Buying a custom property
The first rather obvious thing you need to do is find and buy a piece of land
on which to build. You can read more about this in the
Buying Land in Cyprus page.
You also need to find yourself a good Architect - and you will need a Civil
Engineer, an Electrical & Mechanical Engineer and a Quantity Surveyor. If you
have a garden, you may need a Landscape Designer. As a ballpark figure, the cost
of these specialists will be between 8% and 10% of the overall construction
So what are the advantages and disadvantages of buying a custom property?
Advantages of buying a custom property
Your new home will be unique and match your specific requirements.
You will have total control of the design process.
You will be able to choose your contractor through a tendering process
and get a competitive price for the construction of your new property.
If you choose your contractor on the quality of his work, then the build
quality of your property will be significantly better than those built by the
mass-market property development companies.
You will avoid the annoying and costly ‘extras’ often added on by some
You will be able to select and buy your finishes, fixtures and fittings
from any supplier of your choosing (and pocket any discount you negotiate).
You will have a much greater degree of control over costs.
You will pay a low
Property Transfer Fee as it is based on the price you
pay for the land (rather than the price of the land and the dwelling).
Disadvantages of buying a custom property
You will need to find and buy a suitable plot of land
(see 'How to Buy Land' pages).
You will need to commission an architect and other professionals to
design the property & to oversee and manage its construction.
You will need to invest a significant amount of your thought, effort and
time into the project.
It is a long project; don’t expect your new home to be ready in less than
Advice for custom property buyers
Follow my advice in the 'Legal Advice'
Ensure that your architect is independent of your contractor. One of his
responsibilities is to represent your best interests throughout the whole
process of planning and building your custom property in Cyprus. If he has family or business
ties with the contractor, he will have a conflict of interests.
Subcontract the supply and installation of the air conditioning, central
heating and solar heating systems to a mechanical engineering company. The
design and installation of these systems is a specialist job and should not
be left to the building contractor’s plumber.
Although your contractor should fit them, go out and buy your floor
finishes, fixtures and fittings for your new home from independent
suppliers. By doing this:
You'll be able to pocket any discount you manage to
You'll save yourself having to pay VAT twice -
remember that your contractor will pay VAT on his supplies and will add
VAT again when he bills you.
The range and variety of floor finishes, fixtures &
fittings available in Cyprus is virtually endless! If you can't see what
you want in the shop, suppliers will ship items in for you from
overseas. (We had our granite flooring imported from Kashmir - the total
cost was less than the price of a good quality fitted carpet in the UK).
(In my own experience, the discounts I managed to negotiate, plus the
fact that I didn't have to pay VAT twice went a good way to covering the
costs of my Architect, Civil Engineer, Electrical & Mechanical Engineer and
my Quantity Surveyor).
Stay in Cyprus while the property is being built to follow progress, liaise
with your architect, shop for your fixtures and fittings, etc. If this is
not possible, you may wish to consider appointing a Project Manager to
ensure everything goes according to plan.