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Looking for a cheap place to live in Murree or other Northern areas.

Jonathan

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Hello and thanks to all those who contribute their time and advice to these forums.

(I wasn't sure which was the most suitable section of the board for this post. If there's a more suitable section perhaps an admin could kindly move it across for me?)

I'm looking to settle down in Pakistan within the next couple of years with my family (wife and 1 child). I'm British but my wife is Pakistani (so we could buy land/property in her name). I struggle with summer temperatures so we are looking for a base to serve us between May and October, somewhere cool.

We only require a very small house (1 or 2 bed), ideally a house rather than a flat, and with a small garden/outside area/bit of land. We are happy to live in a rural/forest setting so long as there is some road access and access to water.

We lived in a truck in the UK so are used to living in small spaces. I also have some experience with tiny homes. I had thought about buying a small piece of land and building a small timber dwelling, or having a shipping container/porta cabin delivered and turning that into a small home. Do such temporary dwellings require planning permission in Pakistan?

I've seen property like this:
https://www.zameen.com/Property/mur...ouse_for_sale_in_murree-13832549-11597-1.html
However I could build something far cosier and more suited to us in layout, including things such as a wood burning stove.

If we were to buy land with a derelict building upon it, could we replace it with something else without any permission? Example this: https://www.zameen.com/Property/mur...me_location_of_khanispur-18841978-5829-1.html

Our budget is small, 50-60 lakh. The location is not too important so long as the climate is cool and it's relatively accessible.

Any advice would be hugely appreciated

Regards, Jonathan
 

khansaheeb

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Dec 14, 2008
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Hello and thanks to all those who contribute their time and advice to these forums.

(I wasn't sure which was the most suitable section of the board for this post. If there's a more suitable section perhaps an admin could kindly move it across for me?)

I'm looking to settle down in Pakistan within the next couple of years with my family (wife and 1 child). I'm British but my wife is Pakistani (so we could buy land/property in her name). I struggle with summer temperatures so we are looking for a base to serve us between May and October, somewhere cool.

We only require a very small house (1 or 2 bed), ideally a house rather than a flat, and with a small garden/outside area/bit of land. We are happy to live in a rural/forest setting so long as there is some road access and access to water.

We lived in a truck in the UK so are used to living in small spaces. I also have some experience with tiny homes. I had thought about buying a small piece of land and building a small timber dwelling, or having a shipping container/porta cabin delivered and turning that into a small home. Do such temporary dwellings require planning permission in Pakistan?

I've seen property like this:
https://www.zameen.com/Property/mur...ouse_for_sale_in_murree-13832549-11597-1.html
However I could build something far cosier and more suited to us in layout, including things such as a wood burning stove.

If we were to buy land with a derelict building upon it, could we replace it with something else without any permission? Example this: https://www.zameen.com/Property/mur...me_location_of_khanispur-18841978-5829-1.html

Our budget is small, 50-60 lakh. The location is not too important so long as the climate is cool and it's relatively accessible.

Any advice would be hugely appreciated

Regards, Jonathan
You need to go down there and link up with a realtor and a solicitor you know/trust (whatever that means in Pakistan) , there is a lot of scam in Pakistan and you don't want to get burnt.
 

Jonathan

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You need to go down there and link up with a realtor and a solicitor you know/trust (whatever that means in Pakistan) , there is a lot of scam in Pakistan and you don't want to get burnt.
Thanks.

We are currently here in Murree, we've been here a month and are staying until May (or longer if flights don't resume).

Yes I've read much about corruption and scams. Land grabbing, building without permission on on the back of bribes that are later overturned. I also know of people that in spite of having all the correct paper work have been dragged through the courts for years by previous owners children. This all makes me extremely cautious yet I have no friends or contacts in the field so where do I start? Who do I trust? How can I make my own checks? That's why I came here, at least here another can come along and refute any poor advice.
 

khansaheeb

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Dec 14, 2008
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Thanks.

We are currently here in Murree, we've been here a month and are staying until May (or longer if flights don't resume).

Yes I've read much about corruption and scams. Land grabbing, building without permission on on the back of bribes that are later overturned. I also know of people that in spite of having all the correct paper work have been dragged through the courts for years by previous owners children. This all makes me extremely cautious yet I have no friends or contacts in the field so where do I start? Who do I trust? How can I make my own checks? That's why I came here, at least here another can come along and refute any poor advice.
You need to live on rent for a year , get to know the people and system , build up your network and then make the bold step of buying property. I have known so many people who have the heart of a lion and have had to live with the painful bites of Hyenas and who had to run out of the country. The sweetest people there are the most dangerous ones and they will take all your clothes that you are wearing without you even realising it. But then your Shangri-La is within your fingertips, a heaven on earth, that you will never want to leave. Another thing is that Murree is a sensitive area and you will be watched.
 
