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Abu Dhabi Woman
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desertrosie

Buying Property Here

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Good morning

Well, we're actually considering taking the plunge and buying a property here.

I'd appreciate any views regarding the pros and cons, which as relative newcomers we may have missed.

The job is quite stable and should see us here for around 8 years. If we bought, the company rent allowance would go to us; theory being in around 8 years a modest property would be virtually paid off.

If this comes to fruition we would have to downsize and would be looking at a 3 bedroom villa in say Al Reef for around 1.4M DHS( our budget). Our logic (such that it is) being that prices have already fallen and after a few years the company rent allowance has already paid for a good percentage of the mortgage.

Before we go deeper into this venture, I'd be very happy to receive any opinions or dos n dont's that we may not know.

Thanks

Desert Rosie

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who would take the chance of buying property here. I know some do, but wow, what a risk, here one day, gone the next, you have zero rights if anything happens. That's just my opinion. I met a couple of people who'd bought properties on Al Reem and Al Raha Beach project. They lost A LOT of money as the value went down, and also can't find people to rent them out as the market is so crazy right now. but whatever your choice, good luck with it.

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After 9 years in the gulf, I wouldn't suggest any expat buy property here. Way too risky. Plus you have NO guarantees. Most people that buy have to wait YEARS for the developer to hand over their properties and they are never to the standard promised. Changes are made without the owners consent and new fees are added also without consent. You are better to put your money under your mattress.

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Do think long and hard and research, research before you buy. We know a few people who have bought property here and regret it on various levels. Being here as an expat long term is not guaranteed. You may feel stable right now but things happen, and without warning you could be gone........

We have been here 7 years and had the chance to buy property, with a low rate mortgage, but decided against it for a number of reasons. We prefer to buy a property in the UK to use when we leave here, it would be ours 100% on paper and we know it would be built to last!

If you can take your housing allowance why not take the money, downsize to a cheaper place you can rent, put away and save the extra for when you leave here.

As an expat there are no guarantees here and 1.4M dhs is a lot of money to lose, plus build quality is poor so who knows if your home would last the 8 years you "plan" on being here.

Edited by Lammas

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Desertrosie - your risk would be limited to your housing allowance. If you buy you will be like you're using your full allowance for rent, so no risk there. I would do it, but avoid areas like Al Reem or Raha as resale opportunities are limited. Your best choice is a villa in Al Reef. Good luck

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who have any guarantees that he will still be here to the next month.. we just live here day by day .anything can happen and find your self out..

from the other point of view the properties prices are very high comparing to any other place

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Desertrosie - your risk would be limited to your housing allowance. If you buy you will be like you're using your full allowance for rent, so no risk there. I would do it, but avoid areas like Al Reem or Raha as resale opportunities are limited. Your best choice is a villa in Al Reef. Good luck

I agree, so long as the OP is completely confident they wont get caught short and have a 1.4 mil villa they can't sell if they have to take off suddenely.

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Thanks to all!!

Really grateful for the input. Our minds still not made up and we're going to tread carefully.

'Dono'..that is the idea and that's the reason behind buying. But I appreciate that there are so many variable risks. However I would think its unlikely for real estate prices to fall say 30-40 % from current levels....correct me if I'm wrong : ) Build quality..point taken. I'll post to let you know which way we go.

Thanks again.

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Are mortgages capped at 50% now? So, if you put in x (700,000dhs) and you lose your jobs, you could lose that straight off. It is risky but the lower the % of your initial investment the less the risk.

You must always keep in mind that the job market is very insecure.

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apart from risks as mentioned above, I'm not sure if I would do it if I was in your place.

Let's face it, buildings, especially villas, here are not build for long term - after 8 years it would almost be considered (moderately) old. Then Al Reef isn't exactly "hot" - with rents coming down in general and a lot of new buildings coming on the market it will be less attractive (my personal opinion).

If you plan to go back in approx 8 years time - how will you manage your property here?

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Edited - your risk would be your down payment which is around 15-16% min + utilities and maintenance + difference between housing allowance and rent if you have the option of getting it in cash. If you can accept that risk and your allowance pays for your whole mortgage then go for it, and try to pay it off as soon as you can. After 5 years, assess the market and if you can get your money back, you will have AED 1.4m in your pocket which sounds good. Then you may sell it and go for rent again. I think if you have only 1m in your pocket it's still better than money paid to some landlord. Nothing comes risk-free, but I think in your case it's worth thinking of it at least.

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I agree with the above.

However I dove in and bought at Al Bandar in December. The repayments are lower than my housing allowance

If I lose my job, I sell and walk away. If I cant sell, I rent it for more than the repayments

all a risk, but I think Al Bandar property prices have definitely gone up since last year

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Good food for thought. To clarify, we are thinking of buying a villa to live in (not rent), the rent allowance would cover the mortgage. If we sold a few years later, even below market value or even after a down turn in the market, the mortgage paid was money provided by the company (less our initial 30% downpayment).

We're still at the initial stage and have yet to contact a bank re mortgages. The max 50% loan for expats has not been implemented (as far as I can gather) and I anticipate being able to get a mortgage for 70% of the value. If we get to the mortgage stage, we will also look at Islamic bank mortgages as they are reputed to be less volatile - must admit I havent researched those yet though. Any thoughts : ) ?

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I totally disagree with NOT BUYING !!! We bought and I would not ever think of renting again!

The hassle with the landlords, maintenance, ... We've been here 12 years and I wished we got to it quicker.

You hardly have anything to loose only to win, especially when it is rent money provided by the company!

Too many who know people (who they don't know) who lost money, well I know more people personally who gained money but mostly gained a better, more comfortable lifestyle with it.

Edited by Rosas

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People who have bought have had good experiences plus you get residency when you buy property as far as I know. I think it depend in the end on your knowledge about the market and buying property. You need to have an expert on hand for several reasons and especially to protect you from unscrupulous people in the business.

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People who have bought have had good experiences plus you get residency when you buy property as far as I know. I think it depend in the end on your knowledge about the market and buying property. You need to have an expert on hand for several reasons and especially to protect you from unscrupulous people in the business.

DD, I don't think you get residency anymore when buying property here. Sure I read somewhere that those rules changed.....may be wrong though.

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Lammas, Not sure as I haven't heard anything about any new changes, but I think I read something more recently lately that it is still going on in Dubai. Not sure for Khalifa A area though what the latest is right now. I know Al Bandar, The Reef and other similar areas had people buy land. More evidence of this too, was some houses changing the outer face ( exterior design) of their houses. Some locals do but these properties too. However, having said that, it is why anyone should seek legal advice to get the latest updates on the property market etc.,

Edited by DesertDream

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