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Personal experience: purchase duplex near the sea, Halkidiki

Following the acquisition of property abroad, get to know the country, especially its climate, some owners understand that when you select an object does not pay attention to what you need. Irina from Moscow turned out to be not the exception, proximity to the sea are now it does not seem so important factor, but most of it buying never once regretted. Even with the recent fluctuations ...

Buyer: Nina
Agent: Real Estate Services
Region: Greece, Halkidiki
Object: House (duplex) of 90 sq.m.
Price: € 270,000
Transaction: the primary market, 2008

- Why you have chosen Greece to buy?
I was Thinking of buying a house by the sea, because my parents lived by the sea, and I wanted have a place to rest. My husband and I love to travel around the world, but to buy own house that's another matter. At first I looked offers in other countries on the Mediterranean and Black Sea coastы. In the end, we have chosen Greece. Before we  made a final decision we went on holiday there to try country and to see everything with own eyes.

We liked northern Greece mostly because of mild climate: no sweltering heat, very green. By the way, it also have nice cuisine, its an Orthodox country, which is close to our culture.
- How did you find an agency that helped you to choose and buy a house?
- our friends recommended us.

- And you're not looking on the Internet?
- I look, but somehow did not come across anything interesting. We realized that we need help, we need to consult a specialist. In advance we more or less decided the budget, and according to our requirements the agency found several options. We went  to Greece, Halkidiki to choose house in May 2008.

- What were the requirements for the house?
- We needed a spacious house with three bedrooms within walking distance from the beach. We thought it necessary at that moment. Now I believe that this is not so important. In fact that you anyway need the car there it’s no matter how far from the sea is your house.

- Is Public transport not developed?
- Not really. There are Buses, of course, but due to the schedule they are rare and taxi is expensive, this is a resort area. And it makes no sense to spent all the time on the same beach while there are a huge variety of different beaches: sand and pebble, shadow and open; there are quite deserted, but very beautiful and hard to reach.

- Have you come to Greece just to see houses or to rest?
- Even it was during daughter spring vacations, the the main goal was to chose and purchase the property. We were there about a week and spent three full days looking for houses. Ours was the 12th we saw. We were definitely lucky with realtor, he took into account all of our requirements and finally we found our house.

 - Did you immediately decide to buy it?
- we were Chosen  from two options. The first one is secondary home, the second is from the construction company. My husband and I hesitated for a long time. They were both at the same price range, but the biggest difference was the location. The Resold house was of good quality and fully equipped, the owners were ready to give us all the furniture within the price. But the second house was more comfortable for us and with better location close to the beach, so we have chosen it. Initially, it cost 270,000 euros. At that time the financial crisis began, the market did not immediately react to it, but then we achieved additional discount on equipment and home appliances.

- Did You raise a loan?
- yes, Partly it is under the mortgage. We have bank account in Halkidiki, from which monthly payments are deducted.

- Is it Russian or Greek bank?
- the mortage is from Moscow representative office of Bank of Cyprus, we achieved  about 50% of the value of our home for 11 years. The bank was advised by our realtors.

- To make out a deal as soon as you started in Greece?
- We returned to Moscow and worked with realtors: preparing documents, transfer prepayment, unfortunately, I do not remember the amount. Then we arrived for the second time to Halkidiki to sign the final contact. By the way, in Greece all the transaction is checked by lawyers. They are engaged in the preparation and verification of the primary documents, the history of the property.

- Tell us about your house, what you liked?
- location was the determining factor. From the windows and terraces we can see the beautiful colorful view of the sea and surrounding hills and Athos mounting. Due to the such a background of a nature it’s easy to relax and forget all worries. Not all the resort houses have a panoramic view; somewhere you just see some pieces of landscape in the narrow gaps between the buildings.

Our settlement is unusual: it is built for the holidays and recreation and is not intended for permanent residence. Mainly Greeks bought homes there. The construction company attracted a well known architectural company, so the community is well planned. Houses stand between the hills not in rows but tiers, gradually giving the best possible view to each house.

We have a duplex, that mean that half of the big house belongs to us, and the second half to neighbors. But we actually do not see them often. We have private gardens and entrances, nobody disturbs. Privacy is a big plus for a resident of the metropolis.

- What's the layout of the house?
- We have a non-traditional layout for Greece. My husband says that we have four levels. The house stands on a hillside, so the lower part of the sloping structure. Due to this It turns out that we have two bedrooms downstairs with bathroom, a living room with a large terrace, where we spend a lot of time, dine and entertain guests, a kitchen with two large terraces overlooking the two sides and the top bedroom terrace. House is not big and the bedrooms are small but we don’t spent a lot of time inside.

- did you furnish the house yourself?
- In Greece, you buy the house fully ready; in our case, we also had kitchen furniture, wardrobes. The house was a bit restored as it was built a few years before we bought it. The constructor also presented and installed us all home appliances. In the beginning we bought some stuff in Ikea, and then drove around the city, found a lot of furniture stores and home interiors for different price categories. It is possible to furnish the house totally for the amount of € 5,000 and up to infinity.

- How much costs the expenses of housing?
- For the maintenance of swimming pools, gardens and all the territory we spent about € 1300 per year, all the rest (I mean taxes, utilities  etc) is about € 700 per year.

Interviewed by Catherine Kholodov
Photos provided by the interlocutor

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