One of our readers contacted DOM LiVE and shared his experience on how to look for housing in Cyprus.
Here is his story:
Every man to his taste, and you can't argue with that.
Everybody has their own opinion, preferences, plans and reasons that determine the choice in everything. Everybody has its own favorite profession, friends, cars, and housing. Someone likes the silence and tranquility away from the riot of nightlife, while others serve restaurants and discos within walking distance. More than once I had to buy real estate in Russia and Russia. These purchases did not disappoint. There is a certain model that I follow when choosing. I'll try to tell you about everything, what if it can be helpful for somebody.
How we do it
Only you know exactly what you need
We always visit all properties we plan to buy. It is not because we do not trust the professionalism of realtors, but simply because we cannot imagine how a stranger who does not know our tastes and preferences can find exactly what we need. No matter how well we can explain our wishes, it won't work as our home is place of our lifestyle and needs.
We are accustomed to independenly search our future property, fortunately, we don't have problems with languages as our native language is Russian, while English is at a relatively good level, and we have some free time. The only problem is that we don't have much money.
To begin with, we make a list of all the requirements for our next dream home: the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, neighborhoods, the presence / absence of a pool, balcony / veranda, shops and restaurants within walking distance, the presence and number of parking lots, the "age" of the building, the view from our windows, distance to the city center, in a word, all the parameters that are important for us. Of course, they may be completely different for you.
New building or resale in Cyprus
The "age" of the building is one of the most important characteristics, because building codes tend to change from time to time, even in Cyprus. Now they are building in a completely different way than they were building, let's say, twenty years ago. The premises have become more spacious. Single glazing gave way to double glazing. Air conditioners and aluminum windows shutters are no longer a luxury. The number of bathrooms is now, as a rule, equal to the number of bedrooms.
It is clear that a new building, in which no one has lived before you, often seems more attractive than secondary housing... But there are pitfalls of new buildings we can run into. In secondary housing we can take a closer look at our future neighborhood, get to know neighbors and decide whether we like them or not, whether we can comfortably live next to them day after day. Any doubts on this becomes a big disadvantage!
Location, location, location
The British, for example, having found a house or apartment suitable for them, rent for a couple or three weeks the chosen object, or some kind of housing in the neighborhood. So we can feel the atmosphere of this place, learn all its advantages and disadvantages "from the inside". If this is not possible, we try to postpone the decision to buy for a week or two, during which we come to the object we like at different times of the day and on different days of the week. Walking nearby, listening to local noises and even sniffing the smells, yes, sometimes even the aromas from the kitchen of a nearby restaurant can be in favor of a purchase or make the buyers get rid of the idea to buy this property!
That is why I say that it is almost impossible to explain all your preferences to an agent!
We had one case, we saw a wonderful apartment in a very good area, we were satisfied with absolutely everything, even with the price :)! And then, we opened one of the windows to admire the view... and heard a quiet, but annoying "knock-knock ... knock-knock ...". Even the agent who showed the apartment was surprised. To find the source of the sound, we got into the car and drove around the block... The house in which the apartment was located stood on a hill, and under the hill, more precisely, right under its windows, there was a tombstones manufacturer. The idea to buy this apartment had to be abandoned.
In general, it never hurts to explore the surroundings, especially if you don't know the area where you are going to buy housing. Not a single realtor brings the buyer to a nearest landfill, even if a property is located just next to it.
Once we liked a townhouse that was offered at the price of an average apartment. In general, the area was familiar to us and considered good. Definitely, there should have been some kind of trick! We began to look more closely at the photographs of the property presented on the site, then we took a strong magnifying glass... And we saw that one of the pictures partially showed the view from the window: a low fence, and behind it... there were crosses... There was a cemetery right across the road! A joke about quiet neighbors can bring a smile here. We do not like such a neighborhood, although, seems that it does not promise either noise or dust, but somehow depressingly affects our weak mental health.
Making lists of real estates we want to visit
So, having decided on the parameters of the proposed purchase, we proceed to the search for the actual options. There are a lot of opportunities here: websites of realtors and developers can help you! You should take into account the traditional Cypriot "siga-siga", that is, "slow and steady wins the race," in the sense that no one is in a hurry to remove the sold property from the database.
