When buying a resale property in Cyprus (or anywhere else), there are a number of things you need to consider. In addition to checking the properties to make sure they are satisfactory and meet your requirements, it is important to pay attention to:
It seems obvious, but some people buy more than they can afford and run into financial hardship. In addition to the actual sale price, you need to consider running costs such as electricity, water, telephone, taxes, repairs and maintenance, etc.
The resale property you are looking to buy may be in need of refurbishment. Get a firm written quote for any necessary repairs.
It would also be a good idea to talk to a real estate agent who does real estate marketing. Answering any questions you may have, as well as the cost of any repairs and refurbishments, will help you better negotiate a price.
If you want to buy an apartment or resell any type of property in a community with shared facilities such as a swimming pool, you will need to pay utility bills for maintenance, repairs, insurance and management of the so-called “community home”. (shared ownership includes everything that is within the boundaries of the development, including individual residential buildings).
In its current form, the joint property law does not actually work and is in dire need of fundamental changes. Too often problems arise when owners refuse to pay utility bills, which means that those who pay must cover the missing amount. This causes resentment and often leads to a domino effect as more owners refuse to pay and the complex falls into disrepair and decay. Although the building management committee may sue defaulters to recover their debts plus legal and court costs for the following reasons:
it is expensive;
the hearing may take years;
even if the case is won, enforcement of the court’s decision can be “difficult”;
if the debtor can prove that he is in financial difficulty, the court may order that he repay the money due within a few years.
You should speak to the building management committee and check the bills to make sure everything is in order.
The problem of defaulters has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has reduced the ability to pay for many people who have lost their jobs and/or live on less income.
Using the Professionals
Experts always advise those who want to buy real estate on the secondary market to check it professionally before agreeing to an offer. The list of RICS Surveyors in Cyprus is a good starting point.
Legal and other documents (title)
Last but not least is the verification of documents related to the resale property.These include a certificate of ownership, approved architectural plans, building and planning permits. If a title deed has not been issued, you should investigate what is causing the delay and whether the local planning authority has issued a “certificate of approval” confirming that the property has been built in accordance with the permits and plans approved for its construction.
It is necessary to check that the approved architectural plans correspond to what was actually built. Some people add pools, garages, and other permanent structures, or expand a property without permission. Unauthorized changes will cause problems if you want to make changes to the property yourself and/or want to sell the property at a later date.