The House in Crete, Chapter 2

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How everything clicked

I had made another appointment with a real estate agent in advance, Nikos Kasotakis of Euroimmo. It turned out that his son Georgios is working as a construction engineer and after I saw the house and took some photos of it I was able to discuss potential shortcomings with Georgios. Especially one wall, which is suffering from humidity, worried me; after the discussion with Georgios I was pretty sure though that this is a problem which can not only be dealt with – I also knew how and had a good idea about the price tag. I re-negotiated that off the asking price, increasing my gain from the initial 13% to 17%.

After these appointments and a little bit of relaxation we left Crete, but on our way to the Airport we visited the incredible and my ever since lawyer of trust Amalia Makrydaki and equipped her with all required entitlements to completely manage the buying transaction for me. In Greece it is mandatory to do real estate transactions above a certain volume vie a lawyer and I had good luck that Amalia was recommended to me by Nikos.

Testing my patience

She managed everything for me, from opening a bank account over getting a tax number and having the books cleared with a construction engineer and the authorities to the buying transaction itself – including the arrangement of a preliminary purchase agreement which entitled me to use the house before the transaction was completed.

Always friendly, alway patient, always helpful she – and her colleague Despina – made the complete thing an absolute breeze. Even when my patience got tested (the correction of the books took almost nine months) they always took the time to calm me (after all my father’s heritage was at stake). And then, finally, after many iterations over the paperwork, applying corrections on all ends, transferring a huge amount of money to my Greek bank account and watching it disappear I received the information that the transaction got completed and the house was no longer THE house, but MY house 🙂

Amalia and Despina managed not only this transaction, but also the periphery like water and electricity contracts, necessary tax transactions and assisted me with acquiring a resident permit (necessary if you want to officially own a vehicle there).

And ever since …

… I spend every vacation there, in MY house, in my favourite place on my favourite island in my favourite country 🙂

What I do and what I don’t will be subject of another blog post, so stay tuned; only this much should be said that I rarely fail to visit Nikos and Amalia when I am there since they contributed by a large margin to make me a very happy man. And what I really appreciate about both of them is that they manage to make me feel like this in fact also matters to them, too.

The House in Crete, Chapter 1

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How it all began

Ever since I’ve been to Greece the first time in 1986 I wanted to live there. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but this dream was in the back of my head for the last thirty years. In 1986 I visited Thassos and Samothraki with my girlfriend Wiebke and was overwhelmed with the friendliness of the people, the beauty of the nature, the taste of the food and wine and, of course, the warmth of air and sea. I could proceed listing up positive memories here forever, but either you have been there yourself and know what I am talking about or not and then you definitely should close the gap.

After that I spent many holidays in Greece – in Peloponnese, in Samos, in Crete, in Corfu … but Crete was the essence of what I love in Greece and I definitely lost my heart to Plakias in the south cost of Crete.

I don’t remember exactly when it was, but at some point in time I started to research real estate offers in Crete, but without any concrete and real dedication …

How it continued

Early last year my older daughter Lea thought aloud about holidays in Plakias and reminded my of my dream, which at that time was pushed aside by other priorities. When I heard Lea talking Plakias I remembered my old, half forgotten dream and researched once again …

… and BÄM, there it was: My dream house in Myrthios, with a view of the Libyan Sea from the bedroom, and a f f o r d a b l e! The more I thought about it the more I liked the thought of buying it. Unfortunately it was not available any more once I decided to contact the seller one day later, but now my decision was made. The seller was very friendly and provided me contacts of real estate agents in Crete, so I contacted them, made appointments, booked flights for Karin and myself and went there.

Our Trip was a miracle of efficiency and determination. The first appointment with the wonderful Nikos Sartzetakis of Crete Properties4u was a full success. He showed us a small, but absolutely lovely house in the heart of Plakias – close to the Kosmos, but located in a dead end street with no traffic and no walkthrough crowds. Only the price tag was a little steep …

How I did it

I am a pretty security oriented person and always preferred saving the money first and spend only what I have instead of spending borrowed money. But then I pay premium premium for a life insurance which more or less is a bet that I get old enough to use it. Of course I negotiated like a pro and finally managed to push the price down by 13% of the initial offering, making it much more affordable …

I decided to trade in security for fun and after one night of heavy thinking (and calculating) I decided to buy the house and fill the financial gap with the life insurance’s premium which I redirect into mortgage. Hell, you only live once and who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow? Fun now at my age is so much more reasonable than security later!