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bananarepublic

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Jan 15, 2015
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Thanks.

We are currently here in Murree, we've been here a month and are staying until May (or longer if flights don't resume).

Yes I've read much about corruption and scams. Land grabbing, building without permission on on the back of bribes that are later overturned. I also know of people that in spite of having all the correct paper work have been dragged through the courts for years by previous owners children. This all makes me extremely cautious yet I have no friends or contacts in the field so where do I start? Who do I trust? How can I make my own checks? That's why I came here, at least here another can come along and refute any poor advice.
I would recommend something near Islamabad or the road between Islamabad to Murree. There are plenty of small "community" housing schemes and most of them are cheap and reliable enough to buy.
Most of the property development happening around there has already been approved by CDA ,plus it will be a great investment as they have big plans for those areas in the near future
 

Counter-Errorist

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Oct 29, 2009
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I would recommend staying in Islamabad and getting a feel for the place before deciding to move North. Murree is an hour and half drive away, and Islamabad is a nice place in its own right. In some newer communities, you can rent a peaceful 100 sq.m. house for Rs 50,000. Don't overcommit and start by buying a house. Rent, acquaint, then buy.

Also wait for the coronavirus situation to subside before deciding to travel. We're in lockdown, markets are closed, you won't find any movers, labourers for moving in - also a lot of things you'll need for living comfortably you won't be able to find - such as furniture, kitchenware, bathroom supplies, etc.
 

Jonathan

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Mar 21, 2020
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You need to live on rent for a year , get to know the people and system , build up your network and then make the bold step of buying property. I have known so many people who have the heart of a lion and have had to live with the painful bites of Hyenas who had to run out of the country. The sweetest people there are the most dangerous ones and they will take all your clothes that you are wearing without you even realising it. But then your Shangri-La is within your fingertips, a heaven on earth, that you will never want to leave. Another thing is that Murree is a sensitive area and you will be watched.
Thanks for the advice but I'm not convinced that spending a year here would necessarily increase my ability to discern between fraudulent and none fraudulent. I also can't really afford a year spent in that way.

Regarding the sensitivity of the area, Murree isn't a must, in fact in many regards it wouldn't be my first choice. Any area that has a cool summer climate, property available to buy within budget and access to basic shops and facilities would qualify. When I've searched on Zameen there seems little cheap property available anywhere else further north than Murree. I checked Manserah, Muzaffarabad, Gilgit, etc, and very little seems available.
 

khansaheeb

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Dec 14, 2008
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Thanks for the advice but I'm not convinced that spending a year here would necessarily increase my ability to discern between fraudulent and none fraudulent. I also can't really afford a year spent in that way.

Regarding the sensitivity of the area, Murree isn't a must, in fact in many regards it wouldn't be my first choice. Any area that has a cool summer climate, property available to buy within budget and access to basic shops and facilities would qualify. When I've searched on Zameen there seems little cheap property available anywhere else further north than Murree. I checked Manserah, Muzaffarabad, Gilgit, etc, and very little seems available.
Have you checked out the weather and the harsh winter in that area?
 

Jonathan

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Mar 21, 2020
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I would recommend something near Islamabad or the road between Islamabad to Murree. There are plenty of small "community" housing schemes and most of them are cheap and reliable enough to buy.
Most of the property development happening around there has already been approved by CDA ,plus it will be a great investment as they have big plans for those areas in the near future
Thanks for the advise. Are they sufficently north to benefit from the cooler climate or are they more like Islamabad temperatures? Any specific locations you'd recommend?

Have you checked out the weather and the harsh winter in that area?
Yes, I'm fine with harsh winters it's hot summers I can't handle. We'd likely move down south between November and March though.

I would recommend staying in Islamabad and getting a feel for the place before deciding to move North. Murree is an hour and half drive away, and Islamabad is a nice place in its own right. In some newer communities, you can rent a peaceful 100 sq.m. house for Rs 50,000. Don't overcommit and start by buying a house. Rent, acquaint, then buy.

Also wait for the coronavirus situation to subside before deciding to travel. We're in lockdown, markets are closed, you won't find any movers, labourers for moving in - also a lot of things you'll need for living comfortably you won't be able to find - such as furniture, kitchenware, bathroom supplies, etc.
Absolutely, I was just using this time of lockdown to do some online research.

Regarding Islamabad I've spent time in Pindi, and a little in the capital. It's far too big and busy for me. Also, although the summer climate is gentler than the south of Punjab, I still find it too hot.
 

