These are both valid for 30 days. The T visa costs $30, and the E visa cost $35.Note: You can only extend the T visa once. You can get an additional 30 days for $45. Any travel agency can facilitate this in a few days. However, after that, you must leave the country and re-enter if you want to stay longer. E visas, on the other hand, are the better option if you plan to stay long term. You can extend E visas indefinitely. There are four types of extensions:EB for those with jobs in CambodiaEG for those looking for a jobER for those who want to retire in CambodiaES for studentsYou can get extensions that last one, three, six, or 12 months. The six and 12-month extensions are for multiple entries. Paying for one year gets you the best deal. It costs just under $300. Sounds expensive, but if you overstay your visa, you’ll have to pay $10 per day.*(Please note that since the COVID-19 pandemic, the visa situation has changed several times and it's best to visit the official Cambodian government websites' and embassy announcements for updates).Key Khmer phrases: Airplane – yun hauDay – tingaiOne – muoyTwo – bpiThree – beyFour – buonFive – bpramSix – bpram muoyTen – dop100 – muoy roi1,000 – muoy bpoanBack to top  Cambodian living conditions for expatsThere’s a reason that expats are attracted to the country: Cambodian living conditions for expats is pretty low-key. Cambodia is a developing country. Life moves at a slower pace, in general. But living conditions are still good, depending on how much you want to pay. The following section will take you through all the significant types of housing for expats in Cambodia. It will also give you instructions on how to find an agent and what to expect about Cambodian living conditions for expats.Types of expat housing in CambodiaChoosing what type of accommodation you want to live in is a big choice in Cambodia. If you’re only planning to stay for a short time, try getting a monthly rate at a guesthouse or hotel. Often, there will be a slight discount. If you’re on a budget, living in a shophouse is the way to go. These are the long, narrow buildings that often have shops and stores on the ground floor. Rent out an upper level with one or two friends, and you could pay as little as $150 per month. Dedicated apartment buildings are becoming more popular in Cambodia. Most come fully furnished and are more or less what you’d find in any other big city. They usually have one or two bedrooms and go for between $300 and $700 per month depending on the location. We have a massive list of expat rentals in Phnom Penh that you can start browsing right now.Serviced apartments are apartments decked out with luxury amenities. They have gyms, pools, and housekeeping service. They come in a range of sizes and can cost more than $1,500 per month. Most are in Phnom Penh, but you will find a few in Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.Villas are freestanding houses that can have between three and 10 bedrooms. Most span two or three floors, have a parking area, and some even have pools. People can use these as residences or businesses. Prices vary widely. But you can scope them all out now and find the perfect villa for rent in Phnom Penh.Hiring an agent, signing a lease in CambodiaIf you’re new to Cambodia, using a real estate agent is probably the best way to find your perfect property. Here most agents get paid a commission by the building owner, so there’s no extra cost to you. Just tell them what you’re looking for, and they’ll even arrange transportation to all of the viewings.If you hire an agent, they can also help negotiate the rental price. Usually, you can get them to reduce the rate a bit. After all, many apartments in the big cities sit empty.Make sure you get an English copy of the lease agreement, and you understand it before you sign. Usually, leases are for six months or a year. Deposits shouldn’t be any more than one month’s rent, electricity should be $0.25 per kWh or less, and water should be less than $0.50 per cubic metre.You can check our guide to pre-agreement considerations for renting in Cambodia for additional tips!Key Khmer phrases:House – pteaCity – tikrongProvince – khaetBathroom – bantub teukBedroom – bantub geengFloor___ - joan ti ________Door – tveaBack to top  Best place to live in CambodiaMost foreigners coming to Cambodia live in one of the three major cities; Phnom Penh, Siem Reap or Sihanoukville. There are a few smaller cities that attract both tourists and long-term visitors. Kampot, Kep, Battambang and Koh Kong are also popular.Finding the best place to live in Cambodia is all about what you want. Do you want to be near the beach? Near the amenities of the city? If you like having some luxuries, Phnom Penh is probably the best place to live in Cambodia. However, if you want nature and art, Siem Reap is probably the place for you.Are you looking to chill? If so, maybe choose Kampot or Kep. One of those towns is the best place to live in Cambodia for expats looking for a chill life with a cool sea breeze.Expat districts of Phnom PenhGenerally, expats in Cambodia live near the centre of their respective cities. In Phnom Penh, BKK1 is probably the most popular expat area, along with BKK2, BKK3, Toul Tum Poung 1 (Russian Market) and Tonle Bassac.BKK 1 and 2 are more upscale, with more amenities explicitly geared towards foreigners. Real estate for rent in BKK 1 can be a bit more expensive because of all the amenities. BKK1 is the best place to live in Cambodia if you are a Starbucks addict. If you want to learn more about the area, read our ultimate guide to BKK1. Or, watch this video that counts the top three reasons why expats love BKK1:BKK 3 and Toul Tum Poung 1 (Russian Market) both offer an attractive mix of western and local shops. Real estate for rent in Toul Tum Poung 1 tends to be more local-style. But you’ll find some great affordable places. If you love chill vibes, this is probably the best place to live in Cambodia.The Riverside area is popular with tourists and has many bars and nightclubs. It is, perhaps, less family-friendly than the other neighbourhoods, but it’s one of the best places to live in Cambodia if you love the nightlife. Our listings for real estate for rent in Daun Penh have tons of apartments right off the river. Find yours!More recently, Tuol Kork is a neighbourhood about 30 minutes out of the city centre that is increasingly attracting expats. Just like other large cities, commuting to a suburb outside the densely developed downtown area is an excellent way to find places renting for much less money. Start looking at the prices of real estate for rent in Toul Kork. Or, if you want to learn more, read the ultimate guide to Toul Kork to get more information about this marvelous area.Where to stay in Siem ReapIn Siem Reap, Wat Bo and Sala Kamreuk are two of the most popular areas for expats to live in. Here the primary industry is tourism, but many expats also come to work in the NGO sector. Do you have a heart of gold and a soft spot for ancient architecture?If yes, this is the best place to live in Cambodia for you. Find your accommodations right now at our page of real estate for rent in Siem Reap.Where to stay in SihanoukvilleDown south in Sihanoukville, many expats used to live near Victory Beach and ner Otres Beach. Over recent years, Sihanoukville has been undergoing massive changes and is now seeing brand new infrastructure, roads, refurbished sidewalks and beachside pathways as well as many new condos, hotels and grand mixed developments.  