reasonable or unreasonable ?

Discussion in 'Egyptian Lounge' started by gaznem, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. gaznem

    gaznem New Member

    am i being reasonable or unreasonable ,i am not happy with the finish or my apartment i paid 33,800 gbp and was promised a european standard finish please tell me what you think

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  2. gaznem

    gaznem New Member

    more pics

    here are a few more please be honest and realistic as i was expecting a higher standard this was and is how my apartment was presented to me

    Attached Files:

  3. gaznem

    gaznem New Member

    refusal to do snagging

    the developer is refusing to rectify the work i do not understand why ? can any one explain ?,i have more than 100 pictures of the finish of my apartment if you wish to see more i will post the ones of the furniture with scratches and damage all over it which the developers furniture company supplied
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
  4. shorty1h

    shorty1h New Member

    items such as grouting , scratches to tiles and dirt are normal in Egypt.
    My developer rectified alls these problems to a standard that was acceptable.
    However you have to accept this is Egypt - walls are not always perfectly square and finish is not always up to European standard.
    (Have a look in some of the hotels for examples).

    having said that your items appear to be usual snagging problems and my developers rectified all these problems without any fuss or concern.

    In fact I complained that tiling was not square and they removed and re-tiled the whole wall for me.

    Maybe you need to talk again to the developer - cant understand why they would not finsh these minor concerns?

  5. M Butler

    M Butler New Member


    I agree that Egyptian finishing standards are not the same as at home, although in fairness I would say that there are a lot of cowboys at home too. If I was paid the same as the Egyptians, I don't think I would bother much about what I was doing either.

    I notice from your photos that the pipes leading to the outside have been "plastered" which is good because our apartment in Cairo did not have this luxury and one evening, while having a dinner party, a rat ran across the living room and out of the hole surrounding the pipe from the AC unit - and we were on the 7th floor!!!!

    Also remember when the apartment was being renovated we were lucky enough to have new bathrooms fitted, which I had chosen myself. Unfortunately, I had to go back to the UK for a couple of weeks and when I came back the baths were damaged, broken tiles had been cemented onto the walls and some bright spark thought he would empty cement down one of the loos!!! Don't even want to go into the rest of it but if I had photos they would look much like yours. Fortunately we were only renting so it did not matter too much to us.

    However, now that we are lucky enough to have our own place in El Gouna we have decided to try to do as much as we can ourselves - and my poor hubby thought he had retired!!!!

    I still love it here and would not want to be anywhere else. Just wish I married a DIY enthusiast!!!!

    Good luck,
  6. brokers middle east

    brokers middle east New Member


    I agree with you 100%

    Unfortunately when someone heres about real estate prices in Egypt he\she starts visualizing to get the European standard at that fantastic price...:p

    well in Egypt a perfect finishing could cost ore than the property itself!! :cool:

    Brokers Middle East
  7. thelfamily

    thelfamily New Member

    I beg to differ with you on this one Ashraf - and by the way welcome to the forum. When new apartment blocks in egypt are stated 'finished to european standards' do we take it that what they really mean is to 'egyptian standards' ? Developers can not have their proverbial cake and eat it ! Don't therefore say it is to european standards. Also, many buyers base their findings on a developers previous work and we were shown many of these nice 'new' places. BUT, the finished apartments are not like the ones they were shown. But hey, who cares, they have taken your money by that time anyway. Needless to say, we didn't go ahead but others I know have.
  8. brokers middle east

    brokers middle east New Member

    Thank you for commenting on my very 1st post on this site.
    1- When i said visualizing i meant pure visualizing -NOT driven by deceiving promises- i didn't mean to defend crocks i bet they've never seen the European Standard they are talking about...

    2- Buyers should not relay only on the sample finishing they saw before committing, they could also tie the developer with a fair and balanced contract with a strait to the point penalties.

    from my 20 years of real estate expertise mostly at fancy resort compounds like Katameya Heights, i could say with confidence that a real professional Egyptian architects who know what it takes to deliver a Luxury European Standard are pretty much available now.
  9. thelfamily

    thelfamily New Member

    Thank you for your comments. when owners are told face to face if there are any problems to contact them, you tend to take them at their word. After emailing developers several times with various problems, with no replies, owners tend to get very upset and feel taken for a ride.
    Your point 2 - Contracts may have various clauses in them to protect both sides, however, when push comes to shove, the British buyer does not know where to turn for help. Court cases can be very expensive and drawn out and again buyers feel totally alone. Despite all the face to face promises and guarantees in contracts, they are worth little more than the paper they are written on in egypt. Who wants to fight developers when owners have bought a holiday home away from all their stress in the UK?
  10. Alan Cockayne

    Alan Cockayne Banned

    Deal or no Deal ?

