Just like everyone else, having viewed umpteen TV programmes, read numerous forums and blogs, my wife and I had spent several months on deciding just where we were going to make our permanent home once we decided to leave the UK.
Having decided on Northern Cyprus, the first part of the research was to visit a couple of times, which we did in November 2006 and January 2007, to check out various locations and get a feel of what a TRNC winter was like.
As we were going to live there permanently, the checklist we drew up for a property was somewhat different to buying a holiday home or rental property.
In addition to a quality build we needed usable living space, adequate storage and in view of the weather experienced in January, certainly somewhere with a fire place and central heating to supplement the air-conditioning.
Also it had to be new, but already built and awaiting immediate occupation, with all the utilities connected.
We didn’t know when drawing up the checklist just what a specific wish-list we had created. I know from years of working for a major UK financial institution that the next part of the research would involve finding the kind of expertise paramount in reaching the right decision when making a property purchase, if the widely publicised pitfalls were to be avoided.
Estate Agents were never my favourite people in the UK and like most others had viewed them as a necessary parasite in the always costly exercise of property purchase. Having done the homework on half a dozen agents based in and around Kyrenia, it was time to bite the bullet and see what they had to offer.
On our third trip to Northern Cyprus in late February, we actually viewed over 40 properties with five agents, in all.
Some had excellent English, but had little local knowledge other than where other Brits hung out, some ignored our requirements completely and simply pushed the properties obviously on their priority list, others ignored our budget requirements and some did not have any suitable properties at all, but still chose to waste our time until we called a halt.
Our first visit to the offices of Henry Charles encountered the kind of busy professionalism I could relate to. I was introduced to Asif Hayat, who immediately went to work in defining what it was we were looking for, established our timescales and promised to collect us the next morning. In presenting his initial list of eight properties he also identified where a degree of compromise might be needed on our part.
This was useful because it enabled us to immediately dismiss viewing a couple of the properties. At the end of each viewing he requested feedback and noted our comments, favourable and otherwise. With the initial list exhausted Asif suggested we expand the area we had chosen around Kyrenia, and the first property on the second day in Lapta scored an 8 on our checklist, compared to the other 5’s and 6’s.
We had one other property which had similarly scored highly with another agent and asked for time to think things over. Later that afternoon we telephoned Asif again and asked to view the Lapta villa again which he promptly arranged.
Having decided to purchase, the next day Asif explained in detail the processes involved and introduced us to the Developer, who have a number of completed projects around the Kyrenia district. A quick visit to their other sites demonstrated the standard of construction not achieved in many other villas we had viewed. We explained we had chosen our own solicitor and having completed the initial documentation we paid a nominal deposit.
Asif at Henry Charles has subsequently acted on our behalves on numerous occasions with a prompt, unbiased and persistent approach in mediating with the Developer to ensure all the snagging issues have been completed timely and to our satisfaction. In addition he has proved invaluable in sorting many but minor issues which have cropped up as my wife and I have shuttled between the UK and Northern Cyprus.
He has certainly provided the kind of customer service I am accustomed to, and through his personal involvement has certainly made the whole property purchase process much less painful and stress free in what the experts tell us can often be a considerable ordeal.
Terry & Jara Thackrah
Henry Charles offers a very professional service from their modern and spacious office in Kyrenia. We were first attracted to the company when we visited Kyrenia on holidays last year. We saw their name advertised outside beautiful villas and apartments in the lovely area of North Cyprus. When we visited their offices, which are prominently located on the ring road in Kyrenia we were immediately made welcome by Mr. Asif Hayat, Henry Charles sales manager. We immediately felt at ease as Asif, who has both excellent English and Turkish Cypriot language, could also convey our ideas to other members of staff. Our two young boys were looked after by staff while we reviewed numerous of offers on their displays. Although it was high season we were allowed plenty of time to review properties. We were brought to the location and provided with all necessary set ails and purchased an apartmen nearby. We chose North Cyprus because of the friendly and warm people, excellent value, and beautiful climate, very safe and un-spoilt regions.
Henry Charles provides a service that goes beyond the sale of the property. They provide regular update on the progress of the development, liaise with building contractor and recommend legal advice. After evaluating other estate agents in the area we were delighted to have made the correct choice of property and Selling Agent. We know they are expanding rapidly and wish them every future success.
Republic of Ireland
My wife and I purchased a property through Henry Charles this year ,the service provided was excellent ,we were particularly very happy with Gonul who was very helpful and was at hand to reassure us with any questions we had, she put us at ease from beginning to the end of the purchase.
We would certainly recommend Henry Charles for anyone wishing to purchase a property we could not fault them in any way for their professional service.