Many people opt for apartments in these new developments.Sihanoukville is the best place to live in Cambodia if you enjoy the seaside. Real estate for rent in Sihanoukville is also undergoing massive changes and prices are on the rise because of the city’s growth. You can easily find a deal on our listings page.Key Khmer phrases:To go -MovLet’s go - tosBeach - sa motCity - tikrongCommune - sangkatDistrict - khanBack to top  How many expats are there in Cambodia?It’s hard to say for sure exactly how many expats there are in Cambodia. Currently, between 150,000 and 200,000 foreigners live in Cambodia. In 2018, the government said that the total number of expats in Cambodia was 160,000, and with the introduction of the FPCS (Foreigners Present in Cambodia System) app in 2020, nearly 160,000 foreigners from 183 countries were recorded as living in Cambodia.Asian and Western expats in CambodiaExpats from Asian countries make up most of the expats in Cambodia. These include Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Malaysian, Indian, Indonesian, Korean, Japanese and Filipino.There are also plenty of Western expats in Cambodia. Most are French, British, Australian and American. However, many other European expats also live here. Retiring to CambodiaCambodia is consistently in the top 20 on InternationalLiving.com’s yearly index of best countries for retirement. Retiring in developing economies is becoming a global trend among heaps of expats.Meanwhile, the government has released plans to increase Cambodia’s attractiveness as a destination for foreign retirees. The proposed policies would give retirees the right to buy, rent or sell a property.For more info about retirement in the Kingdom, read our guide to retirement in Cambodia.Cambodia is expat-friendlyCambodia consistently ranks in the top five for most expat-friendly nations in the world. The local population is helpful and kind. Making friends is easy here. In less than a month, you'll probably be invited to a Cambodian wedding!It is easy to make friends with both locals and expats. Becoming friends with coworkers is very common. Many offices have football teams or go out drinking together. To meet other expats, you can visit one of the many expat-geared bars or join an activity group. Dodgeball, volleyball, rugby, and badminton are a few common sports that have leagues around town.Key Khmer phrases:Foreigner - bora teyExpat  - barang (literal translation means “French” but often used for all expats)“I come from…” – knyom mau bpiSports - keilaPlay - lengChinese - chenJapan - japonEnglish - angleAustralian - australiAmerican - americkBack to top  Getting around CambodiaGetting around Cambodia can be tricky for the uninitiated. Traffic is a bit disorganised, but paying for transport is generally cheap and easy to find. Most expats use tuk-tuks or autorickshaws for getting around the cities in Cambodia. Ride-hailing apps are convenient because the price is fixed, and it’s easy to map your route. On the other hand, some expats buy motorbikes or cars of their own to make getting around Cambodia more convenient. The following section will walk you through all these options for getting around.Cambodian tuk-tuks, taxis and ride-hailing appsMost foreigners will catch rides around the area in tuk-tuks, autorickshaws or taxis. Tuk-tuks are the carriages pulled by small motorbikes. They can usually fit up to four people. Don’t worry about finding them, if you’re in a busy area, they will find you! Going across a city like Phnom Penh via tuk-tuk should cost around $5 at the maximum. Shorter trips within the city will be less - for reference, trips around 2km are a little over $1 (4,400 KHR to 4,600 KHR).Ride-hailing apps are growing more popular every day for getting around Cambodia. The most significant local player is called PassApp. There’s also Grab, the Southeast Asian version of Uber. You can hail an autorickshaw for two or three people, or pay a bit more for a car. Buses and trains in CambodiaIf you’re travelling a longer distance, say from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville, there are a few options open to you. Of course, you could take an aeroplane. Flights are fairly cheap if you manage to get a promotion for domestic flights. If you want to save a few bucks, however, the bus, train or minivan might be better.There are tons of companies that run coach buses between all areas of Cambodia. Some are more comfortable than others. Giant Ibis is one of the more reputable names. The revamped train service between Phnom Penh, Kampot, and Sihanoukville costs $4 to go from the capital to Kampot or $7 to go to Sihanoukville. Buying a car or motorbike in CambodiaSome foreigners coming to Cambodia want to buy motorcycles or cars. Luckily, you don’t need a licence to drive bikes smaller than 125cc. Always wear a helmet and make sure you can handle Cambodian traffic before driving.To drive a car, you’ll need to get a special permit for Cambodia. Thankfully, there is a driver’s licence centre in Aeon 2 where you can apply for a permit. Just bring the driver’s licence for your home country, two passport photos, a visa and 30,000 riels for the fee.Key Khmer phrases: Motorbike – motoTurn right – bat sdamTurn left – bat chvengGo straight – tov trongCar – laanBus – laan krongTrain – roteh plungRoad – phlauv Back to top  Shopping for groceries in CambodiaAfter arriving, you’ll need some food. Fortunately, Cambodia has a great variety of food. As you’ll see, it’s quite cheap to eat out, so some choose to go to restaurants almost every day. Others prefer shopping for groceries in Cambodia and cooking on their own.While you’re shopping for groceries in Cambodia, you have to keep a few things in mind. Imported foods are going to be expensive. On the other hand, local produce is guaranteed to be fresh and natural as there aren’t massive factory farms like in more industrialized countries. This section will walk you through the steps to take when shopping for groceries in Cambodia. It will also tell you about restaurant etiquette, tipping, drinking culture and the types of cuisine in Cambodia.Grocery stores and markets in CambodiaIf you want to cook at home, there are plenty of places to buy food and ingredients. The cheapest option is to go to a local wet market. Markets can be tricky, but with a bit of Khmer language and some bargaining skills, you can come out on top. International-style grocery stores are growing in popularity. So are small convenience stores that sell dry goods. There’s Lucky, Thai Huot and Super Duper as well as Aeon Maxvalu Express, Circle K and Kiwi Mart (with 7-Eleven due to open in 2021). Prices are more expensive, but they also have imported goods. More international and regional brands are also entering the market.Unsurprisingly, they are more readily available in some of the same neighbourhoods where expats tend to concentrate in the cities, such as BKK 1 and 2 or the Russian Market in Phnom Penh. Do you tip in Cambodian restaurants?Eating out at restaurants is very common in the Kingdom. Nearly every cuisine and price point is covered. Usually, the waitstaff can speak some English, but when in doubt just use the menu to point.Tipping is generally not practised in Cambodia except in upscale restaurants. Even in that case, service fees will often be added. If you want to tip, leaving a few extra dollars is fine. Service can be a bit lax compared to what you’re used to in restaurants in Western countries. Don’t feel bad about waving down a waiter if you need something. That’s just the way it works.Drinking culture in