Buying a home in a foreign country is a huge decision to make and one that doesn't come without a number of discussions with family and friends and seeking advice from people who have already taken the leap.
Once you find yourself flicking through properties for sale in Dubai on one, or all of the property portals and calculating your mortgage repayments you may be getting serious about the idea of buying a home.
Buying a property is on everyone's goal list and it’s such an achievement when you are finally in a position to do so. As an expat living in Dubai, the mental battle comes into play when the money is in the bank and you find yourself torn between buying a property where you work and live or buying a property back in your home country.
I think I speak on behalf of many dubai expats when I say that we came to Dubai for a year, or two or maybe even five but few of us came here for the long run and thought we’d build our lives here. However, the city draws us in with its opportunities, the fast paced lifestyles, the beach clubs, ladies nights, brunches we weren’t used to at home and fast forward 2 years and you’re doing really well at work and met the love of your life and all of a sudden that timeline you had come here with is up in the air and you find yourself contemplating whether you could ever give up this lifestyle and move home ever again.
As the years roll on and the savings add up and you surpass what you had hoped to save and the figure you had in mind for a house deposit, you find yourself torn between the life you have created for yourself in a city you love and your family and home comforts from where you came from. I’m sure many of us moved to Dubai to save money to take back home and enjoy ourselves along the way, but time flies and jobs progress and you get very used to pool days and weekends at the beach. How are you going to give this up to head back to your old life?
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments we are likely to make and as we go through life saving for this dream, we don’t actually think about what it will feel like when we are finally in a position to step onto the property ladder - especially as an expat. It takes you back slightly. All your money that you have worked so hard for will go into a property that you will live in for the next five or so years or buy to perhaps rent out depending on what life throws at you. It becomes very real very fast and you have to weigh up the pros and cons of where and what to buy.
It all comes down to you and what you feel will be most beneficial in the coming years. If you are feeling that Dubai is home and moving back to your home country is not on your radar, then it’s time to stop paying rent and subsequently paying someone else's mortgage and start paying into your own.
Once the decision is made - Dubai is the one, the real work begins. At the beginning of your property search, I would suggest speaking to a mortgage broker in Dubai to understand the process and go through your finances and how they will work for you and establish a solid budget to work with before you start looking more seriously at properties in the market - you don’t want to get your hopes up.
After your mortgage consultation you will feel more confident with the search for your home. I would suggest looking here to see what options are out there for you. If you like the property you live in and rent right now, I would still suggest you take a look around. You never know, an area or a property you have never thought of may suit you much better. Take a drive around communities you like to narrow down your search and then request a few virtual viewings to narrow your search down further. You can ask the agent any questions that come to mind whilst he takes you through the property virtually and you can take a look around all the rooms, narrow down your search even more and head out to take physical viewings when you know what you like.