Allen and Leonie Salter from Abingdon in Oxfordshire bought a five-bedroom new-build villa (below) in western Crete in July 2016. With their two children, 17 and 24, they have loved holidaying in Greece year after year. But here Allen explains why paying for a lawyer gave them peace of mind.
“We’d holidayed a lot in Kefalonia for many years but after a while, we found that the quality of the villas we were hiring was falling, and we couldn’t get the standard we wanted for within our budget. The only way to find a villa that we wanted to keep returning to was to buy our own! ” he says.
“It had to be Greece naturally, but we felt that buying on a larger island would be prudent - Crete was the best option as it is a large, self-sufficient island with its own economy, good infrastructure. We found the agent Caversham Barnes through Google and arranged a meeting with Said Marie, the owner. We decided we wanted a new villa as we like clean, modern styles, with low upkeep issues and an easy to maintain the garden. We do not want to rent out our holiday home, so it is important to keep running costs down.
“We bought a five-bedroom villa on the Litsarda Villas development [current prices from €395,000].” The exclusive nine-villa development is set within a four-acre site, a couple of minutes’ walk from the small village of Litsarda and just over a mile away from the larger village of Vamos. The sandy beaches of Almirida, Kalives and Georgioupolis are about 10 minutes’ drive away. Chania airport is 35 minutes away and Heraklion airport is 75 minutes.
“We were lucky to find Said as we felt completely confident in that he was the right person to help us and in what he was offering us. He was very patient as we had to sell a property in the UK first to pay [cash] for it and in the end, the whole process took a year,” adds Allen.
“Are we nervous about investing in Greece? No, because we did our research and took our time and didn’t feel pressurised into buying something quickly - we know someone else who bought something instantly and has lived to regret it. We also went through the correct legal channels [not everyone does in Greece] and by doing this, felt reassured in the big step we were about to take. We spent around €5,000 on legal fees but if we have done everything the correct way in purchasing, then we have got peace of mind.”
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