CambodiaThe drinking culture is quite widespread in Cambodia. Bars serve almost everything, but beer is the most popular drink for locals. The big names are Angkor, Anchor (pronounced ann-chore), Cambodia, Ganzberg and Tiger.You can also find wine shops and craft beers which are on the rise. Many bars and restaurants will serve you cocktails and specialist bars for whiskies, cocktails and other beverages are increasing in popularity. Happy Hour often means alcoholic beverages such as cocktails can be half price, and quite often happy hours run for several hours. Cafes in CambodiaCoffee culture is a rapidly growing part of Cambodian society. The younger generation loves to drink coffee and hang out at the many cafes in the city. Read our list of the top 10 cafes in Phnom Penh to learn more.What to eat in Cambodia Cambodian food shares some similarities with cuisines from neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam. However, it has many dishes of its own. In general, every meal comes with steamed white rice or fried rice. Fresh vegetables are common ingredients, as are lemongrass, lime, black pepper and herbs.One of the most famous, or infamous, food in Cambodia is prahok, or fermented fish. Fish is one of the most common proteins in the country. It can be found grilled, boiled, fried and everything in between. Chicken, beef, pork, duck and seafood are all common as well.Noodle soup is one of the most traditional breakfasts in Cambodia. Kuy teav is comparable to Phở in Vietnam and features rice vermicelli and beef. Pork with egg and rice is another popular breakfast, think of it as a version of bacon and eggs. Rice porridge is another popular dish, but people eat it at any time of day.Num bahn chok is another signature noodle dish; this one is noodles served in curry. It can be eaten hot or cold and with your choice of meat. In general, food in Cambodia isn’t as spicy as Thai food. But chili sauce is always available for heat lovers.If you’re looking for something quick and easy, many street vendors sell nompang or sandwiches. These are nearly identical to the famous Bánh mì of Vietnam. There are also vendors who sell all manner of fried noodles, fried rice or spring rolls.If you're feeling adventurous, try pong tea kon, known elsewhere as balut, which is duck/chicken fetus. Also, give durian a try, or even fried crickets, which are a typical snack while drinking beer.Key Khmer phrases: Food – mhobChicken – sach moanPork – sach chroukBeef – sach koFish – sach treyVegetable – bun leyFruit – plech cheu“Can I pay the bill?” – Som kut luyBeer – bee yahCheers – chul muyBack to top  Jobs for expats in CambodiaFinding jobs for expats in Cambodia can seem complicated. But several key industries are keen to hire those already in the country or ready to relocate. Most expats in Phnom Penh make anywhere from $12,000 to $60,000 per year. They work at NGOs, or in hospitality, tourism, education, tech or business. Some are hired to come here. Others choose to show up and look for work. Merely showing up is not as crazy as it might sound.The two most popular Cambodian job sites are BongThom.com and HRinc. You can also look to targeted Facebook groups to find out about jobs for expats in Cambodia.Teaching jobs in CambodiaThe first thing that many foreigners think of is English teaching. Lots of schools want to hire native English speakers to teach their students. Additionally, tons of tutoring gigs are available both for the English and Chinese languages. To help in your search, look through our complete list of Phnom Penh international schools and universities. NGO Jobs in CambodiaAnother important sector for expats is the NGO arena. Many foreign-backed non-profit organisations hire for a multitude of positions. There are also tons of international companies that hire foreigners. Many specifically target English or Chinese speakers.Start your own business in CambodiaMany people come to Cambodia to start their own business. Overhead is low, and the market is growing fast. Many choose to open bars, restaurants, guesthouses or tour companies. There is also a growing market for tech companies. For more information about starting your own business, read our guide to starting a business in Cambodia. Salary in CambodiaThe next big question is about money: How much can foreigners make while working in Cambodia. The answer varies a ton. Expat salaries can range from $800 to over $4,000 per month. Keep in mind that the cost of living here is much lower than what you’re used to, and the average salary for locals is less than $300 per month.Foreigners’ salaries are taxed at 15% by the state through payroll. Most employers will use specific banks and have direct deposit set up for all workers. The big banks in Cambodia are ABA Bank, Acleda Bank, Satthapana Bank, FTB Bank, Canadia Bank, ANZ Bank and many others. Most of these banks have numerous branches and ATMs throughout big cities.You can check out guide to banking for foreigners in Cambodia for more information.National holidays in CambodiaUntil recently, Cambodia had the highest number of national holidays in the world, spanning 28 days of the year. These have been reduced to 21 starting in 2022. These are the official holidays for Cambodia in 2022:January 1 New Year’s Day (Saturday)January 7 Victory over Genocide Day (Friday)March 8 International Women’s Day (Tuesday)April 14, 15, 16 Khmer New Year (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)May 1 International Labor Day (Sunday)May 14 The Royal Birthday of His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia (Saturday)May 15 Vesak Bochea Festival (Sunday)May 19 Royal Plowing Ceremony (Thursday)June 18 Royal Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, the Queen Mother of Cambodia (Saturday)September 24 Constitution Day (Saturday)September 24, 25, 26 Pchum Ben Festival (Saturday, Sunday, Monday)October 15 Day in Honor of the Late King Norodom Sihanouk, His Majesty the King Father (Saturday)October 29 Royal Ceremony of His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, King of the Kingdom of Cambodia (Saturday)November 7, 8, 9 Royal Water Festival (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)November 9 National Independence Day (Wednesday)Medical care in CambodiaHealthcare in Cambodia doesn’t always get the best reputation. Many suggest going to Thailand for any significant issues. There are many clinics, hospitals, and dental facilities, however, that do offer high-quality healthcare.Refer to our guide to medical facilities in Cambodia to see all the best hospitals, clinics, and dental facilities. Key Khmer phrases:Work – twerkaCompany – krom hunOrganisation – angkarHoliday – tingai somrakSalary – brak kaiBank – thnia kearHospital – monti bpetDoctor – bpetDentist – bpet tmin  Back to top Expat life in CambodiaExpat life in Cambodia might not be for everyone. If you crave a unique experience in one of the most exciting parts of the world, you'll love it here. To be sure, life as an expat in Cambodia can be full of challenges. But the people you'll meet, the sights, sounds and smells you'll experience will be something you will take with you for the rest of your life.We hope you are successful in finding your home in Cambodia. Make sure to come back here for all of your real estate needs and use this page as your guide while navigating life as an expatriate in Cambodia, the Kingdom of Wonder. Looking to buy or rent in Cambodia? Let us help!Article by:
retiree on the beach
The ultimate guide to retiring in Cambodia
June 7, 2022, 6:51 a.m.
