Hi everyone and thanks for reading - hope I don't bore you too much. My mind is all over the place (could be hormones as I am pregnant and emotional)
I'm about to go and secure a fixed rate 5 year deal tomorrow at our bank on our current mortgage on our house in the UK - its a good deal (considering) and I really should do this as stability for our family which is my husband, myself and my 2 and a half year old son along with the unborn baby.
If I get this deal it means there will be no room for saving for our dream place in Corfu - my husband thinks that at the rate we are going we will clear our mortgage in approx 10 years and then it will be 'our turn' and that it will happen but the prices are really shooting up in Corfu unbelievably so - I don't know what to do ...................
Should I have 2 mortgages - one in Corfu and one here over a long period of time or as my husband says - we are lucky enough to be able to afford to go to Corfu several times a year and pay off the house sooner. I should think of the stability of my family first but I am so tied to Corfu that I am on this website several times a day given the chance.
I was lucky enough to call Corfu my home in the summers of '99, '00 and '01 when I lived in Ipsos - it was in 2000 that I met my husband in Shooters - we both love the Island and really want a place there to call our own - should we keep playing the lottery and hope - I don't know
Sorry if I've rambled but tomorrow is D-day for the fixed rate.
Message posted by LouiseJames on 17†March†2008 at 8:28pm - IP Logged
Much as I would hate to squash anyones dreams, and I do feel for you - I dream of a place in Corfu too, my advice (for what its worth) would be to secure your future in the UK first and have a long term plan to buy in Corfu - will ther be enough in your kitty for holidays in the meantime ? I think you would also find life different over there with two young children, so keep dreaming and planning but enjoy your babies whilst they are young too and don't wish your or their life away to much!!
Message posted by Ray and Gisela on 17†March†2008 at 9:09pm - IP Logged
I didn't actually mean that we would be up sticks and leaving the UK totally - it would be a second home a home from home - I would live in UK with Kids and husband and bring them up here (I could not do that to my parents - they don't fly - mum has once but dad never will) I would like a base in Corfu and to spend as much time there as possible.
I spent 3 summers in Corfu when I was younger and I had the most amazing time - I was in Ipsos and have a lot of friends in Spartillas and Barbati - I just want a place to call my own - it doesn't have to be big or anything - just a base really.
How sad I've just been sobbing to my husband about it - luckily he understands the old pregnancy hormones that are out of control.
Message posted by maggy on 17†March†2008 at 10:08pm - IP Logged
Louise,cherish the good times you had in Corfu in the past,but don't try and recapture them!Live for today and all the good things ahead of you.Your UK mortgage will be paid off in the twinkling of an eye,and before you know it your dreams of Corfu might start to come to fruition,but don't be too focused on that one dream,as other dreams might be missed.
Ooo I do remember hormones in pregnancy - awful things!
The thought of having 2 young children and 2 mortgages makes me shiver. Owning property isn't the be all and end all. As your husband says, with only the one mortgage you can pay it off more quickly and still afford to spend plenty of time in Corfu. If you have 2 mortgages you risk twice as much financially (not to mention your sanity).
You're worried about the property prices rising in Corfu. I suppose they are increasing a little, the cost of building materials have certainly risen. But having lived here for a year or so now I can't say that they've really shot up. Property here is, in reality, worth what the vendor will take for it. I know that sounds silly, but in the UK you can say that, for instance, one 3 bed semi in any given area is worth much the same as the next. Here it can be very different. 3 years ago we bought an old 2 bed cottage. Earlier this year we bought another 2 bed cottage, 100metres away from our existing one, with similar floorspace, facilities and in similar condition, and paid around 1/3rd of the price we paid for the first one!
When the time is right, you will find your corner of Corfu if that is what you still want by then. In the meantime my advice is get your existing mortgage paid up asap, enjoy motherhood (and believe me, having 2 children is a whole different ball game - just the one is childsplay by comparison!), have some wonderful holidays and don't put yourselves through more stress than you need to!
Good luck with the new addition to the family, and the fixed rate!
Off course it will, someday be your turn, if that is your dream. However I think that at present you will be best to spend your money clearing your morgage, you are not wanting to re locate at present and can find locally many property's to rent for 'precious time in Corfu' either through a TO or through finding your own. However if you find you do have money available I would suggest you buy land with a view to building or selling in the future. We bought our land about 4 years ago at a very good price, land of the same size and in the same area had tripled! So you really cannot go wrong. We have had our house built on it and last week moved here.
