Hi myself and my partner are wanting to relocate to Crete in the next year or two . We are wondering what things we will have to think about?
Cost of renting for 12 months… what legal things would need to be in place… how much to sort… bring pets… extra luggage… water/gas/electric/wifi… car rental/purchase/insuranxe/tax…
Costs to purchase a property , is there any barganing on prices of property? Or is it price stated.
And anything else we might need to consider before we move.
Many thanks in advance
Your mind is probably buzzing with a 1,001 things and ideas. My first 10 random Thoughts:
1. Very important. This is not just a move to another part of your home country. Leave your UK mindset in the UK, it works better that way if you intend to stay for a long time. BTW, Greece is not Spain where there are so many ghetto communities of Brits. Greece overall is very different in that regard.
2. You will be always a guest of the Greeks in their country. Forget what the EU says about equal this and that as it plays out in everyday life. It is not like UK where the Government seemingly treats everyone the same. It is subtle but it is always an undercurrent. In Greece, the locals are hospitable folk no doubt but be circumspect when some are overly friendly.
3. Let me say again, leave your UK (assuming you are from UK) concept of how things should get done behind, have an open mind. Greek culture and attitudes are not the same as UK.
4. Jealousy is one weakness of your future hosts. It is a national trait. It does not affect just interaction with foreign residents but across the strata of society.
5. Forget any ideas of using a cheque book (if you still have one). Also, opening new bank accounts is unforgiving due to EU money laundering regulations and big brother (not just the tax man) wanting to share in our lives as though it is their god-given right. Cash is still king, although the government is fighting hard to become a cashless society.
6. Expect to make very dramatic changes in your life especially if you need to be employed. Working for Greek employers for instance is very challenging …. I won’t say more.
7. There is no property price index as there is in the rest of Europe. Greece is getting there, but not yet. All prices are negotiable. Most Greeks need money. Cash in this country is king. If the Greeks don’t trust each other in transactions, why should foreigners be any different. Greece is getting better since the 2008 financial crisis erupted, but be smart when it comes to finance.
8. Get to know other foreigners and your neighbours well and get a good feel for the language. English is in wide use but don’t take it for granted.
9. Don’t try to be smart and cut corners. Invariably it will cost more in the long run to take that approach. Always get good advice on whatever you plan to achieve.
10. I love it here. But it can be tough especially if before retirement. Buy hey, the weather is much better than Northern Europe. The sun shines much more than it doesn’t. That is a great start to anyone dreaming of living in Crete. Fresh start and fresh directions. There are opportunities in Crete, you have to seek them out and be proactive.
So those are very personal viewpoints but based on my experiences over a number of years. By the way, ‘flexibility’ is another good word, compared to ‘rigidity’ in UK. Cretans are very creative at finding solutions.