Realestate News
Home & Living
Cambodia consistently ranks well on InternationalLiving.com's Annual Global Retirement Index and also has easy to obtain visas for retirees compacted to other ASEAN nations. In the 2019 InternationalLiving.com's Annual Global Retirement Index, Cambodia was named as the 12th best place in the world to retire.  This was the fourth year in a row that the Kingdom held that title.In the 2021 edition, Cambodia again ranked as one of the most affordable destinations to retire and one of the best countries to retire overall. Nine.com.au has also named the Kingdom as one of the best places to retire. Realestate.com.kh provides you with a step-by-step guide for retirement in Cambodia. We'll cover renting, getting a visa, and even how to stay active.Renting when you retire in CambodiaRent, of course, is very affordable in Cambodia. You can get a Western-style apartment for rent in Phnom Penh for as little as $300 per month. That’s in the capital, too. It’s even cheaper in some other popular towns like Kampot, Sihanoukville, Battambang and Siem Reap.For those on a fixed income, it is still possible to live comfortably in the Kingdom. There are serviced apartments that cover nearly every need for you. Most prv]ovide cleaning services, a fitness centre and even a pool. You can find one-bedroom places like this starting at around $500 per month in Phnom Penh.Other options include getting a house for rent in Cambodia, or a condo for rent in Cambodia. These can be a bit more expensive close to city centres and depending on the amenities you ideally want included. Getting a Cambodia retirement visaThe process for visas is pretty straightforward here. There’s even a special category for retirees. When you arrive in the country, make sure you get the regular (E class) visa, and not a tourist visa so you can get the Cambodia retirement visa. After that, you will simply apply for ER (retirement) extensions.Here are the retirement visa requirements:You must be 55 or older.You cannot be employed.You must be able to prove you are retired (with a pension or social security documentation) and have enough funds (bank or retirement fund statements).These extensions can be valid for various lengths up to one year. Prices are similar to working visa extensions which cost around $290 for a full year with multiple entries. Head to any travel agency in town and they can help you with processing.Please note that immigration officials can fine an ER holder working in Cambodia, and potentially issue jail time and deportation if the laws are broken.2019 also saw the introduction of the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) and every expat is required to register on the system.The Cambodian ministry working group was drafting a new law on immigration to manage foreigners in the SEA country but these are yet to be finalised.Where to retire in CambodiaCambodia is chosen by many Western expats for its laid back atmosphere and considerably lower living costs. The most popular place to retire is, of course, in Phnom Penh. It has everything any retiree may want from good food, a variety of entertainment, and sociable company.Vital public and healthcare services are also easily found in Phnom Penh. Given that healthcare is a concern for retirees, we've come up with a comprehensive list of hospitals and clinics in Phnom Penh.Though if a fast modernising city isn't to your liking, Siem Reap or Sihanoukville may be a good choice if you still want some urban comforts. These don't feature the same kind of lifestyle as Phnom Penh but instead, they are busier when it comes to tourists visiting the iconic Angkor Wat Temples or the islands off the southern coast.Siem Reap itself has a growing portfolio of property developments of its own that can keep anyone's retirement interesting. It is more laid back, has excellent food and drink options, nature on its doorstep and a vibrant arts and culture scene.Sihanoukville has undergone major development and the city itself is now sprawling, offers malls, condos and planned gold curses and is the gateway to the beautiful islands.Kampot and Battambang are even more reserved but have become increasingly popular with expats and retirees for the lifestyle.After all, a new world of fun starts at retirement!Buying food while retired in CambodiaWhether you want to cook for yourself or eat at a restaurant, dining in Cambodia is a relatively minor expense but you can also wine and dine at gourmet eateries and five-star hotels.A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will only set you back about $4 in Phnom Penh. Elsewhere in the country prices are even lower.Just for reference, here’s a list of some common groceries, and what their averages prices are in Phnom Penh:A loaf of white bread - $1.75A dozen eggs - $1.60One kilo of chicken - $4.47A litre of milk - $2.27Latte or cappuccino at a cafe - $2.50One bottle of beer - $1.00As you can see, daily life is definitely affordable. If you want to find cheap food, goods and houseware, go to a local wet market. Otherwise, hit a local convenience store or the western-style supermarkets for something more Western, or even the growing number of specialist stores.Brands like Circle K, Super Duper and Aeon Express are growing quickly and expanding in the cities with international brands constantly opening in the Kingdom.Retired? No, staying active in CambodiaIt’s easy to find a productive hobby in Cambodia. If you’re the active type there are clubs for all kinds of sports like tennis, golf or jogging. If you like riding or fixing motorcycles, Cambodia is great. Riding happens all year round!Is humanitarian work more your style? There are plenty of NGOs here that need your help. You could even volunteer and mentor local youngsters but many reputable non-governmental organisations and schools should carry background checks.Travel while being retired. It's the Cambodia way!If you’re a retiree from the West and you’ve decided to settle in Cambodia, chances are you already caught the travel bug. Luckily, the country sits right in the middle of Southeast Asia, one of the most popular tourist regions in the world.Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong and several other countries are just a short plane ride away. Further afield, but still within close reach are China, India, Australia, Japan and South Korea.And, of course, travelling around Cambodia is an adventure in itself. Read more in our expats guide to Cambodia. Healthcare isn't expensive for Cambodia retireesGetting medical treatment in Cambodia can be a mixed bag. There are pros and cons.The positives are:Medication in Cambodia is incredibly affordable. Almost everything is available over the counter.Seeing doctors for routine ailments like the flu or a stomach bug is usually quick and easy.Higher-end clinics and hospitals in Phnom Penh tend to have great doctors who speak fluent English.If you prefer to see a Western doctor there are a handful practising in the Kingdom.There are a few drawbacks, however. This is still a developing country, after all:For serious issues, many people (locals included) opt to visit doctors in Thailand, Vietnam or Singapore. Generally, the level of treatment thee is better, and still quite affordable.Make sure you are getting medication from a reputable pharmacy. Better safe than sorry.We advise anyone living or visiting Cambodia to have the necessary travel and medical insurance.Loving the retired lifestyle in CambodiaAt the end of the day, it all comes down to what makes you happy. Thousands of people choose to retire abroad every year. If Cambodia is the place that makes you happy, that’s where you should be.Realestate.com.kh hopes this guide can be helpful to all the Kingdom’s retirees. Comment below if you’re retired here and have anything to add. And don't forget to browse our listings for real estate for rent in Cambodia. You can start your journey as a retiree today!Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by:
Shrine in Siem Reap
Expat Rental Guide: Siem Reap
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
A majority of Siem Reap’s roads are paved, making it easier for residents to move around. Photo from Khmer Times.Siem Reap is an amazing area of Cambodia filled with history. It’s no surprise that many expats chose to move here when they arrived in the Kingdom. Temples, nature, culture and arts are just a few of the factors that make Temple Town so great.This Expat Rental Guide will help you figure out how to find the best expat rentals in Siem Reap. This guide will also answer the following questions you need to know before signing that rental agreement:How much does it cost to rent in Siem Reap?What’s the best property for an expat to rent in Siem Reap?What should I keep in mind before renting in Siem Reap?Realestate.com.kh is Cambodia’s largest real estate classifieds portal. It is home to over 30,000 (and growing) property listings and works with the most reliable real estate developers and agencies across the Kingdom.For this guide Realestate.com.kh is collaborating with Daka Kun Realty, a popular real estate agency in Siem Reap staffed by local real estate experts, to help expats find the right property for their needs!How much does it cost to rent in Siem Reap?There are plenty of quality houses/villas for rent in Siem Reap without breaking the bank, like this one from Daka Kun Realty.For a ballpark estimate, renting in Siem Reap can cost anywhere from US $350 - $2,000 including utilities, this figure is dependent on several factors like type of property, size, facilities and location. Check out our breakdown of the different costs in the guide below.Monthly Rent in Siem ReapRenting a residential property in Siem Reap can cost anywhere from $250 to upwards of $1,800 per