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Adil Ela
( 7 posts )

[33 Answers]

I am contemplating buying a property in islamabad. I have the following questions:

1. Is buying an apartment a good idea or bad idea?

2. Do you recommend buying in established areas such as f 10 etc or should i buy in new developing areas such as close to nust?

3. How secure are these apartments as i see they have 24 hour security.

4 how much would a 3 br or 2 br cost? I have seen ranges from 1.5 - 2 crores in excellent areas on zameen.Com and cheaper in other areas

Thanks so much!

    261 days ago In Where to Buy
    Post Reply
    Abdul Qayyum
    (2069 posts)
    Adil Sb.
    Flats are good for safety as if you close main entrance you are safe from outside world but apartment are prone to drain line leakages, when get old or if drain lines are not done properly.
    In-house drain lines can be renewed but overhead leakages are permanent headache!
    People prefer Penthouses as you own the roof rights and no overhead leaks but then lifts to be healthy and power to be available 24/7?
    If you are opting for NUST, then G-15 is better for your Flat/house. But G-15 is not an A-rated development as main entrance is narrow and upkeep is not on par!
    Why not opt for H-education sector in Islamabad?
    Rather than buying a flat in 2 crores, buy a 5 Marla in G-14/4 ~ 1 crore and spend another crore to build your own double story house. You can rent one portion and that will bear your travelling to the NUST.
    G-14 is well connected to Kashmir highway and more transport facilities are in the making.
      261 days ago 

      (320 posts)
      AQ sb,

      What about Defence Residency apartments. They sound much cheaper as compared with F 10 apartments. Could it be good idea to buy a flat in DHA Residency and rent it out for monthly income?
        261 days ago 

        Abdul Qayyum
        (2069 posts)
        Muhammad Sb.

        DHA-2 itself is a success story. The flats, you are asking is good investment for the rental income.
        The things to be looked upon before buying:
        ---Dedicated car parking available for the resident and for a guest ?
        ---Is any servant quarter available, if flat owner want to bear the cost? Some towers do have servant room facility in the basements.
        ---Maintenance facility, free for how long and paid at what rate per sq/ft of the apartment?
        ---Lift availability for 24/7
        ---Security charges?
        ---Garbage collection on whom?
        ---Some towers offer also "garbage Chutes". A luxury for house wife indeed!
        ---Water/Gas availability, on water shortage, how flat's water tank would be topped up from a paid tanker?
          261 days ago 

          (1463 posts)
          Some general tips (pros & cons) for buying an apartment

          1. Locality: In residential societies, generally Apartments are at the commercial or prime locations that is much better developed with all available facilities. For example, in Gulberg Greens an Apartment (2/3 bed 5 - 7 million) owner or tenant will enjoy same greenery, locality and facilities as that of a Farm House owner with 50 million+/- investment.

          2. Rental Value & Price Appreciation: In good locations rental value of a furnished apartment can yield about 0.5% to 0.7%/month of total price. Price appreciation is not good. In KHI Apartments are in much more demand, in ISB, LHR trends are changing but as of now less price appreciation.

          3. Security & Maintenance: Normally security and maintenance services are managed by developer at a price (2000 PKR approx/month for 1000 sq. ft.). Yes, Apartment life has better security, maintenance, and care free environment

          4. Pricing: In ISB/RWP at good projects (BT, DHA, Gulberg, Enclave) Apartments are booked in the range of 5500 to 7000/sq. ft (on Avg.). Best time to buy on installments is at the time of prelaunch that can get one good 20%+ discount and Apartment of choice. You can also get the configuration customised as per your needs, after certain amounts have been paid.

          5. Location of Apartment in the Building: Some developers charge more (2% to 5% extra) for Apartments closer to ground, some do it opposite. Avoid Apartments that are below ground level (i.e., basements), can be cheaper but less ventilation/sunlight and hard to rent out sale.

          6. Front Facing vs Back Facing: Try to buy front facing apartment, same direction as main entrance. Will have better view with terrace and more demand for renting out. Front view terrace adds to the aesthetics, feel and demand of an apartment

          7. Commercial vs Residential Project: Try to buy in an all residential apartments project, will be more peaceful. Mix of commercial vs residential can have grocery shops etc. right at the doorstep but too crowded and noisy.

          8. Location of Apartment: Apartments in projects like BT, DHA, Gulberg are much better value for money. I heard Zarkoon Height (G-15) is good in terms of access, quality of construction etc.

          9. Future of Apartment-based Investment: Slower appreciation comparatively, takes more time to sell off. General advice would be to go for 1000/1200 sq. ft. with 2 - 3 bed apartment in the range of 5 to 7 million. That can be better return in terms of rental value, comparatively easy to sell-off or exchange with other properties.

          10. Legality: Check legal issues, that project is approved by CDA/RDA etc. Check approved layout plan to avoid any later disappointments or legal stay on construction.