Dawood Ibrahim

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May 25, 2016
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Hello and thanks to all those who contribute their time and advice to these forums.

(I wasn't sure which was the most suitable section of the board for this post. If there's a more suitable section perhaps an admin could kindly move it across for me?)

I'm looking to settle down in Pakistan within the next couple of years with my family (wife and 1 child). I'm British but my wife is Pakistani (so we could buy land/property in her name). I struggle with summer temperatures so we are looking for a base to serve us between May and October, somewhere cool.

We only require a very small house (1 or 2 bed), ideally a house rather than a flat, and with a small garden/outside area/bit of land. We are happy to live in a rural/forest setting so long as there is some road access and access to water.

We lived in a truck in the UK so are used to living in small spaces. I also have some experience with tiny homes. I had thought about buying a small piece of land and building a small timber dwelling, or having a shipping container/porta cabin delivered and turning that into a small home. Do such temporary dwellings require planning permission in Pakistan?

I've seen property like this:
https://www.zameen.com/Property/mur...ouse_for_sale_in_murree-13832549-11597-1.html
However I could build something far cosier and more suited to us in layout, including things such as a wood burning stove.

If we were to buy land with a derelict building upon it, could we replace it with something else without any permission? Example this: https://www.zameen.com/Property/mur...me_location_of_khanispur-18841978-5829-1.html

Our budget is small, 50-60 lakh. The location is not too important so long as the climate is cool and it's relatively accessible.

Any advice would be hugely appreciated

Regards, Jonathan




Can i ask why you want to leave here when majority of Pakistan's would love to settle in uk and please do a research on these northern area DIR MALAKAND etc
 

Jonathan

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Can i ask why you want to leave here when majority of Pakistan's would love to settle in uk and please do a research on these northern area DIR MALAKAND etc
My hearts in Pakistan and we feel God is calling us to live here. Life's comfortable and relatively easy in the UK, it's also full of varied beauty and a moderate climate but I'm restless there.

I'd not heard of Malakand or Dir, I'll check the area out. Why do you mention it?

Anyone have any insight regarding planning requirements for temporary structures such as porta cabin homes?
 
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bananarepublic

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Jan 15, 2015
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Thanks for the advise. Are they sufficently north to benefit from the cooler climate or are they more like Islamabad temperatures? Any specific locations you'd recommend?



Yes, I'm fine with harsh winters it's hot summers I can't handle. We'd likely move down south between November and March though.



Absolutely, I was just using this time of lockdown to do some online research.

Regarding Islamabad I've spent time in Pindi, and a little in the capital. It's far too big and busy for me. Also, although the summer climate is gentler than the south of Punjab, I still find it too hot.
Well anything around bani-gala is good enough. Contact a certified property dealer or go through the CDA website ,the property is considerably cheap but will inflate in prices so would recommend to decide now.
The area is secure and near a city center(Islamabad).
While it may get a bit hot but considerably lower than Islamabad It is comfortable to live.
My hearts in Pakistan and we feel God is calling us to live here. Life's comfortable and relatively easy in the UK, it's also full of varied beauty and a moderate climate but I'm restless there.

I'd not heard of Malakand or Dir, I'll check the area out. Why do you mention it?

Anyone have any insight regarding planning requirements for temporary structures such as porta cabin homes?
Dir and Malakand are not goid places for foriegners , also government wouldn't really allow a foreigner to live in temp residence
 

Jonathan

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Mar 21, 2020
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United Kingdom
Well anything around bani-gala is good enough. Contact a certified property dealer or go through the CDA website ,the property is considerably cheap but will inflate in prices so would recommend to decide now.
The area is secure and near a city center(Islamabad).
While it may get a bit hot but considerably lower than Islamabad It is comfortable to live.


Dir and Malakand are not goid places for foriegners , also government wouldn't really allow a foreigner to live in temp residence
Thanks. I thought there was an ongoing dispute regarding the legality of some of the building that has taken place at Bani Gala. Looking on the map it looks no higher than Islamabad, in fact it is in Islamabad by Rawal Lake?

You can also try Abbotabad, it's a good alternative to Murree.
Thanks. I don't know why I'd dismissed Abbottabad as being too hot but looking again it looks like the summer temps there are reasonable. Certainly another option to consider.

Dir and Malakand are not goid places for foriegners , also government wouldn't really allow a foreigner to live in temp residence
Yes they look quite far into KPP. Regarding a temporary structure I meant along the lines of a converted porta cabin type structure. Temporary in the sense of having no foundations yet reasonably secure.
 

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