My Own Home: Couple's Dh2.5 million house in Dubai now worth Dh5 million

Clementina Kongslund and her husband are enjoying their five-bedroom home in The Villa community after paying off the mortgage

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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

Clementina Kongslund is originally from Romania and moved to Dubai with her Danish husband in 2010 when he landed a new job.

They initially lived in Arabian Ranches where the Ranches Ladies Club helped her settle in the city, having arrived while seven months' pregnant with the couple’s first child and not knowing anyone.

Now Ms Kongslund, 46, and her family own and live in a five-bedroom house in Dubai’s The Villa community.

The mother of two, who works in property, took The National on a tour of their spacious home.

My Own Home: Exploring a Dubai villa embellished with Danish antiques

My Own Home: Exploring a Dubai villa embellished with Danish antiques

What can you reveal about the property?

We moved to our home in 2012, a Mazaya A1 type villa.

It has five bedrooms – one en suite, very small downstairs and four upstairs. The primary bedroom is en suite, one en suite bedroom we use as an office, and two bedrooms share a bathroom.

We also have a family room/landing area upstairs. We like the layout because we were able to split it in half.

The primary bedroom has a huge terrace and one of the bedrooms has a nice balcony.

Downstairs, we have the living room, dining area, the kitchen – originally closed before we opened it – the laundry area and the maid’s room.

We have a very nice pool and seating area in the garden. Our plot is small, not the average plot in the community, but it’s exactly what we need. We are two adults, two kids and two dogs.

The house backs on to a nice green alley, separating two courtyards, and in front we have a park.

It is very private and quiet, considering that we are close to the D54 motorway.

We did not know there would be a motorway when we bought … there were camels behind our house at that time. But the position of the house makes the noise disturbance less.

What prompted you to buy?

In the beginning we lived in Palmera, Arabian Ranches, in a cosy two-bed town house. Once our family grew, we moved to a three-bedroom in Alma.

I got pregnant again but also, my husband got an unlimited contract with his company and we decided, after two years in Dubai, to buy our own home.

We predicted that we were going to be here a long time … and we were right. We said that it is better to have our own property than to move house-to-house … and when we leave, to have something rather than our money just paying someone else’s mortgage.

How much did your home cost?

We bought it in 2012 for Dh2.45 million ($680,000). After an increase in price, in 2018 it was back at this price. Now, our house is worth at least Dh4.8 million.

We had a very good agent and the process was transparent, quick and easy. We had some delays with the mortgage but it seems that the bank was very busy. We had the deposit following an inheritance and also sold properties in our [home] countries.

We finished our mortgage in 2020, so now we are mortgage-free in our house that is worth double what we bought it for.

Hopefully, it will stay like this.

What made you choose this community?

The first search was in Arabian Ranches but prices started to go up, so we moved our search to The Villa.

The house and area was selected solely based on value for money.

Our agent suggested this community as it was also a bit closer to my husband’s office.

When we moved, everything was under construction. We lived in the middle of nowhere … no landscaping, no facilities.

I was still shopping in Arabian Ranches or in DSO [Dubai Silicon Oasis]. Landscaping of our area started three or four years later. The first Spinneys opened five years later.

What amenities do you have access to now?

We have two community centres, one nursery, one school.

My children go to school by bike. We knew that a school would be built but we didn’t know where. We were very lucky that it is close to us.

Also in our area, they built the main community centre and they are finishing a big recreational park.

It is a pity that we still do not have any community swimming pools, but The Villa is now the best community connected with the city by road.

By upgrading the Dubai-Al Ain Road and finishing the interchange, it takes me five minutes to be in Silicon Oasis and 15 minutes to Dubai Mall's “cinema parking”.

And with very easy access to the E611 and D54 motorways, it is so much easier to reach Jebel Ali, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates.

What improvements have you made?

At the end of 2022 we decided to extend and make some layout modifications.

Our house was dark downstairs due to a porch behind so we extended by incorporating the porch and also opened the kitchen.

This way, we have a flood of light and no need to have the lights on all day. Not sure if this added value, but it increased the built-up area.

We also put in new flooring downstairs and will put this upstairs, too, this year.

We have not touched the bathrooms or wardrobes yet but their time will come. I would like to add a storage space but a structural engineer will be needed.

Did you find advantages to owning over renting?

Definitely it is much better to own than to rent, especially if you are planning to stay here longer and the company offers money instead of paying the rental [allowance] cheque directly.

At the end of the day, nobody will take you out of the house and the kids have a settled environment. Also, when we leave, we have something to sell or to rent, so income will come.

The price of our property doubled, so we made a good investment.

We would have liked to buy one more in 2020 when the prices were still low but we were so happy to be mortgage-free that we did not go for it.

Would you sell if you moved home or left the UAE?

We do not think about an exit for now as we have two children born here and most probably would like to continue to live here. This might be their inheritance.

We would love to retire here but we will have to see the cost of it, especially with health insurance.

Any plans to purchase additional property?

We have since bought more properties, studios and a one-bedroom apartment, in Dubai and Romania [during 2022-2023].

As I am an estate agent, I am always on the look for good options for my clients, especially off-plan.

We bought three units so far. One we sold at a premium, right before handover. The other two are still under construction and the prices are higher than what we bought for, but these are long-term investments.

Updated: January 17, 2024, 8:49 AM