As part of our Sunday Series, every week, we bring you a new expert advice column to make the most of your life in Abu Dhabi. This week, Alan Kaye, director of business development at District Real Estate, tells us what you need to think about before buying property in Abu Dhabi.
Many people dream of owning a home and the myriad opportunities that present themselves in the UAE make the proposition very tempting.
However, buying property is something that should only be considered after looking carefully at the different options available.
The first decision to make is if you are intending to actually live in the house, or just buying for an investment.
For investment properties, important issues to take into account include access to shops, schools and transport as well as access to facilities including a pool, gym and car parking.
In addition, you will also need to research the management company to ensure they have a good reputation, will keep the common areas in a good state and deal with issues, as you will rely on them to keep up the value of your investment.
It’s also important in your financial calculations to consider periods when the property is not leased and potential maintenance costs.
When buying a property to live in you will have your own preferences but should take the same research into account.
I always suggest when you decide to buy, take some time to ensure you will be happy living there, the neighbourhood is the right fit and that as many boxes as possible are ticked.
Buying an off-plan or a ready property is another major part of the decision making process.
The advantage of a ready property is that you can check it out and ensure that everything is to your liking before you part with money. The disadvantage is that you will need to fund the purchase in full prior to moving.
For an expat the minimum deposit for a property under AED 5m is 25 percent and for properties over AED 5m it is 30 percent.
The deposit needs to be funded from personal funds and the balance paid by a mortgage, which can be up to 20 years or longer, dependant on personal circumstances.
Off-plan properties tend to come with extremely good payment plans, paid in instalments before the handover date, with the balance settled either by a mortgage or a post-payment plan.
In theory, you’re buying at a discount but this is entirely dependent on the state of the property market upon completion.
One of the main disadvantages is that you cannot check out the area and are reliant on the developer fulfilling their promises.
Finally, as in all property matters, we recommend that you use a reliable registered real estate company such as District Real Estate, who are in a position to give you as much advice as is needed to ensure that your purchase will be as trouble free as possible.
Alan regularly answers your property questions in Abu Dhabi World. You can ask for his advice by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit: districtuae.com