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Purchase Guide

Deciding to buy a property in North Cyprus is an exciting and potentially life-changing decision. While there are some differences from purchasing a property back home, the process is not too complicated once you have an understanding. We also reassure you that we, Nohara Estates, are always available should you have any questions whatsoever. This guide should provide an excellent introduction to the steps you need to take towards owning your property in Cyprus and a new life of basking in the sun.

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Quick steps of the buying process:

1 – Finance

Do a financial calculation of how you will finance the property and your budget.

2 – Contact a sales agent

Find a sales agent and provide the agent with your criteria of what you’re looking for. The sales agent will send you suggestions for properties.

3 – Book your trip

When you’ve found a couple of properties that seem interesting, its time to book your trip to North Cyprus.

4 – Viewings

Attend the viewings together with your sales agent.

5 – Contact a legal representative

Find a legal representative that you trust who will help you with the permission to purchase application and power of attorney for the steps needed.

6 – Put an offer

When you decided on your new home, you put an offer on it. With the high demand for properties in North Cyprus, the purchase is mostly made at the seller’s asking price.

7 – Reservation contract

When you get an offer accepted, you reserve the property by signing a contract and paying a reservation cost of usually between £6,000–10,000 to confirm your purchase. This transfer will be made into your lawyer’s client account, not to the vendor. When the transfer is complete, the property is off the market, and your lawyer begins the due diligence to make sure everything is in order with your new home. If you consider a mortgage, a valuation of the property will be done, and the bank will complete your mortgage if you decide to proceed with the mortgage process.

8 – Purchase contract

If everything is in order with the property, the next thing in the process is to sign the purchase contract. This usually takes place about 14 days after you have signed the contract confirming your reservation. When both the vendor and buyer signs the purchase contract, 10 % of the property purchase price (minus the reservation cost) is transferred to the lawyer’s client account.

9 – Completion of purchase and access

The day of your access to the property, everyone meets at the notary to finish the purchase. The 10% at the lawyer’s client account and the remaining 90% of the purchase price is transferred to the vendor at the notary. The property keys are then handed over, and the process of getting your new home is done.

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Choose your new home with care:

At Nohara Estates, we will assist you to find the home you are looking for, regardless of budget or property type. For us, it’s essential that the purchase of your new home feels right and that it’s the type of home that fits you the best. At Nohara Estates, we provide all our customers a service where we list both our properties and our colleagues’ properties, which means that we have access to cover the entire market. By doing this, you can use our knowledge, and we can guide you to the best properties that suit all your needs at once. Our sales agents become your agent. You don’t have to contact several agents and do all the research on your own. We also help you schedule all your viewings and showings of the properties.

Financing:

We recommend all our customers who are considering buying a new property to set up a plan and briefly calculate how you will finance the purchase before you start looking. In case you apply for a mortgage, we recommend you apply for an offer to find out your budget and what your alternatives are. One alternative is to apply for a mortgage at a Cypriot bank where you normally can get a mortgage for up to 70–75% of the purchase price. Another alternative is to mortgage your current home via your bank in your home country. The construction companies in North Cyprus also provide long-term payment plans for up to 10 years.

Having a good overview of your finances gives you an idea of what budget you can expect, what your new monthly cost will be, and allow you to act most efficiently when you find the right property.

Your sales agent and financial advisor at Nohara Estates North Cyprus will provide you with our recommendations of legal representation and bank options.

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To buy a resale property:

A property resale is an existing property that has had previous owners, and you buy the property straight from the current owner. All resale properties are sold as seen, on conditions relating to, age of property, price of property, and usage of property.

It is the buyer’s responsibility to inspect the property before signing the purchase contract. Your legal representation will help you with the property due diligence to see that everything is in order and that your purchase will be a safe one.

As an extra service, we will be able to provide assistance when it comes to modernising or renovating a resale property that has been purchased.

To buy a new development:

Buying a new home off-plan is slightly different from buying a resale property. However, your sales agent is here to help you ensure that everything goes right and that it will be a safe purchase. At all the new developments, it is the property developer who becomes the vendor. You will be provided with all information about the development, such as when it’s going to be built, finished, and when you, as the buyer, will receive access to the property by the developer, together with your sales agent. There are renders, floor plans, and site plans available for you of the development to give you a clear picture of what the finished result will be like. The developer will also show you a plot of the development as well as show you where your property is located. You get to see a wide variety of materials to choose from, and depending on the developer and how far the building process has gone, you will be able to make changes to the inside of the property to make it match your dream specifications.