          11. Covered Area: It a tricky part, as circulation area, i.e., galleries/stairs/elevator areas are added in the area of the Apartment. For example, in an Apartment of 1000 sq. ft. Gallery/Stairs/Elevator slot etc. may take up 200+ sq. ft. to be paid by the purchaser/owner. Covered Area + Circulation Area. Check this before buying any apartment.

          - Summary:
          For personal living (smaller family) and short term rent out Apartments are good. For investment, price appreciation, not as of now.

          Apartments in BT (Phase 1 to 4), DHA, Gulberg to me are better value for money.

          Safety, Security, Maintenance is good and mostly dedicated in Apartments compared to house etc.

          On Avg. 5500 to 7000/sq. ft. depending on location, facilities, and how much structure completed. 2 - 3 bed beyond 5 - 7 million is not that attractive, speaking in general terms.

          CDA sectors plots/houses is a different story. Mostly apartments in CDA sectors for me are overpriced and lesser value for money. Closer to NUST or that area G sectors can be better choice (explore Zarkon Heights). H-13 sounds attractive but H sector in principle was designed to be an educational sectors. H-13, as far as I recall can be cheap but had some litigations and some parts banned for construction and messed up layout.

          Rest there are many existing threads on House Construction/Purchase/Renting, implicitly or explicitly.

          ** Personal view, subject to factual corrections, in case some obvious has been missed!
            261 days ago 

            (320 posts)
            AQ sb and Imtiaz sb,

            Thanks a lot for providing useful info and a deep analysis.

              261 days ago 

              Adil Ela
              (7 posts)

              Thanks so much Aq and Imtiaz sahib. This is beyond helpful. So let me explain my rationale a bit. I travel a lot for work and do not want the hassle of a house and maintaining it otherwise the idea of G14 is excellent. Furthermore, I don’t ave a big family so I prefer having the coziness of an apartment. I want to live in it for the next few years. The reason I mentioned &10 was to have an established community and building so we know what we are getting into but I am quite open. Also, my ant lives in defense Karachi apartments on the ocean and while old they are excellent. So the question becomes:

              Do people in Islamabad have the maturity to live in apartments without problems?

              Last thing you want to do is fight with neighbors.

              Also, if you do rent out do people destroy th place or there are well behaved renters?

              Thanks so much for your responses! May Allah bless you all.

                260 days ago 

                (1463 posts)
                - Maturity is a very relative term. Not sure, what exactly that refers to, here. I found people enjoying more privacy, quietness and self-reliance in Apartments at decent projects (most parts of BT/DHA, Gulberg) then traditional housing colonies.

                - Non-destruction/damage is a factor of one thing importantly, proper documentation with appropriate security deposit. Its more like minimization, rather the prevention. The misfit and turbulent tennant will be dropped to the nearest entrance barrier with his/her luggage (based on official complaint and proof) by the security guys who charge you their bucks monthly.

                Having said that in ISB, Apartments may see slow price appreciation and less liquid to cash then plots/houses.

                KHI is a very different market (Demand-Supply) when it comes to Apartments compared to RWP/ISB.

                After the initial question of 'to buy or not', ultimate quest is about 'where' and for 'how much' ...
                  260 days ago 

                  (282 posts)
                  Adil sahab if you are looking for apartment then Zarkon Heights G-15 is a very good option.
                    260 days ago 

                    Adil Ela
                    (7 posts)
                    Imtiaz: Makes sense. You nailed it when you mentioned Karachi as I see a steady state in many projects. Many parts of the world prefer a bit older say 2-3 years property as they would know the community that lives there. Also excellent observation about minimization than prevention as this is so true worldwide! I guess hearing horror stories by word of mouth exaggerates the problem at times.

                    Also your point about slower appreciation is very sound and also applicable globally. Having 2 or more br is far better than higher as the rate of return goes down considerably. I would love to narrow it down in the f, g or h areas as they are also closer to the airport and hence not as astronomical in price.

                    One thing I wonder though is the real estate crash seen globally but Al7amdulillah Pakistan seem to be immune. Is it the large population base or other factors at work I wonder.

                    Again, thanks for such clarity of thought and succinct answers.

                      260 days ago 

                      (730 posts)
                      Apartments are not family-friendly in Pakistan. What if someone grabs your lady? What will you do? Kill him? Then end up in jail yourself. Because in a flawed justice system no one will listen to your self-defense argument.

                      2ndly Earthquakes are also an issue especially around Islamabad. (google 2005 earthquake). But Lahore and Karachi are the safest cities for apartments.

                      I say, buy a 4/5 marla house instead. These days apartments are not that cheap either. It is stupidity to buy a 3 bedroom apartment for over 1.5 crore when you can get a 3BR/4 marla house for that much or less.

                      Also for overseas Pakistanis or anyone who doesn't have a job in the middle of Islamabad shouldn't even live in Islamabad. Rather move to Phase-8. It's perfect living at reasonable rates.
                        260 days ago 

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