month depending on type of property, amenities available and location. A 1-bedroom apartment could cost $300 USD a month or even $600 USD a month if you’re feeling fancy, while a 2-bedroom can cost as low as $500. Siem Reap has a lot of rental properties to the point that your mileage may vary.Houses and villas (houses with yards) are also available for rent in Siem Reap. According to Daka Kun Realty, which has a whole portfolio of landed properties for rent, landed houses usually start rentals at $300 per month.Check available rentals in Siem Reap todayRental Deposit in Siem ReapRental Deposits in Siem Reap (and Cambodia in general) can be the equivalent of 1-2 month’s rent. According to Daka Kun Realty, this depends on the length of stay agreed on: a 6-month lease commonly asks for a 1-month rental equivalent and a 12-month lease could be up to 2 months. Although this may vary from landlord to landlord.The deposit is used to pay for any damages/lost items incurred during your stay on the property. Sometimes this is used to pay for your last month of renting the property. Though this depends on the rental agreement.Electricity cost in Siem ReapElectricity cost in Cambodia is around 800 - 1000 KHR per kWh (0.21 - 0.25 USD cents per kWh). Yes, it is considerably more expensive compared to neighbouring countries like Thailand and Vietnam. It is important to note that some landlords round this up to 0.25 USD per kWh.According to Daka Kun Realty, expat renters can expect the electricity costs in Siem Reap.Property typeCost in KHR per kWhCost in USD per kWhApartment1,0000.25House/Villa7800.19Water cost in Siem reapWater utility in Siem Reap is adjusted depending on monthly consumption. But generally, there are fixed rates employed by landlords to simplify calculations.Property typeCost in KHR per m3Cost in USD per m3Apartment2,5000.62House/Villa1,7000.42Rental TaxesThere is a withholding tax of 14% for rental properties in Cambodia. However, it is common practice for landlords to cover this.What is the best property to rent as an expat in Siem Reap?Siem Reap offers a lot of choices that cater to many different walks of life. Given its diverse population, much of its rentals have also grown to accommodate many different tastes. Find out which one is right for you (and your budget!)Apartments/CondosExpect around $250 per month as a starting price for new/renovated 1-bedroom apartments in Siem Reap. You can find a table below of what prices to expect when renting in the city.Cost of renting an apartment in Siem ReapNumber of bedsMedian rent per month1-bedroom$2502-bedroom$3503-bedroom$500NOTE: These are starting prices of recommended properties for expatriates, especially those looking for western-style apartments like in the image above. You can still find more affordable/premium accommodations by searching on Realestate.com.khAmenities to expect in apartments in Siem ReapRentals in Siem Reap have usual inclusions such as furnishings, appliances, and common fixtures. The only thing missing might be a WiFi connection. However, more landlords have started installing WiFi to make things easier for expatriates.Apartments for rent in Siem ReapHouse/VillaAccording to Daka Kun Realty, houses start at $300 while villas start at $500 per month. Houses/Villas available for rent often come complete with furnished interiors and some additions depending on how premium the property is.Houses/Villas are interchangeable when referring to rental properties. Villas, however, usually have large yards and spacious interiors.Cost of renting a house/villa in Siem ReapType of PropertyStarting rentHouse$300Villa$500NOTE: These are starting prices of recommended properties for expatriates, especially those looking for western-style homes/home interiors like in the image above. You can still find more affordable accommodations by searching on Realestate.com.kh.Amenities to expect in houses/villas in Siem ReapUsual inclusions are the furnishings, appliances and common fixtures. The only thing missing might be a WiFi connection. However, more landlords have started installing WiFi to make things easier for expatriates.Houses for rent in Siem ReapWhere are the best areas for expats to rent?Siem Reap’s central areas are the best areas for expats to rent. They’re close to supermarkets, restaurants, shops, and anywhere else you might need something from. Daka Kun Realty recommends the following areas:Sala KamreukSala Kamraeuk commune. East of the river and south of Highway 6, this area is fairly quiet, but still has a range of restaurants and shops.Svay DangkumSvay Dangkum is across the river from Sala Kamraeuk. Most of the backpacker hostels are here. And don’t forget the famous Pub Street!Sla KramSla Kram is north of Sala Kamraeuk. It’s closer to Angkor Wat park and has tons of local flavour.Things to consider before renting in Siem ReapWhen signing on the dotted line for rental properties, small very important details are oftentimes overlooked. But you should remember that your final lease agreement might not include many important elements that will ultimately make or break a rental agreement. You can check out our guide on a rental checklist worth going over before signing any lease!Things to consider when renting in CambodiaWhether you’re someone new to renting or it’s your first time coming to Siem Reap, we hope this guide has given you a few things to consider for your future rental in the temple town. Now, the real step begins: Find the right rental property in Siem Reap for you!Help me find an apartment/house for rent in Siem ReapArticle by:
Phnom Penh TK Avenue
Guide to starting a business in Cambodia
June 7, 2022, 7:12 a.m.
Realestate News
Home & Living
This year’s World Bank Ease of Doing Business report ranked the country 185 out of 190 when it comes to starting a business in Cambodia. However, many foreigners are still attracted to the Kingdom as a place to begin their journey as entrepreneurs. The report showed that it took an average of 99 days to complete all the legal procedures to register an enterprise. It should be noted, however, that there are a wealth of options other than starting from the ground up. Many people choose to join up with a business that is already established. Others will hire a local fixer to help smooth the process of starting up an operation.Michelle Brown, the founder of Kampot’s Bohemiaz Resort and Spa, notes that she had a close friend living in the country help with the initial process of starting a business in Cambodia. Her associate then came on as a manager and helped find staff when they opened in 2014.Indeed, if you decide you want to try starting a business in Cambodia in either the food and beverage or hospitality sector, you can often find places that are already for sale. Perhaps you want to start a bar, guesthouse or restaurant. Just search business for sale in Cambodia on our site to check out options.‘Unofficial fees’ for doing business in CambodiaUnfortunately, Cambodia still has a reputation for being a place where bribes are a part of the business environment. To be sure, however, things are getting better day by day. Since many processes are quite slow, business owners will sometimes pay unofficial fees to expedite them. Realestate.com.kh does not endorse any form of bribery and recommends full compliance through official channels only.Sole proprietorship in CambodiaDo you want to start a sole proprietorship or a partnership? What licenses will you need? Will you be hiring workers? These are all questions you should be answering before you start the registration process. BNG Legal has this handy guide on their website that you can use as a jumping off point when you begin the process of starting a business in Cambodia.In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to get legal advice from a lawyer in the country. Just a short meeting can often be indispensable for sending you in the right direction. Registering a company in CambodiaBefore starting the registration process you will need:a valid business visaa local bank account with at least $1,000 depositeda certificate of health and a criminal background check from your home countryNote that you should open a bank account with a bank where you can pay government fees such as Acleda, FTB or Canadia Bank.After you have these materials it’s time to start the government registration process. This process will take you through the Ministry of Commerce (MoC), the General Department of Taxation (GDT) and the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MLVT). Luckily, much of the MoC process can be completed online. Refer to the government's guide to registering a Cambodia business for more details.Cambodia business license costWhen the MoC process is complete you will only have two weeks to register as a taxpayer with the GDT. There you can either register for six months or one year as a taxpayer. The fee is $500 or $650, respectively. All documentation from the GDT is usually completed in less than a month.The MLVT process can also be completed—at least in part—online. Note also, that businesses will have to register for the National Social Security Fund here, dependent on how many employees they have.Additionally, there are licences that will be needed. This depends on the sector in which your business operates. If you are starting a guesthouse or restaurant the Ministry of Tourism will be where you go. These licences usually need to be renewed annually.Paying salary tax, profit tax and value-added tax (VAT) is done by the 20th of each month.Securing funding for your Cambodian businessThere are many different ways of getting the capital you need to initiate starting a business in Cambodia. Perhaps you want to scout out investors. Or maybe you want to raise the money yourself or pool funds