Buying Land In The Middle Of Nowhere

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Sarah*
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Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:01 am
Location: Rural Rethymno/London

Buying Land In The Middle Of Nowhere

Postby Sarah* » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:39 am

We have a little house in a rural village in Rethymno, half way Rethymno and Plakias, nowhere near the Spili road etc. It's not the utter wilderness, but it's nicely off the beaten track.

The house has no garden or land attached, and we are interested in buying an acre or two to grow grapes, set the children to run wild and so on, but I have no context for how much this might cost, and would rather open conversations with our neighbours to suss out what's available with some idea of price already in mind. We found our house by word of mouth and will almost certainly find a nice field in a similar way. Once people knew we were looking, last time, they came to us. A lot of the village and surrounding land is derelict - granny died 20 years ago and the family lives in Athens sort of thing.

So what might be the going rate for an acre of moderately flattish land, not too rocky, immediately adjacent to a small village in a relatively commercially useless location, with no planning permission or hope thereof?

Huge thanks, as always.

TweetTweet
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Re: Buying Land In The Middle Of Nowhere

Postby TweetTweet » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:59 pm

I would recommend a first port of call would be to your local council/planning office - you may be able to see the current village plan, where the boundaries are and what boundaries *might* be agreed at some point.

If you wish to buy land fairly close by to your current house, and if that land finds itself near or within a certain boundary, then there will be a premium to pay because it is or it is a possible *building plot*.

I have to say that I don't consider Roustiaka to be in the middle of now-where ...actually rather the opposite, it is in the middle everything!

I'm not au fait with what the current minimum land requirement is for building (x,y or z density) (outside of a*village*) - I bought just under 11,00o sq metre (outiside the village) in 1999 for around 32,000 UK pounds. I built my house in this field.

If you only want enough trees to make oil for yourselves then you maybe won't need so much land. If your productive land is some distance from where you live (because that would almost certainly be a less mnoey option), then please factor in the *reality* of actually going to your newly planted (or restored) olive grove...I agree they do almost grow on thier own but to get the best, they need attention,

It maybe also be relevant to understand (generally speaking) that *land* isn't being made anymore.

I hope you find what you think you need; your children will be very lucky to have acess to the atural lifel

Sarah*
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:01 am
Location: Rural Rethymno/London

Re: Buying Land In The Middle Of Nowhere

Postby Sarah* » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:38 pm

Well, it's very central, but it's not the 1st place people choose when buying a house in Crete, at least not if the substantial dereliction in the village is anything to go by!

Yes - I will check out that boundary, because I want to *avoid* that premium, and buy on land that can only be used for farming.

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Buying Land In The Middle Of Nowhere

Postby Kilkis » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:05 pm

As far as I know you only need 4,000 sqm, which is less than 1 acre, to build a house of up to 200 sqm virtually anywhere, subject to forestry commission approval. You can even build two houses up to 100 sqm each on such a plot provided they are joined together. In some cases there is also a zone around a village but outside the village boundary, perhaps 500 m wide, where you only need 2,000 sqm to build up to 200 sqm so, close to the village, it is possible that even quite small plots are potential building plots. Finally, I think that plots that adjoin a community road can be suitable to build up to 100 sqm on a plot as small as 750 sqm. I think you might have to restrict yourself to quite small plots to avoid paying a building premium?

Warwick

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Re: Buying Land In The Middle Of Nowhere

Postby TweetTweet » Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:15 pm

Sarah* wrote:Well, it's very central, but it's not the 1st place people choose when buying a house in Crete, at least not if the substantial dereliction in the village is anything to go by!

Yes - I will check out that boundary, because I want to *avoid* that premium, and buy on land that can only be used for farming.


It may be a logical fallacy for any of us to assume *substantial dereliction* might equal to low or very low value in monetary terms. I know quite a few 40/45 year old Greek men and woman who currently live in places like Athens (because their Cretan parents moved there to feel safer *economically*) who truly yearn to move back to their roots and live the simple life that Cities deny.

Having a foothold in a village (wherever) makes a huge difference and makes the dream viable.

It might be an idea to have a really good scout around to see what condition prevails with your local olive groves; It might be a possibility to find an established (but very neglected) plantation (sadly there are too many all over the island), find the owner and see if they would like you give you a long-term lease ...bringing back neglected trees to optimum production might take 5 years (depending on all sorts of variables). If you chose that route then I think you would be well advised to find a knowledgeable someone to initially bring the trees back to their line (first year) and then do whatever might be necessary the second year ...you would then know all you need to know to look after your olives.

Jeffstclair
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Re: Buying Land In The Middle Of Nowhere

Postby Jeffstclair » Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:43 pm

Yes my advise would be ask around ,get to talk with your fellow villagers and some thing will come your way ..We have bought a few bits of land around our village ...Water is the most important thing to research before you buy anything, without a water supply growing stuff is tricky ,transporting tanks of water out to your garden is a time consuming job ... Some of the agricultural water systems you see here are privately owned by a group of farmers ,so you can't just get hooked up like a domestic supply you have to buy a share in the system and many of them are at capacity ,so no shares are for sale.. In your post you don't talk about olive trees , do you want to have your own? when I was looking to buy some the price was about 150 euros per tree ...so a half strema( 500 square mtr) plot with 6 or 8 mature trees on cost about 900 to 1200 euros... I think the price has fallen a bit since then .... good project very good luck with it ...jeff

Peter W
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Location: Near Spili

