Saturday, July 16, 2011

Moving House

Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum.

Please forgive me for not posting in so long. Subhaan Allah, life is busy here.I started writing this when we were in the second half of the second semester of school and exams were looming. Now we have just finished the summer Qur'an programme and are on vacation until after Eid al Fitr....two months later!

Anyway, we decided to move to a villa (a detached house with a wall around it). One of the things about living in Madinah is that if you live in an apartment the children won't have anywhere safe to play. It is madness to let the children play in the street with the irresponsible and maniacal driving. In fact, there isn't anywhere for them to ride their bicycles either. As we approach the end of our second year here, mashaa'Allah, we decided to move to a house with a good outside area for the children to be able to play in. We first thought of Iskan, where the majority of expatriate families in houses live. The price of the houses there ranges from SAR 30,000 (if you're blessed) to 50,000 per year. Of course you can find more expensive than that if you like! However, after living for 2 years in an apartment, we realized that it would make a huge difference to our lives, and especially the lives of the children, to live in a house. For this reason, we searched in Aziziya, which is just outside of the Haram area. It is far less expensive, mashaa'Allah, with far better and nicer housing for the price than town center.

To give an idea, hubby saw two 5 bedroom apartments that looked like the Meridien hotel and they were only SAR 24,500 per year. Yes, I did say 5 bedrooms. There would also be a kitchen, at least 3-4 bathrooms, and two sitting areas for guests at minimum. In any case, they didn't have any area for playing and we wanted something simple, so we rented an older, large, 4 bedroom villa that has a huge courtyard area including a small planted area with date palms, a gravel patch for a tent and/or pool, and plenty of tiled area to play and enjoy the outdoors, along with a complete walled roof for riding bikes and running wild. The cost? SAR 23,000 per year, mashaa'Allah.

I have been exploring the area with my daughters and found nice quality cotton clothes for a fraction of the price of those in the malls and stores closer to the Haram. The general atmosphere is far more relaxed and pleasant, as this area isn't swarming with Umrah visitors and tourists, mashaa'Allah. Al hamdul'Illah, a new chapter of living in Madinah....with a new level of sakinah (peace/tranquility) and some freedom to enjoy the outdoors within our own private walls. All praise be to Allah, the Perfect Provider of all needs.


  1. Assalamu'alaikum wa Rahmatullah,

    MashaAllah Mai!!! May Allah(swt) continue to Bless you with all that is Khair. I've missed you tons my sweet sweet sister... I too have been MIA for quite some time and just tonight thought I would pay you a visit... perhaps we can sip some tea and enjoy some strawberry with cream & scones on your new porch sometime?! Hugs galore your way!!!

  2. Masha Allah. I am soo happy for you? Try to post more pics! Some of us are curious to see what a Villa in Saudi looks like.

  3. assalamu 'alaikum -

    mashaAllah - I am so happy for your family, may Allah bless your whole family. Jazakallah for this information, there is very little if any information out there regarding rentals and living situations for expats in the haramain...

    If you get the time inshsAllah, can you tell us:

    1. was it difficult to negotiate rental fees with the landlord? i have heard that there is some controversy in the KSA regarding rising rental fees and how the landlords are raising the rents from year to year because the people don't have much choice in the matter, and once you are there the know it is hard for people to move...was this the case with you or was it an easy negotiation? Also, was there any difficulty because you were expats, did you feel that you were treated differently in terms of the negotiation than a native Saudi? Do you have any fear that the rents will rise in the near future?

    2. how did you find your new home, by just walking around, word of mouth, newspapers?


  4. salaams -

    also, can you write regarding any incidental expenses, like how do you arrange and pay for garbage pickup, pay for utilities, water; how expensive are these things?

    what if you need repairs done?

    jazakallah khairun...

  5. @ Anonymous: It is not difficult to negotiate rental fees with the landlord or his agent. However, it is better to have a native Arabic speaker negotiate for you until you better understand the culture.

    Rental fees are going up, but so are salaries. This is a natural process. However, our rental is the same (3 years). You just need to be sure you're dealing with an honorable person. When landlords get a good tenant, they don't want them to leave.

    Also, it's easy to find a new place if you have to or want to move. Everyone pays for housing than a Saudi. We found our new house through a friend (Syrian). He lives in the area, so he took me to the local agent and spoke for me.

    In fact, we saw many places but this place had the most space for my children. The other places were like mini palaces, and this is truly not our style. We like older more natural looking buildings with plenty of room for recreation.

    Garbage pickup is free. Just place your garbage in the local can, dumpster, or designated area (you will be able to tell). Even if you run the AC and lights 24/7, you should never pay more than 375 riyal ($100 or 62 UK pounds) per month.

    The landlord will pay for repairs to your home, most of the time he will tell you to have it fixed, and give him the receipt for reimbursement.

    I hope the answers were clear.

  6. jazakallah khairun for all the information!

  7. Assalamu Aleykum,

    Mabruk for the new house!!!MashALLAH I'm sooooo happy for you.

    Lot of love

  8. Assalaamu'alaikum
    I am also looking for a house to live in. Very similar to your situation, two years now in a flat, but looking for space for the children. I was also searching in Iskan for some time, but, most are asking for 40 nowadays. The minimum is 35.
    Having read your blog, I am beginning to think of Aziziya. Can you tell me, how far is it from the Haram: how long does it take you, and how's the traffic on the way. Also, please let me know if you find something like yours around there for around the same rental.
    What about sale: what do they go for?
    Is it possible to email me directly: miftahii@gmai...
    Jazaakumullaahu Khaira
    Abu Usamah

  9. Assalamu alaikum! Ma sha Allah!! May Allah bless you with all that is good in this life and hereafter in sha Allah! I do have a question please and if anyone can assist, may Allah reward you for helping another Muslimah in sha Allah! I would like to know if anybody knows if there is a way for me and my young muslim family to be able to move from the United Kingdom where we are currently all citizens to anywhere in Saudi, Madinah? I am so desperate to live here!;-( i dont mind having to work or apply fOr jobs from the UK for anywhere as close to Saudi,UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen etc! Please if Nyone has any advice in sha Allah? May Allah reward you all-


When commenting, fitnah is to be avoided at all costs, as the angels abandon those who argue and dispute."Who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak good or remain silent." Barak Allahu feekum!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.