So, you’ve made the decision to settle in Dubai for the long-term. You don’t want to rent anymore, but you’re not sure where to start when it comes to buying your own property in the city.
Much like it is in the UK, your first step should be to arrange a mortgage. We understand it can be daunting learning how to get approved for a mortgage in a different country, but the process is very similar worldwide. There’s only a few changes here and there, which we guide you through below.
The Pre-Approval Mortgage Process
Before you are approved for a mortgage in Dubai, you need to get pre-approval first. This is a short process that usually takes between five and seven working days to complete, giving the banks of Dubai enough time to assess whether you’re a suitable candidate for a loan.
Lenders will ask for certain documents at this stage as proof that you’re allowed to purchase property. When applying for pre-approval, make sure to have the following documents ready:
- A copy of your passport
- Proof of residence and your current address
- Your last six wage slips
- Six month’s worth of bank statements
Once you have passed pre-approval, you’ll receive a confirmation email detailing what you are eligible for. Make sure to take note of how long the bank’s offer will last. Usually, you have between 30 and 60 days to accept, though some lenders may be willing to give you an extension up to 90 days.
After pre-approval, the next step is to find your dream home.
Which Communities Are Best For Expats Buying Property in Dubai?
In some parts of Dubai, there are a couple of restrictions on the sale of property, but there’s plenty of fantastic districts where expats are free to purchase homes and apply for mortgages. A few of our favourite community areas include:
- Palm Jumeirah — A popular man-made island in the shape of a palm tree.
- Downtown Dubai — Known as the tallest city in the world because of its monumental buildings.
- Dubailand —A beautiful residential complex that’s perfect for families. You’ll find many quality schools, malls and sports facilities in Dubailand.
- Jumeirah Village Circle — A family-friendly community that has plenty of green space.
- Business Bay — The stylish business district with corporate high rises, luxury hotels and plenty of Grade A office space.
- Dubai Marina & Jumeirah Beach Residence — A beauty spot that has fantastic views of the beach and sea.
Applying for a Mortgage
Found the perfect property? Excellent! Now you’re ready to complete the mortgage loan application process. Most banks in Dubai use the same form, so this part is fairly universal and straightforward.
Your lender will want more information on the property at this stage. You’ll be asked for details on:
- The type of property you’re buying
- The community you’ll be based in
- The type of loan you’re looking for
You will have two options when it comes to the type of loan you choose: fixed rate and variable rate. A fixed rate mortgage means your interest will stay the same, whereas a variable rate can go up, down or stay the same. Take a look at our fixed rate vs. variable rate mortgages blog for more details.
At this stage, lenders also ask a few questions about your circumstances to make sure nothing drastic has changed since pre-approval. You may be quizzed on the following:
- Employment status
- Existing debt
- Partners and children
How to Get Approved for a Mortgage: Hints & Tips
Knowing how to get approved for a mortgage makes the application process much easier. Banks like to see stability and commonsense. They risk a lot of money on mortgages, and the better your track record, the more likely it is you’ll get approval.
You can stay one step ahead of the process by:
- Speaking to a professional mortgage broker to find a suitable lender: Save yourself a great deal of time and stress by speaking to an experienced mortgage broker who has great working relationships with the banks of Dubai. Brokers know which lenders are likely to approve your loan and which ones have strict measures in place.
- Ensuring there are no adverse entries on your credit file: Your credit score is a huge deciding factor in whether to grant you a mortgage. An adverse entry could lower your score.
- Keeping your accounts in order: Ensure all payments are completed on time. Banks worry when it appears as though you put off payments until you start receiving notices.
- Don’t max out your credit card: A credit card at its limit gives the impression you struggle to maintain your lifestyle on your current wage. And the higher the usage, the lower your credit score.
- Have a deposit ready: A deposit shows seriousness on your part, and proves you are responsible with money. This is something all banks like to see.
Does Being Self-Employed Affect Your Chances of Getting Approved for a Mortgage?
There are plenty of self-employed British expats in Dubai who own their own property, so this shouldn’t cause too many issues — and that’s if it causes any issues at all.
As with employed mortgage applicants, banks want to see stability. You’ll need to provide two year’s worth of business audits and one year’s worth of bank statements as proof you can keep up with regular mortgage payments and that your business isn’t about to fail.
Lending criteria can change depending on whether you’re a sole trader, contractor/freelancer or a limited company director. If you’re in any doubt as to how this may affect you, make sure to speak with a professional mortgage broker for guidance.
How to Get Approved for a Mortgage the Easy Way
One of the easiest ways to get approved for a mortgage in Dubai is by being organised and asking a professional broker in the area for advice.
Expat Mortgage has been established in Dubai for many years, and we’ve helped countless Brits take the right steps to buying their dream home. You can even get a much better mortgage rate by speaking to a broker first. On average, our clients save AED 150,000 over the course of their mortgage, a massive £30,000 in UK sterling.
If you need any help or advice getting approved for a mortgage in Dubai, make sure to get in contact with us today.