Crete Article 2

House Hunter: 'Is it easy to buy a house in Greece?'
Charlotte and Adam Carter want to buy a property on one of the larger islands in Greece. They have a budget of £80,000


Oonagh and Cassie Karanjia find the right property for you
Published : 16 July 2003


islands in Greece. They have a budget of £80,000
Oonagh and Cassie Karanjia find the right property for you
Published : 16 July 2003

THE PROBLEM

"We've been thinking for some time of buying a property abroad. We wanted to buy in France but, as prices have risen along with the strength of the euro, we've now decided to look further afield and are considering Greece.

"We would prefer to be based on an island but would also like to be where there is good infrastructure, especially healthcare. We've spent many happy holidays on the larger islands such as Corfu, Rhodes and Crete and think that one of these may be ideal. We don't want to be too close to the more spoilt parts of these islands and would like some rural isolation, yet hopefully be near a village where we can get supplies, go to tavernas and meet the locals.

"We are unsure as to how much we need to spend but we want a fairly small property, preferably with some land. We prefer an older style, but don't want to spend more than £80,000.

"We don't mind some renovation but would like to know how easy this would be and also is the house-buying process straightforward? We also need to know what the transport links are like out of season as we hope to spend time there in the winter. Can you please give us some advice on how to find estate agents, preferably English speaking, as we don't speak much Greek, yet!"

THREE PROPERTIES FOR CHARLOTTE AND ADAM TO VIEW

Property one: House in Galipe.

Price: £80,700.

Agent: Crete Property Consultants, 020-7681 6054.

Agent's details: This is a large restored house with central heating, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Outside there are two large courtyards and the owner is willing to negotiate on price.

Property two: Renovated village house in Agia Fotia.

Price: £54,000.

Agent: Crete Property Consultants (as before).

Agent's details: Renovated village house on two floors. The lower ground has an open plan kitchen/living room, bathroom, a single bedroom with fireplace plus another small room which could be another single bedroom or utility room. The ground floor is currently one big room but it is possible to turn it into two double bedrooms. There is a terrace at the back with sea views and a pergola. The property is ready to move into.

Property three: Stone house in Vouves.

Price: £44,000.

Agent: Crete Property Consultants.

Agent's details: This is an old stone corner house in the traditional Cretan village of Vouves. It is about 130sqm and has a plot size of 300sqm. It needs complete modernisation and is 5km from the sea. On the ground floor is a kitchen and two rooms; external stairs lead two rooms on the large upper floor. There is an underground water tank, two courtyards, a small upper terrace and off-street parking.

OONAGH AND CASSIE'S ADVICE

"The buying process in Crete is very straightforward as you can be introduced to English-speaking lawyers and notary publics in all areas. Where there are older properties belonging to more than one owner the purchase time can take longer but it usually takes approximately two months.
"Crete Property Consultants have been in business for 11 years and have three offices in Crete. Viewings can be arranged all year round and we make frequent six-weekly trips to the island to view properties. We are also holding an exhibition at the Courtyard Marriott, Ipswich on 13 and 14 September where anyone can learn more about the island and the pros and cons of living there.

"In all the areas in which we offer properties for renovation we can also offer English speaking back-up of architects and builders if Charlotte and Adam decide to renovate an old house.

"During the season, which is from the end of March to the end October, direct charter flights fly to Crete from many UK airports. Out of season it is necessary to change plane in the new Athens airport, built for the forthcoming Olympics, but it is now all in one terminal now so it's an easy transfer.

"British Airways and Olympic Airways fly all year round with a connecting flight to Crete. There is also the possibility of several low cost airlines such as Easyjet who fly daily to Athens all year round.

"There are many excellent hospitals and dentists in all the towns on Crete, and clinic facilities in all the larger villages. The roads are very good and there is also an efficient bus service.

"We've picked a selection of properties which may suit Adam and Charlotte in three different villages. Property one is in the tiny, traditional village of Galipe, which is 20 minutes' drive south-east of Heraklion. From here it is just a 10-minute drive to the beach and a 20-minute drive to shopping, banks, etc.

"Property two lies in Agia Fotia, an unspoilt traditional village that has two tavernas and is about one kilometre from the sea and three kilometres from the town of Sitia but is surrounded by beautiful countryside.

"The last house is in Vouves, a traditional Cretan village - again, with beautiful countryside and a small taverna and café."

Oonagh and Cassie Karanjia are agents for Crete Property Consultants: 020-7328 1829. http:/ / www.creteproperty.co.uk/ 

THE VERDICT

"These three properties all sound intriguing, and Cassie and Oonagh have given us some great suggestions for where to find little traditional villages that we are definitely going to try to explore on our next visit later this year.

"As for the properties themselves, they all sound like distinct possibles but, for us, the location will be more important than the house and that will ultimately determine our decision.

"Property one, the three-bedroom house in Galipe looks wonderful. We love the idea of the two courtyards - and it could even come in at under our budget if the owner drops the price."
 

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