Am I crazy to even think about buying property in Cyprus?

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Joined: 13 Apr 2012 13:14

Am I crazy to even think about buying property in Cyprus?

Post by kempo23 »

Hi to everyone.

I am new here, looking for some general advice on buying property in Cyprus (or not!)

I have been to the island several times for holidays and generally like the place. I am 57 and have taken early retirement, which means i have more time to enjoy holidays abroad. To this end I am thinking about buying property for a holiday home, to be enjoyed by friends and family. I am not really interested in renting it out.

I have a budget of around £200,000 (cash) and would like a 3 bedroom villa/house in the west of the island. I must say that after reading many horror stories it feels like everyone involved in the Cyprus property market is a crook! This cannot be true, but clearly it is a case of "buyers beware".

I am looking for some initial advice to get me going (either to go ahead or look in other countries) so would like any constructive feedback on the following topics:

- advice on Estate Agents (who, where, how, dangers, etc)
- viewing of properties, is it straight forward or a 'hard sell'?
- would you advise paying 'cash' or take out a loan as well (eg £100k cash, £100k loan)
- is it possible to bargain?
- is now a good time to buy or should i wait?
- any contacts for good solicitors?
- how long does the process usually take?

I am sure there are many other questions so any general advice would be much appreciated
I plan to take a holiday to the island in June and start my search

Thanks for your help

Nigel Howarth
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Posts: 2575
Joined: 24 Oct 2007 14:38
Location: Erimi, Limassol, Cyprus

Re: Am I crazy to even think about buying property in Cyprus?

Post by Nigel Howarth »

Hi Neil and welcome to the forum.

It's definitely a case of 'buyer beware' - £200,000 is around €240,000 - you will be able to get a very decent apartment or house for that money.

Firstly, I suggest you get a copy of my guide 'Golden Property Commandments'.

Secondly, get the list of Lawyers provided by the British High Commission in Nicosia.

At the present time, there is a huge over-supply of property and you should be able to pick up a good deal and by all means bargain - many people are trying to sell up. I guess when you say the west of the island - you are talking about Paphos?

If you are looking to buy a holiday home - an apartment may be a better bet. You will not have a garden to manage and the cost of maintaining the property will be lower (but you will have to pay towards the insurance, management and maintenance of the common areas - stairwells, entrances, swimming pool, etc). Personally, I would avoid buying a 'tourist' apartment as there are often very small and have problems with absent owners failing to pay maintenance charges and some of them get to look pretty tatty after a few years.

Buy in an area that has already been fully developed - so you will not be disappointed when someone builds in front of you.

Estate agents are like estate agents everywhere - some are good, some are not so good and some are ****.

What I suggest you do is spend some time here, hire a car and drive around until you find somewhere you like - then visit the estate agents. This will save you time being shown things you are not interested in. Take a look though some of the estate agencies websites to get a better idea of prices.

As for taking a loan - the commercial banks have no money. Although they may agree to give you a loan, they will not release the money until they've (hopefully) recapitalised themselves in July.

Property prices are still falling here - unemployment has reached record levels - the banks have no money to lend - few foreign buyers. Things may improve in the second half of the year, but we'll have to wait and see. (In January Pavlos Loizou gave a presentation to my Rotary Club on his predictions 2012 - see Property market review and expectations for 2012 )

How long does it take? Don't rush. Once you've found something and your solicitor has done all the checks - assuming there are no hitches, I'd say you could complete within 2-3 weeks.

Last but by no means least - see if you can get a property that has already has its Title Deed.

Nigel Howarth
Independent information & advice for Cyprus property buyers
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Re: Am I crazy to even think about buying property in Cyprus?

Post by kempo23 »

Hi Nigel

Thanks for your reply, nice to know I am not totally alone!

I will take onboard all of your advice and indeed take my time.Yes, around Paphos is my preferred area, but not too near the tourist areas. Also we would definitely want a house or bungalow, not an apartment.

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