with a partner. Every industry will have different needs when it comes to initial investments.What kind of business could you start in Cambodia?Traditionally, most foreigners coming to the country start Cambodian businesses in the tourism industry. This means bars, restaurants, guesthouses or tour companies. Many from other areas of Asia also find success expanding their existing operations in manufacturing or production. Increasingly, there are companies springing up in the tech, real estate and financial sectors. This is because the country has reasonably good technical infrastructure and a quickly growing and urbanising population. Make sure to do your research before diving into the country.Finding a space for your Cambodian businessOne of the biggest attractions of starting a business in Cambodia is the affordable real estate here. What’s more, it can be easy to find a space for sale that is already set up for what you need. If you want to start a hotel just search the listings on our site. Looking for a place with everything you need can sometimes be difficult. We recommend consulting the expert assistance of a real estate agent. They can help you zero in on what you need. Of course, if your operation is small you can look at coworking spaces. These are becoming more and more popular in the country and can be an affordable way to get started quickly.Hiring staff for your business in CambodiaHiring staff members is a long and intimate process. However, if it is done right your business will reap the rewards. The Kingdom is disproportionately young, so take this into consideration. A job with the right salary and a possibility of advancement will, hopefully, generate lots of interest.Training can be absolutely pivotal for new employees. Don’t let the cultural divide get in the way, either. If your enterprise is big enough, definitely consider hiring a professional HR manager that can solve any staffing issues.Cambodian offices are usually open for 40 hours a week, but many also work Saturday mornings as well to hit 45 hours a week. The Kingdom has a whopping 28 days of public holiday a year. Many businesses are starting to move towards a less holiday-intensive schedule, but compromises often need to be made. Family is a very important aspect in Khmer culture. Some businesses also choose to add one workday every month to make up for the holidays.Benefits and health insurance are on the rise in Cambodia. However, salary is still one of the most important factors for new hires. There is no hard and fast rule for Cambodian wages. In general, you get what you pay for. Staff with higher skills and more job prospects will command a higher wage. The best way to settle on a fair salary is to do plenty of research. Find out what similar positions in the country are offering. Staff retention is one of the biggest problems you could encounter after starting a business in Cambodia. It’s vital to find the right workers, invest in them and build a strong workplace culture. You can use a staffing agency, job site such as BongThom.com or ask for recommendations from trusted friends. If you plan ahead and emphasise thorough training you and your staff will succeed.Commenting on the rewards and challenges of hiring local staff, Bohemiaz’s Michelle Brown said that seeing her employees grow has been one of the most exciting parts of her experience after starting a business in Cambodia.“It just took some time to adjust to learning how to communicate … the most rewarding thing about what I have created at Bohemiaz isn't the development of the resort but seeing the young girls I employed four years ago blossom into amazing young ladies with real career aspirations and desire to travel and learn,” she said.Buying a business in CambodiaAnother popular option is to buy a business that is already set up. This is especially good if you want to start a hospitality business. Usually, you can find turnkey operations that already have a staff in place, all the needed infrastructure and even a customer base.A few specialty agents operate in the selling of turnkey businesses. One of the major names is Asian Business Brokers. What's more, these agents can also help new owners navigate the laws and requirements to help them get off the ground. Many agents suggest doing your research and having a good plan in place. Watch the video above, Crispian Knowles from Asian Business Brokers says that people need to be fully prepared before they start a business in Cambodia.There are tons of events going on across the country where you can spread the word about your business. Expos and trade shows go on all the time for sectors ranging from real estate and construction to cosmetics and travel. Get your brand out there!Networking with other Cambodia business ownersFellow business owners can be some of the best resources for advice. There are already tons of organisations in the country where you can connect with entrepreneurs from your country. Check out the American Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (AmCham), BritCham and EuroCham. Their sites have tons of resources and their events are a great place for networking.More informal networks can be found in groups on Facebook and other social media. Finding like-minded individuals will help while you are starting a business in Cambodia. You will eventually get to know other business owners in the area and it can be good to show support for each other. After all, everyone benefits from a growing economy, right?Business Etiquette: Doing business in CambodiaJust like in any other country there are difficult parts to starting a business in Cambodia. You can learn from the mistakes of others, however, and come out ahead. One of the biggest tips you hear from entrepreneurs is to surround yourself with people you trust. Whether it’s business partners, staff or landlords, only rely on people who you truly have faith in. Your business should be like your child. After all, you wouldn’t let just anyone off the street babysit for you, right?Make sure you plan ahead. Do your research. Talk to experts. Ask lots and lots of questions. There is no such thing as too much preparation. Calculate everything out and have a plan in case it all goes wrong. You will thank yourself later.Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, stay flexible. Remember, Cambodia is still a developing nation. There will be setbacks and there will be headaches. If you can roll with the punches you will be that much better off.Brown mentioned that one of the biggest challenges she has faced has been with bank and government contracts. She urged business owners to be totally sure of all the details before signing on the dotted line.“Initially it was also difficult to get a regular supply of imported products, however in the last couple of years the supply chain has vastly improved and the range of western products in Kampot is now amazing,” she added. Creating a successful Cambodia businessGrowing a successful business isn’t easy. It definitely is possible, however. If you work hard you will have something to show for it. Surely you will learn loads about yourself and about this wonderful country.Don’t forget that Realestate.com.kh can help you nearly every step of the way, either. Besides helping you find real estate, our news section can keep you up to date on the sector. Click over to our reports section to check out surveys and reports. Additionally, we have other guides like this one that can help educate you and improve your skills.If you liked this guide you'll love our Investment Guide 2019. Download it for free and learn everything you need to know to start a business! Article by:
Four tips on budgeting for a new home
Four tips on budgeting for a new home
June 6, 2022, 6:38 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
Everyone needs to save money for buying property! But, in order to save for your new home, or to borrow for that home, you will need to budget for it. And this budget only gets harder as your family grows…The following are 4 basic budget tips that will help you keep more money in your pocket and get a handle on your household finances, thanks to Realestate.com.kh.First of all, list your monthly income, including everything that earns you money. List all of the costs you have to pay each month: Including rent, power, gas, car repayments, school uniforms, food etc. In short, anything that is a necessity in your and your family’s life.List all of the costs you can avoid from the previous list… This includes all things that are not necessary in your life, including entertainment, take away food, fancy new clothes, travel etc. This represents your “expendable income”: money that doesn’t always need to be spent! It is very important that you and your family are honest about what you don’t really need, if you are serious about saving.Now that you have defined what you HAVE TO PAY and what YOU LIKE TO PAY each month, you can control your budget for the next month by reducing your expendable income spending.Subtract your necessary costs from your total income to see what remains for the next month’s budget. This figure is the amount of money you can potentially save each month if you control your spending habits. Completing this exercise should help you review your spending patterns and make better financial decisions. The better your budget, the more control you can have over your monthly savings.   Ultimately, if you follow these tips, you will be surprised what money you can save to put toward a new home, or to manage home loan repayments. You should read How to Save Money When RentingLook for more information related to home loans in Cambodia? look for real estate for rent in Phnom Penh or real estate for sale in Phnom Penh? Check out Realestate.com.kh today.
