Since 1991, when the Cretan property market was opened to European citizens, the most popular property market has been the old stone houses, (until then Crete was considered as border area, so buying property was not aloud to non-Greeks). Still today, traditional homes haven’t lost their popularity regardless of the rising modernism… Here are 5 reasons why this happens :
The stone houses always held their high position in the Greek property market, due to their competitive purchase price. Habitable or not, the final cost, both for the purchase and renovation work, ends to be about 30% lower total investment, in comparison to buying a modern villa or a maisonette of of similar size and location.
The old stone houses are mostly situated in the main core of the traditional Cretan villages and old towns. Thus their residents enjoy the unique experience of living in a backstreet of a village or the historical old town of Rethymno or Chania for example, along with the locals and sharing the unique of its kind, every day neighborhood life. A perfect way to enjoy that kind of atmosphere and the benefits, nature sounds, smells of the local kitchen the fresh country side air and the peaceful life conditions, it graciously offers to it’s inhabitants, as there are no traffic jam, stressful rythms and multi-flored new-built buildings around, spoiling the peace of traditional environment..
3)Traditional Cretan architecture
Stone is an original, natural material allowing “breathing” to a house and the 40-50cm wide walls offer a perfect, natural insulation to it. Cretan architecture was always harmonically adjusted to the natural environment of the island. In traditional Cretan architecture, we meet multiple elements of the architectural practice, having it’s origin from pre-historical times of the Minoans, the legendary Knossos palace and the vaulted tombs. Crete, Being the meeting point of the west and the orient preserving more elements from the Venetian period and the ottoman time on the island. These features have survived though out the centuries, to the present day, within the local traditional architecture. The indoor arches, outdoor and semi-outdoor spaces, lofts, small openings, the south-eastern orientation, were features of ancient Greek architecture as a heritage preserved in modern times.
4)Unique village life
The famous Cretan hospitality, the participation in local activities and events of the village, the daily coexistence with the inhabitants of the village, and the feeling of solidarity, care and friendship, can be a unique life experience for anyone from the stressful, western style way of living. The feeling of security and the non-existed crime rate allows you to sleep, in the hot summer nights ,with your window wide open, enjoying the northern breeze , called “Meltemi”. It also offers the potential of growing your own vegetable garden and enjoy the home made Creta nutrition benefits, which is considered to be among the healthiest globally, based on the pure high quality olive oil. There are many examples of people from different parts of Europe who bought a house in the village and were embraced by locals and actively participate the daily life of the local society, joining the local people in their good and bad moments, and experiencing feelings that are only on Crete to find.
5)Investment as a resale or rental house
An old, uninhabited stone village house, in most cases comes on the property market at a low asking price. The low cost for a property which normally consistsnot only of the main structure of the stone building, but in many occations, it comprises a large plot for garden area, makes the investment worthy. Working along with local architects and civil engineers, as well as organized local building companies, allow you to keep low budget and restoration costs under control. Finally purchasing an old stone house, can become a great investment , both as resale or tourism rental residence, which is a rapidly rising economy sector and offers income opportunities, especially in a place like Crete, offering in average 310 sunny days a year .