Are you planning to buy a property in Dubai? Did you know that since 2002, foreigners can buy a house or an apartment in the United Arab Emirates, and that processes have even been put in place to simplify such a purchase?
How to buy a house in Dubai? What are the advantages of the Dubai real estate market? What is the process of buying a house in Dubai step by step? All the answers are in this guide!
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF THE DUBAI REAL ESTATE MARKET?
Whether you are already an expatriate or will soon be moving to Dubai, you will be delighted to learn that the process of buying a property in Dubai is now much simpler and that the Dubai real estate market has many advantages. So, what are the good reasons to become a homeowner in Dubai?
Firstly, the prices on the real estate market are attractive. Dubai is a large and booming city, where the prices of houses and apartments are quite a bit lower than in major capitals like New York, Paris or London. Dubai is one of the most prosperous cities in the Middle East, and is one of the most economically and culturally active places.
In addition, much of Dubai's real estate is new, and the amenities offered are often high-end. In Dubai, it is not uncommon for apartments or houses to be equipped with a pool or a gym.
Another important advantage: investing in real estate in Dubai allows you to obtain a visa. All you need to buy a property is a valid passport, and depending on the value of the property(ies) you wish to purchase, you will then be eligible for a residential visa lasting from 3 to 10 years.
For investors, Dubai is a place of choice, because the tax system is extremely advantageous. For example, there is no income tax or corporate tax. Residential properties are still not affected by the VAT introduced in 2018 and are therefore still currently tax-free.
For a landlord, the rental yields are also particularly attractive, as they can reach 10%, much like in the U.S.. They are therefore among the highest in the world. In addition, Dubai's legislation is also Landlord-friendly, particularly with regard to renting (year-round) and paying rent.
Other advantages are directly related to the quality of life in Dubai. Much like the other cities in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is one of the safest major cities in the world.
It is also a very diverse city, with many infrastructures, and various residences and districts, where everyone can find the home of their dreams: houses, villas, apartments... There are all sorts of properties. Some areas are very lively and dynamic and will appeal to young professionals, while others will be perfect for those looking for a more family-oriented setting.
HOW TO BUY A HOUSE IN DUBAI?
To buy a house or an apartment in Dubai, the steps to follow are actually quite simple, and rather similar to those in the U.S.
FINDING YOUR HOME IN DUBAI
The only prerequisite is to be in possession of a valid passport, then you can start your search.
You have three choices: you can buy a new home off-plan, buy a new property that has already been built, or buy a property that is being resold by a private individual.
In Dubai, more than half of all real estate transactions are off-plan sales. The earlier the purchase, the more attractive the price can be, but deadlines are not always met and this type of purchase presents more risk. For an off-plan purchase, it is advisable to turn to reputable real estate developers, such as EMAAR. They offer stronger guarantees, but they also have the most demanding payment terms.
You don't have to use the services of a real estate professional for your search, but it is definitely advisable to get help from a real estate agent to avoid unpleasant surprises. If you think you can do without the services of an agent, you can also contact a real estate developer directly.
If you prefer to be assisted by a professional, your agent will be able to guide you through the entire process of finding and buying your home in Dubai. He or she will take care of the prospecting, the organization of visits and the administrative procedures. Of course, in exchange for his services, he will receive a commission of about 2.5% of the selling price.
You will first have to specify all your search criteria: budget, type and size of the property, location, whether to purchase it already built or off-plan... For this first step, you do not even need to be in Dubai: everything can be done remotely.
VISIT THE SELECTED PROPERTIES
Once your real estate agent has received your search criteria, he or she will be able to offer you a selection of houses or apartments to visit. If you are not yet a resident of Dubai, you will need to prepare enough time for these visits. If you have to go to Dubai especially for the visits, you can, before flying there, ask for a maximum of details on the properties, and even make virtual pre-visits in certain cases, so as to reduce the selection and thereby save a precious time.
It is even possible to do everything remotely, but again, it is really recommended to check in person and on site that everything is in order, before committing yourself further and taking the next step. By being in Dubai, you will also be able to get a better idea of the city's real estate market with your agent.
OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT IN DUBAI
In any case, to buy a house in Dubai, you will need a local bank account, such as a Saving Account. Without this, you will not be able to make a deposit and therefore you will not be able to finalize a real estate transaction.
Opening an account can be done quickly and easily in one day, and you will only need to provide your bank statements of the last 6 months. You will need to contact your banker to obtain certification of these documents.
FINALIZING THE PURCHASE OF A PROPERTY IN DUBAI
Once you have found your ideal home in Dubai, you will of course have to make an offer, and you will have the opportunity to negotiate with the seller. If an agreement is reached, your real estate agent will take care of all the formalities. He will prepare a MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding), which corresponds to a sales agreement. He will make sure that everything is also in order on the seller's side and that they are entitled to sell their property.
To complete this step, you will sometimes have to pay a deposit which may correspond to 10% of the sale price of the property.
Unlike in the U.S.,where lawyers take care of the contract; in Dubai the final transaction will take place at a government-approved notary's office, who will be in charge of verifying the conformity of the transaction and transferring the title of ownership. Notary fees amount to approximately 4-5% of the sale price of the property.
Transactions in Dubai are faster than in the U.S., and take about one or two weeks.
FINANCING THE PURCHASE OF A HOUSE IN DUBAI
When it comes to financing your property purchase in Dubai, even foreigners and expatriates can obtain a mortgage in the emirate. In fact, the vast majority of home purchases in Dubai are financed by loans with a term of 20 to 25 years.
As a general rule, in order to obtain a loan, you will need to be able to justify a stable and relatively high income (around $2,850 per month). You will never be able to get a loan with monthly payments of more than half your monthly income.
Careful though: in Dubai, you can go to jail for any debt you may have, even small ones!
For a real estate loan, expatriates and foreigners must be able to provide a deposit, which will depend solely on the sale price of the house or apartment.
For a property with a price of less than AED 5 million (Dubai currency), the down payment should be at least 25% of the sale price, and for a price of more than AED 5 million, it should be at least 35% of the sale price.
Obtaining a loan can be done in a few days. For this you will need to provide some documents:
- A photocopy of your passport
- An EmiratesID, an identity card received within 10 days of the visa being issued
- A salary certificate
- A declaration of income
- Your bank statements for the last few months
As could be the case in the U.S., the best thing to do is to compare offers from different banks, and to not start any visit until you have at least received an agreement in principle from a banking institution.
And that's it, that's the end of this article on the steps to buy a house in Dubai! I hope that the information will be useful for you to acquire your future property 🙂