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Diary of a distressed property investor, Part I
It was a quick sale, and I fell for it. I bought the property. Now I’ve got the fourth installment staring me in the face and no financing. Now what?
December 24, 2008 9:42 by Dana El Baltaji
I was the perfect candidate for her sale. I didn’t know enough about the ensuing credit crisis to suspect that there’d be trouble in Dubai, and I had enough faith in the economy to feel that even if there is trouble, Dubai would help its investors.
By the time summer ended, Ramadan began. Everyone in the Gulf knows that you’d be hard pressed to get anything done during Ramadan. So I waited until the end of September. And that’s when the crisis hit.
It’s been seven months since I bought the property. I have paid the third installment, and like many investors, I am dreading the fourth installment. As it turns out, the developer has not been approved by the bank, yet they continue to assure me that the approval will come through.
But, like other investors, I am exasperated by the developer’s answers to my questions. I don’t want to be placated. I don’t want them to tell me that “I don’t need to worry;” I want them to address the issues: they haven’t offered the financing they promised, and they are still expecting me to pay the installments. My last conversation with them ended with a “please be patient.”
I’ll be patient as soon as I know what will happen to the money I’ve ploughed into this cursed property.
And that’s when I decided to call a lawyer. I needed to know my rights, if I had any. He advised that I go to RERA since it’s the governing body that approved the development in the first place. I’m getting my papers in order and heading down to the land department in Deira next week. I don’t know who I’ll be speaking to, and I don’t know if they can help, but it beats waiting for the developer to do what it promised.
I was advised not to tell the developer that I’ll be visiting RERA, which is why I can’t mention their name or the name of the bank (apparently, it might make them angry). But as soon as I figure out my legal rights, I will.
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