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OKha
( 156 posts )

[56 Answers]
Dear Experts,

I am a 36 year old married overseas Pakistani working in the Middle East. I plan to shift to Islamabad in a couple of years (2 years). By the way, I grew up in Islamabad so I love the Islamabad life style.

Considering my job type I will be working in some multinational company in Islamabad. So have budget for the following options considering my budget of 1.5+ Crore:

1. Bahria Town Islamabad (Safari Villas III as it’s a gated community)
2. DHA Islamabad II also gated
3. Bahria Enclave Islamabad also gated
4. F-15 or E-16 in Zone II (don't know if gated or not?)

My saving are in foreign currency i.e. dollars so as the dollar rate is very high these days I am thinking of making this purchase very soon. Please advise me regarding the pros and cons of the above mentioned options considering the following important preferences for me:

Maximum Security (gated), less commute to Islamabad for work, fully livable in 2 years from now, high quality living like Bahria Town or Islamabad Zone 1.

Thanks in advance.

    2656 days ago In General Advice
    Post Reply
    SR
    (4 posts)
    Your plea about Pakistan is right but one should do his best to save him/herself. You cannot guarantee about anything so one should act wisely and make the best decision. For the male of the house traveling is less important as compare to the other factor. Don't use the stance of Islamabad expressway to detract people from going to a safer place.
      2652 days ago 

      OKha
      (156 posts)
      SR,

      I guess the security of the old Islamabad zone 1 is the same... I mean if these days there are cases of gun point robberies in G sectors then there are cases of same type of robberies in F sectors e.g. F-11 and even gun point killing in F-10 and car and other house hold robberies are very common in all the F sectors I sectors and even I-8.

      Well I guess even DHA and non-gated phases of Bahria 1, 2, 3, 4 etc will not be safe from robberies as compared to Safari Villas, Meadows etc because only these projects are fully gated even for people walking on foot and cars. DHA and normal phases of Bahria Town robbers can come at night via foot. e.g. DHA Lahore has lot security issues I guess same will be the case of DHA Islamabad as it is not fully gated and people can just walk into them.
        2652 days ago 

        Syed Ibrhaim
        (1436 posts)
        Well dear law and order situation is over all very down in Pakistan. In Islamabad federal ministers with protocols are not safe so law and order situation is not that good in Islamabad.
          2652 days ago 

          PAKISTANI-1
          (3019 posts)
          Khalid sahab,

          It looks like you want to go back and settle down peacefully in a gated community similar to the compounds in the Gulf countries.

          That dream is not just yours but of all of us Pakistanis living abroad and saving up our sweat and blood to one day return to our country and live peacefully in the city we love. But that dream is a mirage - aik saraab!

          When you return, life is no longer the peaceful dream you thought it would be. Your own relatives will start asking you WHY in the world did you return to Pakistan!? Then when you see the things around you, then you realize they are not so wrong. You already know about the corruption and the load shedding because you lived for quite a long time in Pakistan before moving to the Gulf but when you actually move to Pakistan you feel the difference between BACK THEN and NOW.

          Corruption has become EXTORTION and THEFT has become daylight ROBBERY! Loadshedding has turned into FUEL SHORTAGE! And your friends (regardless of their age and experience) have turned into Prisoners trying to move out of Pakistan as if searching for an ESCAPE from Alcatraz (like in the Clint Eastwood Movie!!)

          Now your 1.5 plus crore can make you a house but no gated community can shield you from the actual Reality!

          SOLUTION? well my advice is postpone your plan to move to our beloved Pakistan OR move to Pakistan ONLY if you are ready for a struggle to IMPROVE our Pakistan.
            2652 days ago 

            OKha
            (156 posts)
            Dear Salman

            I agree with you, seems like you are also an overseas Pakistani... yes, I may delay my shifting to Pakistan because of the security and load shedding situation... but the thing is that it is our country and some day or the other we have go back! So that why it feels good if you have sweet home of your own to go back too. :)
              2652 days ago 

              MBS
              (1157 posts)
              Well fellows, so is the intention of mine, no matter what I would still love to have a home in Pakistan. You don't want to be an expatriate for your whole life after all. And that's why I have been struggling to find the appropriate place/community to buy a plot.

