I want to upgrade where I live to take advantage of lower rents. What is the best way to go about this to ensure I actually get a good deal? At the moment I live in a two-bedroom apartment in Jumeirah Lakes Towers and pay Dh80,000. Now, I am considering a two or three-bedroom villa on a similar budget with a possible stretch to Dh100,000. What should I consider while making my search and are there any hidden costs I should be aware of with villa living? AE, Dubai
The rental market is offering excellent options for anyone looking to upgrade their living accommodation. In these current circumstances, it is common for tenants to move from apartments into villas or town houses and also increase the size of the property. It is important to ensure the location of your next home fits in with your lifestyle and has easy access to work or school. Given your budget, it is possible to move to a villa or town house in the following locations:
• Areas off Al Qudra Road offer a wide choice of units from two to three bedrooms all within your budget. The cheapest units can be found in Bella Casa Serena. These properties can be found just to the right of Arabian Ranches 2. Here you will find two bedroom 1882 square foot (175 square metre) villas starting from as low as Dh72,500 going up to Dh85,000.
• The second location is Mira oasis. This is also close to the Al Qudra road. These spacious villas offer three-bedroom accommodation between 2300-2,500 sq ft with the rent starting at Dh90,000 going up to Dh100,000.
• The last location is Damac Hills. This is located on the opposite side of the Al Qudra Road to Mira Oasis. Here you can find three bedroom villas, of approximately 2100 sq ft, for Dh100,000.
Villa or town house living is of course different to apartment living. The first thing to consider is the convenience of facilities. In apartments you are most likely to have easy access to a pool or gym within the tower, so check if the villa community you choose has the same free access and how close these facilities are to the property.
For Bella Casa in Serena, there is a clubhouse, parks with shaded play areas, swimming pools and community retail centre. In Mira Oasis there are supermarkets and community pools and gyms with children’s play areas. Damac Hills has the Trump International Golf Club, which offers paid for leisure facilities. It does, however, also have communal pools and parks within the communities as well as a free-to-use gym in the community centre.
If you decide to stay in JLT but wish to upgrade to a three-bedroom apartment, you will also find many options within different clusters. Prices start at Dh75,000 for three bedroom, 1500 sq ft apartments within clusters L and M; Dh85,000 for three-bedroom apartments of approximately 1530 sq ft in cluster D and Dh90,000 for three-bedroom units of 1315 sq ft in cluster P.
The last point to consider with villa living is that you will now have to take care of a garden. This will require maintenance and of course watering which may lead to higher Dewa bills that you were not prone to when living in an apartment.
Mario Volpi is the sales and leasing manager at Engel & Volkers. He has worked in the property sector for 35 years in London and Dubai
The opinions expressed do not constitute legal advice and are provided for information only. Please send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org