I am now at the final stages of selling my beautiful home on Crete. I was in the fortunate position of buying it as a second home 15 years ago, off plan, as a cash buyer. The costs then were fully explained to me.
I have used it over the years as I wished, never having rented it out, though my nephew and his three boys, as they grew up, have all had wonderful holidays there since they were tiny babies. All perfected their swimming skills in my pool. Since the death of my husband in 2012 I have been lucky enough to spend most of each summer there alone. I have some great neighbours and friends, not all Brits, and have always said I have a better social life there than in UK.
Sadly, age is making me re think the situation along with the increasing costs of maintenance. There is also the worry of anything happening to me and my nephews, who would inherit it, having to sort things out should I myself die. I know of two properties still in limbo after three years because of the legal complexity of getting inheritance matters sorted out. I do not wish my family to suffer a similar nightmare!
Yes there are expenses selling. Agents fees, Notary and Lawyers fees and legalisation which I carried out when the first reviews were announced some years ago and more recently, complications involving plot dimensions caused by my builder. He fortunately paid for the major part of the substantial costs involved and has done for all of the seven properties involved. There are also other minor expenses, which in the event I do not consider to be a problem. My main gripe is the fact I shall have Capital Gains Tax to pay since my main residence remains in UK. This will be a substantial bill! People have said to me perhaps there will be a way around it, however, I am not prepared to take any chances and will declare things fully. I was advised by a neighbour who is an accountant not to take any chances since HMRC now have very sophisticated software. Of course when we were required to obtain tax declarations from HMRC in UK to support our Nil tax situation in Greece they also became aware I have a property outside of UK.
Despite all of this I am not upset. Even after all the costs are paid I have lost nothing over the years of ownership. I will not be out of pocket from an investment point of view. Having kept the house in good order I have found Dutch buyers who have said they will love the place as much as I have in their forthcoming retirement. From a personal point of view I have so many happy memories, and of course sad ones too, to look back on. Naturally I dread the way I will feel when I close my gate for the final time. For me the fact I have been fortunate enough to fulfil a long held dream and spend so much time in a place I loved is priceless.