Buying property off-plan is one of those things; it’s a coin with two sides, with a for-and-against list that each buyer has to check and assess for himself.
The obvious ‘for’ for a completed or resale home is that you see what you’re buying, in its final form, and the property is ready to move into, with zero waiting time.
The main advantage of buying off-plan is that – depending on whether construction has started or not – you often still have a chance to modify the interior layout and can choose the finishing options that match your taste and preferences. Modifying a range of properties from seafront villas to luxury houses you can create and design your ideal Cyprus property.
Some buyers also choose to create a larger home by merging two smaller units. And more often than not, buying off-plan gives you a price advantage, as prices tend to increase by the time the property is completed.
The fact is that buyers who have had negative experiences with off-plan property acquisition and have shared their experience online and offline – without reservation and often out of context – have shaped the widespread perception that buying off-plan is a gamble that is not worth taking.
However, that does not have to be the case. Yes, you can buy off-plan and enjoy all the advantages, without putting your investment at risk. In many cases, when the demand for new-build property is higher than the supply, buying off-plan might be your only option. And the truth is, most off-plan buyers are more than satisfied with their new home.
The difference between being satisfied and being disappointed is to a great extent in your own hands. By consulting professionals and understanding the ins and outs of property acquisition in the jurisdiction where you are planning on buying a home you can largely eliminate or at least minimize the risk of anything going seriously wrong. Here are some points to consider:
Work with Professionals
It’s a general rule that applies in any situation: work with professionals. In this case, that means choosing a registered estate agent with an impeccable reputation and insurance to cover any serious problems with his clients; look into the history and track record of the developer you are interested in buying from; consult an independent and experienced lawyer who will either draft your contract or review the one prepared by the developer or the estate agent.
Read the Fine Print
The contract between the developer and you is of paramount importance. Consult a local lawyer who will check and understand any fine print and ensure that there are no shady areas and that your investment is safeguarded. The system in Cyprus offers buyers adequate protection, provided you understand and follow the rules.
Pay in Stages
Keep a close eye on the progress of construction and ask for certification by the supervising architect or engineer. It is customary to pay in stages, with payment made only after each stage is certified. Never pay in advance, and hold the final payment until the property is finished to your satisfaction and handed over as per your agreement.
Check Communal Facilities and Services
Apart from making sure that your private property is delivered as agreed, take a look around to ensure that common areas have also been completed as expected. Check your parking areas, storage room, lights, landscaping, and make sure all utilities are connected and running smoothly.
Cyprus is a small place where news – good and bad – travels fast by word of mouth. Ask and shop around, and you will soon identify who the trustworthy and reliable professionals are. Many investors have done this and decided to entrust SkyPrime group with their property, some have also seized the opportunity to partake in the Cyprus Investment Program when building their ideal home.