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Buying Property

Oman - Buying Property

Until recently it was not possible for a foreign national to own property in Oman. The government there now hopes to draw in foreign investment by allowing foreign citizens who meet certain criteria the opportunity to own their own property.

Properties available to expatriates are restricted to freehold properties within certain tourist complexes. At this time these areas include The Wave, Muscat Golf and Country Club and Blue City. They are allowed to sell their property at any time, but if they choose to buy undeveloped land they are legally obliged to develop it within a period of four years.

When the property has been purchased the owner and his immediate family automatically gain residency of the country and should apply for the necessary visas. They are allowed to will the property to another person – a prospective owner should always have a will – and if the owner dies and no heir comes forward the property will be managed by the Ministry of Tourism, reverting to government ownership after 15 years. If the owner is deported from the country they have the right to sell the property.

It is also possible for an expat to purchase a property to let out to somebody else and many people are choosing to do this as the country is in the infancy of buy to let and there is a lot of potential there.

The buyer of any property will have to pay a 3% registration fee and a small application fee when they purchase the property. There is also a stamp duty tax which the buyer must pay out for, but in Oman the costs incurred by the seller are nil. When buying a property you should also avail yourself of legal advice throughout the process and there will be costs incurred there too. It is possible to buy off plan but this will require a holding deposit with regular payments to be made throughout the construction process until the contracts are signed and the property changes hands.

If you choose to reside in the property yourself you may consider finding some domestic help. This should be easy enough but it is better to hire someone who comes highly recommended, if only for your own peace of mind.

Property prices are quite reasonable in Oman, with the cost of a one bedroom apartment beginning at around £90,000 and a three bedroom villa with pool costing around £300,000.

Read more about this country

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