An Old House? A True Story...
A few short years ago a holidaymaker arrived on Crete on a fortnights air-charter holiday.  He had no intention of buying property.  He had purchased an ancient village house in serious need of renovation for 125 thousand pounds sterling before he left.  The house was worth maybe 10,000 pounds.  By all accounts he wasn't a lunatic, on drink or drugs, or property speculating.  He had 'fallen in love' with Crete and wanted to live here.  Believe it or not it is still happening, even to my friends, who should, having seen my place, know better!  So just what is it that makes apparently normal, drink and drug free, possibly sane adults part with large sums of cash to live in a foreign country where they can't even speak the language, thousands of miles away from their usual abode and in a culture of which their experience is probably a little less than 14 days?  Shirley Valentine?

The sensible answer is cold, wet, over-taxed, overworked, over-stressed, ripped off and most importantly, over there, Britain.  The goal would seem to be to keep it "over there" for as long as possible.  Is it real? Can it be true?  The answers are 'no' and 'no'.  No, the real reason is Shirley Valentine.

Falling for Crete, the land or the people, or maybe both, is easy.  Both it and they are lovable.  Getting up after a fall can be mentally and physically exhausting, very expensive financially and may well see you back in Britain, out of work and out of home.  Don't jump!  Crete has been here since before the Minoans, it will certainly wait for you.  And any house salesman who tells you otherwise is a certain comic.  Go home, think about it.  Talk to friends and relatives.  Read everything you can about your place in the sun - both good and bad.  Think about a timeshare.  Wait six months.  Wait a year.  Come back for another look and if you are still convinced you want to live here then get some solid information. The Greek Embassy in London and the British Consul in Iraklion are good sources.  Start right!

If you are still convinced then read on.

A place to live...
So how about this?  Quiet mountain village overlooking the sea.  Krevatina with grape vine on the left and, isn't that your own fig tree on the right - is this where Adam got his leaf?  Looks sound.......
...................Or This?
Obviously needs smartening up but on the whole looks a sound proposition.  A bit of a garden with an almond tree.  OK, so maybe it won't look the same with the car outside.  Build a garage in the garden, or....
May be this is the one!
You could open the bricked-up window, the flat roof could become a balcony.  The door in the second story at the back there would lead right onto it.   and it does have it`s own garage.
Well, yes....  But maybe no?...  Derelict village houses can be found almost everywhere in Crete.  Almost everywhere in Greece in fact.  There are so many and many so full of character, Venetian arches and the like, that finding yours can feel like seeking the proverbial needle in a haystack.  I believe that the best way in practice is to start with holiday accommodation, and hire a car or even take a taxi for a day.  Tour the area you are interested in. Take a few pictures or even a bit of video footage to look at later.  Local tavernas are often sources of information on property for sale - but don't stop and buy one.  Not yet anyway...  At Roxanni's taverna in Afrata a local guy recently offered me a house at a half million drachmae less than one of his neighbours had a bit earlier.  For only 7 thousand pounds.  It had so many drawbacks that I just had to resist, but as a property for two weeks holiday a year?  Maybe....  Be warned though, when I asked where the toilet was arms were waved vaguely in the direction of a house opposite!  OK if you know the neighbours.  Once you have an idea about what you might like, follow a few simple rules.
Lets have a look at a few more houses - much better than endless advice...   Click here

Preparing a Deal

Following a few simple rules can take a lot of stress and strain from your position, both before and after you have bought.  The excitement of buying your dream can seriously cloud your judgment so try, without guarantees, this prescription.

  • Open an account with a Greek bank.

  • Get Yourself a lawyer.

  • An accountant.

  • An Architect.

  • An Agent if you need one.

These people do not cost the earth.  They can save you considerable sums of money, smooth your route through local bureaucracy and prevent small misunderstandings and minor problems becoming serious.  They can also keep the sharks from causing you serious hassle; sleepless nights; leaking bank balances and much unhappiness, which may ruin your dream for good.  But still make you pay for it.