Tonight I went with a couple of my pals from work to a prearranged presentation about one of those nouveau suburbs that are popping around Cairo (the Cairo that's in Egypt, people!). The new suburb is a closed community - kind of posh actually - saved for "the elite." By those, I mean people with fat wallets!
I went with my mind set on getting a cozy 100-meter flat and starting a new phase of my life there. I knew of course that the meter would cost about 3,000 Egyptian Pounds (EGP), which is extremely expensive compared to the prices in the real-estate market in Egypt. Anyway, we went there, kept waiting for the representative for about 10 minutes, and listened to the different modules the apartments come in and their corresponding payment plans.
My idea was quite simple: A 100-meter flat * 3,000 EGP = 300,000 EGP. This is way beyond my financial limits, but hey, I could afford it if there's a really good installments plan.
This idea proved really simple or rather simplistic!
We were in for one big surprise. The 100-meter flat will cost you about 440,000 EGP. Yes, folks, you got it right the first time. That's four hundred and forty thousand Egyptian pounds, nearly half a million. I can live a whole lifetime and wouldn't be able to amass that kind of money! And guess what? I'm a professional with a pretty good monthly paycheck compared to other professionals here in Egypt.
Depressed? Naaah, let's say I'm just starting to realize the reality of the real-estate entrepreneurs in Egypt: They'll bleed you dry, man!