Ultimate Guide to buy property in North Cyprus
After Sicily and Sardinia, Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Cyprus is located only 70 kilometers south of Turkey. Island has been divided in two parts after 1974.The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC, Turkish Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti) is our focus. if you are considering to buy property in North Cyprus, we prepared a guild to help you make up your mind.
Why buy property in North Cyprus?
The answer to this question is very simple. North Cyprus is the perfect place for investment or living. In recent years, there has been an increase in number of foreigners that buy a property in North Cyprus.
As it expected from a Mediterranean island, North Cyprus has clear sea with around 300 days of sunshine. You can enjoy Beautiful beaches, historical sites, delicious cuisine, vibrant night life, clean air and untouched nature to mention few. Besides, North Cyprus is one of the safest countries in the world with low crime rate. Any hour of the day or night you can see people enjoying their time outdoor and indoor.
As an investment point of view, North Cyprus has a very good Potential. The economy is small but growing fast with different investment opportunities. In addition, the return time for an investment is relatively fast. Domestic economy growth for North Cyprus in 2014 was %4.9 and increasing which promises a bright future.
Nowadays, many of construction companies insure to rent your property after finishing the project. The property prices are reasonable in comparison with other European countries. For example, you can buy a brand new two bedrooms apartment with sea view for less than £70,000 which is completely reasonable.
Is it safe to buy property in North Cyprus?
There have been some questions regarding if buying a property in North Cyprus is safe. The short answer is YES. The concern about buying property in North Cyprus comes from confusion around title deeds. There has been dispute between Turkish Cypriots (North) and Greek Cypriots (South) part. This conflict separate the island into two parts from 1974 which results in refugees from both side leave their properties and move to the other side.
Both sides’ refuges left lands and properties behind. Therefore, before buying any land or property in North Cyprus you have to make sure the title deed of the land is free of any claim. If you need more help with tittle deeds, the best insurance is to hire a lawyer to check the deed for any legal problems or claims. There is four formats for Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) freehold titles.
This title refers to property or land owned by a Turkish Cypriot before 1974.
Land or property owned by a foreign national (i.e. non Turkish Cypriot) before 1974. These titles are recognized internationally.
Property or land of a Turkish Cypriot in North Cyprus that has been given instead the property or land he/she has in South Cyprus before 1974. As the process goes, government evaluate the value of the property or land that had been left behind to change the right to their property in South Cyprus.
After 1974, there were some land that given to Turkish Cypriots for military or government service, or to Turkish settlers to support economic growth in areas of North Cyprus.
What are the steps to take for buying a property?
Step1: Choose your motive
First thing you need to decide is your motive. If you want to invest by buying a property, you have to study the market to know about the best deals and areas. If you are want a peaceful place to live or spend your vacation, you can search for properties in more relaxing neighborhoods. So, to choose the best property for you, firstly you have to decide what is your goal.
Step2: Choose the Type of property
Everyone has an image of their dream house. After studying all the possibilities and different options, you need to decide which type of property you want to buy. There are a lots of options available in North Cyprus including apartment, penthouse, duplex, villa, and house. Whatever is your type, you have a good selection of properties available in cities or suburbs.
Step3: Choose the location
The next thing you need to decide is where you want your property. Depend on 2 previous steps, you need the select the location of your property. You can choose from vibrant cities like Lefkosa, Girne and Famagusta or beautiful suburbs such as Catalkoy, Karsiyaka, Alsancak, and Iskele.
Step4: Check out tittle deed
After deciding on the property, you need to check the tittle deed. As mentioned before, you need to be cautious about the real ownership of the property. You have to be sure the title deed is free of any claims or legal issues. You can ask for help from a local consultant since it can be confusing.
Step5: Check out the seller’s background
Whether you buy your property from a local owner or construction companies, you can check their backgrounds. In case of companies, you can search online about their last projects. Check their website and learn about their previous work. Read reviews of other buyers and their experience with the company and quality of service.
