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

TNT

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Jun 2, 2019
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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

Your priorities are budget and weather i think. Murree is nice but u wont like the locals plus its expensive. Abbottabad have a good summer weather but again its expensive and hard to find land nowadays. You can get 5 marla land within that price range but u wont be comfortable with a cabin type place among concrete 2 story houses.
If u r not scared u can venture into KPK, where u can find good climate and cheap land. I belong to dir and its a beautiful place with nice weather, mountains, jungle and springs. You can get a good few kanal land in that range. Swat is also really good. These places are far from major cities and ppl are bit scared living there from outside. Also in these areas there is no restrictions on what and how u built.
Another good option for u as a foreigner would be natia gali or any other of the galiat. They are near murree and bit cheaper. Good roads and access to facilities. You can find cheap land if its not on main road, u can search for place with like a km or two dirt road from main road and it will be cheaper.
If u want to live in dir or swat, i can provide land for u or help u with it as i belong from that area.
 

Jonathan

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Your priorities are budget and weather i think. Murree is nice but u wont like the locals plus its expensive. Abbottabad have a good summer weather but again its expensive and hard to find land nowadays. You can get 5 marla land within that price range but u wont be comfortable with a cabin type place among concrete 2 story houses.
If u r not scared u can venture into KPK, where u can find good climate and cheap land. I belong to dir and its a beautiful place with nice weather, mountains, jungle and springs. You can get a good few kanal land in that range. Swat is also really good. These places are far from major cities and ppl are bit scared living there from outside. Also in these areas there is no restrictions on what and how u built.
Another good option for u as a foreigner would be natia gali or any other of the galiat. They are near murree and bit cheaper. Good roads and access to facilities. You can find cheap land if its not on main road, u can search for place with like a km or two dirt road from main road and it will be cheaper.
If u want to live in dir or swat, i can provide land for u or help u with it as i belong from that area.

Thanks for such helpful advice and the kind offer of help. You summed up my priorities well, if I had the luxury of adding a third however it would be accessibility.

I have no fear of living in remote areas but Dir, although sounding wonderful, is a long way North, and far away from any rail links. I certainly won't rule it out though and maybe after this crisis blows over, or next time I'm in Pakistan, I'll get the opportunity to venture in to those areas and take a look.

Your mention of no building restrictions is interesting. Are there restrictions that are just not enforced or is the area exempt? Is the same true of the rest of KPP? Would the same apply to most other areas outside main cities?

I stumbled upon this on Olx:
https://www.olx.com.pk/item/5-kanal-farm-house-iid-1014107601

It sounds very cheap, I think the price is likely wrong or per Kanal. Land near Angoori. Would somewhere like this likely have building restrictions or would it be a similar case to building in Dir?

Thanks for all who have contributed so far, it's helpful to be able to gauge a spectrum of opinion and ideas.
 

PakAlp

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Sep 27, 2007
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I would say come live in Mirpur AJK, it's small quiet city compared to Islamabad, Lahore etc. In the summer it does get hot though. The house price can be dear depending on the location, but its worth checking out. Rent price for the whole house can be expensive but at times people rent floors, around Rs30000. Islamabad is also a beautiful city. It's not as busy as other cities.

I wouldn't advice you to buy land in a village or village like areas as it's not easy living there, especially if your moving from a foreign country. Water, gas, electricity, school, hospital, doctor surgery, dentistry, shopping is important when moving.
 

ps3linux

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Mar 4, 2019
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Thanks for such helpful advice and the kind offer of help. You summed up my priorities well, if I had the luxury of adding a third however it would be accessibility.

I have no fear of living in remote areas but Dir, although sounding wonderful, is a long way North, and far away from any rail links. I certainly won't rule it out though and maybe after this crisis blows over, or next time I'm in Pakistan, I'll get the opportunity to venture in to those areas and take a look.

Your mention of no building restrictions is interesting. Are there restrictions that are just not enforced or is the area exempt? Is the same true of the rest of KPP? Would the same apply to most other areas outside main cities?

I stumbled upon this on Olx:
https://www.olx.com.pk/item/5-kanal-farm-house-iid-1014107601

It sounds very cheap, I think the price is likely wrong or per Kanal. Land near Angoori. Would somewhere like this likely have building restrictions or would it be a similar case to building in Dir?

