During the trip, you usually do not think about the fundamental difference between northern and foreign houses. Sometimes you pay attention to architecture, but that's all.
However, it would be a good idea to study this issue when buying overseas property. It turns out that in some points there is a significant difference. We will talk about important nuances.
1. Wall thickness
It is logical to assume that thick walls are not needed in warmer climates. But in real life, the problem is completely different: walls that are too thin are not good either! Why?
First, the winter temperature can drop to +8 degrees in Cyprus (seacoast). While it snows in the mountains! We all remember that in such weather there is a lack of heating. Thus thick walls with good insulation are a real salvation. They will protect you from cold and dampness.
In addition, such a 'warm' house (especially if it is made of brick or stone) perfectly keeps cool in summer. Thus, in the cold season, you save on heating thanks to thick walls, and in the warm season, you save on air conditioners.
Some northerners who moved to Cyprus and built a house on their own recommend laying the wall thickness of at least 35-40 cm.
There is no centralized heating system in Cyprus. This is very unusual for many migrants from the North. We are used to hoping that the communal services will 'turn on' our batteries, and the house will immediately become comfortable and dry. This does not work in Cyprus.
If there is a private house, it's a little easier: there you can install a fireplace, stove, boiler, etc. In apartments, one has to warm up with the help of electric heaters and split systems. Considering that electricity on the island is an expensive resource, then this method is not very good.
Therefore, everyone comes up with their own "tricky ways": someone heats only the bedroom, someone uses thermal underwear, someone goes broke on warm floors. Some locals are used to walking around the apartment in home boots and ten layers of clothing.
But northerners are definitely not accustomed to this. Therefore, before moving to Cyprus, be sure to decide for yourself: where you will live and how you will warm your home and yourself in winter.
Another important thing is good ventilation. Life by the sea means high humidity, so stagnant air will lead to mold growth.
When buying a ready-made house or apartment, you must carefully check the ventilation: its quality, number of holes, cleanliness, etc. If you are going to build a house, be sure to order a project with a well-thought-out ventilation system.
4. The concept of spaciousness of housing
It's amazing that the concept of space can differ so much. For residents of some countries, a 15-square-meter bedroom is enough, but for Cypriots it is cramped.
You can find 15-meter studios somewhere in Moscow, where a basic set of furniture is barely located. In Scandinavia, you can find a studio of 20-25 meters.
But in Cyprus, such small areas are very rare. Studios are mostly 30-45 square meters. Foxy foreigners are able to turn them into a three-room apartment!
5. Summer kitchen, patio
Here we will talk about private houses and cottages. In North Europe or America, it is cold about 9 months a year, so we don't have a lot of additional buildings near the master house. Maybe a gazebo, but it is used 3-4 months a year. Therefore, rooms for all purposes are located in the house under the roof and supplied with heating.
The Cypriot climate allows some of the rooms to be taken outside. If you go to a Cypriot village, you will see that the old houses are not very large, but they have very spacious courtyards. They are usually almost entirely covered to protect the space from rain and sun.
You can place anything in the courtyard: a dining area, a bar, a barbecue, a playground, a place to relax, even an office! (for those working remotely).
Another cool thing is the summer kitchen. It can be used for about 9 months a year, or even the whole year, if the weather permits. The house is not saturated with the smell of cooking, it remains clean and comfortable. And it's a pleasure to cook and eat in the fresh air!
By the way, you can also take out a greenhouse, an indoor pool, a sports ground and much more outside.
6. Spacious loggia
In Cypriot apartments of the comfort-plus class and above, spacious balconies are made, designed to fulfill the role of the above-mentioned courtyard.
The loggia can be from 10 to 30 m2!
In the north countries, such large loggias and balconies are not in use. Even in premium apartments. They prefer panoramic windows. This is because of the climate - the loggia will be unused for 9 months a year. But in Cyprus, such an addition to the living space is a huge plus. So take a closer look!
And here are some ideas for decorating and using balconies in Cyprus.
7. Floor, ceiling and wall covering
Wallpaper in Cyprus, familiar to many northerners, is a dubious pleasure. Due to the mentioned humidity, the wallpaper moves away from the walls and can become moldy. Therefore, wall painting is more common in Cyprus.
For the floor, laminate or tiles are best suited. The last option is as good as possible if you are going to carry out warm floors. This will solve the heating problem at the same time.
But parquet can only be laid in a house or apartment where it is guaranteed dry and warm. Otherwise, the tree may swell, darken and deteriorate.
8. Devices for drying
And again about humidity...
Yes, in the North it is somehow not customary to install household appliances designed to dry the air. Rather, the opposite is true: during the heating season, people turn on humidifiers. But in Cyprus, everything is different.
What only the inhabitants of the coastal regions are used to are dehumidifiers. They take away excess moisture and leave the most comfortable percentage for a person. The device is indispensable for rooms with poor ventilation, as well as for families where there are people with chronic diseases of the heart, blood vessels and other internal organs.
Hint: in Cyprus it is possible to install a split system, which already has a dehumidifier in its kit.
9. Water purifiers and softeners
If cleaners have already become more or less familiar, softeners are still a curiosity in some areas in Europe as in the North, there is often no need for it.
But in Cyprus there is little fresh water. Desalinated sea water often flows from taps in cities. The technique has not yet reached the point of making it of the highest quality immediately at the desalination plant, so people have to buy different devices on their own.
Without filters and softeners, desalinated water is bad for the condition of the skin, teeth, hair and nails. In addition, an unpleasant sensation may remain after washing.
Household appliances that consume running water also suffer: dishwashers and washing machines. They quickly become covered with limescale and deposits. So water filtration is an important part of life in Cyprus.
10. Seismic resistance
Almost all regions of North Europe are in a safe zone: earthquakes are rare there. But Cyprus regularly shakes. As a rule, the strength of shocks does not even reach 4 points. Some do not notice seismic activity at all.
But there are also stronger earthquakes. Therefore, houses in Cyprus are built as sustainable as possible. This must be taken into account if you are building a house on a new purchased plot.
Make sure that the structure is completely safe and as reliable as possible. The strongest earthquakes occur in Cyprus about once every 50 years, but it's still not worth the risk.
These are the key differences, in our opinion, between Cypriot and Northern real estate. Maybe you know something else? Share with us!
Interested in property in Cyprus? Visit the DOM Real Estate website. The portal has the largest database of real estate in the country - both residential to commercial. Choose and contact professionals who will help you make the right choice!
- What is the Best Time of the Year to Rent and Rent Out a Property in Cyprus? (link)
- Types of property in Cyprus (link)
- Rules for inspecting an apartment / house you want to rent in Cyprus (link)
- Studio vs. 1 bedroom apartment in Cyprus. Which one is right for you? (link)
- Permanent residence permit in Cyprus (link)
- Rules for inspecting an apartment / house you want to rent in Cyprus (link)