Some years ago, when times were good, the exchange rate was acceptable and confidence was high many Brits bought properties abroad. The Sensible Ones followed all the Place In The Sun advice: visited the property and the area regularly, took sensible advice, shopped around and thought it all through very, very carefully. The Less Cautious had a bit of cash in their pockets, saw a property they loved and through a haze of Sangria, Ouzo or other local tipple, slapped down their deposit and followed through the sale with a local agent. The Very Silly were charmed in intensive high-pressure sales pitches by local smoothies into the deal of the year, with non-refundable deposits on properties not built yet.
And then there’s the Moregeous way. Never been to Crete. Never been to Greece. Looked at some photos. Looked at some finishes. Looked at a plan, upside down and picked a flat. A seat of your pants kind of buyer, no surprise there. That’s how I’ve always bought property, gut feeling, instinct, call it what you will, but I’ve trusted my judgement. I don’t think that there is anything more reliable in life than that little voice in your head, your belly or wherever else yours shouts from. The voice which says to you Yes or No even though you don’t really know why. That, coupled with the fact that I absolutely trusted the people who were telling me the place was fantastic, the developers were great and the scheme would be superb, meant we signed up. I’d be hung, drawn and quartered by Amanda Lamb, but the deal was done and there was no turning back.
Pictures started to come through and the development started to look like the computer generated images. Events such as a back knackering car accident conspired to make it impossible for us to visit in 2007 and then the market started to turn. Sorry, did I say turn, I meant collapse! The exchange rate plummeted meaning the apartment was much more expensive, mortgages were nigh on impossible to get, my health was bobbins and income almost zero. Oh dear. Life was not great. But life had to be got through and there was no backing out. Well, not without losing £30k. I had moments of panic but though we wavered, some little voice said Don’t Pull Out.
The developers were monumental. Where lots of builders would have simply mothballed the scheme, they continued, funding the build themselves rather than demand that anxious buyers get impossible mortgages. Their professionalism, dedication to the scheme, attitude to the problems everyone was facing financially and impeccable reputation on Crete ensured that by the time we eventually visited this weekend, we were blown away by the standard of the apartment, the finish and the scheme. Only three weeks to go before the kitchens are in and the pools are filled.
There is more money to find and invest, but a combination of the slipped Pound against the Euro and worldwide lower loan to value ratios on mortgages mean this is unavoidable. However that’s to be offset against it being a good long term investment in a gorgeous location, an amazing bay, with a lovely local town two minutes away and hospitable, welcoming people. And the food, don’t even get me started on the food, I could wax lyrical all day but that’s a whole other blog 🙂
Here are some pictures for you, it’s available for rent from next April btw…..