A place in the sun— it’s what many people want. One of the most popular places to buy a home abroad is in the UAE. For many expats, the lavish lifestyle, climate, and tax-free living are simply irresistible.
However, amidst the adventure of buying a home in the UAE or other countries, it’s easy to overlook pitfalls or get caught out by certain dodges which later prove costly. Here are a few tips so that it doesn’t happen to you.
Go over the home with a fine toothcomb
The owner may have cleaned and tidied place to make it look sparkling and spacious, but don’t let the eye candy lure you so easily. Ask for a structural check and any maintenance records. Then you’ll see if the ceiling is as strong as it is smooth and well painted.
Check out the seller and the agent
In Middle Eastern countries, it’s common for people to buy and sell homes in a ‘my word is my bond’ kind of way. That means if the sale takes place verbally, it’s likely the authorities will have no record of the sale, so make sure the seller is actually the house owner and that your record the sale with the authorities. If they’re not in name and, literally, in deed, the authorities won’t recognize the sale, and your new home will belong to someone else, even though you’re the one paying for it.
By the same token, if the sale is taking place through an agent, check that the agent is registered. They’re likely to be more responsible if they have to answer to the authorities.
Don’t have work on the brain
A lot of people like to find a place that’s close to where they work. Great, but what happens when your circumstances change? You’re better off thinking about how the house would improve or diminish your quality of life if you were to buy it. For instance, can you hear the neighbors having yet another row? Is the place well connected or do you need to hitch-hike to the nearest grocery store?
Think of the long-term costs
Maybe you can afford a home loan that pays for a three-floor mega-home with a swimming pool and tennis court, but do you have the money to run it? Large homes generate large bills, especially in air conditioning and electricity, as well as greater maintenance costs. Be sure you can meet them.
Take care if buying off-plan
Having a home built just the way you like it is sometimes too good to be true. The thing is you can pay lots of money up front only to see the house never materialize, or not turn out quite the way you’d envisaged it. Before you buy off plan, check out the credentials of the parties involved. Does the developer or any of the contractors have a track record of disgruntled customers or incomplete projects?
Buying a dream home in the UAE can be a magical time, but if you have your head in the clouds reality, or rather the devious and the unscrupulous, can bring down you to earth with a bump. Remember the tips above if you’re looking for a place in the UAE. Then it really can be your dream home, rather than become the money pit.