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‘Air Madness’ A New Condition affecting Air Travellers and its Simple Cure

Hectic lifestyles, rising house prices, heavy taxation, poor schooling, nonsensical ‘political correctness’, and the British weather have led at times to nearly 200,000 Britons a year moving overseas. Analysts predict that the exodus is set to continue, as the UK’s ageing population means there are more retirees able to move abroad and the growth in budget airlines makes it cheaper to get to Europe and the Mediterranean. And why not? Sunshine for 340 days a year and average winter temperatures never less than 60 deg Fahrenheit ensures good health and better fitness. Property potentially at half prices, compared with the UK, with the chance to have capital available from the U.K. house sale, and lower prices, all mean a better standard of living.

However, for those actually buying property, what percentage of these people purchase a home that they are truly happy with in the long run, i.e. a home that is not besieged with structural, regulatory, geographical or financial problems? And what actually prevents them from achieving a ‘happy home’ purchase? The answer can be revealed.

During the plane journey to sunnier climes, people seem to suffer from an emerging new condition called ‘Air Madness’. This debilitating syndrome strips the human brain of all the rational and logical thought processes that people go through when purchasing a property in the UK. Buying overseas makes people settle for a sub-standard residence, albeit in a warmer climate. People in the U.K. would not settle for an un-insulated, uneconomical, damp property, that does not conform to basic Building Regulations, and without a proper Freehold Title, so why do they do this abroad?

Russell Wilson, Managing Director of RJ Eco Homes and Royal Bay Oroklini, a property development in Cyprus, has been in the property business for over 15 years and has diagnosed this condition:

‘Warm weather, coupled with a two hour or more plane journey, experiencing the effect of high altitude / cabin pressurisation, extreme tiredness, and possibly partaking of an alcoholic drink or two, seems to contribute to a new type of psychological / behavioural condition which we can call ‘Air Madness’. What other possible explanation can there be?

Let us compare ‘the traveller’s’ thought processes pre-flight and post-flight.

  • Pre-flight, Mr Sensible’s U.K. Property Purchase Actions:
  • Takes on average two to three months from agreeing the purchase to moving in thus ensuring particular attention to detail.
  • Thorough survey and valuation completed, finance arranged, full legal proceedings undertaken with a tried and tested legal jurisdiction.
  • Checked that all the planning permission has been granted and that building regulation requirements have been met.
  • Proper professional advice sought.

Post Flight, suffering from ‘Air Madness’ at Mediterranean / European Destination Property Purchase Actions:

  • Viewing to Signing can be as little as 7 days so prone to mistakes.
  • Property inspected that looks attractive and possibly with sea or mountain views that give a ‘false sense of euphoria’. The buyer then overlooks / dismisses the fact that the property is built with ‘medieval’, out of date, structural concrete and single layer clay brick poor quality construction methods.
  • Properties bought that are prone to damp, subsidence, structural cracks and cost a fortune to heat in the winter or for air conditioning in the summer?
  • No structural survey or valuation completed or assessment of the area when out of season.
  • No adherence to the due legal process pertaining to property purchase, with some Countries property laws being an open invitation for dishonest sellers to exploit a foreign buyer's ignorance. Dreams become nightmares.

Why such a remarkable difference in house purchase behaviour, from the pre-flight sensible, cautious, safe, protective mode to the post-flight total abandonment of everything that is logical, rational, and accepted as good practice? The answer; ‘Air Madness’ a temporary and debilitating effect on the air traveller’s thought processes. The consequences of trying to buy property whilst suffering from this; Despair at the realisation of the losses of many thousands / hundreds of thousands of pounds, frustration and anger whilst you cope with dealing with intransigent foreign laws, lawyers and court systems, and mental anguish and agony coping with the impact on the relationships with your partner, family, and friends.

Avoiding ‘Air Madness’ is relatively simple, says Russell Wilson, as long as the discerning purchaser sticks to the basic rules:

  • What is the construction method? Avoid Single clay brick walls in structural concrete which are prone to cracks, internal condensation, and the houses are too hot inside in Summer and freezing in the Winter. Properties built like this will certainly fail U.K. and E.U. Building Regulations.
  • Does the Developer offer a ‘follow up’ service for at least 12 months? Can you get verbal confirmation of this from other buyers?
  • Position is all. Be practical. Top of a mountain, built on the side of a hillside may give excellent views but are prone to subsidence and cracking. Avoid farms or factories nearby. The unusual, unique position may appeal to you but try and sell? The best test of buying is ‘can I sell this property easily’?
  • How do I pay? Up front is fraught with danger and has a high probability of financial loss. Try and find ‘key ready’ (built and ready to move in immediately) properties. Walking through a completed property has a 100% better feel than trying to imagine a property from an ‘off-plan’ sketch.
  • Is the Plot a Freehold Plot and can the Title be transferred to you?
  • Use a lawyer that is independent. All legal documents must have verified full English translations. Use a U.K. lawyer if you need to check on procedure.
  • It is an extra cost but a full survey and valuation is a must. Use professionals recommended by Banks, Lawyers, or Accountants.
  • The Developer can be invaluable in setting up banking facilities and residence permits. Use the Bank that you are comfortable with.
  • Most Developers will be open to deals if the purchase is relatively straightforward with a reduced completion time. Try and negotiate.
  • Look at Countries that are stable and have a tried and tested property ownership system with freehold Title and robust property laws. Cyprus is an excellent example where many core systems such as those concerning property law and Freehold Title have a U.K. derivation.

It is estimated that nearly a fifth of people who move abroad regret their choice of property decision within the first year for a number of reasons. However, by applying the same approach to buying property abroad that you would to buying in the UK, ‘Air Madness’ can be avoided and your move abroad will end up being a sound and successful one.

Russell Wilson is a Director of RJ Eco Homes Ltd that develop 5 Star Award Winning properties overseas but primarily for the U.K. and European market with high specification energy efficient building methods.

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