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Real Estate News (4)

Tuesday, 24 June 2014 00:00

Determining a Home's Potential

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Home shopping for first-time homebuyers it's an exciting, albeit nerve-wracking, experience. If you're like others in the market for their first home, you probably have in mind exactly how your soon-to-be home will look.

But it's important not to fall into the bad decorating, dingy walls and dirt-bare back yard equals bad-home trap. If you don't see past the hideous wallpaper, funky light fixtures and avocado green carpeting, you may miss out on a home with great potential.
And, if you're looking for a home in a seller's market where homes are being snatched up as soon as they go on the market, you'll come to realize you can't be choosy if you want to make a competitive offer.
One of the first things to do is to get pre-approved for a loan and determine the maximum you can afford to offer for a house. Don't look at homes that are asking for more than 5 percent above your maximum, otherwise you'll be setting yourself up for disappointment if you find the perfect—but outside your budget—home.
So what to do?
The floor plan of the home is extremely important. If a floor plan isn't quite to your liking, consider rearranging it or adding on. If you're looking at an existing home and will need to remodel or expand to suit your needs, the estimated cost of renovation needs to be considered when making an offer.
Also, consider the features of a home:
  • Walls. While these are among the easiest to remedy, they also make a huge first impression. If the walls need to be painted, are covered in wallpaper or are painted a color you find distasteful, picture them crisp and clean in the color of your choice—that's how they could look after you paint them.
  • Floors. Like walls, carpet or floor surfaces that are old or outdated can be easily replaced. You could even ask for a carpet allowance in your bid, especially if you're in a buyer's market.
  • View. Things like old, ugly—even dirty—windows and window treatments can make a view appear less desirable. Those things can be improved, so unless the only view you have is of your neighbor's clunker on the side of the house, don't get hung up on what is surely a fixable view.
  • Landscaping. Your best bet is a moderately landscaped yard because you can always improve landscaping without spending too much. Worst case, even if you're looking at dirt, landscaping is one of the easier projects to tackle. Plus you get to design it however you'd like if you're starting from scratch.
  • Closets and garages. You can never have too much storage space, which is why so many newer homes have three-car garages. But if you encounter a converted garage that is now a bedroom or storage room, don't give up. Converted garages can almost always go back to their original purpose without much cost or labor.
  • Kitchen. The most popular room in the house, many homeowners want their kitchen to be large and have modern appliances. Don't let outdated color schemes deter you because there's nothing like a fresh coat (or two) of paint to make a kitchen your own. Plus, if you like the rest of the house enough to make an offer, you can give the kitchen a minor spruce-up with some new appliances or a major overhaul complete with new countertops, cabinets, and flooring.
  • The exterior. If the home doesn't have good curb appeal, try to picture it with a fresh coat of paint and revitalized landscaping.
  • Pools. If you want a pool, buy a home with a pool already built in. Pools are expensive and you will not get a full return on the cost when you go to sell. Let someone else lose the return. The cost of repairing a pool is less than putting one in, so if you're looking at a home with an old pool that looks like it's in bad shape, it's still a better bet than putting one in later.
When making an offer, consider what you can't live without, as well as your budget. Also, be sure you hire a professional home inspector to inspect the house. If the home's systems are in good working order and the house has everything you want except a minor item or two, make an offer accordingly.
Most importantly, keep in mind that unless you're building your dream home from scratch, you'll probably never find the perfect home. But seeing past a previous owner's bad decorating choices to the core of the home and its potential for livability will yield you the home you've always wanted. It may take some work, but hey—it's yours.

Dubai: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) called Tuesday on Dubai to take ‘stronger measures’ to avert another property sector overheating, after prices surged more than 20 per cent in during the last two years.

“There has been a rapid rise in housing costs in the UAE, particularly Dubai due to sharp turnaround in the real estate sector, which warrants careful monitoring for overheating,” said Masood Ahmad, Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department of IMF.

The Government has already doubled the registration fees to 4 per cent to check speculation and flipping while the UAE Central Bank has tightened lending to property sector by implementing higher loans to value ratios (LTVs).

While both these measures have dampened the speculation in the property sector to a large extent, the huge amount of cash transactions have continued to lift the property valuations.
“These measures are good. I think it is time to consider stronger measures particularly in ways to discourage a quick turnaround,” Ahmed said after presenting the IMF’s regional economic outlook in Dubai on Tuesday.

He suggested increasing the transaction fees further substantially to prevent any kind of speculative activity, citing Singapore’s 30-percent tax on sales made within a year of purchase as an example.
“I think it is time to consider some stronger measures to try dampening what could possibly be speculative transactions in real estate,” he said.

