1. Work out your budget: Don’t just look at the value of the property but consider the total cost of buying Dubai properties including legal fees, deposits, and maintenance charges. If you need finance, consider mortgage costs and calculate how much you can afford to pay for the monthly installments throughout the repayment period.
2. Know why you want to buy: A property that is bought for personal use is very different from a property that you would rent out, which in turn is very different from a retirement or second home. If you are buying for investment purposes, make sure you know what the market price is and the rental yield you can expect to earn while buying Dubai properties.
3. Figure out what you want to buy: Do you want an apartment or a villa? Would you like to live by the sea or in the city? Are schools, public transportation, restaurants and malls important to you? Answering these questions will help you make informed choices whilst buying Dubai properties.
4. Choose the area that serves your goals: If you are looking for a healthy return on investment, then look at home buying Dubai properties in established areas such as Dubai Marina that are popular with renters and where demand is strong. If you are looking for appreciation, then look at home buying Dubai properties in districts such as Dubailand, which have seen prices increase by over 30 percent in recent years.
5. Choose a reputable developer: While home buying Dubai properties, ensure that the developer has an escrow account. Also look at the developer’s track record. Are past buildings of good build quality? Have the projects have been delivered on time and within budget? Are communal areas well-maintained?
6. Work with a professional brokerage: Check that the brokerage is registered with Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).When looking for a real estate agent, make sure they have a license. Ask for their broker card and check if they have a certificate from RERA.
7. Look for local expertise: Finding an agent with in-depth local expertise is important because every area/community poses unique challenges. Work with someone who has a proven track record of selling properties in the neighbourhood you wish to buy in as he/she will know the ins and outs of the area and help you bag the best price.
8. Find out about hidden extras: Service charges covering maintenance of communal areas such as gyms, parks, pools and other shared facilities can either be a fixed rate or vary depending on the size of the property and area. If you decide to purchase a large property, this could become a significant cost. Also ask residents what the average water and electricity (DEWA) bill for a similar property would amount to. Other extras would include agency fees and mortgage registration costs.
9. Know the law: Numerous laws to regulate the market have been introduced in recent years: related to mortgage caps, off-plan property purchase plans and transfer and transaction fees. Stay up-to-date with the latest regulations to make informed choices while buying Dubai properties.
10.Understand the purchasing process: When it comes to buying Dubai properties, you can either purchase off plan from a developer or buy it from a private seller. When purchasing off-plan property, expats will need to provide a completed reservation form, their passport and a reservation deposit amongst other documents. If you are going in for a “resale” purchase, you and the seller will need to agree on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). As the buyer, you will need to put down a deposit, usually amounting to 10 percent of the property price, or alternatively whatever has been negotiated. The formal transfer of deeds will take place on obtaining financing.