My Own Home: South African invests Dh2m for three-bed villa in Dubai's Mira Oasis

Primary school teacher Gina Lloyd enjoys quiet suburban life with her husband Jarred and their two children

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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

South African Gina Lloyd moved to Dubai almost five years ago with her husband Jarred and their two children – and they have since bought a home for their growing family.

The 36-year-old primary school teacher and Mr Lloyd, 39, an analytics consultant in the finance industry, invested in a three-bedroom villa in Mira Oasis in the spring of last year.

They live there with their daughters Kiara, 11, and nine-year-old Kelcy.

Ms Lloyd took The National on a tour of their house and revealed why they enjoy life in the Dubai suburbs with good access to desert recreation.

My own Dubai Home: Dh2 million for a three-bedroom villa in Mira Oasis

My own Dubai Home: Dh2 million for a three-bedroom villa in Mira Oasis

What are the details of your home?

Our villa has three bedrooms, a maid's room, three full bathrooms and a study which, since our renovations, is now a comfortable guest bedroom size.

We live at the end of the street in a quiet area with a nice open area outside where our children can enjoy biking and playing.

We have an open double garage and a lovely pool just a short walk up the road.

Our villa is a corner unit and has a spacious garden which accommodates our two dogs and active girls.

What prompted you to buy instead of renting?

We bought our villa in Mira Oasis in May 2022 after a few years of renting, first an apartment in Motor City and then a villa in a nearby Mira community.

We decided to buy because, most importantly, we wanted to put down roots and having a place that we owned gave us a feeling of home.

We also considered the financial side and weighed up all the costs and felt that it would be a good long-term investment.

How much did your home cost?

We paid Dh2 million ($540,000) for our villa and felt that it was good value. The market has improved for homeowners since we bought, which we are obviously happy about.

The buying process was straightforward; we had a great agent that supported us throughout.

We did a lot of research ahead of buying our property so were fully aware of the costs involved and there were no surprises.

What attracted you to this house?

We love the size of the garden and that it is a corner unit giving us quiet surroundings.

We saw potential in the property and knew it would require some work and we were up for the challenge. We built two houses back home, before moving to Dubai, so we were excited to renovate as we both really enjoy the process. The end product is worth it.

Budget was the real driving force for choosing this community. We looked at many communities and felt that Mira Oasis gave us the best bang for our buck.

We had to make some compromises, the size of the kitchen being one of them. Newer communities in this area seem to have smaller kitchens, which is quite different to what we are used to, but we gained a guest bedroom, which is a huge positive as an expat having family who visit. We also love our spacious outdoors, so this also made up for it.

What made you select this area?

The community is affordable and offers many amenities, including indoor and outdoor gyms, parks, big open areas and pools.

We are looking forward to the community centre, which is part of the plans to be developed, hopefully soon.

It is a little further out and there is quite a bit of traffic in the area due to limited access.

However, it is also right on Al Qudra Road, which provides access to the cycle track and desert. This means that we have the desert on our doorstep, which we love, and also the cycle track, which is right outside and really enjoyed by my husband who is an ultra-marathon runner.

It is also a conveniently short drive to work at Fairgreen International School, in The Sustainable City.

What home improvements have you made?

We have extended the dining area and the study, which is now a guest bedroom.

We wrapped all the doors, vanities and the kitchen as well. We also redid the flooring.

We would love to be able to extend the kitchen, however, this would definitely be a longer-term plan. Right now, we are tiling a new backsplash and upgrading as we go.

How have you personalised the property?

We are still in the process of furnishing and creating spaces in our home. But we are happy with it and are looking at it as an investment as we go room-by-room to upgrade and design the spaces.

We have changed light fittings, added outdoor lights and our own touches along the way.

What financial advantages are there to owning versus renting?

Hopefully, we will continue to see capital growth going forward and we feel that putting our money into something that is ours is a great investment. We have mortgaged our property.

What is your property worth now?

Our property is currently worth about Dh2.5 million, perhaps a bit more because of the renovations we have done.

We wish we had bought sooner, however, it wasn’t the right time for our family. Our villa came along at just the right time.

Do you plan to sell or rent it when you move or leave the UAE?

Right now, we are just happy to be homeowners and will take the future as it comes.

But we are happy with this property as a long-term investment and a home for our family.

Do you plan to buy more property?

We are open to the idea of buying again.

However, it would be an investment and depend on many factors.

For now, we are happy with this one.

Updated: December 20, 2023, 5:02 AM