How for­eign in­vestors see us

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

I re­cently stum­bled upon a very in­ter­est­ing buyer’s guide, writ­ten by a Bri­ton in 2014, aptly called “Things the Es­tate Agents Don’t Tell You” and refers to Cyprus.

Although easy to read, I was some­what hurt by the au­thor’s con­clu­sions, but it is worth read­ing in or­der to see how for­eign­ers per­ceive us. The main points raised in the book are: Don’t buy with­out ti­tle deeds, as there are two types – those with and those with­out.

What the spec­i­fi­ca­tions say are of­ten what you get even­tu­ally.

There is no proper main­te­nance of build­ings, as a re­sult of which the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in­creases year by year.

Although it does not rain that of­ten, be­ware in­su­la­tion, es­pe­cially those on the roof or bal­conies.

Be care­ful to pay com­mon ex­penses on time as this could start a chain of events that could im­pact on eco­nomic and so­cial prob­lems, es­pe­cially where the col­lec­tion from the land­lord is al­most im­pos­si­ble.

Be warned that com­mis­sions range from 3% to 5%, but there are hid­den fees im­posed by lawyers, ac­coun­tants and

far dif­fer­ent from

of

the oth­ers in­volved in the process.

We are of­ten told that Paphos has the best beaches, which is to­tally wrong as the Fa­m­a­gusta area is the best. But we were also not told that rent­ing hol­i­day homes in the Fa­m­a­gusta dis­trict is only for six months a year.

Be­ware of lawyers. Very of­ten they “don’t know” or just don’t care, or are even in­volved in other deals with other clients or fel­low lawyers.

Driv­ing on the road is very bad. Bet­ter buy a tank to be sure. The best choice for a fam­ily car is a 4X4.

The law on man­age­ment com­mit­tees (in the case of build­ings or hol­i­day home com­plexes) is of­ten not im­ple­mented and most of the time in­com­pre­hen­si­ble, as a re­sult of which only 30% o own­ers pay their dues.

Val­u­a­tions of prop­er­ties is very of­ten based on per­sonal ben­e­fit and re­gard­less of fluc­tu­a­tions in the mar­ket.

Hav­ing an apart­ment is one thing, while be­ing part of a build­ing is dif­fer­ent al­to­gether, with the lat­ter very of­ten prone to col­lapse.

Our “friends” in the U.K. are of­ten not help­ful, only for us to find out later that th­ese “friends” were also in­volved in prop­erty sales, hence had a hid­den agenda. And there’s more. The ti­tle of the book does not ex­clu­sively re­fer to ex­pe­ri­ences with real­tors, but it also in­cludes de­vel­op­ers and oth­ers in­volved in the in­dus­try. I be­lieve that the au­thor has not been thor­ough with his re­search as many of his ques­tions would have been an­swered, if only he asked. So, he has based the book en­tirely on his per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence and those of some friends, as this re­sults in many short­com­ings and many in­ac­cu­ra­cies.

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