5 top tips for first time property buyers in Dubai


Thinking of buying a villa or apartment in Dubai? We asked the experts for their need-to-know advice…

If you’re thinking of buying in Dubai, the process can be daunting, especially if you’re new to the market and with so many factors to consider. So we tapped some industry experts for their top tips.

Be prepared to compromise

“When searching for a property to buy in Dubai, it’s good to be open to suggestions,” advises Joshua Pargin, Senior Consultant at Nomad Homes. “No viewing is a waste of time as it allows you to narrow your search to the right home for you,” he adds. “The majority of the time, the first home you look at is not the one you buy – and that’s not a problem. There may be things you can’t compromise on, like a certain commute time, but you may find that other things become aspects that aren’t a necessity.”

Look out for fake listings and view properties before you visit

“It is important for home seekers to keep an eye out on fake listings and ensure the listings they are viewing are authentic and available,” says Scott Bond, Country Manager, UAE at Property Finder. “A viewing before you visit can now be arranged thanks to advancements in technology, and should be the first step you take before visiting your potential future home. Whether that’s through a 360-degree tour, video tour or interactive floor plan, you can get a full view of the place, area and understand the property floor plan to make a decision on whether it’s worth taking the time to view.”

Location, location, location

“Dubai is a rapidly growing city experiencing urban sprawl on an unprecedented level,” explains Peter Smithson, Sales Director at Belleview Real Estate. “You only need to look at other cities and their respective property values to clearly see that location is the greatest determining factor in capital appreciation. The old property adage says, ‘it is better to buy the worst property in the best area, than the best property in the worst area.’”

Get a comprehensive understanding of the costs

“Before viewing properties, find out what the true cost of the purchase will be, including fees and required downpayment,” says Arran Summerhill, co-founder of digital mortgage platform, Holo. “The UAE may work differently from your own country and it is advised to get a full understanding of the full process and timescale, and what will be required and when. Then, be sure to get a pre-approval before going out viewing. You don’t want to fall in love with your potential first home, only to find out you cannot get the required finance. Also at the speed that the market is moving, you need to be able to offer as soon as you find your dream home. Having an approval in place will allow you to do this.”

Affordability and lifestyle

For those new to the Dubai property market, the main factor to consider is affordability, advises James Perry, Managing Director of haus & haus. “Do your research and know what areas can you afford to buy in. Once that’s clear, it’s also important to analyze the locations within your budget and then check the travel times, whether that’s the distance to your job, or the nearest school if you have children. If money is not an object, those two aspects get transformed into what the person is looking for in terms of property type, specific communities, or lifestyle preferences,” Perry adds. “For example, if a buyer loves to go kayaking in the morning they might look to purchase a property on the Palm Jumeirah to support that activity.”


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