Six months on from arriving here, these are my top tips for making a success of moving to Cyprus. Not, I hasten to add, that I have fully implemented all of these! If I had to sum it up though, this is the life for those who want to be a hands-on manager of their own lives.
Honeymoon or holiday, for a few lucky people the joy of being abroad can last a lifetime. Does that make it any less special on a daily basis? I would say, as I watch the sun rise over the Mediterranean each morning from the warmth of my terrace, that yet another day in paradise still feels pretty special.
As I watch the sun rise over the Mediterranean each morning from the warmth of my terrace, yet another day in paradise feels pretty special.
But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to make a success of moving to Cyprus. It won’t just fall into your lap as you sit on your sun lounger; you need to make it happen. So here are my tips.
Wear many hats
Living in Paphos isn’t that much different to living in Peterborough, it’s just a bit sunnier. (Quite a bit sunnier. About 3,300 hours of sunshine each year compared to 1,500 in Peterborough, in case you wondered. So, actually, do make sure you have a few spare hats). But while keeping control of your life feels quite natural in the UK, it all requires more thought in a different culture and language. You won’t take it in your stride as you do in the UK, or necessarily be able to talk your way out of problems. Before you know it your electricity might be turned off and your car impounded. That’s what I would define as an unsuccessful move to Cyprus!
Currency is an area where you will need to get a grip very quickly. Read the Property Buyer’s Guide to Currency. It is written by our partner Smart Currency Exchange, rated “Excellent” on Trustpilot.
One good way of organising your life is to see it like running a business. You need to keep an eye on cash flow and take care of the bottom line, wearing your accountant’s hat. Wearing your building service manager’s hat, ensure that you’re on top of your utilities. That means paying for them on time, keeping them connected and understanding Cyprus’s particular needs. For example, summer can see water shortages. Source a good network of trusted and reliable traders for work.
As transport manager, if you have a car, make sure that the paperwork is up to date, and that it is roadworthy. Check your tyres, oil and water regularly. Conditions in Cyprus can be tough on a car, especially if you’re exploring the island properly in your early days here.
If you haven’t yet, then get a will legally set up. Trust me, your kids will thank you one day.
Buy, don’t rent
Be clear on what you want to do – buy or rent. If renting, ensure that you sign contracts, the rental money is on date and there are no vague areas to worry about. With its lively property market and serious capital growth, however, buying in Cyprus really does make more sense. With property buying made easy by our shared English language and legal system, purchasing your own home in Cyprus is relatively simple too. However, if a bargain sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
With its lively property market and serious capital growth buying in Cyprus really does make more sense.
When looking for property, or indeed anything else in Cyprus, never take no for an answer. For building and repair work, sourcing just the right shade of marble, creating the perfect garden, or getting a mortgage with a better rate of interest, someone here will help you. Ask around.
Good contacts are essential to making a success of moving to Cyprus. I’ve got two apparently opposing pieces of advice here, but bear with me! Firstly, remain as independent as possible and avoid drifting into expat cliques. You know the type, spending too long drinking and gossiping at the 19th hole. On the other hand, don’t shut yourself away. Moving to a new land is your chance for rejuvenation, fresh hobbies, a new outlook in life. So get off the internet; the Daily Mail website comments section can do without you! Take trips, form friends through local organisations and get out there. Life is to be lived.
Inspired? Ready to roll this summer? Then call our friendly Cyprus Resource Team on 020 7898 0549 or email [email protected]. If you are ready to buy we can put you in touch with a currency specialist, lawyer and estate agent.
Okay, you will want the internet. Getting your internet, phone and television connected so you can watch British TV in Cyprus will normalise life and help you settle in. It also means you can establish a means of communication for friends and family (and remember why you moved out here!).
Sort out your paperwork
You are going out on limb, so to speak, when you move abroad. The rewards are amazing, but there are risks too. So insurances do matter. Whether it’s car, house, contents or more importantly health insurance, do your research and get them paid up.
If you are approaching retirement age, check where you stand on the pensions payments and taxes.
If you are approaching retirement age, check where you stand on the pensions payments and taxes, and if you need to clear any paperwork from the UK. Be clear on when you need to get a residence permit in Cyprus (you do if you want to stay on after Brexit). If you need a health check, then take in the local hospitals that offer annual all-in-one check ups to establish if there any underlying problems.
Now, with all that organised, where’s my cocktail and lounger?