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Gullibles travels in Cyprus: The overseas property exhibition

The misadventures of an inexperienced property investor and his wife in their quest to buy a jet-to-let holiday apartment in Cyprus.

Lemuel Gullible is an ordinary sort of bloke who’s recently come into some money. He’s often fancied himself as a property investor as he knows this will earn him plenty of kudos with his mates down the pub. He read about an overseas property investment exhibition in London and decided to visit to see what was on offer.

At the exhibition there were companies selling properties in Canada, Croatia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Slovenia and many other countries, including Cyprus. Gullible hadn’t heard of many of the places and he wasn’t too sure where some of the countries were.

But he’d heard about Cyprus from one of his mates at the pub who went there on holiday with his family a couple of years ago. They really enjoyed themselves and came back lovely and brown.

Gullible thought to himself “If I buy something in Cyprus, I’ll be able to rent it out to my mates and other people – I could make quite a bit of money“.

At the property exhibition

Gullible headed straight for the largest stand. “I’ve heard of this company, I’ve seen them on the TV,” he thought to himself “they really know what they’re talking about.

He picked up a brochure, opened it up and started looking at the pictures and reading about the luxury holiday apartment developments with swimming pools, health clubs, saunas, golf courses, and panoramic views of the Mediterranean. “These look fantastic!” he thought to himself.

Gullible meets Adrian the young executive

Within seconds a sharp-suited young man wearing a badge “sales support executive” button-holed Gullible. “Hello, I’m Adrian. How can I help you?” Gullible thinks “This lad has done very well for himself – an executive in a big property investment company – he must know what he’s talking about!

Adrian takes Gullible to one of the desks where he fills in a form about what he wants to buy, how much money he’s got to spend, what the property will be used for and whether or not he needs a mortgage.

Interested in Cyprus? Right…” says Adrian. And with that he unfolds a map of the island on the table and starts jabbing at different places with his finger. “Looking for a jet-to-let? This is where all the intelligent money’s going“.

Airport, marina, golf courses and Disney theme park

Adrian draws a red circle on the map around Paphos. “There’s a new airport, a marina and they’re building fourteen golf courses and a Disney theme park. Our holiday apartments are selling like hot cakes – we can’t build them fast enough!” Gullible looks impressed.

Buy off-plan and make a profit

Adrian continues “Buying ‘off-plan’ means you can buy a brand new apartment at today’s prices. If you wait until they’ve been built in 12 to 15 months time, prices will have gone up by 25%. And buying new means you’re not paying over the odds for a resale with a lot of damp and other problems to sort out.

Adding “When you take delivery of the apartment you can sell it if you want and make a 25% profit on your investment. We can help you with this too.

The legal system

Gullible looks even more impressed. “How easy is it to buy in Cyprus?” he asks. “It’s very easy.” answers Adrian “The laws in Cyprus are the same as the UK and our lawyers will do everything for you. It’s all part of our service”.

Problems?

Gullible asks Adrian “I’ve heard that many people have a lot of problems with their properties in Cyprus. Can’t get their Title Deeds or something?

Adrian reassures Gullible “We have a permanent team of specialists on the island and they’ve done a lot of research. We only work with selected property developers and lawyers that we know we can trust. With all the problems in Cyprus we have to be very careful who we deal with. Don’t worry, we’re a big company with thousands of satisfied customers. You know you can trust us.

Guaranteed rental returns

Adrian tells Gullible “We offer guaranteed rental returns through our rental agency and we make sure the apartment’s inspected regularly and kept in tip top condition for your clients.

Clients” thinks Gullible. “I’m going to have clients?” (By now he’s feeling quite important). “So which is the best development to invest in?” he asks.

Adrian jabs his finger (somewhat vaguely) at a village near the coast. “This one” he says. “You need to invest in an apartment near the sea. If you buy something a few miles inland, your rental income isn’t going to cover the cost of your mortgage – the rents there are much lower and there’s not a year round demand.

Inspection flights on special offer

Gullible spots a sheet of paper advertising “Inspection Flights – Special Exhibition Offer if you book today! Only £150 reduced from £275“. He picks it up and reads it carefully.

Adrian tells him “This is a special 3-day business trip to look at property – there’s no pressure to buy. From the information you have given us, we’ll draw up a portfolio of properties that will interest you. The package includes flights, transfers, accommodation, and advice from property investment specialists and our lawyer. When would you like to go?

Gullible replies “I’m not sure I can afford it at the moment, but maybe in six months or so“.

Adrian shakes his head “In six months time prices will have gone up by 20%,” he says “can you really afford to wait that long?

You’re right.” said Gullible “Can my wife come as well?

Of course she can!” replies Adrian “Just put her name on the form“.

Gullible picks up a pen and writes his wife’s name carefully on the form – “Eve Anne Moore Gullible.

Thank you,” says Adrian. “You can keep the pen. We’ll contact you after the exhibition closes with details of your inspection visit and a selection of dates for your visit. Thank you.

Thank you Adrian,” says Gullible. They shake hands and Gullible goes home to tell his wife about their forthcoming visit to Cyprus and his plan to become an overseas property investor.

To be continued…


Published in a series of episodes “Gullibles Travels in Cyprus” plots the misadventures of Lemuel Gullible, an inexperienced property investor and his wife, Eve Anne Moore, in their quest to buy a jet-to-let holiday apartment in Cyprus.

Any similarities between this fable and “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift, a classic of English literature, is purely coincidental.

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