James & Linda Doherty
Devon , England
We visited TRNC for the first time in June 2008. The main reason for our visit was to view some properties and get a feel for the place to see if we would be comfortable buying a holiday home there. We booked our holiday ourselves although we did agree for a company to show us around once we were there - we wanted to make our own arrangements because we had heard stories about being pressured when you allow a company to subsidise your trip!
Anyway, we saw pretty much the whole of the TRNC and we fell in love with it and it’s people. The properties we were viewing were all off plan and show homes but we soon realised that this was not ideal for us as we were concerned about establishing a garden etc. So, at the beggining of our second week, my husband decided to call in at one of the Estate Agents in the town and he met Gonul Caqlar at the Henry Charles Estates. She was lovely from the moment he walked in. She listened to what he was saying and took on board his comments. There were loads of properties for sale at Henry Charles but instead of trying to get us to veiw too many, she only suggested two properties and arrange for us to visit them that very day.
The first one was a bungalow with a roof terrace, in a quiet spot which over looked the beach. It had everything we had been wanting including steps down into the pool instead of just a ladder! The people selling were an English couple and gave us loads of helpful information. It was perfect for us, exactly what we were looking for and it was being sold fully furnished as well. Gonul certainly knew what she was doing, she had listened to what we wanted and found us the perfect place within hours of us first meeting her. We fell in love with the place but it was a little more money than we had planned to spend, so we decided to look at the second property she had arranged.
Gonul was so patient with us. She knew that the bungalow was everything we wanted but she didn’t push us in any way, She advised us in everything she could but never once did she make us feel pressured. She was great, she took us back a number of times to look at the bungalow that week and by the time we were leaving the TRNC, we had managed to raise the extra finances, put in an offer, and had it accepted. We were thrilled!
We thought that our help from Gonul would stop there, after all she had sold us the property and usually that is the end of that! But not with her, she is such a helpful, lovely person, she was in touch with us by email, keeping us up to date with how things were going, there were a few complications with our contracts and it did drag on for a while but she never got tired of helping us and keeping us informed - the sellers decided not to use a solicitor so she really was our main contact for them. From July to October, she was in constant contact with us and she was there to hand over the keys when we took possession of our holiday home in October.
We would recoment Gonul and Henry Charles to anyone considering buying in the TRNC. We realise that Gonul cannot possibly serve every person who walks through the door, but from our experience of the other staff members at Henry Charles, you cannot go wrong. Of course Gonul would have to be our favourite, but everyone we spoke to was as helpful and lovely. Even now, we have had the property for a few months, she is still in contact with us now and again just to say hi! It really is lovely. Like most people, we did our homework about buying abroad, we had heard lots of bad things about buying in the TRNC but from our experience, you would be hard pressed to find nicer, more helpful people anywhere, and of course, the prices are still very competetive with perfect weather for most of the year, what more could you want!
If we ever decide to sell, or even change our holiday home, we would deffinately be using Henry Charles Estates!"
Peter and Donna Foulds
I have been looking to buy a holiday house for me and my family since Sept 2010. I couldn`t manage to find my dream holiday home until come to Henry Charles Estates. I am very impressed with their professional service. They have managed to find my dream holiday home straightaway. Me and my family are very happy with our holiday home and I would like to thank you very much to Henry Charles Estates Team for their professional service. I
Alaykoy, Lefkosa June 2011
Me and my wife were in a position earlier this year to consider investing in property for the purposal of rental. The prospect of looking was quite daunting but with the help of Gonul from Henry Charles made the job very easy for us. They provided us with a very professional and helpful service which we are grateful to them for and will not hesitate to use Henry Charles Estate again in the future.
Girne April 2011
I have contacted Henry Charles Estates through their website. The house I was interested in was not really what I was looking for, Pelin Omer was very friendly and she invited me back to her office to discuss my requirements further. She kept in constant contact with me and the first property she showed me was exactly what I was looking for. My family and I have been living in our new home for 3 months and couldn’t be happier.
Pelin has been very helpful to me from start to finish. I recommend Henry Charles estates to all my friends and family without any hesitation.
I have been searching to buy an aparment for myself to live in since 2009. I have been in touch with many estate agent but couldnt find anyhting interesting. I have contacted Henry Charles Estetes view thir for sale boards to ask about the flat where the for sale sign was. That flat was nice but it was well over my budget. Gonul from Henry Charles estates was very friendly on the phone and has invited me her office to show me the more other options matches my requirements. I did and took them only two days to find me the right property. I wished I have had gone them before as I wasted so much time to find my dream apartment. I am very happy with my new property and I would like to thank you very much to Gonul and Henry Charles team for their professinal service and care in me.
Girne, March 2011
I have sold two properties using Henry Charles Estates and from the moment you instruct them to sell your property you just sit back and watch the professional team take over, no stress involved. If only the agents in England were friendly.
Mr. Rustem, July 2011