My Own Home: Value of couple's Town Square home rises 20 per cent in nine months

Pete McConville and Fayyrouz Yasin have made significant improvements to their three-bedroom villa

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My Own Home takes you inside a reader-owned property to ask how much they paid, why they decided to buy and what they have done with it since moving in

Peter McConville and his wife Fayyrouz Yasin bought their three-bedroom villa in Dubai's Town Square for Dh1.9 million in March last year, only a little above their Dh1.8 million budget.

They were happy to push it for the desert views and spacious garden.

After taking it over from a tenant in November, they spent about four to six months renovating, and they've never looked back, with the house now exceeding their expectations after the value increased by about 20 per cent.

The National takes a tour.

Please tell us about your home

Our home is in Noor Townhouses in Town Square, where we’ve rented another similar property previously for the past three years.

It’s a three-bedroom town house, with an added maid's room, overlooking the Dubai desert.

What prompted you to buy?

Landlords' aggressive push to increase rent year-on-year and having little control over our living situation.

We were renting our previous property, which is similar and in the same area, for Dh90,000, but now we would be paying up to Dh140,000 in the same house due to rental increases.

Many landlords are simply taking advantage, and we didn’t want to be in that position any longer.

What made you choose Town Square?

Our friends in Dubai live here, and it’s a great location for my family to visit from our home country in Ireland.

We shopped around all the major developments on Umm Suqeim Road and further afield, both new and old, and we felt Town Square best suited our needs. This includes access to restaurants, supermarkets and a community that is secure and well looked after.

It’s a 30-minute drive to reach work, as my job allows for flexibility to skip rush-hour traffic. However, others who have school runs suffer in the morning traffic.

What facilities do you have?

I think our location has some of the best facilities and volume per community. I’ve seen other locations have one pool for 600 villas, whereas we have four.

We have mixed and ladies' gyms, multiple volleyball, basketball and tennis courts, plus a large football pitch. This is all included in our service fees.

What improvements have you made?

We’ve done a lot in a short space of time. We started by pulling out the kitchen and removing several wall panels and the old kitchen island that was poorly designed.

The new kitchen fit-out I designed myself. Kplr, our interior design agency, helped with materials, measurements and supplier management.

The kitchen comes with matte-black finishing on the woodwork, and a local quartz stone worktop and backsplash, which we saw being made ourselves in the factory in Jebel Ali. All the fitted appliances are Italian with a black finish.

Our floors are French laminate, which has a nice, soft texture and is warm to the touch. This is a nice change from the traditional cold, hard tiles in Dubai. This runs throughout the downstairs, as well as the stairs and upstairs landing area.

We also refitted all the electrical sockets throughout the house, to hide wires for TV mounting and other light fixtures.

Recently, we fitted a push-to-open wall panel to hide the electrical box. It’s another poor legacy design element by the developer, but it helped us create that statement piece in the home.

We’re a fully fitted smart home with Alexa controlling everything from the TV and lights to curtains, as well as our robot vacuum.

I’ve still got more ideas to try out.

How much is your home worth now?

We had the property re-evaluated around January and it had gone up by 20 per cent, excluding the costs of renovation work done, which would further increase that value. Overall, I think we’ve done pretty well.

Do you feel a financial advantage to owning versus renting?

Absolutely. With the fixed rates, you have some peace of mind over three to five years. During this period, while we’ve had that stability, our friends have had landlords pushing hard on rent hikes.

In the end, the owner generally gets what they want. Owning a property also has an investment angle to it, since we’ve already seen the price of the property increase by 20 per cent within nine months.

Do you plan to sell if you leave the UAE?

Most likely not. We have the golden visa, so managing properties and travelling in and out of Dubai would now be a lot easier.

We also don’t see ourselves leaving any time soon. The Covid factor was a trigger point for us investing in this market. How the country handled the pandemic compared to western countries made it a no-brainer for us long term.

Updated: May 01, 2024, 5:58 AM