Buying a property in Northern Cyprus – A guide to the key stages
There are many reasons why people choose to buy property in Northern Cyprus. Whether they are attracted by the glorious year-round sunshine, the stunning beaches, the historic setting or the warm and welcoming residents, Northern Cyprus has a lot to offer. Added to this is the fact that not only do the majority of local people speak English, but many of the legal documents are also in English, making the whole buying process significantly easier.
Making a deposit
Once buyers have selected a property, whether as a private residence or as an investment property, the first stage is to ensure it is off the market by making a deposit. For buyers already in Northern Cyprus, credit card or cash payments are accepted, but for buyers arranging the deposit from the UK, bank transfer is the best method of payment. Buyers should expect to pay approximately 10 percent of the total price of the property when they make the deposit before going to get permission to buy.
Hiring a lawyer
A purchase permit is required for anyone involved in the purchase of a property in Northern Cyprus who is not a citizen of the country. The process of getting permission to buy can take up to a year and for peace of mind and to make the process easier, most people choose to hire a local solicitor to help them.
When choosing a lawyer, many people prefer one who speaks English, and fortunately, such professionals are not difficult to find. The solicitor will then provide help and support throughout the procedure and many people choose to give them a power of attorney to handle the details of the sale when they are not in the country themselves.
When the contract arrives, it should be checked carefully before signing, as otherwise buyers can sometimes experience problems further down the line. The solicitor will help offer advice and go over the main points including payment dates, property details, specifications and title deeds and once this is done then the sale can move forward.
After obtaining permission to purchase, final payment can be made at the property. Buyers can pay this in cash, by credit card or by money order, but as soon as it’s confirmed, the title deed must be signed on behalf of the buyer. This is the final stage of the process and all that is left to do after that is to move into the property.
People looking to buy property in Northern Cyprus should be aware of mortgage related issues before starting the buying process. It should be clear that UK banks will not provide clients with a mortgage on a property in Northern Cyprus and therefore other means will often have to be sought.
The most popular way for most UK buyers is to re-mortgage their current property and use the equity to buy the new property. This ensures a degree of protection for buyers as their mortgage is protected by UK law.
However, for buyers where this is not possible, it is sometimes possible to obtain a mortgage from the actual developer. If this is an option, many developers offer long-term mortgages of up to 70% of the property’s price, but potential buyers are advised to proceed with caution and thoroughly check all the details before signing up for such a deal.
A note on surveying
As with any property, it is essential that potential buyers have a professional inspection of the property before signing contracts or paying a deposit. Even new buildings can reveal problems and it should never be taken for granted that everything will be fine.
Fortunately, it is not difficult to contact a surveyor when buying a property in Northern Cyprus, and they are able to do their job and keep clients informed of any updates while they are still in the UK. In addition, many surveyors can also act as supervisors of the development if it is under construction, offering clients even more peace of mind.
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