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Expat Exchange - How to Buy a Home in Egypt
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How to Buy a Home in Egypt

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Summary: The one tip that you hear expats living in Egypt repeatedly sharing with newcomers is not to buy a home when you first move to Egypt. Rent for a few months or longer so that you have time to find the right neighborhood. Give yourself time to ensure that Egypt is right for you for the long term. If you've already taken time to do those things and are ready to take the plunge and become a property owner, here are tips about buying a home in Egypt.

Buying a home in Egypt as an expat can be a rewarding investment, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. This guide aims to provide you with the necessary information to navigate the Egyptian real estate market, from finding houses for sale to understanding the legal requirements and potential pitfalls. Whether you're looking for a vacation home or a permanent residence, this guide will help you make an informed decision.

How do I find houses for sale in Egypt?

There are several ways to find houses for sale in Egypt. Online property portals like Propertyfinder, OLX, and Aqarmap are popular platforms where you can browse listings. Local newspapers and real estate agencies are also good sources. It's advisable to engage a reputable real estate agent who understands the local market and can guide you through the process.

Are there restrictions on foreigners owning property in Egypt?

Yes, there are restrictions on foreigners owning property in Egypt. Foreigners can only own two pieces of real estate for the purpose of housing, and the total area should not exceed 4,000 square meters. The property must be used for residential purposes only and cannot be rented out. However, these restrictions can be bypassed by setting up an Egyptian company to buy the property, as companies are not subject to these limitations.

Does Egypt have an MLS type system?

Egypt does not have a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) like in the United States. Property listings are typically managed by individual real estate agencies or posted directly by the owners on online platforms. Therefore, it's crucial to work with a reliable real estate agent who has access to a wide range of properties.

Do brokers have licenses and how do I know if they are licensed?

Yes, real estate brokers in Egypt are required to have a license. You can verify a broker's license by asking to see it and checking with the Egyptian Real Estate Registry. It's important to only deal with licensed brokers to ensure a smooth and legal transaction.

What documents are required when buying a home?

When buying a home in Egypt, you will need your passport, a power of attorney if you're not present during the transaction, the original property deed, a certificate from the Real Estate Publicity Department confirming the property is free of any encumbrances, and a contract of sale. The contract of sale should be notarized and registered with the Real Estate Publicity Department.

Do I need a lawyer when buying a home in Egypt?

Yes, it's highly recommended to hire a lawyer when buying a home in Egypt. A lawyer will ensure the property is free of any legal issues, help with the preparation and review of contracts, and assist in the registration process. Legal fees can vary, but you should expect to pay around 1-3% of the property value.

Do people typically buy a property with all cash or take out a mortgage?

While some people buy property in Egypt with all cash, mortgages are also common. However, it's important to note that interest rates can be high, and the process can be complex for foreigners. It's advisable to consult with a financial advisor or a bank to understand the best option for your situation.

Are there inspections that take place, and if so what is that process like?

Yes, property inspections are a common part of the home buying process in Egypt. A professional inspector will examine the property for any structural issues, plumbing and electrical problems, and other potential concerns. The buyer typically pays for the inspection, which can help negotiate a lower price if any issues are found.

What are some of the pitfalls to avoid when buying property in Egypt?

Some common pitfalls to avoid when buying property in Egypt include not thoroughly researching the property, not verifying the seller's ownership, not hiring a lawyer, and not conducting a property inspection. It's also important to be aware of potential scams and to only deal with reputable real estate agents and agencies.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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