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Resale villas and apartments offer safer investments

Given all the uncertainties and doubts about buying off-plan property in Cyprus, why not consider a resale villa or apartment as these offer safer investments and often, better value for money.

SINCE the end of the Island’s off-plan building boom that left abandoned and mothballed developments littering the island’s once popular hotspots, resales appear to be enjoying a revival, re-emerging from their back seat position during the years of frantic investor speculation.

In recent weeks three resale properties have been sold in my area, close to the town of Limassol.

Resales are ready-built, pre lived in properties that remove all the risks, uncertainties and doubts that engulf buying off-plan property in Cyprus at this time providing, of course, that the property has been issued with its all-important Title Deed.

The key benefit of buying resale is that there will be no delay between purchase and completion as EU citizens can pay the Property Transfer Fees at the Land Registry and obtain legal ownership of their property on the day of purchase; its Title Deed will follow a few days later in the post.

You can inspect the property with your very own eyes to see precisely what you are getting for your money, its size, its orientation, its layout and its build quality. Properties built before the investment fever started tend to be larger and occupy larger plots of land offering increased privacy from the neighbours compared with more recent builds.

You could also find that the property has an established garden and some properties are sold complete with furniture and other useful extras such as household appliances, satellite dish, television, etc.

Traditional stone houses have more character, but they can also be damp, draughty, and their electrics and plumbing may be in dire need of modernisation. More modern houses too may be in need of remedial work.

It is essential to have a survey carried out on the condition of the property and its market value assessed by an independent firm of property surveyors. This should identify any unforeseen problems with the property that could end up costing a fortune to repair and whether the asking price is fair.

An independent lawyer is also essential to check that the vendor is the property’s legal owner and that there are no mortgages or other debts or liens registered against the property. In some cases a lawyer could discover that the property is owned by several family members, in which case all of them need to give their permission before the property can be sold. It is also important that the lawyer establishes that no illegal changes have been made to the property and that any changes that you wish to make will be acceptable to the Planning Authorities.

Do not try and cut corners or beat the system. In Cyprus buyers may be asked to pay for part of a property in cash. These under-the-table payments are illegal and you could well find yourself with problems if you agree.

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