Buying your first property in Saudi Arabia

Buying property in Saudi Arabia is not something a lot of people to. A mere 30% of people living in Saudi Arabia actually own their homes. This because until recently there was no such thing as mortgages. If you wanted to own a house you needed to pay for it just in the same manner as anything else. 100% upfront. But, ever since recent mortgage laws have been placed more and more people are deciding to purchase a home. So, here is all you need to know about buying your first property in Saudi Arabia.

What to know before buying your first property in Saudi Arabia

If you are a foreigner, buying your first properly in Saudi Arabia is going to quite an experience. Even though home purchase in Saudi Arabia has been westernized so that the whole process is more intuitive, there are still some major differences. And, if you plan on owning a home and living in it, you need to be aware of those differences before you buy. As you will soon find out, there are a lot of things that people take for granted in the western world, that are simply not present in Saudi Arabia. Or, if they are, they are quite altered. Let us get to the specifics.

Sharia Law

The first thing you need to realize about Saudi Arabia is that it is quite Islamic. Sharia law is in power here, and if you do not follow it you might end up in quite a trouble. So, buying your first property in Saudi Arabia, you need to study the country carefully. Your best bet is to find someone who grew up in Saudi Arabia to explain to you what you need to know. Knowing the ins and outs of the Sharia law is essential when singing a moving contract or a real estate contract. So, before doing anything regarding Saudi Arabia real estate, make sure that you are familiar with their customs and laws. In order to purchase your home legally, you will have to work with the Sharia court and follow their instructions to the letter.

Reading a book.
You need to know the Sharia law before buying your first property in Saudi Arabia.


As a foreigner, you cannot get a loan from a Saudi Arabia bank. So, if you plan on buying your first property in Saudi Arabia you will need to find an outside bank to help you. But there are other ways in which you can work with Saudi Arabia banks.  The way in which you will pay depends on your circumstance, but it also depends on the seller. Even though you have confirmation from your seller, they can still choose to sell their home to a cash buyer.

Figuring out the cost of buying your first property in Saudi Arabia
There are a lot of things you need to take into account when figuring out your budget for buying a home in Saudi Arabia.

So, in order to get your money’s worth, you will probably need help from someone who knows sharia law and who can help you formulate a solid property contract. You will probably end up using “Ijarah” finance plan, as is it the most common one for foreigners. Also, don’t forget about the various moving costs when purchasing your home. Moving to Saudi Arabia is not cheap.


Besides financing the cost of your home, you will need to cover additional fees regarding home purchase. Among the things you will have to cover are:

  • Application Fees (around $1500)
  • Processing Fees (1% of total cost)
  • After Sale Fees (around $4000)
  • Miscellaneous Fees (around $2000)

Not to mention the fact that you will have to transport your belongings as cargo to Saudi Arabia. So, remember to carefully budget your home purchase. It may cost you much more than the mere of the cost your home.

Plan your relocation

Another thing you will have to deal with is planning your relocation to Saudi Arabia. Since there are strict laws and customs regarding moving to Saudi Arabia, your best bet is to find Saudi Arabia movers to help you. Movers like Four Winds Saudi Arabia will be able to both transport your possessions and help you acclimate to Saudi Arabia. Once you get settled in you will have an easy time dealing with everyday life. But, until that day comes, you will need someone who knows what Saudi Arabia is like for foreigners to show you around. And who is better suited for such a job than an international moving company.

A road in Saudi Arabia.
You will need help from someone how knows what Saudi Arabia is like in order to move here.

Figure out which property you want

Now that you have a better idea of the real estate market in Saudi Arabia, we need to cover the real estate purchase itself. There are many different types of properties you can purchase, and you need to be aware of what pros and cons they bring. Only that way you will make a wise decision when buying your first property in Saudi Arabia.

Buying a house

A house means freedom. Having your own house means that you will have the opportunity to make it as you see fit. You will be able to decorate it, organize it and renovate it in whichever way you see fit. But, owning a house comes with its own set of problems. If something happens to your home, there is no one else to call. You need to pay for the repairs all by yourself. Furthermore, you need to take care of it so that it lasts you a long time.

Buying an apartment

Apartments, on the other hand, are easier to maintain. Any major problems usually impact the whole building, which means that everyone shares the cost of the repair. But, an apartment offers less freedom. Living in an apartment means that you will have to take your neighbors into account and organize your life so that you don’t bother each other. So, think carefully before you make your decision.

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