    Alan Cockayne - Coralife-Style Consultant says "fair comments."

    But, from the Architect down the chain through unqualified Task-Masters and untrained labourers, there are no Checks and Balances that are accountable. Developers and their banks do not want to be responsible other than for their profits. Buyers do not get a fair deal in the short term and maybe not in the longer term when completed resorts are handed over to management companies.

    In 25 years I cannot account for one completed residential resort that takes pride and place as an example of quality and good management.
    Buying in Egypt is like preparing for an assault course, except there are no practice grounds for training purposes.

    You do your research, visit the developments, choose your property, hire a lawyer (one each side) and go back home and hope..... Hope that your agent and previous clients can stear you into a good purchase from all the hype around. You reserve one, pay the reservation fee and then you have a decision to make.

    "Do I really want to go ahead?" Deal or no Deal?

    Well it's not that simple. When you've paid your deposit, the action starts.... Or shall I say " then the Hassle" starts. That's because the system is engineered to create confusion. An Egyptian "shop-keeper mentality kicks in. They creat a barter system of what you get for your money, how and when you should pay, wanting to be in control of every part of the sale through three years of build and up to a further 10 years of resort completion. All leading to frustration and bad customer relations.

    I state "They" because there are no projects without Egyptian partnership or infultration, joint venture or license to build.

    They love it. They've thrived on this "grave-robbing" means of survival since Moses. We fall for it every time. But there are alternatives and by that I mean turning the situation around and for buyers to gain control of every step of the buying process. Be "Above the Line" and not a victim.

    That means being in control of your own "purse strings." It means empowering Agents, Lawyers and Banks to utilise your money the safest way. Contracts for stage payments have legal implications, for both parties. However there are no inspectors working for us. We hear lies every day. We are expected to part with cash at the flimsiest of excuse or threat.

    Well not any more my friends. With the economic crisis, cash-flow is paramount in a new Buyer's Market. You have the power of refusal and arbitration if your lawyer (through your escrow account) is good enough to enforce it. You should argue because your Inspection Reports would back up the neglect and bad workmanship the builder has created. Final payments should only be made when every snag, problem, registration issue, services are connected, maintainance and management in place and GUARANTEES of construction and WARRANTIES for workmanship and equipment can be given, in writing and signed by the Developer, witnessed and endorsed by the legal authorities.

    Ok, you say it's not that simple. It would be if there was a powerful Independent body of Surveyors and Inspectors available, working for you and your lawyer and not for the developers. A consumer watchdog licensed and qualified for just that.

    Why would clients expect estate agents to fault-find on your behalf? Most are Egyptian; it does not work that way.

    Who agrees with me?

    [email protected]
  11. thelfamily

    thelfamily New Member

    hi alan, I enjoyed reading your post and only have one question to ask; what would happen when matters from disgruntled owners, are referred to a watchdog body that you propose. Does this body take up the complaints, legal action etc on their behalf or merely advise the owner of the actions taken for recourse against the developer in egypt.
  12. distant dreamer

    distant dreamer New Member

    Hi everyone

    Well reading this thread has made me realize how lucky we were in putting our faith in Orbit, developers of El Andalous Sahl Hasheesh. We are delighted with the finish of our apartment, some photos attached, they really have done a good job and the finish is far higher than when we purchased a new property in the UK. We did see some apartments that they had completed on Palm Beach Piazza which seemed good, but they said the finish on El Andalous would be even better and they certainly kept to their word!! So although it seems many people are not happy, there certainly are developers in Egypt who do a decent job.



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  13. thelfamily

    thelfamily New Member

    hi Penny, these are really beautiful and the grouting is actually white. I hope gaznem is looking at these, because it is obvious that good tiling and grouting is possible in egypt. These probably are to 'european sandards' as well. When enlarging the photos, I can't see any green, brown, black or grey in the grouting, just white. Thank you penny.
  14. brokers middle east

    brokers middle east New Member


    That's good to here and it looks a wonderful Apt.

    Picking the proper developer is crucial if you are a European standard seeker, i bet you've heared about your developer from a friend huh?