Thanks for all who have contributed so far, it's helpful to be able to gauge a spectrum of opinion and ideas.


The property that you have mentioned in the link, despite being a Pakistani I would never go for it, it says "Baqabza" which is fishy.

You may have few choices
Baltistan (very cheap I bought 30 kanals or about 7.75 acres for around 7.5 million PKR recently, road infrastructure is so so, land fraud chances low to medium) people are great
KPK Dir, Swat, Mansehra (reasonably cheap, very good people, infrastructure depends good to worse, fraud chances low to medium for first two, high for the third)
Fort Munrow South Punjab (Cheap, sweet people with harsh outlook, infrastructure medium to low, land fraud chances no idea will be buying some land there next month then will decide semi developed land about 12 million PKR for 12 kanals or 1.5 acre)
 

Mabs

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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

Hi Jonathan,

We had bought two 1 BHK apartments in Murree a few yers back as summer homes but might be open to selling because most of us are outside of Pakistan, most of the time. My father visits there every now and then for maintenance but they're practically unused.

They're right behind PC Bhurban hotel so in a really nice spot and are right next to each other but have separate entrances. They're also at the edge of a hill so there won't be any more construction and the view will remain unobstructed. They're all paid up as well so will be a hassle free transfer.

Pls PM me if interested and I'll share pics/videos and any other info you might need. Thanks.
 

Jonathan

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Mar 21, 2020
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The property that you have mentioned in the link, despite being a Pakistani I would never go for it, it says "Baqabza" which is fishy.

You may have few choices
Baltistan (very cheap I bought 30 kanals or about 7.75 acres for around 7.5 million PKR recently, road infrastructure is so so, land fraud chances low to medium) people are great
KPK Dir, Swat, Mansehra (reasonably cheap, very good people, infrastructure depends good to worse, fraud chances low to medium for first two, high for the third)
Fort Munrow South Punjab (Cheap, sweet people with harsh outlook, infrastructure medium to low, land fraud chances no idea will be buying some land there next month then will decide semi developed land about 12 million PKR for 12 kanals or 1.5 acre)

Yes I wondered at baqabza, what does it actually mean?

Thank you for taking the time to write such a comprehensive reply. Also I'm so glad you highlighted Fort Munroe as an option. I've spent a lot of time in South Punjab, in fact I've passed through D G Khan but had no idea a hill station existed in that area. My wife has family in Khanewal and Fort Munroe would certainly be much a much closer option than KPK. Please let me know how you get on buying land there.

Do you have any info regarding planning permission? Is it always needed?

Hi Jonathan,

We had bought two 1 BHK apartments in Murree a few yers back as summer homes but might be open to selling because most of us are outside of Pakistan, most of the time. My father visits there every now and then for maintenance but they're practically unused.

They're right behind PC Bhurban hotel so in a really nice spot and are right next to each other but have separate entrances. They're also at the edge of a hill so there won't be any more construction and the view will remain unobstructed. They're all paid up as well so will be a hassle free transfer.

Pls PM me if interested and I'll share pics/videos and any other info you might need. Thanks.

Thanks. My preference would be a house or land rather than apartments, but I'm open to most ideas at the moment. If you have time to send across a few pics and a rough price I wouldn't mind having a look.
 
Last edited:

TNT

SENIOR MEMBER
Jun 2, 2019
6,355
-5
11,094
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Thanks for such helpful advice and the kind offer of help. You summed up my priorities well, if I had the luxury of adding a third however it would be accessibility.

I have no fear of living in remote areas but Dir, although sounding wonderful, is a long way North, and far away from any rail links. I certainly won't rule it out though and maybe after this crisis blows over, or next time I'm in Pakistan, I'll get the opportunity to venture in to those areas and take a look.

Your mention of no building restrictions is interesting. Are there restrictions that are just not enforced or is the area exempt? Is the same true of the rest of KPP? Would the same apply to most other areas outside main cities?

I stumbled upon this on Olx:
https://www.olx.com.pk/item/5-kanal-farm-house-iid-1014107601

It sounds very cheap, I think the price is likely wrong or per Kanal. Land near Angoori. Would somewhere like this likely have building restrictions or would it be a similar case to building in Dir?

Thanks for all who have contributed so far, it's helpful to be able to gauge a spectrum of opinion and ideas.

