guide to buying off plan property in Dubai

Guide to Buying Off-Plan Property in Dubai

Buying an off plan property can be a daunting process which is why we have put together this comprehensive guide to buying off-plan property in Dubai.

With so many options in the market and so many different developers and developments just knowing where to start can be daunting. And that’s before we get to some of the dodgy advice being provided by some players in the market.

With the right advice and a little guidance, however, the whole process really isn’t that difficult or daunting.  As this off plan property guide will show, being prepared and knowing your objective from the outset will ensure the process is not only not difficult but rather fun. Outside of making the process more enjoyable, being prepared will ensure you choose the very best property for your particular wants and needs.

So without further ado here is a list of the top things you need to consider before signing that contract as well as step by step guide on actually buying an off plan property.

Buying Off-Plan Property in Dubai – Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Familiarise yourself with the Dubai real estate market, its communities, and some of the new projects available
  2. Speak to an experienced off-plan agent or agency and discover more about the market and most up-to-date projects
  3. Decide on the type of property you want to invest in and in which location/s
  4. Review the relevant options available and consult with your agent about which property or project is most suitable
  5. Book the unit of your choice and sign the relevant contracts
  6. Make the repayment as set out in the Sales and Purchase Agreement
  7. Take possession and enjoy what is hopefully a great new home or an investment

This is a quick summary of what the buying process looks like. Keep reading to find out everything you need to consider before and during your off plan purchase journey.

Everything You Need to Consider

What are your Reasons for Buying?

Will you be buying an off plan property for purely investment purposes or will this be somewhere you would like to make your home?

This is an important question certain off-plan developments are more suited to investors whilst others are more fitting for end users. Being clear on your buying purpose right from the start will help narrow down your options and tailor your approach.

Decide on the Community and Type of Property you Want to Buy

With a host of off plan options out there, searching for your off plan property can be quite overwhelming. To help avoid this it’s beneficial to have a shortlist of preferred areas as well as an idea as to the type of property desired. The three main property types available are off plan villas, townhouses, and apartments. Each of these has different pros and cons and knowing which one is right for you will ultimately depend on your personal preferences and reasons for buying.

Know Who You Are Buying From

You wouldn’t spend AED 100,000 on a new car from a brand you’ve never heard and the same goes for buying a new off plan property.

Do your research and ensure you are familiar with the off-plan property developer you’re buying from. Find out about their track record and reputation. Find out about and go visit their past projects as these are always a good indicator of what you can expect.

Learn About the Project/Development you are Considering Buying in

Take time to learn about and know about the development you are buying in. It’s important to be familiar with the project you are considering as well as the overall master development.  Important factors to take into account when deciding if a development is right for you are:

  • Development size – No of floors and units
  • What will the finished product look like and what materials will be used
  • What facilities and amenities will be available
  • Residents and visitor parking arrangements
  • Road access points to the development as well as the community
  • Property location and its proximity to other buildings and structures. Will these affect the building and how?
  • Planned retail outlets within the development or at least the provision for these
  • What’s already in the community and what’s being planned
  • What will the service charges be

Most developers these days will provide mock-up apartments along with extensive marketing material. These go a long way to answer most of these questions and also mean buyers have a very good sense of what they are buying.

Know Exactly What you are Buying

Once you have decided in which development you wish to buy the next step is to decide on exactly which unit you wish to buy. Pay close attention to:

  • Property size and layout
  • Land size in case of villas and townhouses and floor height in case of apartments
  • Unit orientation and position within the development
  • Likely views from the main living areas as well as bedrooms
  • What is included? i.e. white goods, furniture, landscaping.

Understanding these factors will ensure you get what you paid for as well as the view you paid for.

Please note that picking the exact unit you like will not be possible so it’s best to have a range, group, or type you are happy with.

Understand That Not All Property Types in a Single Project are the Same

Not all villas, townhouses, or apartments in a particular project or in the case of apartments, towers are the same. This is absolutely crucial to be aware of and something that’s overlooked by many would be off plan property buyers.

A particular newly released tower may come with lots of hype and some stunning renders of the views and finish on offer. Whilst these may be a true and accurate representation of some apartments in this tower they do not mean that all apartments in that tower will come with those features.

Every residential tower or villa community will come with more desirable units and some less desirable units. This is why as pointed out in this off plan property buying guide, it is so important to do sufficient research and know exactly what you are buying.

Read your contract carefully

Make sure you understand what you are signing before signing. It is important you are fully aware of your obligations as well as the obligations of the developer. We recommend getting professional advice and leaving no stone unturned.

Buy and Budget Correctly

Buying off-plan property does not require full payment upfront but rather staggered payments which are usually linked to construction. To avoid surprises ensure you are aware of your payment plan obligations and in a position to meet these as required.

Know your Financing and Mortgage options

When buying an off plan property it’s not only important to understand your financial commitment but also your potential financing options. Getting finance for an off plan property is possible however it isn’t quite as straightforward as getting finance for say a ready property. For full details please visit our page – Off plan property financing in Dubai.

Know the Community

When buying off-plan property it’s crucial to consider more than just the unit and the actual development you are buying in. Research the community you are considering in and ensure it’s somewhere you should buy. This is even more important when buying in brand new and developing communities. Factors to take into consideration are:

  • Nature of projects planned for the area and completion estimates
  • Availability of community centers and shopping outlets
  • Proximity to schools, medical centers, and places of interest
  • Road access and public transport links
  • Area demographics and housing demand
  • Community master plan inclusions

All of the above mentioned factors need to be taken into the equation and will play a huge part in the value of your property upon completion.

Have an Exit Strategy and a Contingency Plan

Whether your off plan purchase is purely an investment or somewhere you will live in it’s important you have a contingency plan and an exit strategy. Should you need to sell it is crucial to know when doing so is permitted as well as the associated costs.

Guide to Buying Off-plan Property Summary

As this buying guide has illustrated there are more than a few considerations to take into account before buying an off plan property. Some of these are pretty obvious and ones most people will think of naturally whilst others may not be as well known. Nevertheless, they are all important and deserving of consideration to ensure you not only buy an off plan property but buy the one best suited for you.

Now that you are familiar with our guide to Buying Off-Plan Property check out our Investing in Dubai page.