              I think it largely depends upon the political outcome of next elections.
                2652 days ago 

                PAKISTANI-1
                (3019 posts)
                Dear Khalid,

                Points to be noted:

                (i) If we overseas Pakistanis try to build a house in Pakistan on Turnkey basis, the contractor thinks he has hit the jackpot because he is building a house for someone earning in foreign currrency - he charges you for the best cement, best bricks, best steel but installs number 2 materials.

                (ii) To build on Labour Contract basis, is the best way to build a house, but you need someone to supervise and we cant do it ourselves because it is a one year project and we work abroad - if we ask our dad to do it, it is too much tension for him at this age; if we ask our brothers or sisters to do it, they are too busy.

                (iii) If somehow we build it then we use it only during our vacation so the house will start to get damaged due to disuse;

                (iv) if we give it out on rent, the kiraydaar creates problems and damage;

                (v) if we keep it empty, the pests, insects and effects of time on empty house destroy the property unless we hire someone to maintain it;

                (vi) If we request our parents to live there, they get bored of the new area and want to go back to the same old place where they have their friends and relatives;

                So what is the SOLUTION?

                i. I think an overseas Pakistani should not build a house UNTIL he comes back to Pakistan finally and can supervise the construction and then start living in it immediately on completion.

                ii. But how to safeguard the dollar the value of your savings against inflation in real estate? The answer is hedge your savings: buy 2 or 3 plots; One plot where you will build your house; and the other two plots you will sell and use the money for construction. If you sell one plot first and start building, you are still making money on the other plot. when you use up the first plot's money, then you sell the other one for the fittings in the house and new furniture from Wazirabad.

                I am also in the Gulf for the last several years and have been planning to have a house in Islamabad. I bought a plot in F-15/1 a couple of years ago. But when I went there during my vacation I noticed a lot of commercialization there; Unfortunately the Jammu Kashmir society is lenient with these things. Any way the plot still appreciated quite substantially in price. So I have decided to keep it but I will not build my house on this plot because this sector will not be clean and nice. There will be property dealers, schools etc. I will buy another plot on a plot I like to live at and use the previous plot as construction money when i go to Pakistan and build a house on the plot I like better.

                InshAllah.
                  2651 days ago 

                  Kamran
                  (235 posts)
                  Very well Salman!

                  I think at some point of time one should need to take calculated risks. Constructing a house with the help of some reliable supervisor and give it on rent is very good option. The construction cost is increasing day by day so constructing today is better to construct after few years and one can also get good rent from that property.

                  Never put all your Eggs in One basket!

                  Another option is to purchase 2-3 plots in different areas like G-14/3,G-15 or F-15 Bahria Enclave (for long term Investment) one can get good return on his investment in next few years.

                  Investment in Gold or investment in dividend yielding stocks is also good option the average return is 15% in few stocks. The property in last 5 years not doubled in Islamabad but from investing in stocks one can easily double his investment in Gold and stocks. But stocks are bit risky.

                  Allah knows what is best for us!
                    2651 days ago 

                    Syed Ibrhaim
                    (1436 posts)
                    I think so risk is always there we have to just calculate that which area is with less risk. I think so a piece of land is better then gold and stock in case of risk calculation however in profit margins I can't say anything as I don't know about stock market.
                      2651 days ago 

                      MBS
                      (1157 posts)
                      It's impossible to get everything straight all the times. Good option is always to diverse, make up a portfolio of different things, be it real estate, gold and stocks. The only problem is you don't have that liberty of resources all the time to make up such portfolios, Real estate now is not for investment at all, you only get the increase for inflation, nothing in real terms.

                      Buy a plot/house for the sake of living only - there's nothing about returns now in Real estate.
                        2651 days ago 

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