Ur always welcome.
Building restrictions in Pakistan are weird and vary alot. Just in Peshawar there are different restrictions in different areas. The more you move to suburbs, the restrictions become loose. In places like dir and swat, there are no restrictions, except for few gated communities.
Have u travelled from murree to abbottabad through the galiat road in mountains? If not, do take a drive and ull find amazing places with varied prices. Those areas are also accessible and are near Islamabad. You can also get basic facilities easily. Its also very safe area though there maybe some building rules as its managed by GDA, but it wont be that strict, rules are usually strict for commercial buildings in those areas and residence is not much regulated.
 
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Aasimkhan

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Yes I wondered at baqabza, what does it actually mean?

Thank you for taking the time to write such a comprehensive reply. Also I'm so glad you highlighted Fort Munroe as an option. I've spent a lot of time in South Punjab, in fact I've passed through D G Khan but had no idea a hill station existed in that area. My wife has family in Khanewal and Fort Munroe would certainly be much a much closer option than KPK. Please let me know how you get on buying land there.

Do you have any info regarding planning permission? Is it always needed?



Thanks. My preference would be a house or land rather than apartments, but I'm open to most ideas at the moment. If you have time to send across a few pics and a rough price I wouldn't mind having a look.
Jonathan I had purchased a 2720 square feet piece of land near Muree for a jungle hut for my retirement adventure with my 2 sons. As luck would have it both of them died one after the other. That piece of land is useless for me because i cant handle it on my own. If you are a genuine buyer i will let you have it at much lower rate. You will not find a more beautiful place to live anywhere between Isb and Muzaffarabad, trust me.
 

Jonathan

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Ur always welcome.
Building restrictions in Pakistan are weird and vary alot. Just in Peshawar there are different restrictions in different areas. The more you move to suburbs, the restrictions become loose. In places like dir and swat, there are no restrictions, except for few gated communities.
Have u travelled from murree to abbottabad through the galiat road in mountains? If not, do take a drive and ull find amazing places with varied prices. Those areas are also accessible and are near Islamabad. You can also get basic facilities easily. Its also very safe area though there maybe some building rules as its managed by GDA, but it wont be that strict, rules are usually strict for commercial buildings in those areas and residence is not much regulated.

Great, thank you. A couple more questions if you don't mind. How would I go about checking the restrictions in a particular area? Is their a website I can go to or an office I would visit?

I've not traveled that road. I intended to but snow was blocking it before Nathia Gali, and as it started to clear the travel restrictions came into place. How would I even begin finding out what is available at what prices in such areas? My main reference has been Zameen and Olx but there's little on their outside the main places. Would I be best to speak to estate agents or just to try and chat to locals?

Jonathan I had purchased a 2720 square feet piece of land near Muree for a jungle hut for my retirement adventure with my 2 sons. As luck would have it both of them died one after the other. That piece of land is useless for me because i cant handle it on my own. If you are a genuine buyer i will let you have it at much lower rate. You will not find a more beautiful place to live anywhere between Isb and Muzaffarabad, trust me.

Firstly I'm so sorry to hear of the passing of your sons.

Secondly thank you for making such an offer! Why would you offer it at a lower rate to a relative stranger such as myself? I'd certainly like to hear more. Do you have any photos of the land and where abouts is it? Is it a plot with a society or a piece of private land? Is it connected with any facilities? What planning permissions does it have or require on it?

Thanks once again, Jonathan
 

ps3linux

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Mar 4, 2019
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Yes I wondered at baqabza, what does it actually mean?

Thank you for taking the time to write such a comprehensive reply. Also I'm so glad you highlighted Fort Munroe as an option. I've spent a lot of time in South Punjab, in fact I've passed through D G Khan but had no idea a hill station existed in that area. My wife has family in Khanewal and Fort Munroe would certainly be much a much closer option than KPK. Please let me know how you get on buying land there.

Do you have any info regarding planning permission? Is it always needed?


Baqabaza loosely is "a claim and a possession" a land without proper documentation don't want to go in more details, some of such land is legit and more times it is not.

Long story but someone shared an astounding road/bridge claiming to be made by Chinese near DG Khan, Fort Munro, I got curious and when I dug it out it is more of a hill station.