Message posted by emma8370 on 18†March†2008 at 1:24am - IP Logged
Have you ever heard of an Offset Mortgage. You have a savings account attached to the mortgage which helps to offset the interest on the mortgage and may pay it off quicker. If you are saving for a place on Corfu you maybe able to kill two birds with one stone so to speak. When the mortgage is over you will still have your savings for the place on Corfu - just a thought an in no way to be taken as any financial advice :-) just have a look around and get a Mortgage Adviser at a Building Society to tell you more about Offset Mortgages.
17 years ago we were offered land to build on the island which ay the time seemed a dream...
our kids were growing up and monet was tight ,and we kept saying ,, welle do it when we get older..
we have now done it , and god do we realise we should have done it 17 years ago weve missed so much time we could have had their .we had holidays to exotic far away places Australia /Thailand /India etc and looking back altho we had wonderful times that money we had spent would have bought our dream 17 years ago ..
But I can pontificate all day about what we have now but I only wish when we had the first thought about it we had done it..
But we all learn by our "youthful" experiences
Good luck with what ever you decide theres still time for a week maybe?
Message posted by Terry and Julia on 18†March†2008 at 9:43am - IP Logged
It would only have bought your dream 17 years ago had you had the cash then. If as you say "things were tight," you would have been unlikely to get a mortgage either - even if that were possible then.
Louise, good luck with your mortgage today. As so many others have said, secure your future here. Now is not a particularly good time to buy on Corfu anyway unless you can afford to. Prices have gone up and the value of sterling is poor.
Your time will come, I just don't think it is here yet and more importantly, I think you know it isn't, which, hormones aside, is probably why you are upset.
Enjoy your time with your babies, it is very special and will be all the nicer for not overburdening yourselves financially.
Message posted by LouiseJames on 18†March†2008 at 10:48am - IP Logged
Hi Louise, good luck for today and the signing of your mortgage. Don't forget the upside-now the mortgage is fixed for 5 years you are able to budget your finances knowing you won't incurr any increases and plan all your great holidays to Corfu. Things change all the time, and who knows in a couple of years circumstances might change again to bring your dream forward! Michelle
Message posted by kerkyra on 18†March†2008 at 12:37pm - IP Logged
We took out a 20 year Pep mortgage,(paying a little into the pep and the interest off the mortgage), we had this for 8 years then changed to an offset mortgage where all of you savings/pay go into the same account to bring the term down.
Next month we are in the position to pay off the mortgage, we will have to use the savings in the account and the pep, but will then be able to put the money we pay for the mortgage and pep back into a savings account.
I would recommend an offset mortgage, but only if you have money left from your wages at the end of the month, it has saved us a lot in interest and we will soon be in a position to have a decent deposit for a property in Corfu.
We are still going to get a euro mortgage on the property we buy, but we are lucky enough to be in our thirty's so have plenty of time to pay it off.
Best wishes on whatever you do.
Message posted by 2Tonsils on 18†March†2008 at 4:25pm - IP Logged
Greek mortgages can be found that you can take out till you are eighty years old, so you have lots of time! Enjoy your family.
Corfu has changed a lot since you were here, and you may find some of the changes disappointing. Staying here full time or for long periods of time is very different from spending time here as a tourist or short term visitor.
Message posted by LouiseJames on 18†March†2008 at 8:07pm - IP Logged
Good news about Greek mortgages my husband (James) is a youngster at 29 so we should be good for a few years yet then. And when the time is right for us we will buy a place
I know its changed a lot and I've changed a lot too - I'm no longer the 'party girl' down on Ipsos strip out 7 nights a week from May until October. I have a family now and like the quieter resort of Barbati just around the corner - Ipsos will always have a place in my heart - I even said to my husband (this was before I fell pregnant this time) would he mind if I met up with my old TO boss and had a night out down there 'just for old times sake' - however me being pregnant has put paid to that along with the horse riding in Korikiana!
