For those looking to buy or rent holiday homes in the North Coast the choices are overwhelming and many people focus on the price and name/rep of the compound most buying to be close to their friends and family.
This piece is to give some pointers to those who need some perspective to help them navigate the options available.
Evil or Good Sahel?
While the humorous terms can be considered arbitrary to some, the good old sahel is quite different from the newer “evil” sahel. The Evil Sahel does contain many more going out spots and restaurants compared to the calmer, more chill Good Sahel that is geared more to quality family time. Think of what you and the family collectively prefer to maintain harmony and avoid the long drive to go from one side to another.
The reach of the Sahel compounds has gone almost all the way to Marsa Matruh and the new roads and highways have made things easier for those staying beyond Marina but for those living around there, the high concentration of people just makes the road crowded and dangerous. Traffic accidents were the leading cause of death among Egyptians for many years and reckless driving in Sahel is something to take seriously when driving around. So choose a place that is ideally easy to reach and has your friends and other family relatively close to avoid long, risky trips.
Amenities & Shops
The native population in the North Coast maintain great super markets with amazing fruit, locally sourced goat meat and of course fresh fish from the sea but city folks crave more luxurious food options prompting countless fast food chains, restaurants, and even clubs to open all over Sahel. When looking at compounds ask what is open there and what is nearby as food is not the only concern with many wanting hardware stores, pharmacies and other amenities to be accessible so be sure to scout the area well before committing to a compound.
Do you see the Sea?
The Mediterranean is not like the calmer coral filled Red Sea; the coast of Alexandria has some dangerous spots with high waves while others nearer to Matruh are more rocky but calmer waters that you could even snorkel in. For those with young children a calmer seaside is a must to keep their minds at ease while others prefer the action of being thrown around by high waves. Some beaches suffered from erosion due to badly constructed marinas from another compound down the coast, so it is well worth investigating the condition of the beach and be aware of what the places nearby are thinking of doing to avoid buying a spot that would lose its beach and its value later on…
Status of the Compound
Seems like a no brainer but if you ask some people about the specifics of how their compound works in terms of owners associations and land ownership and news about infrastructure many might not have detailed answers. Some compounds apparently didn’t pay the government for water and electricity and the latter opted to disconnect both leaving some holiday goers in a tough spot earlier this year. So if you are willing to make a significant investment in a place that you would use for years to come, get to know the neighbors and browse the local whatsapp group (despite how annoying it can be) to know more about the problems and issues that your potential neighbors complain about.
The pressure when buying a place is significantly more than renting which is why we suggest that if you are really torn between 2 or more options take a hands on approach and rent first and experience the place in action and make a smarter decision.