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A buyer’s guide to becoming a homeowner in Dubai

In recent Dubai news there has been an announcement of some exciting new rules pertaining to visas and foreign investment, a strategic move by the government on the road to positioning the UAE as one of the top destinations for business.

The new rules allow for 100 per cent foreign ownership in companies and offers longer term residence visas for investors and specialists across various industries such as medicine and technology.

The announcement came last Sunday at a meeting chaired by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the UAE.

Why is this good for Dubai?

Opportunity and growth.  Previously, all foreign owned companies outside of UAE free zones were required to have a majority share Emirati owner.  The new rules implemented mean that foreign companies no longer require a local partner and will retain 100% ownership of their business. It is entirely possible that the 10 year visas are also an exciting step en route to offering permanent citizenship to foreign residents further down the line!

What does this mean for the property market?

In recent years, rental and sales prices have seen a gradual decline however, it is expected that the news will give the UAE property market a welcome boost!  Share prices among developers have experienced growth since the announcement and confidence is growing within the real estate sector. Dubai’s end user market is also likely to see a substantial increase in line with the new visa rules.

Is now a good time to buy?

Yes! As property prices are expected to gain traction again, there could not be a better time to buy.

Becoming a homeowner in Dubai

Last week we gave you a run down on the rental process in Dubai and this week we look at what it takes to become a homeowner! Connecting with one of our HMS homes brokers when you begin your search not only makes finding a property easier but they will guide and help you to understand every step.

What you need to buy a property in Dubai?

You do not need to be a resident to buy a property in Dubai but with the new investor visa rules coming in to play by the end of 2018, there is even more opportunity for buyers to make Dubai their permanent residence!

Documents required:

Passport – if you are non-resident, this is the only document you will require

Emirates ID (Residents only)

Residence Visa (Residents only)

10% Deposit Cheque in the name of the seller (this will be returned to the buyer upon transfer)

What type of buyer are you?

This is what your HMS homes agent will first look to establish so we can better understand your property search!

Do you want to live in the property or do you want to rent it out? The reasons for each of these are very clear and will determine the type of property you choose.

End-User: This will be your permanent residence or will be for personal use. Your intentions are to live in the property.

Investor: The property can be tenanted or vacant and you are looking to purchase this property purely for investment i.e you are looking to gain equity from your property.

Off Plan: The property is not complete and is under construction. This can be bought secondary market or direct from developer.

Secondary Market: Something that has been purchased from the developer originally and is now for resale – the property can be off plan or complete.

Cash Buyer: You will pay for the property in cash and do not require a mortgage / borrowing to assist with your purchase.

Finance Buyer: You will require a mortgage to assist with your home purchase.

You will find more information on this here.

Where do you want to buy?

As with renting, initially, one of the most important parts of your property search is where you want to live or where you want your investment to be!

Should you buy in an ‘up and coming area’ or an established area? Where would the return on investment (ROI) be greater? Is it wiser to buy a large 1 bedroom or a small 2 bedroom? Do you want to live in a more suburban, low rise area or in a high rise area close to the main attractions?

These are questions your agent should help you answer and will help define where best suits your situation and budget!

Check out our area guides to get some guidance on areas in Dubai!

What is your budget & what fees should you pay?

Currently in Dubai you can finance up to 80% of the property’s value (although rumour has it this might be changing shortly.) If you are planning on renting out your property then it needs to makes financial sense where any rental income more than covers your mortgage and service charges.

Your budget, whether through finance or cash, should encompass the following fees related to purchasing a property:-

·   Mortgage Registration Fee of 0.25% of total loan amount + AED270 – paid to Dubai Land Department – this information is based on standard mortgage rates which are subject to change depending on the bank

·   4% Transfer Fee of Net Selling Price + AED 580 + AED 4,000 (CASH) – paid to Dubai Land Department

·   2% Agency Fee of Net Selling Price plus VAT – made out to real estate agency

·   Service Charge Fees – the buyer will reimburse the seller or vice versa

·   Mortgage Process Fee (if applicable) – paid to bank

·   Rent Refund (if applicable) – Pro Rata from day of transfer – taken out of monies owed to seller

Finding a property

When beginning your search, it is important to connect with a good agent who specialises in your area/s – finding someone you trust and understands your needs helps to streamline the process entirely!

If you have already been viewing before with another agent, make sure you communicate this as so you do not want to end up viewing the same property twice.

Once you have found a property you are happy with – it is time to make an offer! Your agent will put forward your offer to the owner and negotiate the entirety of the deal.

Sales process

Once you have made an offer on a property, there are four different scenarios that can occur which determines the timeline on the agreement of sale (MOU).  The entire process from putting an offer in to transfer day is dependent on the type of buyer you are and the type of seller you are purchasing from.

The four scenarios are:-

Finance Buyer to Finance Seller

Finance Buyer to Cash Seller

Cash Buyer to Finance Seller

Cash Buyer to Cash Seller

You can find more information here for each scenario but we have included information for one of these below as a guide:-

Finance Buyer to Cash Seller

Buyer to obtain pre-approval
Agreement of Sale (MOU – Memorandum of Understanding) signed between Buyer and Seller
Valuation instructed on property
Valuation report received back from bank
Final offer letter issued by buyer’s bank
Final offer letter signed by buyers
NOC (No objection certificate) applied for with the developer
NOC issued
Transfer booked with buyers bank
Statement of payments to be prepared issued
Transfer at transfer office

NOC & Transfer Appointments

The sales process from one developer to another will vary so your agent will advise of this, specific to your developer requirements.

We have included below a general outline of what to expect for both the NOC appointment and the transfer appointment.

a) NOC Appointment (No Objection Certificate from the seller)

Buyer and Seller to be present or applied for online by the seller
Documents required:                     Original passports with visas (both parties)

Buyer’s original final offer letter (Finance buyer only)

Seller’s original title deed / Oqood / Ownership Document (Agency or Buyers Bank will bring this if a finance seller)

Seller’s clearance documents from seller’s finance company

b) Transfer Appointment

Buyer and Seller to be present
Documents required: Buyer & Seller – Original passports with visas

Buyer – Original final offer letter (Finance buyer only)

Buyer – Payment via managers cheque / cash / personal cheque payment

Seller – Original title deed / Oqood / Ownership Document (Agency or Buyers Bank will bring this if a finance seller)

Seller – Clearance documents from seller’s finance company

Seller – Original NOC

If you are looking to buy or sell a property in Dubai – we want to hear from you! We specialise in the ready market as well as off plan projects – take a look at our current available properties for sale here.

Look out for our next blog:- Location, Location, Location: The Dubai Area Guide

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