Critical tips for prospective lessors
Critical tips for prospective lessors
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
When you are looking for the best tenants for your property; regardless of the term of the tenancy, it is necessary to ensure you have a well-prepared property and legal lease document for your prospective tenants.Below are several major things to include in your lease agreements when creating or signing a residential tenancy agreement, thanks to realestate.com.kh:What Is a Lease Contract?A lease contract is a formal document that properly identifies the landlord (lessor), tenant (lessee), and the leased property. This document further states the lease term and rental fee, and detailed terms and conditions of the lease agreement.Who Should Be in the Lease Contract?When it comes to obtaining a lessee,  it is strongly recommended that you draw up a written agreement. This legal contract needs to be completed by the lessor and lessee so that both parties are 100% clear on what their rights and obligations are.This contract also allows and specifies the tenant to temporarily use the property of the owner, legally, in exchange for paying a rental fee to the owner. It is essential that both parties keep a copy of this agreement to refer to when in doubt.In the contract, both parties can set the clauses to protect themselves if any circumstances were to change for either the lessor or lessee and how this should be remedied if these circumstances arise.The Lease Agreement Should Contain:Both parties must sit together and write up clearly what they expect from each other. These include:The description of the property (which describes the current location and overview of the property);●     The names, signature, or thumbprint and addresses of both parties;●     The current rental fee and reasonable escalation in the future;●     The rental payment term (monthly, quarterly, or yearly);●     The deposit amount;●     The monthly payment amount;●     The lease period;●     The notice period for termination of contract;●     The renewable term and condition;●     The lessor's obligations;●     The lessee's obligations;●     The renovation permission;●     The number of residents;●     The tax obligation (In general responsible by lessor, but can be altered according to the discussion).All other costs must be paid by the lessee (waste collection, public light, electricity & water bill) unless otherwise negotiated in the rental agreement.Create an Inventory ListAn inventory list aims to describe all the furniture that is presently existing inside of the property (including photos) before the tenant moves in. This is critical to ensure both parties know what is present in the property - and especially for the lessor to ensure no furniture or chattels are removed without permission or opportunity for redress.The lessor also needs to list down any current defects and the agreement of both parties whether the lessor or lessee must take responsibility to have them fixed. This is generally the responsibility of the lessee. Generally, this is made in a separated document.Ultimately a contract between a lessor and lessee is critical in setting out the obligations of both parties to ensure there is no confusion about any aspects of the tenancy. It will also enable both parties protection if there was any dispute arises.Looking for property in Cambodia? Let us help!
Considerations before you buy your first home
Considerations before you buy your first home
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
In Cambodia, purchasing a property for the first time can be an overwhelming task. If you are a first-time home buyer, you should consider the following points before you make any financial commitments.Purpose of  the new home:  Different types of houses will bring you and your family different advantages and disadvantages.If you just want a house to live with your family, consider a villa home. Villas offer a lot of space for your family to grow, and a relaxed and private setting. If you intend to buy a home from which you can generate income through opening a retail shop, consider a shop house in a location where you can find consumers. These types of properties allow you both residential and commercial purposes. However, if you really value a location in the central city and want to live a more modern life, you can consider a condo unit. The extra benefit of a condo is that you should be able to rent it into the future, if you decide not to live in it yourself.If you are planning on a profitable resale, you can consider buying a property off-plan (under construction) in a new development project. New Borey projects in the suburban areas usually have high potential for reselling in coming years. Or, if you have more money to invest, you can consider a new condo unit for higher returns when it comes time to resell. However, keep in mind that often these properties won’t be ready to live in right away, and also make sure your choose the right developer with the correct licenses and history.Location of your first home:Purchasing a home at the very heart of the city sounds like a good idea thanks to its fundamental infrastructure and utilities. However, with almost all property prices within central city reaching their peak in recent years, and worsening traffic congestion during rush hours, most new home-buyers (in particular, middle-income class Khmers) are preferring to buy in the suburban areas of the city, at lower prices.The outskirts of Phnom Penh and other urban centers of Cambodia are an untapped area where there are offerings that have high potential for small businesses, commercial centers, population growth, and property price growth. At present, housing projects are shifting towards the suburbs to push the area to become more attractive and populated. Whether you buy to live, do business, or resell, you should look for a good location adjacent to markets, schools, hospitals, and other amenities. Location is an extremely important consideration for any property investment.Budget plan:Preparing a budget plan for your new home is very important for your future expenses. With a clear budget plan, you will be well prepared for your current and future payments. Without a regular income, you may run into problems after your first home purchase. If you’re planning on these costs in advance, it will make it easy for you to decide how much money you should and can borrow money from the bank.Home loan application:Most homebuyers in Cambodia usually do not have enough money to pay outright. This is why they turn to the bank for loan options to pay for their new home. Different banks will offer different types of home loans at various interest rates. However, when you get a home loan, you will be bound by the bank’s terms, including the interest rate charged on that loan. After qualifying for a home loan, you will be required by the bank to submit collateral, income confirmation letter, identity card and proof of a guarantor. For this reason, it might be best to consider your loan limits before you select your dream home.Another option is to pay directly with the developer (if it is a new project). In this case, the interest rate on home loan may be higher than that of the former option - so be careful before you sign up.Extra costs:In fact, purchasing a new home does not mean that you pay only for your property’s price. You also should think about other extra costs in addition to the property’s value. There are a number of fees involved you need to know when you buy a property. Those costs or fees include ownership transfer tax, legal fees, property tax, title verification, loan processing fee, application for registration, property insurance, real estate agent’s fee, and ongoing costs.  Learn more about the details of these extra costs on realestate.com.kh today.Read more great Home Loan and Mortgage Advice, on Realestate.com.kh today! Or, if you are ready, apply for a home loan on Realestate.com.kh today!
Seller Beware: The top property sale mistakes that will damage your property's marketability
Seller Beware: The top property sale mistakes that will damage your property's marketability
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
If you’re planning to sell or rent your property, make sure you avoid the following property sale mistakes to ensure you attract the most buyers and renters and get the best price for your property.Poor exterior paint choice:Don’t try and sell a highlighter green house. Consider re-painting your property using a conservative colour scheme. This will allow it to appeal to a wider audience. Look for a good quality exterior paint, which makes your house look as new as possible and avoid this classic property sale mistake.The overgrown garden:An overgrown yard or garden suggests that your whole property has been badly maintained and will make a bad first impression – an obvious but all-to-common property sale mistake. Try to cut bushes and trees, tidy your lawn, plant some hardy plants and re-mulch for a fresh clean look.Too much mess and clutter:Buyers want to see and buy your house – not your things! So avoid a property sale mistake and don’t leave them lying around! Even houses that are decorated well can have too much clutter when it’s time to sell. The bigger your house seems, the more attractive it will be. Buyers want to feel the house or apartment has space, and will accept their furniture and their sense of style. So be prepared to de-clutter, move furniture or make your decorations more neutral.The shadow seller:Make sure you give your agent and their buyers plenty of space and privacy while viewing your home, and certainly don’t follow them around the house. Buyers want to imagine living in your house and that’s really hard to do while you and your family is waiting outside, or inside.Lack of storage:Buyers look for plenty of storage in any property. So, avoid leaving any overstuffed wardrobes and cupboards in the house because this will show the prospective buyer that there isn’t enough room in the house for all of your things – or their things! A final top-tip, use mirrors in small rooms to help the space appear bigger! Avoiding the above property sale mistakes ensures your home will be easier on the eye, the nose and the nerves of any prospective buyers or renters – and will have them making you an offer in no time!Dirty and smelly digsYour house needs to be cleaner than it’s ever been while it’s for sale. When making the decision to sell your property, get help from family, friends - or professional cleaners if need be. Pay special attention to bathrooms, kitchens, general living areas and backyards. No dishes or messy kitchens. Clean and fresh is the best smell when selling. Regardless of how great your home appears, if visitors are immediately confronted with overwhelming or unpleasant odours when entering a home, the likelihood that a sale takes place is extremely slim.Don’t list POA – Or No Sale PricePotential buyers generally read the home’s description and expect to see a listed price. As such, we strongly recommend that you include a price on any listing. If a home features a long list of unique details but lacks a sales price, buyers tend to think the home is very expensive or potentially overpriced. Make it easy for someone to investigate your home further by providing as many details as possible – including a list price.Nobody likes a reluctant sellerIt is not unusual for an individual or a family to become attached to a home. Especially when the residence is filled with great memories. However, once you make the decision to sell, you must keep the objective of a sale in the forefront of your mind. Try your best to keep emotions in check. Step back, and allow your real estate agent the freedom to perform their job.Lousy AgentGiven that real estate is an unregulated profession in Cambodia, you undertake thorough research before choosing an agent to sell your home. You can start you research on our Realestate.com.kh Real Estate Agent Directory Page. Consider if an agent makes themselves readily available to buyers. Agents who seem to rush clients, or seem distracted, do not have the interest of the buyer or seller at the forefront. Likewise, determine if the agent seems professional, honest and genuinely desires to make a sale. A dud agent could well be your number one property sale mistake, but with Realestate.com.kh this will never be an issue!Want to read more articles like this? Get on Realestate.com.kh today, the best source of information for property buyers and sellers in Cambodia.Looking for real estate for rent in Cambodia or real estate for sale in Cambodia?