I loved spending my 3 summer seasons in Corfu - I didn't feel like a tourist then it was great - I used to get a bus into Corfu town to 'Aroni' and get my nails done every other week and then sit and enjoy a drink in San Rocco Square while waiting for the afternoon bus back to Ipsos - it was so relaxing - I was more patient then than I have ever been in my life.
I am really enjoying my family and I enjoy taking them back to Corfu - my son Spencer who is 2 and half - can say Yasoo and Yamas and he actually knows what this means. He also loves Aqualand and loves to wear his T'shirt - his eyes sparkle when we talk about it.
I'll be in Corfu for 2 weeks on the 2nd of June and then not again until the following May as I won't be able to fly the rest of the year and then as soon as I've had that baby he/she will be having his/her passport photo taken for the following year - I'll have to be super organised travelling with 2 little ones
Message posted by suekayebaker on 05†April†2008 at 7:43pm - IP Logged
another Pamela Panic like me! as someone old enough to be your grandma, i would advise you to buy in Corfu asap, even if it is only the land. Your children will grow up into independant adults very quickly and you could be left wishing you had bought a chunk of heaven when it is too late to do so. good luck
Message posted by openside on 07†April†2008 at 2:18am - IP Logged
Yes, you can get cheap plots but there is no point buying a plot for the sake of it. If it is cheap there is a reason for it. It may also be hard to shift if you need to sell it on to get at that money in a hurry. As I said before, the exchange rate is poor at the moment which makes it a bad time to buy.
Besides, no one knows if building regulations will change. They were strongly rumoured to change earlier this year. Anyone with a 4000sqm plot (out of town planning) without a building licence applied for would have found that they could not build on their land.
As for builders costs, they have risen quite steeply over recent years.
It is only worth doing now if you can afford to buy now and because of the building laws I would try to get the licence too and at least start the build.
Message posted by Graham T-A on 07†April†2008 at 2:00pm - IP Logged
I still think the smart move long term is to buy the land now
As for building regs, you would follow the same process as if you were buying a plot without planning in the UK
that is buy subject to a building permit being issued
I have done this with some additional land purely as an investment (i seem to have made a fair profit already after 3 years, though obviously its not till you try to sell that you find out whats what!) a state registered engineer will guide you through the process of house design & the application etc
Message posted by nuffstrong on 08†April†2008 at 8:48pm - IP Logged
Interesting info sent to me today by a Greek architect regarding minimum building requirements.
There is a word, (a rumor from the government probably to "read" public reaction), that the law for building outside village settlements will change and the new requirements will be considerably higher. We don't know
when it will happen or how much the minimum area will be affected, but some of my clients (mostly British) that are in the possession of land outside village settlements are submitting files, so that they are on the safe side of things.
Info: Once the building license is issued, it stands for 8 years (4 + 4),
not being affected by any laws that will pass.
Message posted by Terry and Julia on 08†April†2008 at 10:04pm - IP Logged
I mentioned that rumour last year but as i said nothing has happened. The fact that such changes are possible is why I don't think it is a good idea to buy a cheap plot unless you can get the building licence as well and preferably start the build.
What does the 4+4 mean?
Message posted by nuffstrong on 09†April†2008 at 8:18pm - IP Logged
Julia, I am told that 4+4 means that when a building license (bl) is issued, it is valid for 4
years initially. If the building is not finished within these 4 years, it can be renewed (extension of validity) for another 4 years, at a fraction (about 1/4) of the cost.
Message posted by Terry and Julia on 09†April†2008 at 8:23pm - IP Logged
Louise, I had the same longing as you when I was younger, I lived for coming to Corfu, that was all that mattered. Now, two children and 20 years later my dream has come true. One day, out of the blue, I was offered the chance to buy a share in a house in Corfu, I took the chance and morgated our apartment (that had risen in value) and I now have place that's mine for ever in Corfu! If you believe in something strongly I am sure it will eventually come your way. /Tina M
Message posted by Zarkos on 26†April†2008 at 2:22pm - IP Logged
You never know what is around the corner. We had always dreamed of buying and had one false start. I was then made redundent ten years ago and started my own business and the business ended up successful enough this year to build our own house in Corfu with no mortgages either in the UK or in Corfu. So I would get on with life and see what it brings you never know! I would prefer financial stability in the UK and just enjoy your holidays in Corfu as we did for 20 years.
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