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Moving To Crete


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#1 happyem

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 06:36 PM

My family and I are planning to move to Crete next July. We have 2 teenage Girls who are 16 and 13.
We are trying to Get simple answers to our questions but finding it hard to get a basic answer.
Can anyone help us with this?
Here are some of our questions:

What documentation do we need?

What can we take over with us and what can we take over with us?

Will our TV+ DVD player work in Crete or are they cheap to buy in Crete?

Will it be cheaper to but cooker, fridgefreezer in the UK or in Crete?

What is the cheapest way to move over from UK? (e.g plane, Removals)

Do we need medical insurancefor our whole family?

What about life insurance- is this best done in Crete?

What about our pension, it will be too expensive to carry on paying into them because wages are less in Crete.

Thanks

#2 Tim

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 10:10 PM

Issues to do with Brits moving to Crete have dominated a number of forums and have on occasions been a source of irritation with the same questions being asked time after time. There is a website devoted to issues to do with 'Brits in Crete' and, if you put that phrase into Google, it will produce the link to that site.
I suggest that, rather than ask questions there first, you look through the previous postings as the answers may be there waiting to be read. Explorecrete doesn't have, to the best of my knowledge, a great many ex pats amongst its membership, it is a wider based group with interests in other aspects of Crete and Cretan life. I would add a word of caution about the Brits site though, some of those whom you might think are experts on these matters may not be as well informed as they appear, use the info there for starters and check everything! Distinguish between information from those ex-pats who only know ex-pat communites in Crete - and those who know the real Crete!
There is another site, I will try and find the address, that is gives good advice for 'movers' , sound stuff and well researched.
Tim

Other site is Caroline's www.livingincrete.net. Probably the most informative and useful.

#3 Yorgos

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 12:18 AM

The Athens News directory has quite a lot of useful information. Check it at:

http://www.athensnew...y2006/1dir1.htm

And an other word of advice. Why don’t you go and spent a month in Crete, preferably with your whole family, where you can research yourself a lot of the issues you raised in your posting above. Internet research on important issues like moving from one country to another, and especially with teenage children, will not prepare you well for the challenges ahead.

Good luck.

#4 Tim

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 11:23 AM

Yorgos's reply reminded me of something I had meant to add, namely that there are alternatives to buying a property which, from your questions, I guess is the way you are thinking. I agree with Yorgos abiout renting. I believe that renting is an option, or a first step, that is not explored often enough. You will hear many stories of sucessful home purchases, (most including some problems to a greater or lesser degree) and that is fine; you won't hear much about the real disasters. Renting, ideally for a year, need not be expensive and will provide an opportunity to 'test the water' at relatively little risk. It is important to experience the seasons in Crete (for me the high summer is now too much). A few would argue, with some justification, that renting is not 'committing' and that commitment is needed for success - but for some it is a sensible way forward. You might want to consider it alongside the other options.
I am convinced that to suceed with relocating to another country that one must do a great deal of research, you cannot do too much. I regard the current batch of 'your home in xxxx' TV programs as utterly irresponsible, they present the idea as an extended holiday and don't touch on the issues that will determine whether a family will succeed and enjoy life in a new country. The ones that do make it suceed, and I have a few friends who have done so, went into it with their eyes open and knowing what to expect.
Good luck with it - success!
Tim

#5 john4d

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:06 AM

All of the above is good advice. You must also think of your daughters education. They will have to attend a Greek school, where all of the leasons will be in Greek, they may find this a little difficult, although many of their class mates would speak english. Continue to do your research.

Best of luck

John

#6 Ton

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 02:36 PM

Check this site:

http://www.livinginc....net/index.html

Good luck

Ton

#7 Tim

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 03:37 PM

John, always good to have you confirm a view. Like approval from the tutor. How are the vines this year? My olives, though not without a few leaves getting burnt by the frost, seem to have surviced the Devon winter well and have no end of flowers on them.
Best wishes
Tim

#8 john4d

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:25 PM

Tim

After I have harvested my olives I will take them just up the road to Vamos. to the cooperative to have them turned into oil. Where will you take yours? :D

The grapes need "pinching out" and spraying but I'm still working my way through last years wine and raki even though I gave half of it away, so I don't yet have the incentive! :blink:

John

#9 Tim

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:37 PM

John
Well I suppose I could bring mine to Vamos, I somehow doubt they will amount to excess baggage! They might even set a record - though in the wrong direction I fear.
Perhaps I should bring over some corn, runner beans or broccoli from the allotment and do a deal on some raki!
;-)

#10 john4d

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 12:04 PM

Tim

I shall be in Devon at the end of August, I will bring you a bottle of my raki, standard size 1 litre!

John

#11 Henry Hooray

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 01:40 PM

Happyem,

some of the questions really show quite a lack of knowledge about the place where you want to live - and bring your children up too!

May I add my voice to all the others here, not least suggesting that you spend a bit of time there before you make this momentous move; e.g. a month in July to feel what it's like to live with the heat, and a month in January to feel what its like without that alluring holiday feel.

I'm sorry to say that if you move - and particularly move your children away from their friends, to a country where they are total strangers - without investing a lot more time in research, then I find your action totally irresponsible. You are suddenly placing yourself and your family in the same kind of situation as immigrants coming to the UK without as much as speaking the language, and not knowing about local health services.

