Re: Living in Cyprus
Most areas are fine in Cyprus, though I'd try and avoid the typical tourist areas (Ayia Napa, Paphos etc). They tend to be more costly and very quiet in the winter months.
My family has settled in a village halfway between Ayia Napa and Larnaca. This gives us the best of both worlds. Ayia Napa in the summer months for cheap beer and lots for the kids to do and Larnaca for the working/business side of life. Village life is good too. Its nice getting to know the locals, the shops and the restaurants.
Please don't be fooled into thinking that you can come to Cyprus and live the village life without the "Brits". We thought that we could do that. We were very much mistaken. We needed the British community more that we thought. So, location is a very important part of buying here, if you want to live with British neighbours then Oroklini is probably your best bet, if not, try the surrounding villages (I can only speak for the east side of the Island). Paralimini is also a good area to try, athough unless you start your own business, travelling to work in Larnaca or Nicosia will be cumburesome
As for schools, we opted for private English schooling for our 5 year old. We were going to send her to a local greek school, but decided against it incase we ever need to return to the UK. My daughter goes to the American Academy in Larnaca. I can highly recommend it. They appointed a new head teacher last year and is making excellant changes to the school. Hannah has come on leaps and bounds, and absolutely loves it. The fees aren't too bad, they range from £1100 in Pre Junior (Primary 1) to just under £2k for Grade 6 (Primary 7) per year. They follow the English circumulm and most of the teachers are English (some returned Cypriots i.e people who left around 1974 and have come back). The atmosphere in the play ground in the mornings is fantastic. There seems to be alot more of a community feeling to schooling here. The PTA are very active within the school and there are monthly events.
Estate agents. What I would recommend you do, is to come over, drive around, decide on an area you like, look at some of the developement that you may consider and find the developer yourself. Try and deal direct with them, cut out the agent. You wouldn't believe how much they add on top of the developers house cost. Put your money into getting yourself a good solicitor instead. This will save you a fortune in the long run. I can recommend one if your interested in the Larnaca area.
There's loads more I could tell you about moving here, pro's and con's, so please feel free to fire as many questions at me as you like. I wish I had of before we moved.