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Your guide to buying property in Cyprus

Martina Rados
Marketing Manager at RE/MAX Europe

Buying property in Cyprus

Hoping to begin your laid-back life in the sun? Read on to discover the ins and outs of buying property in Cyprus, from all the ways to make your dreams come true, to the pitfalls to avoid.

Are you drawn to the idea of relaxing in the Mediterranean climate, enjoying the fresh cuisine and stunning scenery, all while being just a short plane ride from the rest of Europe? Then Cyprus might be just the place for you! It has miles of glistening beaches, picturesque salt lakes and 320 days of sunshine a year. The island is the ideal size, being home to both lively cities and vast natural areas to escape on your own, whether that’s hiking in the mountains or finding a secluded beach to relax. We’ll cover reasons to move to Cyprus, as well as the legal process and the many locations you could soon be calling home!

Why move to Cyprus?

The clear waters, palm-lined promenades and golden sand are what many people have in mind when they think of Cyprus. But the island is a place of great diversity. The Cypriots even pride themselves on the fact you can go skiing in the mountains and swimming in the ocean all in one day! With lush mountains and valleys, home to sprawling vineyards and orange orchards, it won’t be difficult to find plenty of delicious fruits and vegetables at a fair price. The island also offers a fantastic quality of life, with brilliant healthcare, healthy diets and a very low crime rate.

Whether the island is the right home for you depends on your motives for moving. Are you looking for a place to retire where your savings will take you further? Are you a digital nomad looking to reap the benefits of the vibrant and sunny lifestyle? Are you hoping to find a place abroad with a high level of English proficiency and many of the comforts of home? These could all be good signs that Cyprus is the right place. Discuss your reasons to move with your RE/MAX agent to see if the island lines up with your aspirations!

Your ideal spot in Cyprus

Once you’ve decided that Cyprus fits your ambitions, it’s time to ask important questions about the lifestyle you want to lead. Do you picture yourself in an apartment right at the water’s edge, enjoying breakfast on your balcony? Would you prefer to live in a villa outside of a city, set back from the hustle and bustle, but still only a short drive away from the ocean? Or are you looking for a house in the center of an international business hub?

While the nation’s capital Nicosia and the fashionable Limassol are the most expensive areas, every city has its own benefits, and all are small enough to soon feel completely at home. Nicosia is embraced by incredible Renaissance Venetian Walls surrounding the city and is home to museums and galleries for those who love the culture of city life. You can get lost exploring the unique charm of its narrow streets, lined with cafes and bars.

The city of Paphos is great for those who enjoy ancient archeology and coastal resorts. What’s more, its beautiful harbor makes for impressive sunset strolls! Paphos has an established community of expats, so it won’t be hard to feel comfortable in your new community, as well as highly reputable international schools and an international airport for convenient travel. It is surrounded by many different villages in the hills with spectacular views. These lie above sea level, meaning the breeze makes the summer heat more bearable. So you can escape the tourist-heavy center and maintain a great social life outside of the summertime high season, while still having the infrastructure and amenities of a big city nearby.

These areas are just a few of the many options you have. Tell your RE/MAX agent what you’re looking for, and they’ll suggest the best areas for you to call home!

Starting your search

What are the deal-breakers to take into account as you start your search? Buying a property abroad is a huge decision you can’t rush into. Create a list of absolute must-haves, for example, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Would you feel more comfortable relaxing in your own pool, or would you prefer close access to the beach? Would you like to be within walking distance of charming cafes, or mountainous pine forests to escape tourism? Would you be happy to renovate a rural stone house to bring out its personality, or would you prefer a new build to move in as soon as possible?

The island is small enough so your RE/MAX agent can arrange viewing trips to your top choices over a relatively small time span. Once you’ve found a property that ticks all the boxes, it’s important to visit in person to make sure your expectations are met. Afterward, you can take a stroll and sit in a local cafe to get a feel for the area – there’s nothing to lose!

The process of buying property as an expat

Purchasing property in Cyprus is relatively simple compared to other European Countries. If you are a European Citizen, you have no restrictions on buying property. In fact, all foreigners are able to buy property, so long as you can provide the correct documentation. The main difference if you are a non-EU citizen is that you will need to apply to the Council of Ministers for permission to buy, and the property size may not exceed 4,014 square meters. There are also restrictions on the length you can stay, for example, following Brexit, UK citizens can only stay for a total of 90 days in any 180 day period without applying for a visa.

It is highly advised to appoint a local and independent lawyer who will look after your interests, especially because the real estate market in Cyprus can be full of pitfalls. It is not uncommon for the property developer to take out a mortgage on land or property, which you will become liable for in the event they become bankrupt. Your RE/MAX agent will help you find a lawyer who will check that no mortgages have been placed on the land, and understand the complexities of the paperwork. If you’re hoping to buy property in the northern part of the island, it does come with some risk due to disputing ownership claims. It is a good idea to rent in the area first to get to know the area before committing to buying.

If you need to take out a mortgage, the good news is they are widely available from Cypriot banks! You will have to prove you are low-risk by providing documentation such as your passport and proof of income. As you set your budget, take into account the taxes and fees, such as transfer costs. Make sure you don’t fall in love with a property only to find out you can’t afford it!

The importance of your agent

Getting the right agent is a key step in the purchasing process as they will be by your side from the moment you start hunting to when the keys are in your hand – and even after! Your RE/MAX agent will help you choose the right spot to start your adventure, as well as guide you through the paperwork and potential obstacles along the way.

Soon you might be 2,000 meters above the Mediterranean, skiing on the Troodos Mountains, enjoying water sports in Famagusta, or just relaxing with the sun on your back and a glass of Cypriot wine in hand! If you’re already convinced, start browsing properties online to see what’s available, and contact your RE/MAX agent to start turning your dreams into reality!

Getting the right place

It’s a common practice to negotiate real estate prices directly with the owners, so having an experienced agent by your side will make sure you’re getting the right price. You’ll need a specific contract for the sale to be valid, which means the notarial deed must be executed by a Polish notary. This notary will also carry out any of the necessary checks or searches, and make sure that any conditions needed for the sale are complete. Make sure to leave enough time for the formalities like securing a mortgage, as this can sometimes take longer for foreigners.

Find the right home with the right agent

There are a few extra things to consider before you move into your dream home. Having an expert on hand who can represent you and deal with the formalities on your behalf will make this process as smooth as possible. One of these important actions is to check the Land and Mortgage Register for the property’s legal status to make sure that there are no mortgages on the property or encumbrances connecting third parties to the property.

To make sure the property is yours, you’ll need a declaration from the seller, as well as documents from the land and mortgage register that identify the property. In Poland, each application is different – which is why having the right agent for you is crucial. You’ll need to prove what uniquely ties you to Poland, whether that’s family history or proof that you plan to build your future there and be part of the economy.

With the legalities covered, you’re all set! Pack your bags for the hot summers and cold winters and get ready to immerse yourself in the culture and make friends with the locals!

Please Note: While RE/MAX Europe has compiled the information on this page diligently and to the best of its knowledge, RE/MAX Europe does not assume any liability for the accuracy of the information or for any damages resulting from the use of the information.

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