Then while visiting Multan I had a discussion with our local manager and he informed me in detail about the station it's his favorite family outing station, so I got interested and requested one of my class fellow who is posted somewhere near and he is arranging for the purchase.

But if you are interested you should go there and physically verify the place, documents. Cost of living is lower as compared to Islamabad/Murree.

As for planning, I would guess since it is not a district so planning is cheap, you need to get an approved building plan from a draftsman who ll get it approved from local municipality its damn cheap.

Better to obtain permission beforehand, rather than be in a precarious position where you have to continuously grease the palms of corrupt town admin people.
 

TNT

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Jun 2, 2019
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Great, thank you. A couple more questions if you don't mind. How would I go about checking the restrictions in a particular area? Is their a website I can go to or an office I would visit?

I've not traveled that road. I intended to but snow was blocking it before Nathia Gali, and as it started to clear the travel restrictions came into place. How would I even begin finding out what is available at what prices in such areas? My main reference has been Zameen and Olx but there's little on their outside the main places. Would I be best to speak to estate agents or just to try and chat to locals?

I dont think you can find that kind of information on any website, u know Pakistan by now. Your questions are very valid and in countries like Pakistan its hard to find places for sale and rules and restrictions. I would suggest the best option is to talk to the local property dealers and real estate agents. They have all the information about the particular area. Instead of wasting time searching and scouring for information, its better to meet a few property dealers in ur areas of interest,they will be happy to assist u. If u make a deal, they will charge u a little but its worth it. Usually if u buy through a dealer, they take care of all the complex paperwork and stuff, so it will be less hectic for u. Just make sure u buy from a good reputed property dealer. Find one that has a nice big office, ask around for a good property dealer and meet more than one in a given area. Good luck.
Please do share pictures of the place u build and expenses. i am also planning to make a summer place in dir for holidays and frnds n family.
 

Aasimkhan

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Sep 29, 2016
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Great, thank you. A couple more questions if you don't mind. How would I go about checking the restrictions in a particular area? Is their a website I can go to or an office I would visit?

I've not traveled that road. I intended to but snow was blocking it before Nathia Gali, and as it started to clear the travel restrictions came into place. How would I even begin finding out what is available at what prices in such areas? My main reference has been Zameen and Olx but there's little on their outside the main places. Would I be best to speak to estate agents or just to try and chat to locals?



Firstly I'm so sorry to hear of the passing of your sons.

Secondly thank you for making such an offer! Why would you offer it at a lower rate to a relative stranger such as myself? I'd certainly like to hear more. Do you have any photos of the land and where abouts is it? Is it a plot with a society or a piece of private land? Is it connected with any facilities? What planning permissions does it have or require on it?

Thanks once again, Jonathan
Its 8 KM from Muree (Murree is too crowded in summers) it situated 300 m from main expressway which connects Isb with Muzaffarabd. it is 25 minute drive from Islamabad, altitude is 5700 feet above sea level. I have pics, cordinates, google location, complete ownership documents, map, I even made a map of the house when the boys were alive but cant trace it now. To make a house more than 3 storeys you will need a proper permission. Upto 2 stories is no issue. 0092 3235110292 is my whastapp number for details
 

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Jun 27, 2022
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Your priorities are budget and weather i think. Murree is nice but u wont like the locals plus its expensive. Abbottabad have a good summer weather but again its expensive and hard to find land nowadays. You can get 5 marla land within that price range but u wont be comfortable with a cabin type place among concrete 2 story houses.
If u r not scared u can venture into KPK, where u can find good climate and cheap land. I belong to dir and its a beautiful place with nice weather, mountains, jungle and springs. You can get a good few kanal land in that range. Swat is also really good. These places are far from major cities and ppl are bit scared living there from outside. Also in these areas there is no restrictions on what and how u built.
Another good option for u as a foreigner would be natia gali or any other of the galiat. They are near murree and bit cheaper. Good roads and access to facilities. You can find cheap land if its not on main road, u can search for place with like a km or two dirt road from main road and it will be cheaper.
If u want to live in dir or swat, i can provide land for u or help u with it as i belong from that area.
If you choose to invest your money with Pearl Residencia, you can rest easy knowing that it will be placed into an investment that is reliable and secure if that is what you decide to do with it. Even a relatively small financial outlay in the form of an investment in the day-to-day operations of this company has the potential to yield a significant number of perks and benefits.
 

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