"The buyer pays the estate agent's commission in Crete-luckily we found there are ways around this!"

In 2009, Dave and Julie Cross from St. Ives in Cambridgeshire realised their dream of buying a home in Crete. The couple were diligent in their pursuit of the perfect home overseas, for now as a holiday retreat and in the future for retirement. The expense of the move, as well as the cost of the property were all carefully scrutinised, which is when they discovered that if they bought a home in Crete, they, the buyers, were liable for the estate agent's fees.

"We couldn't really believe it when we first heard", says Dave. "In the UK the seller of the home pays the agent's fee but here the situation is in reverse and the onus is on the buyer and the cost is quite high; up to 2%".

So, how did they manage to buy a home and avoid this costly fee? They bought a Snobby Home! www.snobbyhomes.co.uk

The properties are so called because they are built by an English developer who lives in Crete. He realised that the British have a sense of humour and having heard someone say that a certain beautiful home was rather wonderfully, "snobby", he thought it the perfect name for British buyers to remember. Since then Snobby Homes has gone from strength to strength, building properties for the English; this year the company launched bungalows knowing that they are a perennial favourite with the British.

"We did a lot of research on the internet, but what worried us were all the purchase costs involved" says Dave. "It was difficult to get an actual final figure. We fell in love with our Snobby, but what clinched it was the level of specification you got for your money - and what's more ALL purchase costs, taxes and legal fees were included within the price, and as they were the builder selling direct, there was no agent's fee either.

We paid 126,000€ (£112,432 approx), for our Snobby, all-inclusive, which was fantastic value. We saw different houses from other builders and agents at around the same price, but once you added on all the purchase costs, that increased the price by another 16,000€ (£14,277 approx).

Where exactly is your property?

Our home is in Kamisiana, western Crete less than a five minute drive to the beach. We are surrounded by olive groves, just above the old part of the village and have an absolutely fantastic panorama sea view across to the Rotherpou Peninsular.

So what's it like?

We are on a small development of just five houses - two bedroom detached properties each set in walled gardens which gives us privacy. We fell in love with the style of Snobbys which have wooden beamed ceilings, pantiled roof and porch, stone features and a great feeling of space with a mezzanine floor that leads out onto the roof terrace where we have this tremendous view.

What made you buy where you did?

We've always loved Crete. There's something about the friendly people and way of life that drew us back time and time again. It was always our dream to one day own a home there.

How did you find your property?

We first saw Snobby advertisements and also we'd seen a few articles about them in the newspapers. We sent off for their Information pack and DVD with Tommy Walsh.

How much time do you spend there?

Not as much as we like. At the moment we take our holidays there, three times a year.

Does anyone look after the property in your absence?

Yes, through Snobby Homes we've arranged a bill paying service, a regular security check to comply with our insurance policy and regular airing of the property during the winter to eliminate any condensation problems.

How do you travel to Crete?

We fly direct to Chania in Crete from Stansted, which is our 'local' airport, or by EasyJet from Gatwick. The flight is about 3 1/2 hours and it takes us about 30 minutes from Chania Airport to reach our house. The other airport in Crete is Heraklion with direct flights from the UK. It's about 2 hours away. We don't mind the drive as it's along Crete's main highway - and as we hire a car at the airport the cost of petrol is offset by the slightly cheaper air fare to Heraklion.

Brand new development. ISLAND VIEW - Afrata, Crete.

Snobby are developing ISLAND VIEW - an exclusive site with a superb view, this time in the village of Afrata - a village with a secret. Although standing on the peninsular above the picturesque fishing village of Kolimbari, Afrata has its own tiny beach. A delightful stroll through a soaring gorge brings you to a small cove looking across the bay towards Chania, where you can drink in the view at the taverna there, over a cool refreshing beer, or tuck into the excellent Cretan food being served.

Island View is a development of two properties - a Snobby bungalow and a two storey Snobby, both with sea views through the gorge. Both properties have spacious walled Mediterranean style gardens for perfect privacy, large enough to have a swimming pool, sun terraces and plenty of space left over to garden to your heart's content.

Energy efficient with solar water heating, double glazing and construction in thermal brick, these delightful Snobbys reflect all the character you associate with traditional village homes. Stone features, arch, pantile roof, beamed ceilings and a stable door. Recognising people need space to stow things, there is an integral storage room built in as well as a host of luxuries fitted as standard, including air conditioning, wood burner, dish washer, 'fridge/freezer and a range of furniture, kitchenware and bedding.

What's more the Snobby price is all-inclusive of taxes, legal fees and all purchase costs. Normally this would mean at least 16,000€ to add ON TOP of the purchase price. When you consider the location, and the specification, the price, like for like, of 138,950€ (£123,990 approx) represents the best value you'll find in Crete for a new build detached home.

Snobby Homes: www.snobbyhomes.co.uk
Tel: 0844 7748710

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