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Kidbrooke woman's warning after nine-year Cyprus home nightmare
A KIDBROOKE woman is warning others about the dangers of buying homes abroad after her Cyprus dream turned into a nine-year ordeal that has so far cost her £62,000 along with her marriage.
Made redundant in 2004, Janice McDermott decided to invest in a holiday home in Kyrenia, northern Cyprus, after visiting a friend who had done the same.
She went through the same estate agent, found a builder to start work and set the wheels in motion, re-mortgaging her home, paying a £500 deposit, £31,100 after signing a contract and a further £30,600 nine months later.
The 51-year-old said: "I was so happy with my purchase and so in love with my then boyfriend that I was truly on top of the world.
"But what I did not know was that this was just the beginning of my nightmare."
Hold-ups meant construction took far longer than the initial two-year estimate.
In 2008 she went to register the property but translation problems meant she filled out the wrong form.
To make matters worse, a legal dispute between the builder and landowners delayed things for a further three years.
Now the property is finally nearly finished but the landowners are denying any knowledge of Ms McDermott and other purchasers, who are being forced to pay more money to go through the court system and claim what's theirs.
Ms McDermott said: "I have nine years left to pay on my mortgage so this is how long I will have to pay for my mistake.
I want to make other people aware of the property situation out there so others do not make the same mistake as me.
"The financial strain on the marriage was just to much for my husband to bear and we have now been separated for three years."
She said: "There are many more victims like me out there with so many different stories which saddens me even more.
"There are British people who have lost all their life savings."
She has signed a petition calling for the government to clamp down on the problem. Visit the website to sign.
A Facebook support group called Free Legal Advice North Cyprus has also been set up.
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