Home-buyer Guide: Extra costs when you buy a new home
Home-buyer Guide: Extra costs when you buy a new home
June 7, 2022, 6:48 a.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
Buying a new home to live in is a necessary thing for everyone in Cambodia, especially in Phnom Penh as most of them are renting but considering buying one for their family. However, buying a new home does not mean that you spend only on the base price of the property - you also have to spend on additional costs associated with the property. Therefore, it is vital that you be aware of extra costs associated with a property purchase in order not to have any unpleasant surprises. Below are several necessary tips on “additional costs” to help first-time homebuyers manage their budget plan for a new property in the event that you are unaware of it. Those additional costs include home loan application and legal fees, ownership transfer tax fee, home insurance fee, real estate agent’s fee, interest on home loan, application for registration and title verification fee, property tax fee, and ongoing costs. Home Loan application and legal fees When purchasing a home, most buyers in Cambodia usually do not have enough money to pay outright. Therefore, they will look for home loan options either with a company project or banks to buy one. However, If you choose a bank loan, you usually get 70% of the home value you are going to buy.Nhoep Nimol, a senior housing loan officer at Canadia Bank, said: “If a homebuyer applies for a home loan, he/she will be charged some fees to cover the charges incurred for valuation and processing of the loan. Then he or she has to pay 1 percent of total loan to the banks.”Ms. Nhoep added: “in the meantime, homebuyers will also have to pay $250 dollars to a lawyer for legal service which includes loan operation, legal advice, property check, and legal processing.”Interest on home loanIf you do not have enough money to buy a home and rely on a bank for a home loan, remember that you have to pay the interest on a home loan every year until the end of the contract. Bank loan terms can range up to 20 years, depending on the decision between homebuyers and the banks.Ms. Nhoep explained that if customers decide to get a bank loan, they need to pay interest which ranges from 8% to 10% per annum. Furthermore, homebuyers are required to submit collateral, hard title, and an income confirmation letter to the banks before qualifying for a home loan.Ownership Transfer tax feeIt is mandatory that homeowners pay ownership transfer tax during the transaction a.k.a. Stamp Tax.  If you choose to buy a home in the Borey project, you will find it easy as the company has a master hard title to be issued to each homeowner. But homeowners have to pay 4% for this ownership transfer tax.Mr. Seng Sopheak, Chief Operating Officer at cplagent.com, said: “you need to pay 4% for the ownership transfer tax. In addition to the 4% transfer cost, buyers also need to spend about $1,000 to the cadastral office which is tasked with the overall operational processing of issuing the title.”“Usually, it takes around 12 weeks to complete the transfer of hard titles done at the cadastral office. A hard title, an ownership certificate issued by the Cadastral office, is the most secure form of ownership and recognized at the national ministerial level as well as at the Sangkat and district level,” added Mr. Seng.At present, due to the economic effects of COVID-19, the 4% Stamp Tax exemption for properties under $70,000 has been extended to 2023.Home insurance feeAlthough a relatively new concept in Cambodia compared to other ASEAN nations such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, home insurance is gradually spreading in Cambodia with more and more insurance firms starting their operation in the kingdom.Home insurance is currently not obligatory for homebuyers in Cambodia. But some developers such as Borey Peng Houth require their customers to buy home insurance when they buy a home from their project.Commenting on this, Mr. Seng explained that home insurance is crucial to every home buyer in Cambodia as he or she will not have to keep a lot of reserves for all types of risks possibly affecting his or her property. For home insurance fee, it depends on the size and value of the home: If the home price is above $100,000, the homeowner must pay $100 or higher per year and If the price is under $100,000, the homeowner must pay less than $100 per year.In any case, if you get a loan from the bank, Cambodia’s Ministry of Finance and Economy cooperate with banks and requires home buyers to buy home insurance of at least $70 per year.Application for Registration and Title Verification FeeDone at the District Land Office of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning & Construction, you must pay a cadastral transfer fee of KHR 600,000 in order to insert the name of the new owner on the legal documents. Moreover, you also have to pay the title verification fee. According to Prakas 995 dated December 28th, 2012, checking for potential liens or encumbrances under a title will cost you around $12.50.Property taxLike other countries, all the immovable properties in Cambodia need to be paid annual tax; however, it will only apply to the properties with a value of $25,000 and above. According to the Prakas of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the property tax is collected annually at a rate of 0.1% of the value of the property.To know how much you have to pay for your property tax, there is a clear formula for calculation on it. The property tax is computed by taking 80 percent of the property’s total value, subtracting $25,000, and then multiplying that by 0.1 percent.The property’s value is obtained through a government valuation, depending on several factors such as data collection on relative properties in the market, quality, and location. This tax equally applies to both Cambodian and foreign national who owns the property in Cambodia.Real estate agent’s feeIt is common practice for the seller to shoulder the commission for the agent. But this is not set in stone and there have been instances when buyers pay the agent's fee. It is advised to settle this matter in writing between the buyer and the seller.Mr. Seng explained that in Cambodia real estate agency charges a commission fee of 3%, usually from the seller. But in some cases, buyers also have to pay the commission fee of 3% when they want to buy property from someone. This occurs when the seller is unwilling to sell the property, but the buyer is willing to buy and asks for the agency to persuade the seller to sell their property.Property Management feeThose ongoing costs are usually paid monthly to support daily living including maintenance fees, repair costs, and bills such as internet, electricity, and water. Maintenance fees are paid by homeowners for the upkeep of the building. This fee varies between Borey home and condos/apartments.Mr. Seng says, “For borey home, the maintenance fee includes cleaner, security guard, and public light in the project area. It will be charged between $20 and $50 per month. For a condo, the fee ranges from $0.50 to $2 per square metre. In addition, living in a condo requires you to pay for parking space which ranges from $50 to $60 per month. Furniture and any future renovations can also be regarded as ongoing costs.”Ongoing costs for condos are usually covered in management fees.Looking for a new home in Cambodia? Let us help!