I Followed My Heart to Paphos | Case Study

I Followed My Heart to Paphos | Case Study

Claire Alderton's partner works for the RAF and his frequent postings to Cyprus was all the encouragement she needed to start house hunting in the Paphos area.

We already know why you chose to look in Cyprus, so what did you buy?

I have visited a lot of the Greek islands, and love the people, the food and the way of life. When I started to look and found the property prices achievable, I came to A Place in the Sun Live at London Olympia and got talking to a variety of agents and developers, and arranged my first viewing trip.

We first looked in the Paralimni region on the other side of the island, but were drawn back to Paphos because of its close proximity to an international airport, the fact that it is a year round destination, and has plenty of my 10 year old daughter to do.

I was actually really surprised at how far my budget (around £20,000) would stretch! We managed to find a studio apartment in Peyia in Paphos which was on the market for just over £18,000. It suits the lock up and leave property that I was looking for. There are amazing sea views from the balcony as well as a communal garden and pool.

One thing that was really important to me was the accessibility of the property for my Mum (I bought a ground floor apartment), as I hope that as she is now retired, she will spend long periods at the apartment when I am not using it.

We don't struggle for things to do either with plenty of local bars and restaurants nearby, plus the beach is a short five minutes' drive away.

How did you find the buying process?

I found the buying process really quite easy but would advise anyone to get everything in writing - there was no real sales contract like we would have in the UK. I insisted on getting things like the fact the parking space was mine and mine alone, in black and white.

Do you have any future plans for your Cypriot home?

I hope that we will gradually spend more time at the apartment as I am lucky enough to have a job that is flexible and enables me to occasionally work from abroad.

I love the fact that I can truly relax, as we know the village and the apartments, and I know that my daughter is going to be safe in the pool and complex rather than the anxiety of heading somewhere new every holiday, wondering if it really is like the brochure.

I decided against letting the property but I do lend it to family and friends for their holidays - my number of 'close friends' has increased accordingly!

We still love to travel to different countries, but for me this will always be where I really feel at ease. I now consider Cyprus as much my home as the UK. I am never happier than relaxing with a fish meze, cold glass of wine in hand, watching the sun set from my balcony.

Did you do much research before buying?

Before buying I made sure I did a lot of research because I didn't want to go into the process without knowing what to expect.

To start with I visited A Place in the Sun Live at London Olympia where I received a lot of good advice about the market and the buying process from the exhibitors I spoke to.

I also used the A Place in the Sun website throughout the whole process to get information about what to check and look out for during the buying process.

I enjoyed it all so much that I'm already looking for my next project in the sun - in fact I have my eye on a camping barn in Portugal!

What advice would you give to people looking in Cyprus and beyond?

Make friends with your new neighbours - mine have been fantastic and have talked me through everything from how to set up an electric account, to whether to buy a car or not

Shop around for flights - I sometimes go from one London airport and come into another as a hopper minibus between the two is a lot cheaper for 3 of us than flights prices to and from a specific airport

Do a budget taking into account how much getting to the UK airport will be, how much it will be getting from the airport at the other end, and cost of bills including communal maintenance charges - and then decide whether the holiday home is really economical

Do thorough research on the internet first, as I had one agent who tried to show me only properties over my budget - but as I had done a lot of research beforehand I was able to question him as to why he wasn't showing me properties that I knew were on his books that were within my range and could name specific ones

Be prepared to walk a little further to amenities for views and a bargain - one agent told me that people don't like buying property more than a 5-10 minute walk from a supermarket and café - mine is 12 minutes when going downhill, 15 when coming back up but has stunning views and was much cheaper than central properties

Take your time buying furniture and household items rather than racing into buying expensive furniture packs - I have had great fun finding local shops and markets and furnishing my apartment differently - although I do love a bit of Ikea and Cyprus has a huge one!

Cypriot buildings aren't made from traditional UK housebuilding materials and can suffer from cracks and damp but there are ways to resolve this but the external walls need more regular upkeep

Bikes and cars are expensive - I bought two cycles on eBay for pennies, and brought them out with us

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