Personal experience: buying old house for re-construction with land plot in Halkidiki
Buyer: a family from Moscow
Region: Greece, Halkidiki neighborhood of Gerakini
Object: a house of 150 square meters. m. with land of 4500m2
Price: € 270000
The deal: buying in the secondary market, summer 2011
Before we purchased a home in Halkidiki, we have never been in Greece. But once, on the Real Estate exhibition we were called out by old friend my husband - Natalia Kovaleva. We got talking. It turned out she has Real Estate Agency in Greece. Natasha invited us to come and see Greece. We agreed. And this decision changed our lives.
Visiting Halkidiki for once, I fell in love forever. There's an amazing, incredibly beautiful nature. There is not so many people in Greece during season like in France or Italy, where is no place to park the car and all the beaches are overcrowded ... But here, in Halkidiki you can always find a small empty bay. Well, the price, of course was the second reason ... In Greece, the prices are much lower than in France and Italy. We, for example, bought a beautiful house old house near the sea with a large garden of 4500m2 for just € 270 thousand ... In Italy and France for the same money you can find just a small apartment. We are very emotional people and buying a home in Halkidiki was an impulsive decision. But in the end we were very satisfied.
Search. Select. Decision
It was not at all easy to find our dream home. First, we checked a lot of offers on the newly-built houses market, but none of the buildings we were not ideal for us. First of all, they did not have big gardens, but we for sure would like to have it. Secondly, the quality of construction of many houses did not meet our expectations. Third, the layout and location of these objects seemed to us uncomfortable. For example, in the primary market there were a lot of connected (detached) houses ... But to live there you have to be ready to live with neighbors, but we wanted our private space. In the end, we realized that we needed to see old, nice houses with a big garden, located near the sea and in good transport accessibility to the airport. We must pay tribute to our agent. Previously the agency was not engaged with the secondary market, but especially for us, they quickly found a suitable option. As soon as we saw the house, the son said, "Mom, this is our place." I was extremely impressed with ancient olive grove planted around the mansion.
This area cannot be called a super prestigious. The local beauty is simple and natural. Generally, in Greece there are different types of real estate. You can find a rural house, located in solitude away from civilization, as if as you can purchase a luxury villa in the fashionable resort of Sany with developed infrastructure. The main thing is to decide what you are looking for... As for the deal itself, it was quick and seamlessly. All legal issues were held by experts of real estate agency. Plus we did not get permission to buy a house from Ministry of Defense of Greece. When we made the deal, this requirement had been already canceled, while earlier the process of buying property in Greece can extend over six-nine months due to this permission.
Repair. Construction. Recreation
In my opinion, It’s better to buy the house on the secondary market here. In this segment you can find some very interesting offers for the very suitable price: the old, but the quality buildings are often cheaper than undeveloped land. For example, for a house, which is about 20 years with big garden with grown up trees and palms we paid € 270 thousand, while our friends were offered to buy land for construction for € 400 thousand. The old house is always the option to be restored with your own taste, and the result will be better than in the new building. We did repair slowly, a year we spent to complete our beautiful garden, but now all around are envy with us)). We are good friends with our neighbors. Generally Greeks are very open and helpful people: they are always happy to help, give and advice.
As for recreation and holidays in Greece; of course Halkidiki is not the French Riviera. Here, everything is easier and simpler here. I guess no one would dress in outfits from famous fashion brands to go to a nearby tavern. Although, there are huge opportunities for recreation and life. Just imagine: you wake up early in the morning, take a husband, a son, a dog and go for a walk along the endless beach. You can go for a long time: here we have 11-km beach, and around is just the sea, the sun, the mountains, the olive trees ... and no noisy tourist that will spoil this impression.
Local restaurants have very quality, simple and good eco food: it is not as sophisticated as in France, but very tasty, cooked from the freshest ingredients. Well, you can always get in the car and go travel around Greece and Europe - the roads here are comfortable, ferry boats network is very developed, air flights from Thessaloniki can allow you to travel cheaply to any country in Europe, let say for the weekend. But the main thing for us is that this country has a soul. It is simple, clean and free. And it is impossible not to feel this.