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Michelle

Expats Who Have Bought A Property In The Uae

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I bought a Flat in Al Reem Island - Marina Square, t is supposed to be handed over in few weeks.

There is a lot of uncertainties:

1- no deeds till now, and no authority for registering the owned property, waiting for a Law or Decree to be issued.

2- not sure about residency if one owns a property, so that you will be your own sponsor, it is declared in newspapers, but not detailed in a Law or regulations yet.

3- not sure if it is for 99 years, or 49 years, the durations is not mentioned anywhere in my contract.

in spite of all that ,.. I am buying it, and would recommend buying since you will cover all your costs , for me I have spent more than 600,000 AED in rents in the past 5 years.

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There are other ways of taking advantage here. I.e.:We don't pay our rent our company does. This allows us to live here 'free' while leaving our home empty in another country, which enables us to rent that out. Therefore, without paying it ourselves our mortgage is being paid off. Would a plan like this work for you?

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We have an investment property in the UK, we are both Brits but really can't see ourselves living there, ever. My husband owns his companies here, so the company paying is effectively 'us' paying. I am aware of all the horror stories, was just hoping things had moved on. Thanks for your input though niches :)

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You would think the Govt. would be looking to do more, legally speaking, to encourage property investment, in particular relating to ex-pat investment... With so many new developments / properties coming on-line such as Al Reem Island, Al Zeina and Al Muneera at Al Raha Beach.. Those mainly being 2/3 bed apartment properties that are not so appealing to Emirate families, them preferring larger sized villas and communities. But who knows?! You would think a firm change in the law is what's required..

I had heard Al Dar in the Al Zeina development are changing all their contracts to a 99 year free-hold, but check it out. And also what this really means. I have little understanding.

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Who would want to buy property in a country where it's "here one day, gone the next"....no rights, something happens there's no protection..sounds really appealing...NOT!

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An acquaintance of ours was seriously considering buying here. Before committing, he got a copy of the contract and took it to his solicitor in UK for checking. The solicitor said it was not worth the paper it was written on. There were too many clauses not in his favour.

For example the major issues were:

1 - should he die the property does not automatically transfer to his wife and / or children. It transfers back to the developer.

2

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Friend of mine bought a couple of properties, he's been here for a while so thought he'd invest while Dubai was "hot" he's been getting the run around ever since, he's put in a lot of money so can't back out now, well, he can't back out at all, the place was suppose to be finished like 2 years ago, still not and he's got no rights as far as going after the sellers....also there's something about 99 yrs? it's not urs til then, sounds pretty shadey, again, why in the world would anyone think of buying here, if u've got that kind of money, then buy in some tropical place, even Florida, but the Middle East? One never knows what's going to happen from one day to the next in this part of the world, way too unstable.

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As much as my husband and I do not want to retire back to the UK (well..at least he doesn't) , I just cannot see the point of buying a house in a country where you cannot go for a nice stroll or drive in the evening and stop at a pub or bar for a nice glass of wine or beer, wearing what I want to and without people feeling invited to stare at us women for showing as much as our noses. On a serious note...I just think that the housing market in this area and our rights are just not strong enough to make it worth our while and for the built quality...well I wont even go there...

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Thanks for your thoughts ladies. I just feel that we will be here for years yet so should stop throwing money down the drain. I just hope that the laws change soon..... Don't worry, I am not holding my breath ;)

I know where you're coming from, we went through a period of wondering whether to buy, as we are 'throwing' money away on rent. But I guess we're stuck with it... There are lots of locals getting rich(er) off the rents, oh well that's life :biggrin1:

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It makes sense when u think of the rent u are paying and depending on the no of years u are going to be here. Then the property pretty much pays for itself in the upcoming years. However one has to seriously think that if we are to move back to our home countries or sell ih the middle- is it really feasible or it is a burden which we have to bear. There are property managment companies which can rent out the property and u have to pay an annual fee to them. Well , that leaves us at their mercy if they wish to up the fees etc. I had seriously considered buying a property in Marina square - Reem Island which I consider is the best of the properties there( has provision for dish washer as well- believe some of the others dont) and this was when my lease was coming to an end in August. However we decided to renew our lease. Think of my plight if i had commited. Its december now and it is still not ready.

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Ive had villas in AL REEF for a few years, in 2007-08, when the market was at its peak, I was personally buying and selling them. When they were handed over in 2009, i leased them out to corporates. The best thing about them was the ROI, even today u can easily get a 10% return. Buy a 2 bed for 900k and lease it out for 105k, pay 7,000 in community fees and u r left with about 100k or equal in saved rent. Buy a 3 bed for 1.1 - 1.13m, lease it for 130k and pay 10,000 in community fees.

Maybe i make it sound very simple but Alhumdulillah thats how easily things worked out for me. I never had any issues with the developer (manazel), it did not really matter to me if i owned it freehold or not, or if it was a 99 year lease or 77 (30-40 years of ownership was good enough to convince me!) i felt there was good short-medium term opportunity and made the most of it, im glad i did.

I think what can be a deciding factor is whether u r a cash buyer or finance. The finance part isnt worth all the risk i believe, firstly the finance costs r quite high, the terms and conditions are not clear, and more imporantly in todays uncertain environment its not worth making a long term commitment. As a cash owner u are free to make independent decisions not worrying about bank costs, etc..

Al Reef had always been good, hydra was too bad, investors in al reem are not too satisfied either with the delays.

I suggest if u r a cash buyer, shop around the market for some gud deals on al reef, get some direct reviews from more owners/agents/tenants, so u can make a more informed decision. If ur not into al reef, then maybe u can consider marina square too since the handover is due soon.

If ur a finance buyer, i wud suggest keep away from it, its better to waste some $$ on rent but sleep peacefully rather than have sleepless nights later worrying about debts.

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I agree with Ahmad !

I have two properties in the UAE.

Good decision or bad, the jury is still out. However that's because I am paying tons in financing.

Looking at the fundamentals as stated by Ahmad, I agree 100%. If you are a cash buyer, BUY, you will save real money and have something to sell in the future. If you're financing, the math will only work out if you put a 25% downpayment or more, any less than that and you might as well rent. I've put down 25% down and as it stands now, on the interest part of the mortgage, I am barely breaking even with the current rental prices. If I can put down a total of 35% then I will be saving a significant amount of money.

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I understand the thought t hat paying rent is money wasted but rather than buy here I would buy somewhere else (uk, Usa, Just about anywhere else) where the laws are established.

Rent that place out and effectively you have the same scenario, someone else pays your mortgage but it is more protected than here.

Amanda

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Agree that Al Reef would work for us. Nothing else would I should think.

I quite like the way the Omanis have approached this. They too have areas where expats can buy - and lots where they can't but I believe they offer a visa with the property and more importantly, if you die your property is treated according to the laws of your home country. That would make buying in Oman a far safer investment than here.

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I would think that buying a property in a country where you would LOVE to live once you are done here or a vacation property so you can escape here when it's unbearable or just for a short break - would be a better use of your hard earned money. I would seriously consider the manner in which these properties are built - how well they aren't built, the fact that you will never be able to be a citizen and naturalize and if something were to happen and you had to leave because the job went away you now have a property where you would probably not recoup your expenses let alone get anyone to pay what you think it's worth and you'd be stuck - Personally, I would think some place tropical as a retirement place AFTER you are done here and while you are still working here and can escape to the tropical place. I would never buy here. Not built to any standard that is worth the ridiculous amount of money they want and you don't get a straight answer when you sign a contract regarding when you get your deed, etc.

Find a nice beach front condo/villa in Fiji or Carribean..much nicer!

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