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- I heard about the Andalusia Collection at The Villa Project, can you please tell me what makes these villas more special when compared to other villas within Dubailand?
The Andalusia Collection consists of 69 ready-to move-in premium limited edition villas renowned for their unique design, levels of grandeur, quality and value. It boasts some of the biggest plot sizes while the villas have been fitted with high quality features and fittings. Other features include marble flooring, designer staircases, an overflow swimming pool, decorative fencing, a fully enclosed and air-conditioned central courtyard and unique Andalusian archways connecting large living areas, some adorned with wooden beams. The project has proven very popular. If you are interested in owning one, you better hurry because they are as popular as they are rare, and they are currently being offered with a 3-year in house payment plan for a limited period.
- I would like to buy an apartment for investment purposes. Do you advise I buy in the main areas of Dubai or should I consider the projects located in the outer rings of Dubai?
I suggest you consider the more affordable areas. Properties in International City, Dubai Sports City (DSC), Discovery Gardens and JLT have benefitted from a ''trickle down'' effect as the market has recovered and more people are now seeking more affordable accommodation. A wide variety of apartments in Skycourts and DSC achieved YTD average growth of 20.5%, 23% and 21%, respectively with demand being driven mainly by first-time home buyers and investors such as you. International City and Discovery Gardens have shown a 23% and 26% increase in rental income since the 3rd quarter 2012, respectively. I also suggest you check the apartments in Queue Point in Liwan, and Ajmal and Windsor Residence in Dubailand. They are all expected to perform very well going forward as the demand for affordable properties continues to grow.
- I have properties in Dubai Marina and Downtown Dubai and wish to acquire more. What areas in Dubai will have good investment potential?
Given that you are already exposed to the more upmarket areas, I suggest you use your next investment activity to diversify your property portfolio. There are some lucrative opportunities in the affordable housing segment which stand to benefit greatly from Dubai's well-chronicled economic and population growth over the next five years. I suggest you look at the apartments in Queue Point in Liwan, Skycourts, Ajmal and Windsor Residence located in Dubailand. If you wish to diversify asset types, consider the recently launched Pacific Village located adjacent to the renowned The Villa Project, City of Arabia and Falcon City of Arabia. This project offers high quality, spacious villas and townhouses. All the above recommendations will provide you with good rental and capital appreciation returns.
- We're a family of five with three dogs relocating from New Zealand, with UAE work to be based in Business Bay. Which villa communities would you recommend for people like us?
You need not look further than The Villa Project. An easy 20-minute commute to Business Bay, it offers affordable and spacious living within a secure gated community complete with 24-hour security. The project was designed and inspired by Spanish architecture and is ideal for family living. It offers affordable free-standing 4, 5 and 6-bedroom villas set among lush and expansive landscapes ideal for exercising your dogs, and is located within easy driving distance from some leading schools. Amenities include a mosque, children's nursery, playground, a community center and a new tennis academy. Spinneys is currently under construction and plans are underway for a new health club. Shopping is not an issue with Dubai Outlet Mall only 10 minutes away, Mirdif City Centre 15 minutes away and The Dubai Mall 20 minutes away.
- Question of the Week: How do I select the best real estate broker to represent me in buying my family home in Dubai?
For you, the homeowner, there are many considerations to take into account and what follows are just a few things to watch out for.
Look for an experienced and passionate team. The best way to find such is to ask around. Seek out friends or peers who have recently conducted a real estate transaction and listen to the positive as well as negative stories.
Look for an agency that exhibits breadth and depth of industry knowledge and expertise. When conducting initial meetings, make sure you assess how much the agency or its brokers actually know.
Look for longevity. Those that survived the recent recession must be good.
Seek an agency with a strong network of contacts. Agencies with good relationships with key industry stakeholders such as major developers or authorities such as DLD, RERA, DEWA or the Economic Department will be able to operate more efficiently and effectively.
Finally, look for an agency that has received some form of industry or peer recognition. These are the hardest plaudits to get.
Ask the Agent - What are the advantages of buying a property under construction?
Source: Mohanad Alwadiya, Special to Freehold
The writer is Managing Director, Harbor Real Estate
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