Re: Buying Land In The Middle Of Nowhere

Postby Peter W » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:12 pm

Just to add to Warwick's comments, there is a further restriction on building within designated Natura 2000 areas, in 2011 the then Greek government passed a law requiring a minimum plot size of 10,000m2 to build one house in a Natura 2000 area. My own property is situated within a Natura 2000 area but I was able to purchase the 2,500m2 plot and obtain building planning permission before this law was enacted. You can check Natura 2000 areas in Crete on this website:-

http://natura2000.eea.europa.eu/#

Regarding the 'going rate' for land, as I am sure you will discover, the going rate is what the seller believes the land is worth, the asking price is more likely to be based on sentiment or personal circumstances rather than the perceived commercial value you or the seller may place on the land. In my experience much of the uncultivated or abandoned land here has multiple ownership with one or more of the joint owners living on the mainland or in another country, trying to track down the owners is a nightmare, getting them all to agree on a price is nigh on impossible. If you walk around the old town in Rethymno you will see many derelict properties, derelict and un-saleable because one or more of the multiple owners cannot be traced. It's my understanding that the City is now trying to apply the equivalent of compulsory purchase orders on some of these properties so that they may be restored and developed.

I wish you luck in your search for a plot of land, I am sure your policy of asking around the village will soon alert any possible sellers - I was able to identify and purchase an olive grove adjacent to my property in this way. For what it's worth I finally paid less than half the original asking price.

It's perhaps worth repeating the common-sense advice to check thoroughly that the seller does indeed own all of the land they are trying to sell (although this is rarely entirely possible). A year after building my house a dispute arose with a local shepherd who claimed a 10m2 parcel of my land was actually his land. The disputed piece of land was of no consequence to him or to me but for him it was a matter principle, fortunately we were able to settle the matter in the time honoured Cretan tradition, a bottle of Single Malt changed hands, honour was restored and I have a supply of copria for my olive trees.

Peter

Maud
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Re: Buying Land In The Middle Of Nowhere

Postby Maud » Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:34 pm

You beat me to it Peter W. I was also going to mention areas of Natura 2000. Not everyone is aware of the ruling unless one is associated with such a beautiful area. I think you are safe in Roustika Sarah. It is a lovely location but not an area of Natura.

Sarah is talking about growing grapes....rather than olives. Advice has been given here re olive groves, but I am not sure it is what she is looking for.

Land in Greece is measured in Stremma Sarah. - A stremma is 4000 sq m. I thought I would mention this, as if you hear the term it might confuse you! Apart from that, Peter has given you good advice.

Jean
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Re: Buying Land In The Middle Of Nowhere

Postby Jean » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:07 pm

Land in Greece is measured in Stremma Sarah. - A stremma is 4000 sq m.

As far as i know a Stremma is 1000 sq.m

Maud
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Re: Buying Land In The Middle Of Nowhere

Postby Maud » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:59 pm

You are correct Jean. It is 4 stremma you need to build a house on outside of village boundaries. (Apart from Natura 2000 areas, as Peter mentions). I was watching the Six Nations Rugby Championship as I was typing......and not paying attention to what I wrote!

Jeffstclair
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Re: Buying Land In The Middle Of Nowhere

Postby Jeffstclair » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:19 am

From reading the first post I think Sarah wants a bit of land to grow grapes and just enjoy ... not build a house ...so a strema or or two will be fine ....A strema is just about 1/4 of an acre 1000 square meters .....jeff

TweetTweet
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Re: Buying Land In The Middle Of Nowhere

Postby TweetTweet » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:09 am

I apologise - I have no idea why I read "grapes" for "olives"!

Kilkis
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Re: Buying Land In The Middle Of Nowhere

Postby Kilkis » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:29 am

It's not really a question of what Sarah wants the land for, Jeff, it is what the land "could" be used for that determines the price. In the first post she talked about buying "an acre or two". One acre is around 4 stremma, which is typically the amount required to build a house in most areas. Therefore, if she tried to buy an acre or more she is likely to have to pay building land prices virtually wherever the land is located, with some exceptions noted in other posts. She also said she wanted the land to be immediately adjacent to the village where she lives and in some areas that would mean that 0.5 acre might be enough to allow a building so again she might have to pay building land prices. On a plot adjacent to a community road it is even possible that 0.25 acre could be enough to allow a building. Thus what appears to be an untended plot apparently worth nothing could have a significant price attached. For example there is one plot close to me that is 423 sqm and is about 80 % inside the village boundary that is for sale for €30,000. Another plot of 868 sq m that is about 2 % inside the village boundary is for sale for €60,000. Personally I don't see how the second plot could be built on legally but it is still for sale at a building land price.

Sarah is probably going to have to restrict herself to less than 0.5 acre away from the village and any community roads to avoid paying building land prices. Simply checking that it isn't inside the village boundary is not enough.

Warwick

Maud
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Re: Buying Land In The Middle Of Nowhere

Postby Maud » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:50 am

I agree with Warwick. I think the only way Sarah is going to find a reasonably priced piece of land is if she buys a small parcel out of the village. - That way it will be too small to erect a house on, so will not sell for 'building land' prices. The down side will be that it might not be close enough for her to let her children run around in, and have the freedom she wants them to enjoy.....which is another of her wishes.

TweetTweet
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Re: Buying Land In The Middle Of Nowhere

Postby TweetTweet » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:23 pm

Kilkis wrote:It's not really a question of what Sarah wants the land for....
Warwick


Exactly, thank you for putting it to be understandable :D

In the same way that there are likely neglected olive groves, there may also be neglected small vineyards ...have a look around, maybe a long term land rental would be a better option all round, Who knows?

If I was a Greek Παππούς/Γιαγιά and my children were living in Athens/Thessalonik (etc) and they expressed a desire to be back to natural life, I would be happy to make e.g. a 20 year lease on land. For me that could be a win win situation i.e. you get what you want and the land is preserved and enahnced. Unless of course you are of the chemical persuasion?


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