This is my new view. It has to be one of the best views from a house in the world. How I managed to get this view is a bit of a long story, along with some frustrations, some good luck, and an understanding companion who kept her eyes out for a suitable new view.
I Am Not A City Person
While I have not minded visiting and working in cities, I really don’t like living in them; even suburbs of cities I generally dislike. I hate feeling “closed in” and find it almost claustrophobic at times. And while I generally like people, crowds of people are not something I enjoy navigating and never have. In fact, I hate it and feel very uncomfortable.
Anyone who knows Athens and its suburbs will probably know from the above that me stuck there is a recipe for mental psychological disaster. While I very much enjoy my neighbours who have all been very friendly toward me, I also have wanted my own “space” and some room to walk, preferably with some trails nearby. I have been looking to purchase a property in Greece with a house (I am blessed to have been able to purchase a small olive grove about 2 hours north of Athens) but found nothing suitable that I could afford that was still within a commuting distance of Athens. There are houses for sale in parts of Central and Northern Greece that have intrigued me, but too far at this juncture of life, to consider owing up there.
Lucked Out Near Keratea
The psychology of living in Nea Ionia, Attica was starting to really get to me. While there is an olive tree in front of the house, there is no room to seriously grow other vegetables, or be able to sit outside in peace and privacy. A couple of things I very much “need” to thrive, or at least feel a potential of thriving. So, we backed off the idea of purchasing something and looked around at possible rental opportunities. But I do have an aversion to giving money to someone else and not investing that into my own assets that I might be able to pass on to my own descendants some day – that has been a very important idea for me for some years.
Several houses for rent were discovered that were quite interesting. At first, I was mildly interested in this property, which consists of a house about 107 m2 (about 1100 square feet – according to the real estate agent, but I think it’s a bit smaller than that inside). It had a small garden – and while the plot size was reasonable enough at about a 1/4 acre, much of that is taken up by a garage and pavement.
I was really interested in something more with some land that I could get my hands dirty and grow things. But we agreed to see the place, and had appointments to see some other places as well.
When we arrived, got out of the car, and looked around, we both let out a big “Wow!” as we took in the scenery. No, the house and plot was not exactly what we wanted – and a light bigger house with an additional room would have been nice so that if any of my sons wanted to visit, it would be easy to make room. But that view, and the fact the house was very bright, in very good shape (that’s a big plus here in Greece), and a common sense of “this is an inspiring place” lead us to pursue the rental possibility.
We did have another visit later in the afternoon to a house with a plot of about 2 acres of land, but the house was uninspiring and the rent not much cheaper.
We also had an appointment for the next day to look at a house with 2 acres of land – but after much discussion, we cancelled it and asked to meet with the owners of the house in Keratea.
A Great Real Estate Agent
The person we dealt with at Pan Stegastiki was just awesome! A breath of fresh air she was! Her communication was wonderful and we knew she was looking out for not only our interests, but the interests of the owner of the house as well. I was very impressed after my previous experiences with real estate agents in Greece.
This house held much interest by other potential renters, and so for whatever reasons, the real estate agent, us, and the owners of this house just seemed to “click” and I feel quite blessed and thankful that we were able to make things come together, even while others were also expressing an interest.
A Big Problem – Internet Access?
A bump came up a few days after we were sure this house with it’s amazing view, nice garden, and airy bright spaces would be ours for awhile. Was there internet access? We discovered the house had never had internet land line service! This would be a big problem for me. After much research, we discovered that Cosmote, my mobile provider here in Greece has come out with a new data plan that includes unlimited mobile data for 55 Euros a month. And to be honest, if the mobile internet worked at the house, this would be perfect for me, as I often will spend 20 Euros a month on mobile data, while also paying 37 Euros for the landline based internet connectivity in Nea Ionia.
So, we drove to the house that night, to check the mobile connectivity. We could not get inside, but tested at the side of the road in front – and while it was not super fast, it was fast enough.
We think we have that bump covered…
In Front Of The House Is Not The Same As Inside….
On Saturday, we drove back to the house to make the final arrangements – but to be sure, I took along my laptop and my mobile phone to test download and upload speeds via the mobile internet connection. My heart sank at first, as my phone could pick up no internet signal inside the house in the main large room.
I took my phone outside and set it on a ledge near the road, and the net connection came in…. not as fast as what I’d like, but it was fast enough for my needs.
But unknown to me, our awesome real estate agent had also been doing some research and having discussions with the owner. We ended up being able to make a great deal on the costs of getting the internet landline installed – and apparently, if the local “mayor” is to be believed it, Cosmote/Ote are actually obliged to install it at their own costs. But whatever the case, whether I have to adjust where my phone is to pick up mobile data and tether to my PC and/or laptop in the meantime, all is great.
The house is in great shape, but could use a fresh coat of paint along with some nails in the walls that need to be removed and some small holes filled, to make it look almost perfect. So today, Sunday, we spent the day filling a few holes, repairing some minor issues, and then priming the main big room and ceiling. To be honest, i could have got a lot more work done, but that view just interrupted me so many times, and it was fascinating to watch the colours change as the day progressed and the sun changed position in the sky.
And watching the ships in the distance ply their way through the Aegean Sea and the staight, just 800 metres away, between the mainland and the island of Makronisos.
Over the next few days, as time and travel permits, I’ll get much more done, and hopefully by the end of the week, can fully move in. And yes, on the fact of me doing the painting, the new landlord was also very accommodating in regard to the rental terms.
I’ll be looking forward to creating an actual office space inside the house, while also having the privilege of taking my laptop outside to work in the warmer months, while enjoying a breath taking view that includes the colours changing as the sun traverses the sky. Expect lots of photographs and photographic experiments!