My Own Home: Dubai estate agent invests in future with Dh1.7m townhouse

Odai Alsoubie lives in Mira Oasis community with his wife and their four pets

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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

Estate agent Odai Alsoubie showed his eye for a good deal when he bought his first home in Dubai during the coronavirus pandemic.

He and wife Sandra paid Dh1.7 million for a three-bedroom town house in the Mira Oasis community in May 2020, when they moved from Abu Dhabi.

Mr Alsoubie believes they bought at the right time as house prices are still rising in the Emirates following a post-pandemic boom.

The Pole has lived in the UAE for 11 years and his sights are set on staying for the long term.

The 34-year-old, who works for real estate agency, Espace, is so happy with his abode that he allows potential homebuyers to view the upgraded unit as an example of the possibilities that properties in the area offer.

Mr Alsoubie took The National on a tour of the house he shares with his wife, a business owner, their dog and three cats.

What can you tell us about your home?

This town house is four years old.

It has three bedrooms – with a balcony for each, three bathrooms, a study, a maid’s room, a semi-open kitchen and two parking spots.

A corner unit, it is in a peaceful location near the pool and park. We have a landscaped garden with artificial grass.

The utilities are very cost-effective.

We bought our home during the pandemic when prices were half of what they are now, and it turned out to be a wise choice.

What drew you to this property?

We wanted a peaceful location near the city with easy access to motorways and equipped with all necessary amenities.

Our house has a well-designed floor plan, large windows that fill the space with natural light and a charming garden.

The newly constructed community offered more affordable prices than others in the vicinity.

After exploring all available options, we concluded that this was the perfect fit for us.

What prompted you to buy a house?

We rented when we first arrived in the UAE, but all those rent payments are non-recoverable.

Fortunately, the laws have changed, making property ownership much more accessible here than in my homeland.

Owning your own home is more viable, especially since we’ve settled in the UAE for the long haul, without plans to return [to Poland].

This country has become our home, so instead of spending money on rent, which is essentially giving it away to landlords annually, it’s wiser to invest in your own property.

This way, you can sell the house when needed, making it a form of retirement investment.

How did you find the buying process?

As first-time homebuyers, it was quite stressful.

We were unaware of the additional costs we would incur, mainly due to insufficient information from the agent.

When selecting a property, it is crucial to feel comfortable with the agent and opt for a reputable company.

Now, as an agent myself, I always try to explain everything as clearly as possible, so my clients can feel they’re in good hands.

What made you select this area?

The location is quiet with minimal traffic, yet close to the city.

The area offers abundant amenities such as green spaces, a community centre, gym, parks, pool, tennis courts and even a dog park.

Choosing an Emaar development brought us reassurance due to their reputable name.

The only drawback I’ve noticed is a slight increase in traffic around the roundabout during weekend evenings, when many residents head to Al Qudra desert. Overall, the area is fantastic.

What improvements have you made?

We upgraded the flooring to parquet, installed new kitchen worktops and landscaped the garden.

The house now has a modern and fresh feel, requiring no immediate attention. Perhaps in a couple of years, we might consider a minor renovation for the bathrooms.

As an estate agent at Espace, I can utilise my architectural knowledge to help my clients choose the best option in terms of quality of property or the possibilities of renovating and upgrading.

How else have you personalised your home?

My wife and I worked together on furnishing and infusing our style into our property. We opted for natural colours, ambient light and cosy vibes as it creates a relaxing atmosphere.

We incorporated distinctive furniture pieces, such as a stunning dining table made from Indonesian wood and a hand-carved wooden side table, both refurbished by us.

We continuously strive to enhance the appearance of our home.

What financial advantages are there to owning versus renting?

Investing in property is generally a wise decision, as real estate tends to grow in value over time worldwide. Particularly in Dubai, the market remains robust.

We have a mortgage on the unit we possess. The value is nearly double what it was four years ago, making it an opportune time to buy.

But when it comes to buying property, there isn’t necessarily a good or bad time; if you’re in it for the long term, any moment is good.

Do you plan to sell or lease it out if you move or leave the UAE?

Hopefully, in the future, we can upgrade to a larger unit as our family expands. Currently, I am content with the area.

I see it as a long-term investment that could potentially be rented out later on.

The timing for selling and purchasing an even better property is uncertain, but when a good opportunity arises, we will consider it.

Do you plan to buy more property?

As an estate agent, my focus is always on property investments.

I am considering buying small apartments for Airbnb investments, given the increasing number of visitors to Dubai each year.

It’s a great opportunity to acquire quality units.

Updated: February 21, 2024, 7:00 AM