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Seasonal Houses & Preparation for Occupation

18 June 2017

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Seasonal Houses & Preparation for Occupation

People are quite happy to pay several hundred thousand euro in buying a property, but very little maintenance, especially those with common expenses with the “curse” of non-payment. Those who do not bother to pay any attention on this routine maintenance will cost you several times more in the months to come (in addition in keeping one’s asset marketable)

As the summer season comes closer and closer so the owners’ visits will increase. It is not advisable that you pay a visit in order to check if everything is okay the last minute.

Usually things that are wrong after a somewhat protracted absence are:

  • The electricity goes down and food in the fridge must be then thrown away and of course replaced.

  • The air conditioning does not work and needs a service/repair.

  • The garden is left unattended even if you employ a season gardener.

  • White goods such as dishwasher, cloth washer needs a thorough check, so that you do not get surprises.

  • If you have an alarm system make sure that it works – this should be done periodically anyway.

  • The much-loved barbecue equipment is working(?) – battery goes flat, unused equipment get stack etc.

  • If you have a pool, one should protect it through a cover in order to save in running costs (it can become costly both in electricity and chemicals consumption) and it will need 10 days or so to bring it back to working condition with “sparkling” water.

Reasonable as you might think, very few people bother to have their home prepared expecting that everything is okay. What is unfortunate is that if something goes wrong, technicians are nowhere to be found during the summer season, especially during the months of July-September, whereas their charges are at the peak. So, in addition to the routine maintenance, you should budget either for your own time and or for others as a budget for €200-€300 depending on how unlucky you are and how often you keep an eye on your property.

People are quite happy to pay several hundred thousand euro in buying a property, but very little maintenance, especially those with common expenses with the “curse” of non-payment. Those who do not bother to pay any attention on this routine maintenance will cost you several times more in the months to come (in addition in keeping one’s asset marketable). What is also important to note is having a correct insurance. Properties which are left unoccupied for a period of more than 30 days (unless there is a special proviso in the insurance contract) have automatically their insurance cancelled. Also, if your property catches fire from the surrounding bushes, is again uninsured, unless you refer to your cover with a special clause.

Properties which are near the beach due to humidity require an increased maintenance and you will ascertain that metal frames get destroyed in 2-4 years’ time weakening the house resistance to burglary etc.

It will not be unreasonable to suggest a maintenance cost of around ±1/2/‰ p.a. – e.g. a house worth €300.000 = €1.500 of €500.000 €2.500 p.a. etc, depending of course on the standard of maintenance that one wishes to keep his property. Our own special concern is the maintenance of the multi-level projects of a high cost and how those will be maintained. It takes a couple of units to be runned down causing a reduced demand, whereas rude neighbours and misbehaviour causes all sorts of other problems in cohabitation.

In certain projects, there is a fixed period of maintenance that one owner can carry out-rarely adhered to mind you, but good in theory since the constant noise and interruption of people working at all times is limited.

All buildings upon completion start requiring upkeep, but more often than not after a couple of years due to the non-workable common expenses law they fall apart (as an estimate around 20%-25% of the buildings fail in their common expenses, reducing their value). We, in Cyprus, consider that buildings over 30 years old as being “old”, whereas if we are to compare the same with abroad, there is no age limit, keeping one’s investment steady (due to their good maintenance).

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