Villas and Country Houses to rent in Crete

Crete Direct and Moving Here - Long-term Rental

The only true way to experience living to live here!
If you are attracted to the idea of living on Crete because you love the island then we suggest you really do live in the culture for a while; get your bearings, understand that it is very different and that life must be approached in a different way. Then you may be ready to move forward and take the commitment to buy a property and live in Crete, founded on a secure knowledge base.
Or not: and if not, then you have kept your capital intact elsewhere.

Many people nowadays are able to contemplate a move to Crete and to invest money in a property but we know from experience it is essential to understand the real way of life on the island and not be dazzled by the seemingly endless days of pure pleasure on the beach in the summertime.
Before the arrival of the economic benefits of tourism, life was hard and although Crete, as part of Greece, is now a mainstream European country there are many remnants of the old ways, particularly in the winter - when it is no longer necessary for the local people to tolerate the excesses of the tourist trade!

The only way to experience living here - is to live here!
  Villa Emilia
Villa Emilia, Drapanias, Kissamos
Long Term Rental is our speciality - partly because it's the way we first came to live on Crete more than seventeen years ago and partly because we see that so many people come to the island who want or need a form of "half-way point" - to try out the idea of living before committing all their money!

There are obviously risks in coming to Crete in the sunshine, seeing the “house of your dreams” and then buying the property - all within a two-week holiday – although apparently some do. A distinguished political and economic journalist and writer on Southern Europe once said to us that one should only invest money in Greece that one could afford to lose. We obviously would not go all the way with this statement but we would remind everyone that Northern Europe it is NOT!

So - rather than take the plunge all in one go, you could consider renting out the house you are in now for a few months and with the income, rent a complete home in Crete for the same period. In this way you could "try before you buy" safely and at little or no cost.

It’s just not enough to sit and listen to the gossip of other expatriates – this is Greece and Greek people and their culture are different! Acting hastily - and falling in love with a particular house too quickly - could lead to repenting at leisure, or even becoming “Trapped Abroad" – at the very least it could mean learning to live with, or to tolerate, the location. The usual indicators we follow in our own country as to whether we like an area or not rarely apply in another country and so it's very important to try the area first - get to know some local people and then slowly begin to commit yourself - or not as the case may be.
  We are not connected to any Real Estate Agent - indeed such things did not exist on Crete until very recently - but we can introduce you to several good new ones and then advise you and point you in the right direction.

We do strongly suggest that you take your time over your decision. In the last few years Real Estate companies have opened in the bigger cities on Crete but they have not really arisen from the culture of the indigenous population. Cretan people very rarely sell a property in order to buy another one.
The sale is almost always to finance the costs of children’s university education or older relative's medical expenses, so there is no real “housing-market” amongst local people.
As and when land was sold it would be arranged through a trusted local person who acted as an intermediary, supported by a notary-public and a solicitor to ensure correct documentation. Land valuation was usually based on an objective yardstick of agricultural value such as the number of olive trees on the property and the income from the likely yield - but was always heavily influenced by the personalities involved and the urgency of the demand for the cash.
In Chania, Rethymnon and Heraklion, new Real Estate companies are opening weekly. They are usually staffed by non-Greek people and almost all sales are made to people from northern
Europe – notably the British.

Many of these new companies specialise in standard-design holiday homes and act as developers as well as agents. Property values are extremely subjective and often seem to be based on comparisons with (say) the Costa Brava than any real connection with Crete. Indeed, as with Spain in the past, what is often being sold is a “place in the sun” and not a home in and part of the culture.

Naturally the maximum profit is extracted from the developer’s transactions at the beginning and since there is as yet no significant resale market accompanied by low real or general property inflation, the opportunity to make a profit over a short period is very limited. Northern Europe it is NOT!

If you decide to buy then please proceed with extreme caution – land disputes are numerous. Greece is one of only two countries in Europe that does not have a national Land Register or Cadastre – the other one is Albania!

An attempt has been made to create one with EU funds but this has ground to a halt and the EU has withdrawn the funding and fined the government – completion is 2015 at the earliest.

As an indication of the potential chaos, according to Athens News recently the pilot assessment of the project brought forth land claims from owners equal to ten times the land mass of Crete!

So to summarise and perhaps with a slight modification to our quote earlier, “you should only invest money in Crete if you do not then need access to it”.

Try before you buy. Live in Crete for a while with no risk.

Our prices are based on monthly inclusive rentals tailored to the period of your stay so please ask us for a specific quotation appropriate to your circumstances. All contracts and payments are made with/to a British company and subject to British law.
We have almost seventeen years experience of living and working in Crete and we are always available to advise and guide wherever we can. It is probable that we can answer all your questions.
Do please email or telephone for an introductory discussion.

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