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What property features should I prioritise when listing my apartment for sale?
If you have a listing agent or are already working with a realtor, they would know exactly what characteristics of your property should be highlighted to make it stand out from the rest and be highly marketable. But the most important features that will make or break your goal to sell your apartment include the fact that it must be competitively priced or priced just right for the market, its location or proximity to landmarks and important infrastructure such as transportation links and commercial districts, size, building facilities and community amenities, quality and current physical condition, whether or not it is being handled by a professional property management firm, or fully paid or financed. Also, make sure you mention any improvements done, and if it has special features such as a nice view, balcony, closed kitchen or extra storage.
I want to make some structural changes in my villa. What is the typical procedure I need to follow?
You need to establish that the amendments you plan do not threaten the structural integrity or safe habitation status of your villa. Prepare the architectural and MEP drawings for the proposed concept. These would need to be viewed in conjunction with the architectural and MEP “as-built drawings” by different authorities and regulatory bodies to ensure the proposed design is structurally sound. You need to obtain NOCs from your OA, zoning authorities, Civil Defence, project developer and even DEWA regarding electricity and water supply. If renovations are extensive, you may be required to have the work inspected by the Civil Defence Department and the Building Department.
Your architect or contractor can arrange for all approvals on your behalf. I suggest you engage professionals who can achieve this for you.
What documents do I need to provide so I can arrange for an agency to market and sell my villa?
Give a proof of identity, usually a passport and/or Emirates ID, and a copy of the original sales and purchase agreement to be verified with the Dubai Land Department (DLD).
If the property is leased, provide details of the lease agreement including the status of outstanding payments and any information pertaining to the history with the tenant. Also, provide the status of payments of service and owners association charges.
The agency will sit and consult with you as to what your requirements are and prepare for you a letter of engagement which will contain the details of what you require from the agency and what fees have been mutually agreed upon.
If you are located overseas and like an agency to represent you, you need to provide a power of attorney detailing the extent to which you would like the agency’s representation in the various facets of marketing and selling your property.
What are the limits Dubai landlords must work within when it comes to increasing rents?
Rental increases are usually a main source of contention between tenants and landlords, especially when there is a failure in communication. By law, tenants should be informed of any changes in the rent three months prior to contract renewal. But even then, the rate of increase may also be questioned by the tenant. The RERA Rental Increase Calculator is a handy tool for tenants who wish to check if the rent increase being imposed by their landlord is justified, and for landlords who want to make sure that the rent increase they are asking for is within their rights. Rent caps apply to all property types in the different areas of Dubai, whether they be commercial, industrial, staff accommodation, or residential units. Using the rent calculator as a reference helps prevent disputes between landlords and tenants, and has given the Dubai rental market a modicum of order in terms of preventing unabated rent increases.
Question of the Week: With many attractive off-plan offers today, I am tempted to buy an off-plan property. But how do I know if I am buying one with real potential?
Whether you are buying ready or off-plan property, market fundamentals still apply. Make sure that an off-plan purchase is consistent with your property portfolio strategy.
Location can never be disregarded. Considerations regarding how close the project is to commercial, educational and leisure hubs, medical and health facilities, public infrastructure, popular and established communities, and the manifold views one can enjoy all add up to the desirability of a property’s location.
The asset type is also important. What type of asset will be in demand in the future: affordable apartments, townhouses or villas?
Be smart about the “product” that you buy. Look for certain property types in locations which you believe will be keenly sought in the future.
You need to do some careful financial analysis which will enable you to determine the value of the discount that you anticipate receiving by buying off-plan. Easy payment plans can ensure you limit your capital exposure before completion. Also, you need to be conversant with financial concepts such as net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR) to guide you in the decision-making process when assessing your alternatives.
Source: Mohanad Alwadiya, Special to Freehold