Everyone already has a lot to do: chatting up customers, drinking coffee with and without them, figuring out how to dispose of income from a leased field, buying a birthday present for a great-uncle. By the way, the same object can often be found in the databases of several real estate offices at the same time, but the prices for it can differ dramatically, even at times! It is clear that it is worth contacting the one who has the smallest price.
So, we make an initial list of the housings we like. This, of course, is not a matter of one day. Then, on a weekend or the next free evening, we discuss the results of the research with our spouse, we delete something from the list, identify the questions that need clarification when talking with realtors. Then the list becomes noticeably shorter.
How to draw up the resulting list is up to you. The Excel table with all parameters, addresses and attendances is convenient for us. In it we mark what we have viewed, add comments so that we do not get confused later.
We agree on the viewing time
We call realtors and let them know which specific numbers from their database we would like to see.
First, you need to be prepared for the fact that realtors ask you who your agent is (who is looking for real estate for you). Real estate business in Cyprus is a fairly well-established sphere, people have been working together for years. Needless to say, dealing with someone you know is easier. At first, many were inspired when they heard that we did not have any agents, and tried to offer our services. We had to disappoint them with the refusal.
Second, realtors can offer you to look at other objects, besides the ones already selected by you, as they have 'such an extensive database'. As a rule, we refuse, and here's why. We have determined the budget for the future purchase, and it is not in our interests to exceed it.
But it is very much in the interests of any agent to sell us a property at 10-20 more expensive price than we planned. After all, the realtor's fee is a percentage of the sale! So they look for a potential buyer throughout the island, and try to sell what the buyers often cannot afford!
But, we don't have so much time to talk and therefore we do agree to look for something else and stand on our own.
We start viewing. Where we look, what we ask about
So, the viewing schedule has been agreed with realtors. They usually offer to go by their car. We prefer our car as the agent has fewer opportunities to bring us to another real estate we don't want to visit: "Oh, let's go to another place, it's very close here. Very good, you will definitely like it!"
When examining, it is advisable to have a printed list of objects, a notebook and a pen with you, to make notes about your impressions. It is good to take a photo on the phone for memory of some features that caught the eye. Do not hesitate to ask the agent any questions you may have and if they cannot answer them right away, ask them to get the information you are interested in as this is their job, they are paid for it!
Do not be lazy to look everywhere and open everything. If closed, ask to unlock. Maybe there is something the seller wants to hide from you. Stains on ceilings, any structural cracks, uneven or fresh paint coat should be examined and the cause identified.
Feel free to ask questions. There is never too much information!
A bit more about pricing
Cypriots often mention prices without VAT, and in Cyprus, by the way, it is 19%! Check! And bargain!!!
It is worth asking whether the seller insists on a one-time payment of the full cost of the object, or is ready for an installment plan and several tranches as sometimes it is more convenient for you and the seller.
The choice has been made. Nothing more without a lawyer!
Having weighed all the pros and cons, we choose, if we are lucky, from the list what we were ready to buy. And now, all subsequent actions to complete the sale and purchase transaction should be done ONLY UNDER THE GUIDANCE of yours, I emphasize, YOURS !!! ATTORNEY!
God forbid, you decide to do anything without a lawyer at all, or, even worse, use the services of a seller's lawyer!
Another thing is that it is not easy to find "your" lawyer whom you can trust! But that's a completely different story.
I sincerely wish you a good purchase on the blessed Island of Aphrodite, the purchase which you will never regret!
(to be continued)...
Read the next part: Sale and purchase of property in Cyprus. Most important things to know (link)
- How to prepare an apartment or house in Cyprus for sale (link)
- Real estate hot deals in Cyprus: where to look and how to avoid fraud? (link)
- Humidity and mold in your Cyprus home (link)
- Mortgages in Cyprus (link)
- Renovation in a rented apartment in Cyprus: all the pros and cons (link)
- Sale and purchase of property in Cyprus. Most important things to know (link)
- Types of property in Cyprus (link)
- Recommended appliances and furniture to be in a rental property (link)
Photos: pixabay.com, DOM LiVE