The Arab world used to be characterized by instability, but that has changed for the better. The Freehold Decree from 2002 allowed foreigners to purchase, sell, lease, and rent properties. The decree led to Dubai becoming a top destination. Therefore, buying a property is a viable and attractive option with a healthy market that continues to grow. Also, purchasing property here is relatively simple. Still, it is essential to take precautions. Understanding the process of buying a second home in Dubai will help you minimize the risks.

Tips for buying a second home in Dubai

If you plan to relocate from Kuwait to Dubai, getting the entire process organized is essential. You want to cover your health insurance, find a prominent moving company, and prepare your finances.

To help you get to the step of decorating your new house, take a look at our ten tips for purchasing property in Dubai.

#1: Get informed on the purchasing process

You can buy properties in Dubai in two ways:

  1. Off-plan – from a developer
  2. Resale – from a private seller

If you opt for the former, you will have to provide your passport and reservation form that includes the terms and conditions of the deal. In addition, you will need to pay a reservation fee (5 to 15%) to prepare the Sales and Purchase Agreement. This commits both parties to the deal. 

For properties that are under construction, make sure the agreement includes the completion date. If there are any delays, the contract should outline compensations. 

On the other hand, the Memorandum of Understanding outlines the terms and conditions when buying a resale property from a private seller. After that, you will need to put down around a 10% deposit to confirm your purchase. The transfer of the deeds can happen only after the financing is approved.

#2: Know the reason behind your purchase

Deciding whether you want to buy a home for investment purposes or for your family plays an essential role in shaping the process.

If you want to invest, rent out the property is an excellent idea. To buy a rental, you will need to research and study the properties that can bring you the highest profits. For example, a one or two-bedroom apartment stands for a better investment than a luxurious villa.

Dubai buildings at night
When buying a second home in Dubai, it is essential to know what you want from the property

#3: Be alert 

Thorough research and inquiring about anything that concerns you are of the utmost importance.

For instance, if you are purchasing from a developer, you want to ensure their reputation is impeccable – primarily whether they can deliver on time. When buying a second home in Dubai from a developer, the properties usually aren’t finished. Therefore, it is vital to visit show homes and get an idea of the result. 

On the other hand, if you plan to buy from a real estate agent, they must be registered with Dubai Land Department.

#4: Hire a surveying company

According to the relocation experts from Easy Move K.W., most people who successfully relocated to Dubai hired a professional surveying company before purchasing their properties.

The surveyors will thoroughly check the property and alert you of any potential risks. This is especially important if the property you chose is a villa that will be unoccupied for a longer time. 

#5: Seek professional advice

It is not obligatory, but it’s good practice to seek advice when purchasing a property in Dubai.

 Two lawyers talking
Consulting a legal professional will significantly help you in the buying process.

With professional guidance, you will avoid any potential risks. In addition, having a lawyer by your side will ensure the entire process is transparent and safe.

#6: The opt-out clause

If you buy a property under a mortgage, you need to request an opt-out clause in the Memorandum of Understanding or the sale agreement. This clause will indemnify you against the loss of your deposit money if the bank’s evaluation of the property comes out lower than expected. This situation would result in you having to put a more considerable amount towards the down payment. 

Without this clause, the buyer would lose the deposit money, which is often 10% of the property value.

#7: Check if the property has any debts or burdens

You need to ensure the property you are purchasing is free from any liabilities or obligations. Your seller will need to provide you with a No Objection Certificate from the developer’s office. The developers usually do a couple of checks before issuing the N.O.C.

People looking at documents
The N.O.C. will confirm that the property is ready to be transferred to the Dubai Land Development.

Caption: The N.O.C. will confirm that the property is ready to be transferred to the Dubai Land Development.

Alt-tag: People looking at documents

#8: Get pre-approval from your bank

Another vital thing to do is get pre-approval from your lending institution before starting house-hunting in Dubai. This will ensure you have the funds to go through the whole process and final transaction. 

Furthermore, this will save everyone’s time. People often seek a perfect property to find out in the end that they don’t have enough funds to go through with the deal. 

#9: Be aware of the additional costs

When purchasing a property, you need to be aware that there are additional fees apart from the actual price of the house. 

These include legal fees, developer fees or real estate agent fees, land registration, and maintenance fees. For example, expats usually need to pay around 2% on land registration fees when buying an off-plan property. Other types of expenses can vary based on the size of the property.

calculator showing figures
Keep in mind there are several other fees to pay connected with a property purchase transaction.

#10: Read the contract carefully

Property purchases in Dubai are accompanied by either of two types of legal documents:

  1. Memorandum of Understanding 
  2. Sale and Purchase Agreement between the buyer and the seller

The documents outline the terms and conditions and define your responsibilities and rights. Therefore, make sure you understand everything and do not sign anything unless you are 100% on board.

Final words

Finally, whether you plan on buying a second home in Dubai and moving there or using it for investment purposes, you probably won’t regret your decision. Happy house hunting!


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