The Real Estate sector in Bahrain is moving in the right direction and over the past few years, investor confidence has been on the rise. The proof of this lies in the numerous freehold projects across Bahrain in Seef, Amwaj Islands, and Juffair etc. Bahrain has a buoyant real estate sector that’s complemented by a thriving energy sector and a host of governmental initiatives aimed at improving the local infrastructure and facilitating the local market.
However, when it comes to real estate, most expats who have not lived in Bahrain for long, feel lost as to how to go about the process of buying property in Bahrain- This is meant to provide some insight, precautions, and direction.
•The First step is to always find competent real estate agents who are experienced in the kind of property you are interested in. Speak to as many agents as possible and try to hear different opinions before you make any commitments.
• Do your research in terms of which area you should buy your property in. The more you educate yourself about the different cities and areas in Bahrain, the easier it will be to speak to agents in those areas and extract more value from your conversations with them.
• It’s advisable to steer clear of Freelancers who dabble in property brokerage as a part time job to make some extra money on the side. The reason for this is that they might not have correct or detailed information about the properties they are trying to sell. Buying a property is a considerably big decision and you are better of working with a broker that has a real estate license, has been around for while and is experienced in dealing with the type of property you are interested in.
• Once you have a few properties to consider, ask questions about the property’s history and its previous owners.
o Ask who lived there before
o What price was it rented at or sold at before
o Get a sense of the prices of the properties in the same neighborhood. The idea is to benchmark the prices so that you have a sense of whether you are getting a good deal or not.
o Ask around / do your research about other significant projects in the area that might affect the value of your property.
o Try to find out if there are any infrastructural projects being planned in the area that might affect the value of your property – airports, roads, ports, malls etc.
o If you are planning on living there, it’s also important to consider how far it is from schools, parks, clubs, malls and your work place etc.
• If you plan on buying the property as an investment and then renting it out, you may want to consider asking yourself the following questions:
o Will people like to live in this place?
o From a tenant’s perspective, are there any other areas or neighborhoods nearby that are being rented out for a lower price?
o What’s the overall return on investment given the average rent of the place?
o How much will it take you to maintain the property? Factor this into your calculations when calculating ROI?
When it comes to buying property in Bahrain, it’s important to take the following precautions.
o Always ask for a receipt against any and all payments
o Make sure you have the original copies of all the paperwork.
o Keep all correspondence well documented.
Buying property is a decision you should not be hastened into. Take your time, do your research, have candid conversions with your broker, communicate expectations and feedback clearly and always rely on trusted real estate brokers with a proven track record.