What you need to know when buying Property in Cyprus
Location, location, location. Decide what it is you want, are you interested in purchasing a property as an investment? Are you looking for peace and tranquility with a house near the seafront? Do you have a young family and need to be near the best schools? Whatever your needs are, with all the properties available, you will surely find something within the criteria you want. Once you have considered all your requirements, then it is time for research. There are thousands of properties for sale, finding the right one for you will take a bit of time and the right approach. Start with the online property sites, Property Cyprus.com is one of the best sites available, be prepared to go and see what’s available, and when you find your dream home, negotiate the best price. When buying property in Cyprus you should adhere to the following steps.
- Research the areas and decide where and what size property you need
- Read up on Cyprus in general, Property Cyprus.com has a lot of interesting blogs on Life in Cyprus and also important information and tips on buying property in Cyprus.
- Find a reputable Estate Agent or check Property Cyprus online to see what is available.
- Make sure that the Estate Agent understands fully what your requirements are, you do not want to waste time looking at unsuitable property just because they want to sell!
- Property Cyprus can help you find the right home, their trained consultants are available to help you find property that meets all your criteria
- Once you have found your own paradise in the sun, it is time to get down to the nitty gritty of finalizing the purchase. Find yourself a reputable property lawyer to help you through this procedure.
Buying property in Cyprus for non-European citizens, will entail getting permanent residence or Citizenship by Investment. This in itself will have to be decided and the criteria met in order to be allowed to buy a permanent residence in Cyprus. Permission is also needed from the Council of Ministers, who have to approve all purchases by foreigners. Since Cyprus joined the EU, this is just a formality and if you fit the criteria and have a clear police record, there is no reason why this permission will be withheld. You are allowed to go ahead with the purchase and reside in your new home before you actually get the permission from the Council of Ministers.
Getting a reputable property lawyer to represent you, is the recommended way to go about finalizing your purchase. You can expect to pay between €1700 and €3000 in lawyer fees, depending on the price of the property and how complicated the sale is. The lawyer will do a search with the Lands Registry Office to check if the planning and building permits for the property have been submitted, and also to check that the house is not mortgaged and is free and clear for you to obtain the title deeds. There are also contracts to be drawn, stamps and registration and the relevant permission to obtain from the Council of Ministers.
With all the extras that need to be paid over and above the purchase price of the property, you can expect to pay an extra 10%. This includes Stamp duties, Transfer Fees, VAT, Surveyors fees, Lawyers’ Fees, Estate Agents Commission and processing of all relevant documents. This does not include a Mortgage fee in the event that you will be borrowing money from a financial institution, in which case it is an extra 1% of the amount borrowed.
Don’t make the mistakes that many have made when purchasing property in Cyprus. The estate agents are not lawyers and therefore should not be the ones to advise you on matters which require legal representation. Always bear in mind that the estate agents’ priority is to sell, and get his commission. Never sign anything that is not written in your own language, and never before seeking legal advice. Use a recommended Property Lawyer to represent you, it is well worth the cost, and in the long run you will get all the paperwork done quickly and without any headaches!
There are also a lot of details that need to be checked. Some unscrupulous vendors have attempted to sell property that is not even legally in their name! If you are buying a resale property, your lawyer will do a thorough check with the Land Registry Office to make sure that the seller is legally entitled to sell the property. If it is a new property then your lawyer will check to see if the correct building permits have been obtained.
When purchasing from a developer who has multiple units in a complex, make sure that the sale contract is deposited and registered at the Land Registry Office. In complexes like this, the whole complex needs to be completed before title deed are issued. In this way you will be protected under Cypriot law, and there will be no dispute over ownership of your property. Here again the contract must be written by a property lawyer who will act in your best interests.