Christine; Did you ever get an answer to your question? I am married to a Lao and we bought land. Or should I say she did. A foreigner can not own land but you can own the house on it. However, the downside is that it will cost about 5,000 US to get you name on the registry. Until your name is on the house you basically have not real rights to stay there. Married or not it will be the same as a visitor. You will register to stay there in your house with your spouse. At least being married gets around the foreigner/lao sex law. I heard it takes less than six month for a residentcy now. Not sure. But what would be the resident if you have no house? I am seriously thinking of giving up my US citizenship and becoming Lao to get around the hassesl altogether but there will always be something to get around in an Asian country. Lao is complicated in some ways but once you pay off or get by an obstical it does not resurface like things do in Thailand. In some ways, Cambodia, Vietnam and China are also less of a hassel than Thailand. Hope this helps.