Step6: Hire a consultant
As we explained, the legal process and tittle deed can be confusing especially for a foreigner since the forms and documents are in a different language. Therefor the best thing to do after choosing your property is to hire a consultant or lawyer. The role of an attorney is to help you go through the process. They can confirm the title deeds, apply for the permits, handle your legal affairs in your absence and secure the contract of sale that is in your best interest.
Step7: Book a visit to North Cyprus
There are lots of online resources to help you make up your mind and decide about your future property. However, the best thing to do is to visit North Cyprus and see the property. You find the opportunity to see the neighborhood, talk to locals and be sure you choose the right property. Many construction companies provide three day free tour of their projects to give you opportunity to check the properties in order to inspect and make the necessary changes (use callback service and reserve your 3 days tour).
Step8: Choose your Payment method
You need to determine your budget first. Getting mortgages in North Cyprus is extremely difficult. However, lots of companies in the island provide affordable payment plan that suit you best. You can pay in installments and you have the chance to set the times in your best interest. Normally, payments are annually up to the finishing time.
Step9: Sign the sale contract
Most of the construction companies in North Cyprus have a standard contract for signing. You or your attorney can review and arrange the necessary changes for any clues to secure your best interests. Be sure that this contract include property details, property’s identifications , title deed, payment schedule, floor plans, government site plan of the land and completion date. Buyer can sign the contract if he/she is in North Cyprus or assigned lawyer can sign it on your behalf.
Step10: Keep the payment plan
Buyers and sellers are expected to follow outlined payments in the contract. You can make payment by cash and bank transfer. Down payment should be paid within two weeks after reserve the property. Also, there are some other costs comes after you finish paying for the property including stamp duty price, V.A.T which is %5 of the property price and transfer tax which is %3 of the property price that you are required to pay within one month.
What should I know about North Cyprus Districts?
Kyrenia (Girne / Keryneia)
Kyrenia is the heart of entertainment of North Cyprus because of all the clubs, casinos, beautiful beaches and quality restaurants. In the suburbs of Kyrenia there are some interesting choices of entertainment like ice-skating rink, retro-cinema and horse riding schools.
Nicosia (Lefkoşa / Lefkosia)
Lefkosa city is the capital of North Cyprus. Lefkosa is the financial heart of North Cyprus with biggest companies in the market. In addition, lots of governmental buildings are located in this city.
Famagusta (Mağusa / Ammochostos)
Famagusta is a unique city. It is the home to the biggest educational organization in North Cyprus which is Eastern Mediterranean University. Eastern Mediterranean University has 20,000 students from 206 different countries. Therefore, there are lots of cultural diversity which make this area interesting. Also Famagusta is full of historical sites for tourists to explore.
Useful Information about North Cyprus
Regardless of the country, there are always some information that come in handy when you visit somewhere for the first time. Here are some other information about North Cyprus that might help you know this beautiful island better.
North Cyprus’ rainy winter starts from December to February with coldest temperature being between 7 to 15 °C. Summers are hot and dry in North Cyprus with 35 to 40 °C which starts mid-May and ends mid-October. Fall and spring are short and very mild in North Cyprus.
Language and Currency
The official language in North Cyprus is Turkish. English language is used because of the vibrant and diverse population. The most used currencies are US Dollar, Pound sterling and Euro besides the official currency which is Turkish Lira.
Electricity and Water
North Cyprus electricity output is 240V using British style three rectangular pinned outlets. Water in the pipes comes from tankers which installed individually for every house.
Expenses can be different based on your life style however, North Cyprus is a cheaper country in comparison with UK and most of the European countries, USA, Canada and Australia. The main money will be spend on bills (electricity, water and gas) and house rent.
When you come to North Cyprus for work or live as a foreigner, you should apply for a permit. The Temporary Visitors Permit from the Police Station/Immigration Department will be issued after taking some steps including filling several forms, taking medical test and etc. Normally, full Permanent Residency Permit will be issued when you have been resident of North Cyprus for five years.
to sum up, North Cyprus is a beautiful and friendly island. It has untouched nature with many unique wildlife and plants. it’s stunning scenery and welcoming people makes North Cyprus an amazing place to live in. This wonderful island is a part of heaven on earth. If you look for a calm and safe place, North Cyprus is suitable for you and your family.