What type of payment plan you will use when buying a new development depends on the developer. A reservation cost of £6,000-10,000 to be paid to take the property off the market, is the most widely used option. The amount you deposit will then be deducted from the purchase price. The amount outstanding will be paid in four or five stages during the construction, whereas the first payment takes place when the contract is signed, and after the last payment you move into the property.

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Choice of legal representative:

In Cyprus, the buyer, and often the seller as well, are represented by a legal representative. The legal representative will guide you throughout the affairs and will protect your interests only. As a buyer, you can choose your legal representative on your own, although we are more than happy to recommend serious and competent alternatives to you. The legal representative checks that there are no shortcomings or errors in the property register, that the property is not saddled by previous loans or mortgages, and that no old bills are due for payment. The lawyer also double checks that there are no injunctions or other charges on the land/property, controls building permits and that the seller has the right to sell the property, etc. If everything is in order, the lawyer writes up a contract, in which you need to sign, alternatively, give written permission that your lawyer is allowed to sign by proxy.

When you buy a property off-plan, or that is under construction, the lawyer will provide you with a written guarantee in the agreement. The agreement will provide you with a date for completion according to building permits, drawings, etc.. It will also provide you a statement regarding a penalty/delay for the builder in favour of the buyer. In case the construction drags out over time, the buyer should also be given the option to cancel the purchase, i.e., get the full amount back, including interest. Your lawyer will certify that all agreements between the parties are stated in the contract as well as all legal guarantees of the purchase of the property are in accordance with the laws of North Cyprus. The cost of hiring a lawyer ranges between £1,250 and £2,000 and is the buyer’s responsibility.

The application to the Council of Ministers regarding your Permission to Purchase will be submitted by your lawyer. Your lawyer will require an unopened extract from the criminal records (in English) from your home country’s police authority. This document should show that you have no criminal history. During the approval process, you can still move in to the property, renting it out, or resell it.

When your purchase permit application is processed, the Council of Ministers will conduct background checks in the land register, the immigration authorities, and the military. If your results are positive, your application will be granted. On the rare occasion that your application is rejected, you can suggest another person on your behalf to register the property in their name. Once your application has been approved, you will be notified, and preparations will begin to transfer the title deed to your name. Only then will you pay the remaining 8% of the 8.5%.

After a law change in 2008, it is required to register the purchase agreement with the property register in the district of the property. The property registry will not register the contract unless it is first stamped by the tax authority. The cost of the stamp duty is 0.5% of the purchase price. Within 21 days after signing, the contract must be registered. Therefore, it is recommended that the lawyer receives sufficient funds for stamping and registration of your agreement as soon as the contracts are signed. Furthermore, the best option is to transfer the money to your lawyer within 14 days after signing the contract. Registration of the purchase agreement to the property register serves as important security for your purchase. This ensures that the seller cannot sell the same property to another person or mortgage it.

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Testament:

In conclusion, we would like to emphasize that it is imperative to create a will in your home located in North Cyprus as it will not apply to the same inheritance laws and testament as in your home country. In most countries, including in North Cyprus, if the owner(s) of the residence passes away, the residence accrues to the state. Therefore, you must always write a testament which is registered to the authorities (this process cost between £300 and £500, and is made through your lawyer).

Taxes:

In addition to the purchase price, you, as a first-time buyer, will have to pay an additional 8.5% in taxes. The tax consists of 0.5% in stamp duty, which is paid within 21 days of signing the contract, 5% in VAT, and 3% in title deed tax, both of which are paid upon the title deed transfer.

Access:

On the day you receive access to your property, both parties, buyer and seller, meet with their respective agents, alternatively, the legal representatives who are authorized to represent either the buyer or seller. On this occasion, the identities of both parties are confirmed as well as the condition of the home.

We make sure that the process of acquiring your new home is safe and smooth so that you can begin your new lifestyle as a new property owner on the Mediterranean’s most sunny island, immediately after you receive the keys to your new home!