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The process of acquiring a new property in Cyprus is not complicated and can be even further simplified to be easier, more enjoyable, less time-consuming and less expensive if you keep to the following simple steps. You are advised to prepare for your investment in due time and be perceived as a serious buyer, ready for an informed decision.

Take a closer look at each step of the buying process in more detail.

 

Define your expectations

First thing first: you need to determine and analyze your needs in order to get a clear picture of exactly what you want your new home to look like and how it should function for you and your family.

Practically this means deciding on your budget, preferred size of the property, location priority and even purpose. By purpose, it is meant whether the real estate will serve as a holiday home, a rent-out or a permanent home for you and your family.

Keep in mind that the time frame that you want to bind yourself when it comes to completing the purchase needs to be realistic and it has to be directly linked to the state of the property, your intended move and, if family bound, their schooling and transferring deadlines.

Keep your preferences realistic. The perfect home could be out there for you, however, odds are you will find something that is almost but not completely perfect. It is a natural state of being and leaving yourself a gap for what you can accept and what you will not be able to tolerate in your purchase.

Financial aspects and funding

Having listed the preferences, the price range usually tops the list. Reason is common sense; however, it has its underwater rocks.

Simply put, if you have the amount that you want to pay cash for your property, you need to remember to add to the total amount the Land TAX, transfer fees and lawyer fees.

Conversely, should you decide to apply for a bank loan, things get more complicated. Most of Cypriot banks will offer 60% to 80% of the value of the property with up to 25 years repayment period. However, in recent years, the practice of giving out loans to foreigners has dropped dramatically and it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain bank loans.

Interest rates on loans tend to be quite high too and for the first few years you could end up paying for the interest only.

Research the areas and townships

Depending on your needs, whether you will be moving with your family, the climate you are searching for (yes, in Cyprus, every village has its own climate zone) you will need to spend some time to figure out what suits you best.

With this regard, you are welcome to read more about the areas here.

Time to start looking for that real estate

Whether you decide to look in a huge agency or browse through private listing, give yourself a limit, i.e. 6 to 10 properties maximum.

Leading world real estate agents recommend a low number based on several facts. Some of them include aspects of human nature like the fact that brain loses track after 5 to 6 units. The information load becomes to overwhelming and judgement is heavily impaired. The larger the quantity of viewed properties, the bigger the chances of choosing the least appropriate and most expensive property.

Make a selection and a short list while still abroad

Searching online has one big benefit and it is merely the fact that you can relatively compare the properties based on your preferences. The downfall is that pictures that are meant to say a thousand words can be downright misleading, as could be the rest of the information about a particular property. 

This should not discourage you. Remember that once ready for the physical visit, you will have a much clearer image of what you are actually looking for simply from being here and talking to the owners or our representative.

Beware: Title Deeds!

Having gone through the search process, at this stage you are close to completing the process. Here you have to be direct and ask to verify title deeds of the property.

Cyprus has a nasty problem where owners were either unable to obtain or failed to apply for the title deeds for their real estate. Reasons were various, but the most problematic lies in the fraud commited by large developers who took loans to purchase land, sold completed houses but never repaid the banks their due. This lead to land registry department to “arrest” the documents.

Right now, one of the biggest developers has agreed with the government to pay back over 280 million Euro. This will allow many owners to finally apply and receive their papers.

For a buyer, this means that, unless the seller has a title deed document on their hands, your purchase will be invalid and you could end up losing your money. It also means that, should you apply for financing, no bank will agree to provide you with such unless there are clean deeds.

Negotiations

Main aspect to remember, unless the price is really a remarkably great deal, you should be able to negotiate a better arrangement depending on your needs and the seller’s willingness to sell. This does not mean that the price is the ONLY thing you could negotiate. Here are a few other examples:

  • Repairs and fault-finding after-sale term
  • Furnishings and fixtures
  • Pre-occupancy maintenance
  • Occupancy term
  • Terms of payment

Be considerate and reasonable. Chances are you will be obliged in your requests.

Laying out the offer of purchase

Once the negotiation has come to an end, it is common practice to pay a deposit, again based on your agreement, and further sign an offer of purchase, a legally binding document that protects both the buyer and the seller.  

You will also need to contact a solicitor or a lawyer to make sure that all the necessary documents are being prepared, and that they are complete and accurate.

The following 7 points in order for it to be a valid contract of sale:

  • Reference to the vendor
  • Reference to the purchaser
  • The subject matter has to be described as accurately as possible. If it does not exist at the stage of signing the contract, for example if it’s a Cyprus property to be built in the future, reference to subject specifications must be determined accurately
  • The purchase price
  • The terms of payment
  • The delivery date and
  • The transfer date for the title deeds

Remember that the legalities of this phase are very important. If you have any questions or concerns, they need to be addressed right away.

You have yourself a new home!

Congratulations! With the main stress out of the way, you still need to attend to a few errands before you can settle in. Mainly electricity and water/ municipal accounts. None of these are complicated process though they will require some patience and finances (mostly for deposits)

Take a deep breath and dive into your new pool!

With the excitement and anticipation, you are now ready to take a nice, long, well-deserved break next to your pool and enjoy your new life!

Welcome to the expat community in Cyprus!

 

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