Building a house in Vietnam as a foreigner ?

Building a house in Vietnam as a foreigner ?, Building a house in Vietnam as a foreigner ?

More and more foreign visitors who traveled to Vietnam have fallen in love with the country. Some people love its nature, some feel connected to the locals here, and some have realized the opportunities that this country has to offer. Because of that, many have decided they want to own a house in Vietnam to settle in or, even more common, to invest.

Let me show you a bit of what sets Vietnamese house design apart from other cultures, as well as why you should consider such an idea.

The architecture in Vietnam

As for the new Vietnam, many houses are built based on the architecture from the West. However, its structural design is still apart from any other sketch you have seen somewhere else.

If you’re extremely into the ancient design that you can still see at numerous houses in Saigon or Hanoi, these criteria are critical to notice:

  • The house must have a clear structure that is symbolic, metaphorical, implicit, and artistic. There is always a philosophy behind every traditional building in Vietnam, which makes it mysterious but at the same time, intelligent.
  • The house must adapt to the traits of nature. The space and the architectural cube of the building play an organic role that decides whether a house fits the location it’s built.
  • The space of the building must be flexible. it has to meet the demands of the people living in that house.
  • Every house contains at least 1 sculpture which increases the artistic and the mysterious look of the building. Also, the color of these sculptures is the determiner. It defines the final statement of how much meaning and value that this building has to its family.
  • The common roof design that every traditional Vietnamese house must have is the 45-degree slope-like roof with unique decoration that emphasizes the mystery. Roofs are built like this to avoid dripping from heavy rain. Since many houses in the past were built in wood, this roof design will prevent rain from damaging the house. Also, this unique construction can protect everyone from the severe heat of the sun.
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Even though globalization is expanding and Vietnam is heavily being impacted by it, you will always see this kind of house design almost everywhere. It’s a precious value of the country and a beautiful attraction to tourists. This is a flexible design that can either be a place to stay or an ideal premise to open a business.

Over the years, many Vietnamese have utilized this channel to create for themselves a passive income stream. If you ever visited Hanoi or Hoi An, you will see that there’s a lot of traditional Vietnamese-styled buildings that run a profitable business that has attracted millions of visitors over the years.

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Building a house in Vietnam and make profit off it ?

A couple of steps that I went through to build my own house could be useful for you if you’re considering building one in Vietnam.

Define your plan

It’s all about knowing what you must have before carrying out an important project. You have to know where you can find land to build your house, why you want to build that house, and who you should work with when building a house as a foreigner.

Also, knowing what contractors you should work with is also a priority on the list. And such could be a huge challenge when finding the right person for the right project. Not to mention the language barrier could be such a pain in the neck sometimes, even though the country has been improving its proficiency in English speaking.

Also, calculate your budget and see how big of a house that matches the budget. Since prices can fluctuate widely, you can hire an expert to do the math for you to prepare an overall number to avoid further spending that exceeds the allowed budget.

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It’s best to make some local friends while you are in Vietnam.

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Deal with the paperwork

Building a house isn’t easy indeed. Especially when you want to do it in a different country, the paperwork could be pretty annoying since you will have to go through a lot of different steps and work with a lot of people that speak a different language.

The first thing to do is to receive the government’s approval. You must prove to the officials that you own the title to the piece of land that you’re going to build your house on. If you are married to a Vietnamese person, have some relatives who are Vietnamese or even own a company as a foreign investor in Vietnam, you may have some advantages compared to other foreigners living in Vietnam to do such a real estate project.

After that, draft out your plan and submit the final edition to the government for approval. Once the plan is accepted, the burden is gone and you’re entirely off trouble.

When you finally sign up for a building permit, your local authorities may send you frequent community proposals like road expansion, changes to the neighborhood, etc. It’s best to be ready and adjust everything flexibly on your side.

Conduct materials research

Of course the contractor could help you out with selecting the right materials beside designing a drawing. However, some cases happen in which the contractors make their clients buy the materials they sell with extremely expensive costs.

construction of housing in Vietnam for rental

construction of housing in Vietnam for rental

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It’s pretty simple to conduct this kind of research on your own. The important thing to do is to ask for help from a local that you know in terms of translation of any negotiation of online Vietnamese documents.

This list should keep you in line:

  • Cement
  • Sand
  • Steel
  • Windows
  • Gravel
  • Plumbing pipes
  • Doors
  • Lighting/bulbs

Steps to build the house

It’s obvious you don’t have to build the house on your own. But know the different steps of building it could help you tremendously during the talking with the contractor:

  • From the foundation of the house
  • Level the foundation
  • Lay in the brick
  • Roof the house
  • Cement the house
  • Paint the house the way you want it and other minor steps
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Notices during the process

During the construction, you should take time to show up as much as possible to give out directions and your expectation to the builders so they can finish the work the way you want it to.

Living in Vietnam as an expat or foreigner

Living in Vietnam as an expat or foreigner

You can also hire a consultant that speaks Vietnamese to help with the language problem and be present while you’re gone.

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Find a tenant

Use as many resources you know to promote your project for rent or for sale. It could be Facebook,, or any website that allows house for rent/sale topics.

Who should consider buying / building a house in Vietnam

If you’re only planning to travel to Vietnam for about 6 months or less than a year, buying / building a house is probably not a good idea at this time. However, if you want to invest in real estate outside of the major cities and to settle in Vietnam, you can consider building one.

As mentioned, for those who want to invest, the market is showing an up-rising trend even under such difficult circumstances. With proper research, investing in Vietnam won’t be so hard like how a lot of people said.

Disclaimer : In order to do such real estate project in Vietnam, you must have a Vietnamese person such as your spouse, relatives or a trustworthy friend who can act as your nominee. Owning a company as a foreigner can also be an option to start such a project but requires appropriate legal due diligence and expertise.

If you wish to learn more about the legal, budget and process to build a house in Vietnam, you can have a look to this ultimate guide from Movetoasia.

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