Long before our trip (back in the early June) we had an idea of buying a flat.
My husband and I decided on dealing with a real estate agency and it was our first and final decision. That was not because we were so lazy. We were going to a foreign country with a foreign mentality and foreign laws. Besides, without a good knowledge of the city, its districts and people, it would be very difficult to physically manage viewing the flats and to make the right choice.
For a start, I searched for real estate agencies. I chose Akar Real Estate because, according to my husband, it was “the most well-heeled” (the web-site, blog etc. are active).
I completely screwed Anastasia’s brain. I e-mailed and contacted her via Skype every day for six weeks. I asked the same questions in different ways. Apartments, districts, prices, and buying formalities haunted me even in sleep. Nastia outstanded all my questions with great patience. In my turn, I communicated everything to my husband. When there was something he did not understand and I had forgotten, I asked Nastia over and over again. So, I am not sure whether she was pleased to work with us )))
I must say that Anastasia planned a trip to Russia and was coming back to Egypt on 16.09.12 and we planned to come to Hurgada on 14.09.12. But there was some problem with tickets and she informed us about her arrival from Russia on 24.09.12. We had to leave Hurgada on 23.09 and only that one day made our meeting impossible. Nastia send us a letter saying that we would be working with their business partner with a solid expertise who would do its best. I was in panic! It looked like we were cheated! My husband kept calm. He said that their trip was planned in advance but the ticket dates could be uncertain. Nothing to be done. The tour had been already bought. The belongings had been packed. And we took off.
On the second day of our stay in Hurgada, the partner of Akar Real Estate –Osama Reda showed us around the estate properties. As I mentioned above, I was in panic when I got to know that Nastia would not work with us. My fears were absolutely needless.
Osama picked us up from the hotel sharp at the appointed time. We viewed many apartments that day.
But there was one that gained our hearts. After 5 minutes of stay in that residential complex, I started to envision my sitting in a rocking chair near the swimming pool, my walk to the beach, the open-air barbecue which my husband and I could have in the yard; I saw myself sitting near the small water-fall, enjoying its coolness and watching the palm-trees while having the most delicious coffee…
A funny fact: the first option that Nastia offered to us at the very beginning of our dealing was that apartment. I showed its photo to my husband. He refused outright. He said that the ground floor was not the right choice. Nastia did not insist on it, though she strongly recommended that we just come and see. And we did it ))
One more reason why we bought for it was the fact that the property manager lived in the same compound. Everything was swept clean and painted; the swimming pool was crystal blue. That man takes care about his business. It was understood at first glance. In one of the evenings we brought our Mother over there (she travelled with us but was not aware of our plans; she thought we were just on holiday, having rest and visiting friends). It took us three minutes of walk from the road. A small street was dark with no illumination. And she kept asking us where we were going in such darkness.
And then we showed her into the compound – she gasped in amazed delight! What a beauty! (The night lighting over there was fantastic).
And my husband said: “Mom, we are going to buy a flat here”. She even shed a tear )) She liked it and her opinion was very important for me.
The compound’s name was “Diamond of Arabia”. It is to the left from the Florenza Khamsin (if you face Florenza).
As a bit of a tangent.
Initially, we wanted to purchase a flat in Florenza. We even made the pre-payment. But it fortuned that somebody wanted to buy the flat we were aimed at. Moreover, he was ready to pay with cash. Right away. Managers sold it without hesitation disregard of our reservation. We were offered the equal one but one floor down. The impression was spoiled.
On the arrival, we went there, viewed, and refused. Osama Reda tackled the issue of paying the advance money back to us. In these terms we had not to do anything.
Upon our request, Osama met with our lawyer. All the tree (my husband, Osama, and the lawyer) discussed the details. Then they decided upon all the technical particulars of signing the contract but it is of no interest now. Here I want to give a special mention to the fact that Osama Reda ensured us that we could contact him at any time regarding any questions and that he would be always be happy to help us.
However, we met Nastia and her husband in Moscow! Back home, on 23.09, we went to “Kosmos” hotel where they stayed. They were wonderful, nice people. We had no slightest regret as to our decision on trusting them in such a hard choice as a flat purchase.
What I disliked:
1. First of all, I was shocked by seeing the rubbish. It was lying over everywhere. That was very annoying. Thereafter, however, I got used to it.
2. The street vendors were really bothersome. Even in Moscow I dislike when I enter the shop and the assistants rush towards me, saying “How can I help you?” Here, all of that is raised to some incredible level.
What I liked:
1. I have read enough that in Egypt everything is done in a relaxed, leisurely manner, that being late is normal. I expected to be annoyed by that because I am used to arrive even some 5 minutes in advance. I hate being late and can’t stand the people who dare to behave like that. And what was the result? No one has ever been late for our appointment and the ordered taxis were just on time. Everyone was exact and punctual. And even the notary office was prompt and accurate (I remember with horror queues in Moscow to get a power of attorney from the notary).
2. Tranquility everywhere. No hustle and bustle. It was a complete brain cramp. Despite we were travelling on business, we had a wonderful rest.
3. I recon Akar Real Estate did a good job. Without their assistance, prompt advice and support we would go through difficulties.
We may surely recommend Akar Real Estate.
Tested on myself!