by Alan Stanton
Sharm El Sheikh is a place like no other and year on year many people choose Naama Bay, as their preferred holiday retreat. People often sing the praises of the Red Sea as their preferred holiday destination which not only offers adventure, but fascinating surroundings, history and of course, endless sun.
If you’ve never visited Sharm El Sheikh before, much less Egypt, you may be relying entirely on comments and feedback from others that had. To many, it’s the perfect place to own a holiday home: Sun all year round, quad biking, wind and kite surfing, jet skiing, some of the worlds best known diving sites with an abundance of marine life. There are also many locations in Egypt, which are easily accessible from Sharm El Sheikh, such as Cairo’s Pyramids, St Catherine’s Monastery, The Nile, Luxor and so much more.
Once you’ve decided on a budget, make sure you spend some time looking at various property websites and requesting information on a number of developments in Sharm el Sheikh. The choice and prices of apartments, houses and even villas can be quite enticing. Some Selling agents offer discounted airfare if you book your inspection trip through them, but make as many preliminary choices as possible before you arrange an inspection trip with your chosen agents, telling them the dates of your travel, the address you will be staying at during your visit and the length of your stay. I would suggest a minimum stay of 7 days, which will allow a reasonable amount of time for you to view the many investment opportunities on offer and to make your decision.
It’s quite exciting to arrive in Sharm and to see what it has to offer. Your first decision will be to decide whether you need a visa. Although a visa is not essential for those staying in Sharm, it is required if your planning on travelling outside the resort or even venturing on one of the many diving or boat trips on offer. If you decide you need one, it can be purchased in arrivals at the airport.
If you had arranged to meet with different agents over the first few days of your stay in Sharm, it will allow you more time over the week to narrow your selection down and perhaps go for second viewings on the 4th or even 5th day of your stay. You’ll be shown various developments in Sharm – some that are within your budget and others that are beyond belief – both in terms of price and quality. Some of the developments that you may of researched before your visit, although seeming good from the pictures and the prices, may not be so good when it comes to the quality of the finish. This seems to be the case with a number of developers in Egypt. You will also note that there seems to be quite a lot of projects in Sharm that lacks activity or seemingly left dormant. This also is quite a common problem in Sharm. A developer will often start a project, taking money from investors, but then fail to finish the project when they run out of money – leaving the development stagnant and unfinished. It’s a bit of a minefield, or perhaps a game of Russian roulette would seem a safer option?
In time, doubts and thoughts that you had not done anywhere near enough research into any of these potential offerings may creep in. It may look like you would have to beat a hasty retreat until you know a lot more about what you are getting yourself into, but don’t lose heart, In amongst all the murk you will find your gem that’s just waiting to be discovered.
Now, it would be nice to finish here and say that everything will run smoothly and your decision to purchase your dream home in the Egyptian sun will not come back to bite you in the derriere, well, I’m sure it won’t, as long as you do your research. Make sure you source information on a reputable solicitor whilst in Egypt. Most agents and developers offer the services of their own in-house lawyer, but I’d strongly recommend that you find one that is independent and who will offer you unbiased advice. The Egyptian Embassy can also provide you with a list of lawyers, which they have registered with them. Be aware, Egyptians tend to have a very laid back or even somewhat lackluster approach when dealing with matters we may consider the up most importance. So whatever the time frame offered, be it for completion of works or conveyance work, you may find yourself waiting more than double the time. This could prove very frustrating when trying to move the buying/completion process along. So as I’ve stressed before, make sure you do as much research as you can in choosing your lawyer as well as into the developments themselves.
With a little patience, a little research and almost definitely a little luck, you’ll find, buy, and start to enjoy that holiday home in the sun. Think of it like buying an item of clothing at the shops – you can hunt up and down the high street all day and nothing seems to fit, look quite right, or maybe just a bit too pricey, until you find this one item out of the blue that’s just perfect in every way. Once you’ve found that dream home, study the contract – including the small print – and don’t take anything for granted. Some agents will try to pressure you into paying a deposit before you leave, but unless you are sure about what you’re buying and who your buying it from, I wouldn’t advise this. Make sure that what you’ve seen in the show home and what you’ve agreed with the selling agent are included in the selling contract before you part with any of your cash.
Whatever your reasons for buying in Egypt, be it for an investment property, for the rental market, a holiday home or thoughts of relocating, visiting Egypt first will give you a better chance of understanding what may lie ahead. You may find that it’s not quite the place for you. Don’t rush if you don’t find what you are looking for on your first visit, but don’t be discouraged. Do your research, because like any purchase, there’s that special something out there for everyone.
2009 Frank Martin Folkes is the author and owner of Self Catering Apartments and associate to africano group Car Hire and trip organiser in Sharm El Sheikh, and can provide more information about Trips, Tours, and advice in Sharm El Sheikh Egypt, visit my website at http://www.discofeva.webs.com