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Phoenix from the ashes

Koh Samui has seen incredible growth and progress over the last decade and there have been some very successful residential estates built on the island by reputable and professionally run developers. Sadly, in the past Koh Samui has been subject to some very unscrupulous fiends in this, and some people who invested here found themselves not only short changed but left without their life savings and without their dream home.

For some of those the problem was getting caught up with developers who planned to build homes on stage payment plans from their investors rather than find the initial investment themselves. This kind of plan opened the door for disaster and in some cases investors were left with half SAM_4012finished developments when the so called property developer did a disappearing act once the stage payments had been collected. This is a position that no investor wants to find themselves in, especially if they live in other parts of the world.

However, there is one story that may give heart to anyone who finds themselves in such a terrible situation.

Over eight years ago a development was conceived to build approximately twenty three town houses in the Cheong Mon area. With Cheong Mon being such a popular location, the site was a sellout before the build was fifty percent complete. When the developer took the final payments from the house owners, rather than complete the development he and his business partners took off to Buri-ram and Swansea respectively. The home owners were left in an impossible situation, their homes were not even fifty percent complete and all but the nominal completion payment had been made.

Four years on, and after paying fortunes on legal fees, this site was taken on by the owners who decided to take matters into their own hands. Rather than watch their funds and dreams disappear with the developers they formed an owners group and coordinated everything that a developer would normally do. First they secured the legalities regarding the access road then rebranded the site with a new name. They stopped or settled legal issues and engaged their own project management team who then issued tender forms to prospective builders to bid to complete the entire site. Having all this in place the owners then started paying into a bank account handled by an elected lawyer, and created what they call a “war chest” to attack the build.

SAM_4017A separate specialist contractor was selected to build the swimming pool. The group felt that the size of the 2 pools separated with a water cascade would require specialist knowledge to complete.

The successful building contractor started working on site in November 2011 and works proceeded at a steady rate.

Sadly, because of the years of inactivity on the site, four of the owners were unable to be part of the project with no funds to invest towards the completion of the site. However, this did not dampen the spirits of the group who were confident that the units would sell before the sites completion.

After encountering, and overcoming delays and problems along the way this development finally reached completion and many of the residents have already moved in. It may have been six years after they anticipated, but their finally have their dream homes and the pride of knowing that they pulled together and achieved their goals in the face of adversity and kept on going long after most would have simply given in.

This nightmare turned success story has been fortunate in many ways; the development was not too large. Several of the home owners had time, money and the knowledge required and the group had the drive and determination necessary to take the bull by the horns and fight on under the new brand name Choeng Mon Gardens!

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