Building a home in Greece
Part 1, buying the landNot everyone looking for property in Greece wants to buy an existing house. Increasingly, buyers are considering buying a plot of land and building their own. It means getting the home to their own design and specification. There is a huge selection of land available in Greece, and there really is a plot for everyone, regardless of views, surroundings or budget.
Contrary to many people’s ideas, building regulations are very strict in Greece. But they are also very specific. If the plot of land you choose complies with requirements for the issue of a building licence, then you will get your licence. In contrast, in the UK you can apply for a licence and your application might or might not be approved. Or you might be asked to change your plans and re-apply. So in many ways the Greek system is easier to work with.
Part 2: the designMost people building a property in Greece already have a general idea of the style and design they would like. But how will your ideas fit this region of Greece, this plot and the way you will be using the property? These are the matters you will need discuss with an architect or engineer, to see how your ideas can translate onto the plot you have chosen. They will also be able to tell you if they will stay within the planning regulations.
Not everyone has a fixed idea. Maybe you haven’t really thought past buying your plot. Now you are starting to think of exactly what your ideal home should be.
Part 3: builders!For the next phase, many engineers have their own building teams. For a seamless process it might be easier to work with one of these. You will have the ear of your engineer throughout the process, and he or she may also act as project manager. This could add to the costs of the build but may well be worth it for peace of mind.
Away from the big cities there are no really large building chains. It’s more common to find smaller building teams, put together by local developers and concentrating on one area. Your agent can usually recommend several of these companies and it’s worth having initial discussions with more than one.
Part 4: the building procesGreece is an earthquake zone therefore all new buildings are built with very strong foundations, even though the house is a two storey house the foundations and supports are built to a minimum specification of four storey equivalent. This is done to an exact method that allows the house to move with the earthquake to withstand very strong quakes.
The first time a building inspector comes is after the foundations are finished, when he signs off that you can go forward and complete the rest of the house.
Part 5: the end result!Greece’s sights and sounds draw you in from the moment you arrive: dazzling, whitewashed buildings along tree-lined promenades, the iconic Parthenon standing proud above the bustle of the capital, grizzled old fishermen tending nets along the waterfront, the bright colors of produce in the farmers’ markets, and the bleating of goats on the outskirts of an age-old village.
Greece isn’t just about sun, sand, ouzo, and centuries-old temples. This country also boasts lively ski resorts, world-class dining, ample wildlife (including wild dolphins, loggerhead turtles, bears, wolves, badgers and monk seals), and enough forests, lakes and canyons to keep even the keenest hiker busy for decades. City-lovers will have their hands full too, with ample museums, cafés, and stroll-worthy cobblestoned streets to explore.
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