This was meant to be constructive criticism, and hope it will be read as such.

Or maybe your post was just a spoof …

Henry.

#12 happyem

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 11:42 AM

Thankyou for all your comments. Alot of the qestions we asked we just wanted it clairified as sometimes things are contradicted, and also get other people personal experience in these matters. Both my children can speak and read some Greek and do attend Greek school in England we dont feel we are being inresponsible as we feel it would be a life experience for us all, both children really want to go and understand it will be hard at first- as we all do.
Tim- do you live near Vamos? We have been looking at the area of Apokoronas and we are meeting up with some greek people in nio horio, it is possible it might be the area we end up living.

Once again thankyou for your comments and if you have any experiences which might help us we will be Gratefull. :D

Donna

#13 Henry Hooray

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 10:29 AM

What documentation do we need?

Check with the Greek Embassy in London.

What can we take over with us and what can we take over with us?

Under EU legislation you can take quite a lot.

Will our TV+ DVD player work in Crete or are they cheap to buy in Crete?

Don't know. But I would have thought there were bigger dicisions to be made, such as finding schools for your children. Perhaps your priorities are different from mine.

Will it be cheaper to but cooker, fridgefreezer in the UK or in Crete?

In the scheme of things this really is largely irrelevant, isn't it.

What is the cheapest way to move over from UK? (e.g plane, Removals)

I probably wouldn't fly a fridge/freezer to Crete. It may be quite expensive, but if I were you I would check this out.

Do we need medical insurancefor our whole family?

YES! Yes you do! Sorry, but if you can even ask such a question then I'm afraid I get the impression that you just haven't done any research at all, that this is just a fancy half-baked idea. I hope it is just that, and that you don't uproot your children in this ill-considered way. It may have sounded like a great idea, and it can be so - but do go and stay there for a month in winter and experience and research the place properly. And only then start making plans.

What about life insurance- is this best done in Crete?

Don't know.

What about our pension, it will be too expensive to carry on paying into them because wages are less in Crete.

You are going subject yourself and your children to an existance where your own pension has been abandoned in the UK??? You are ready to put yourself on the poverty line in your old age???

Henry.

PS Tim lives in England, just in case he doesn't see your question.

#14 Dinny

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 08:58 AM

Hi Donna,

I think the grumphy ol' men are very tough on you - but they might want to scare you into thinking this over a bit more. I was wondering, when you say you move to Crete in July... you don't mean THIS coming July, do you? If your move is to take place in July 2007 then you still have the time for all the necessary planning, but if you plan on moving in July 2006 I would want to join the choir of the tough guys. It can not be done! Especially when you are whole family with children.



But if it's 2007 then start by getting the Living in Crete, you will find almost anything you need in that. You can read it on the internet, or you can download the whole book for something like 3-4 euros.



Good luck! I think you'll need it. :D

#15 Pam

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 11:05 AM

I agree with Dinny, next July gives you time to plan and also check out the best area for you. You say your children speak Greek, so I assume you do as well - if so that is a BIG plus. We are planning to move to Crete when I retire and learning the language sufficiently well to deal with the formalities is my biggest concern.

From the research we have done so far, I would say it's probably best to look at buying most of the stuff in Crete and only transporting items that are of personal value to yourselves. Also, importing a car seems to be a bureaucratic nightmare (see Dinny's blog), so I would look at buying one in Crete.

Best of luck to you and do keep the Forum informed of your progress.

Pam

#16 Henry Hooray

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 11:18 AM

Hi Dinny & Pam

To retire to Crete is just fine, of course. We too have toyed with the idea (but shall more likely just spend months at a time abroad in years to come, as we are very happy with our lives here). To uproot your teenage children to an alien country takes serious consideration.

And it must be an alien country - and what chance the parents speaking Greek - if any of them knew anything about Greece outside the touristy side they wouldn't ask about something as blatantly obvious as medical insurance.

I wish them luck, but more than anything, I wish they would plan properly and not worry about their DVDs. I mean, this guy is preparing to move his children to Crete, and he knows second to nothing about the place. It's nothing but a dream, a dream that you can play out as grownups, but don't play fast and loose with your children's future. They are the ones I'm concerned about.

Like Dinny, I have moved from the country of my birth (quite a lot like Dinny, actually). It's fine if you know what you're doing, as I'm sure Pam does. It's fine (but silly) if you don't know anyhing about the destination, but can only hurt yourself. It's not at all fine to subject children in their formative years to that kind of risk. It may work out well, and it may not. What then for a couple of teenagers?

From a GOM in the sunny West of England, and with a smile on my face and a song on my lips,

Henry.

#17 Pam

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 11:52 AM

Well, Henry I'm glad you don't think we're being silly - we are giving this a lot of thought and will maintain a house or flat in London as well so we have somewhere to go back to if necessary. In actual fact I don't find Greece alien - I always feel at home here and think the way of life will suit better than England with the weather which chills my arthritic bones and the noise of the traffic, police sirens etc.... As I said in my previous post the main concern is learning the language sufficiently well to cope with the logistics of moving. Only oher concern is whether our beloved cats (who we intend to bring with us) will settle!

Looking forward one day to being a Cretan!

Pam