The market remains “mostly a cash market” for the moment, he said, warning that if lending to the sector sees a big increase, tightening measures would be needed.

Thursday, 29 May 2014 00:00

The most flourishing cities in ME

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The two prominent cities of UAE, Dubai and Abu Dhabi have got the top honours in the Middle East in terms of the most upcoming and competitive cities, according to a research by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The research was initiated by Citi, the report, entitled Hot Spots, compiled the characteristics of 120 fast track cities worldwide. Thecomparison study was measuring competitive city’s ability in attractinginvestments, commercial inflow, employment opportunities and tourism.

Of all the identified Hot Spots , Dubai stood with a ranking of  40 and Abu Dhabi 41. New York with all its vibrancy was ranked as the most competitive city in the globe, with Singapore ranked 3 after city of London.

But when it was segregated by the geographical sections, the UAE has won first two positions among total of nine identified cities. Dubai won the top honors with 55.9 points, followed by Abu Dhabi at 55.8 points, and the upcoming city of Doha as second runner up with 52.9.

Dubai, Santiago and Singapore were identified to be exemplary cities for rest of the world that have made fruitful efforts in building the reputation of “the most opportunistic cities” that attract good amount of talent in all streams from varied parts of the globe.

‘When it comes to a comfort business zone and tax-less environment to attract workersDubai runs ahead of many other cities in the league, whereas Santiago is making successful plans to incentivizeloads of aspiring and existing entrepreneurs from around the world to establish their firms in the city, while Singaporewith all its fame and flamboyance is considered the foundation to Asia’s growth, with a elite living environment to support it,’ according to the report.

The report said there is a clear connection between the city competitiveness and existing physical capital. Which indicates that, the existent physical capital is a benchmarkfor being a competitive city, yet a meticulously designed and maintained infrastructure surelyadds up to the overall scores. Talking about Dubai and People Republic of these cities have shone to glory in a very little span of time, cities such as Dubai, Shanghai and Shenzhen have engraved their presence into the current standings with an incomparable identity to align their fast paced economic growth.’

Economic influx is definitely growing in many upcoming cities, andquite a few Asian cities are in the league of emerging as leaders in the near future, even thoughAmerican and European cities have an edge to be constant in the competition due to their historical presence when many of the other parts of the world were not even enlisted in the competition.

For the report, the EIU framed an index which is termed as ‘Global City Competitiveness Index’ that evaluates cities across eight distinct categories of competitiveness and 31 indicators specifically made to compile the overall ranking and individual City / Geographical leaders. These categories include economic strength, human capital, infrastructure effectiveness, financial maturity, global appeal, physical capital, social and cultural character and environment and natural hazards. Theoverall ranking of the city within the benchmark Index is merged score of the above specified categories.

The newest contracts have now been built in order to avoid conditions that occur from misinterpretation with papers and to determine the partnership involving the events engaged in property transactions. The agreements will end up a necessary prerequisite beginning May 1.

DLD’s unified real estate agreements defend the privileges of the three parties in virtually any real estate transaction; the specialist, owner and the customer. The newest method may help facilitate and accelerate the processes of purchasing and marketing within the housing market, particularly because it permits the end of enrollment techniques without the necessity to work with a realtor.

“After an extensive study on the services we provide to our customers that we conducted in order to improve our performance, we came out with the decision to unify the real estate contracts to properly organise the relationship between the various parties. The new agreements will also help us to rid of some of the problems that may occur because of a lack of clarity,” said Sultan Butti Bin Mejren Director General of DLD.

In its statement, DLD stressed that its specific real-estate agreements is likely to be applied technically right from the start of May 2014 in most orders that relate solely to the purchasing and selling of property. The office is offering types of the newest agreements to the Dubai intelligent property industry, E-mart.

Before being closed by the applicable functions the files may be downloaded quickly from your website and be filled up with the necessary information for every single purchase. The agreement finished after it’s been noted and noted at DLD and becomes conventional.

“Having unified contracts between the parties not only avoids the misunderstanding and misinterpretation of articles that could previously have occurred, it also guarantees the rights of all the stakeholders involved,” said Bin Mejren.” This important new document contributes to the enhancement of the competitiveness of the real estate market in Dubai and moves it to a new phase of leadership and excellence by establishing the principles of transparency and professional standards. It will be of great value in assisting us to keep pace with the real estate boom currently taking place in Dubai and will promote confidence in the market generally,” he added.