1. Finding and choosing a property in Egypt
Buying off plan property in Egypt is quite straightforward. The most difficult part is choosing the right property for yourself. There are two main types of properties available to buy in Egypt. Off-plan which are properties or developments still to be built or resale & key-ready properties which are ready to move into. Both options have a similar buying process but the main difference is the payment plan.
- Choose your property from a brochure or plan
- 3D renders of the project
- Prices from a price-list
- Usually have interest free payment plans for a number of years
- Normally carry 20-40% deposit
- Property registered on completion
Resale or Key Ready Property
- Property is ready to view and occupy
- Price is negotiated
- Usually requires 100% Payment to complete
- Immediate registration of contracts and property
2. How to Purchase A Property in Egypt
- Once you have identified a new development, chosen a property, and confirmed the price and package, you normally need to pay a reservation deposit. This is normally £2,000 and will secure the property and remove it from the market. This is normally around £2,500 or 10-15% for resale properties and is normally non-refundable.
- Once you have reserved and paid for a property you are issued with a purchase contract. The purchase contract will detail the property purchase, property information, who you are buying from, what you are getting and any other terms relating to the purchase. This is normally in arabic and translated in English.
- Once you are happy with the terms of the contract you then sign two (sometimes more) copies of the contract and pay the deposit payment according to the terms of the contract. Once the seller has received the deposit they will counter sign the contracts, keep one copy and send the other back to you.
- If you have on-going payments then you will continue with these until you have finished the payments on the contract.
- Once you complete all obligations of the contract (i.e you finish your payments and the seller builds the property or hands you the property ready) you can begin using the property. You may need to pay a maintenance fee up front and also set up water and electricity meter installations.
3. Legal Process
It is recommended that when you first decide to purchase a property you employ an independent lawyer to assist you with the purchase. The lawyer should be able to check the Arabic and English terms of the contract, the history of the seller and whether they have all the necessary ownership and building permissions for the property. The lawyer should also check if there are any outstanding debts on the property as you will inherit these with the purchase.
Once you have signed your contracts and initiated the purchase you can opt to register your contract in the local court. This is called Court Validity Suite. This process simply registers the transaction in the local court. You can do this either as soon as you sign the contract or on completion of the purchase.
4. Registering your Property in Egypt
There are two main types of registration for properties in Egypt. Local Registration (also known as Court Validity Suite) or National Registration and the Land Registry in Cairo. Normally for newly built properties the National Registration takes a long time since the owner or builder cannot register a development until it has been built. Once it is built they begin the registration process which can take up to 18 months. Once they have registered they then transfer the registration to the new buyer. Because of this most buyers normally register at the local level first, then register nationally at a later stage when it is possible to do so.
- Can be done soon as your sign contracts and pay deposit or on completion
- Takes 2-6 months
- Carried out by a local lawyer
- No limited on number of properties you can register this way
- Can only be done once the development has registered
- Typically up to 2 years post build
- Takes 8-10 months
- Foreigners can only register 2 properties this way
- Foreigners have to apply before they can transfer the sale
5. Using Your Property in Egypt
Once you have completed the legal requirements of the purchase you can begin using your property in Egypt. But there are a few things to consider.
You may have to register the electric meter in your name. If on a new development you may also have to pay for the installation charge of the electricity meters. Some complexes charge their own rates while others leave you to deal with the local electricity company.
You will need to furnish your property in order to use it. Depending on the property you will also need a kitchen and water heater for hot water (these are not normally included in the purchase price)
Management and Rentals
If you not be living in Egypt. It is recommended to involve a local Property Management Firm to look after your property. These can normally also rent your property for you.