Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Room with a (changing) view

I've always believed you buy off-the-plan property at your peril. I've never done it.

It all sounds great, especially the cheaper prices than those you pay for a finished property. But you don't see the finish, you don't see the fittings, you don't see the quality, you can't check the soundproofing.

That applies anywhere in the world, and regardless of the promises of the builder those things can be far poorer in reality than you expected.

In Dubai there's an added problem.

Things you weren't expecting get built around you. Things that weren't even planned when you bought the property.

Dubai Marina has a few examples.

Like suddenly finding a Metro pedestrian bridge right outside your windows...

A new interchange is built out of nowhere, like the new Interchange 5.5 at the Jebel Ali end of the Marina, and one of the flyovers is going past your bedroom....

Interchange 5.5 snakes around to JBR too, so people here are getting a whole different view from the one they expected...

I guess some owners are end users and they'd be the worst affected. But even if the owner is an investor he's been hit. The rental and the sale value will have been badly affected by the new view. And noise. And pollution.

There must be a whole bunch of disgruntled owners out there, with presumably no recourse.


the real nick said...

A new bridge outside the bedroom window? This is called a 'well connected' neighbourhood. You'll pay a premium for that.

Whether you buy off-plan or not, you could face this problem in any new & growing city without proper development plan, planning regulations and representation /participation of the population. You just never know what comes up until it's too late.

(word verification: bling !)

The Wizard of D said...

Well said TRN... its not really an 'off plan purchase' issue. All the developments could have happened even in case of a ready property. The more relevant debate is what rights the owners have in case of a sudden development/change that happens like that.

In my country, the guy will have gone to court and forced a 'stay order'

WebJunky said...

this is only inevitable in a crammed place like dubai. there is only so much land available to satisfy the needs and desires. when do you think dubai will become like shanghai or mumbai? it is inevitable as well isnt it? unless the govmt drives everyone out

Anonymous said...

:-) GOOD OBSERVATIONS! typical US culture would have encouraged investors to sue the developers.

Dave said...

This is yet another reason to add to the long list of why I will never buy a property in Dubai.

Seabee said...

Nick & Wiz I agree it's more than an off-the-plan problem, which is why I said In Dubai there's an added problem. Things you weren't expecting get built around you. Things that weren't even planned when you bought the property.

I made the point about off-plan because that's how the vast majority of property was bought here.

Dave you simply need to take care. It's the same in Oz, you have to check all the possibilities of your view being built out. You pay a lot extra for a view and if it's built out you lose both the reason for buying and a chunk of value. I've backed out of buying a couple of very nice houses because of the possibility.

And of course at any time you can find an unexpected plan for development is lodged with council.

Grumpy Goat said...

"Lodged with the council"

I'm reminded of Douglas Adams' take:

"...it was on display, in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory, with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard."

Seabee said...

One of my favourite authors Mr Goat. I can read his stuff over and over again.

The Spear said...

The worst is when you pay for something and expect it to be delivered in 12 months and 3 years along , still nothing.

SkyDome Properties said...

Now this puts the Dynamic Tower to shame :)

- Allana Swan

Peter said...

For five years, almost every week, I sailed at the JASC, near the Marina. I saw it growing from sand to what it is now.

I have never understood why they developped the Dubai Marina the way they did.

The majority of apartments are just plain ugly and remind me of cheap holiday resorts in Benidorm or Palma.

But above all, I never understood why people would buy an apartment there. At the prices they went.

Guess that is all past time now.

Anonymous said...

Hi I am thinking in investing in Dubai but have been told by 2 different but reputable agents that building in Dubai dont last more than 50 years after which they will have to be torn down and rebuilt. IS this true?? And how are the owners compensated and indeed who is liable for the rebuild?