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A Guide To Purchasing Your First Property As An Expat In Dubai

If you’re looking for a home in Dubai, returning to plant down roots, or looking to invest in buy-to-let, there’s a lot to consider when buying a property in Dubai.

To learn how to buy a house in Dubai, you must first do your study.

Dubai is a fantastic place to live and is becoming increasingly beneficial for expats looking to make a profit. As an added bonus, when the transition period expires on December 31, 2020, expats won’t have to worry about any changes to their residency status, making long-term property investment even more enticing and secure.

Learn Why You Want To Buy As An Expat In Dubai

It may seem self-evident, but think about it for a moment. Purchasing an investment property differs from purchasing a home, and having a clear understanding of your objectives will assist you in making important decisions.

The property market in Dubai is known to change from time to time. It is, for the most part, a stable sector with consistent rental and resale values. There is, nevertheless, a lot of options, given the expanding number of new advancements.

If you already live in Dubai, you most likely have a strong idea of the type of home you’d like to purchase.

If not, consider what factors are most important to you, what facilities you need to be close by, and how many people will be living with you so your search will get off to a good start.

As An Expat In Dubai, You Can Buy Property

Purchasing a freehold property is the same as purchasing a home in the United States. You buy a house, it becomes yours, and you can do whatever you want with it. Although you can buy certain apartments and other residences freehold, the majority of freehold properties are houses.

If you want a freehold home in Dubai, there is a list of approved developers to choose from.

Usufruct is similar to leasehold, in that you buy ownership of a property for a set number of years, usually up to 100. Usufruct ownership allows you to do whatever you want with the property, just like a freehold.

When the lease expires, the property reverts to the original seller’s ownership. This type of property cannot be passed down as an inheritance, and you do not have the authority to demolish it.

When it comes to apartments, commonhold refers to the fact that you can own the unit but must pay the owner – generally a developer – for maintenance. The building and any shared amenities are owned by the developer, but you own the apartment.

Just like a freehold, you can sell, rent out, or pass on ownership of the property as long as you keep up with the upkeep costs.

Fewer Restrictions When It Comes To Purchasing Property As An Expat In Dubai

Expats were formerly prohibited from investing in the Dubai property market, but this has now changed, and buyers are no longer bound by any specific rules.

Some neighbourhoods, such as Jumeirah, are off-limits to expat property ownership since they are not freehold. Before you set your heart on a neighbourhood, check with a local realtor to be sure it isn’t one of the few spots where you won’t be able to buy.

The good news for expats is that purchasing a home in Dubai is pretty simple.

This simplifies the process and eliminates the need to jump through additional hoops. Many properties in Dubai are marketed as freehold, however leasehold homes often have a lease term of 30 to 99 years.

As An Expat In Dubai, How Do You Choose The Right Property?

As a buyer, you have a wide variety of homes, locations, and new developments to pick from.

Start looking at the market to assist you narrow down your options.

Some of these elements may not be as significant to you as others, but given how congested Dubai can be and how some neighbourhoods have less constructed roads, it’s always a good idea to practise your regular commutes.

Estate agents in Dubai can help you identify properties in your desired places that fit your budget and preferences, just like they do in any other country.

However, because most developments in the country are offered directly, it is also typical to buy directly from a developer.

As An Expat In Dubai, You Can Work With Developers

If you decide to buy from a developer, check out their track record before handing over any cash or signing a contract. Different developers have different pricing structures, so make sure you understand what you’ll be paying before signing any paperwork.

This is the safest approach to ensure you’re making a good purchase, and there are a few things you can do to check out your property seller’s background.

Most of these precautions apply to estate agents, in addition to examining your developer’s background. Before you invest your hard-earned money, check sure they are officially licenced and study the experiences of their former clientele.

Closing The Deal As An Expat In Dubai

In general, Dubai homeownership works the same way it does anywhere else, so after you’ve selected a property and agreed on a price, you can anticipate the papers to be drafted up quickly, leaving no opportunity for misunderstanding.

The transaction itself takes only a few days to complete, with a typical sale lasting only 30 days from the date of the purchase agreement to the closing date.

A memorandum of intent must be signed, as well as a deposit. The amount varies based on the property’s worth, but anticipate to pay at least 10% of the property’s value as a deposit.

Property Taxes As An Expat In Dubai

Dubai is known for having some of the world’s most advantageous tax rules, and real estate is no exception to the low-tax climate.

Although not every charge applies to all property sales, a lot relies on whether you’re purchasing from a developer and whether you need mortgage financing. The table below indicates some of the common costs you can anticipate to pay, albeit not every charge applies to all property transactions.

If you’re financing your property investment with a mortgage, you’ll also need to think about things like a deposit, mortgage costs, and processing fees.

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