    Respectable developers are there for decades i.e; Katameya Heights, Arabella, Sodec, Palm Hills, and coming: Damac, Emaar, Port Ghaleb...etc.

    i think we share the love for Egypt, and believe in.

  15. iain

    iain New Member

    Hi Penny

    What a beautiful finish in your photos, makes me very jealous!

    Of course we can all see that this is possible just by looking in the better hotels, but few developments seem to try this hard. The sad thing is that it really is not so hard to make a finish like this and takes little longer than a poor finish, maybe a little more expensive in materials and labour but not a lot.

    I have just finished re-tiling one of my Bathrooms in Nabq with a friend and it took a lot longer than we had anticipated due to the underlying surfaces being out of true etc. (we tiled on the existing tiles).

    Also it was impossible to find proper grout and so we had to use Portland White cement which dries the instant it touches the porous side of a tile. Can't believe there is no real grout in Egypt.

    Also the adhesive had to be mixed by hand which was also a challenge as it did not hold the tiles in the way that a pre-mixed adjesive would have done.

    Anyway one bathroom done now but just can't face doing the other for a long time to come!

    Enjoy that lovely finish

  16. orosurf

    orosurf New Member

    It is hard to see which direction you are coming from Alan.
    The above problems are not exclusively an Egyptian phenomenon,I am sure you know, as I do of plenty of horror stories from Spain or Bulgaria, or wherever there is a current boom in property development.

    Much of the problem stems from people expecting too much for too little.
  17. Alan Cockayne

    Alan Cockayne Banned

    I agree entirely with your ideology.

    Spain, Bulgaria etc. are good examples of unregulated developments. Egypt is similar. A police state that think they don't have to look at themselves. Ignorantly believing we come over in droves, with planes full of idiots to buy their rubbish.

    The problem is, we allow them to think this. Our nature is not to create trouble but to solve it. But Egyptian mindset is not like European.

    Residential tourism is only 10 years old in the Red Sea. I helped pioneer it from the80's diver-tourism. Quality can be achieved and delivered in time. They know how to do it....... Look inside some of the top hotels.

    Don't think it is because we want "cheap" that they are allowed to cut corners.

    It's their nature to barter for anything, quality included so we must have the guts to push them hard in negotiations. A strong Body of Regulators and building inspectors would help.

  18. wellheld

    wellheld New Member

    Low property prices (by european standards) is not an excuse for the lazy shoddy workmanship so many buyers are experiencing here (and other places too, but we are here). The poor quality work comes from using untrained and unsupervised labourers to do skilled and semi skilled work, labourers who have no concept of the quality of finish required, and no responsibility beyond their own little area. No idea that putting plaster down the waste pipe will block it, or that the floor,walls and tiles should be flat, straight and level. No concept that cleaning up after yourself is your responsibility, no one elses.
    If no-one is supervising and training these people, they will not learn and will make the same mistakes over and over again. It may cost a little more to do the job properly, but it would only need doing once, and a skilled plasterer/bricklayer/plumber etc will work faster while getting a better result
    There are plenty of skilled and competent tradesmen in Egypt, but maybe not so many in Hurghada. I have lived in Egypt for over 9 years, most of in in Alexandria, in a well finished and maintained house, so I do have some idea of what is achievable here.
  19. orosurf

    orosurf New Member

    If you have lived in Egypt for 9 years,you should by now, be aware of the appallingly low wages paid to Egyptian workers ,not to mention the conditions in which they live .

    I don't wish to get into an argument,but I don't think it is reasonable to expect the very best level of finishing from people who are paid practically nothing,so that we can buy properties for significantly less than we could in Europe.

    There is an old saying that " the man who buys on price alone ,will always be disappointed.

    How well would you work for less than $100 a month ?:confused:
  20. Alan Cockayne

    Alan Cockayne Banned

    You get what you pay for.

    I think we all agree that if bargains are what folk look for, Egypt is the place. Whether you can sell on poor quality for maximum profit, is another story.

    But if we want to live in these properties don't you agree we should expect better quality for our money, especially if we are willing to pay for it?

    What I think our colleague is saying is that there are higher quality tradesmen available but the "Taskmasters" hired to provide these workers are appointing the lower grade, untrained ones to maximise profits for them and unscrupulous owners.

    One good developer once said to me on site "It's not rocket science to make houses fit for buyers and my hotel nice for tourists, but I think I've built another hotel complex somewhere and I've no idea where it is"

    I leave you all to work that one out.

    Alan Cockayne -
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