A Conversation for Crete
Lost in Scotland Started conversation Jul 14, 2000
When I was on Crete many, many moons ago, there was a lot of unfinished buildings on the island. A tour guide told me that this was because a finished house is taxed differently than a house that is still being constructed, and therefor, people never really seemed to finish their houses.
Is there any truth to that?
SP 655321 Posted Jul 14, 2000
Yes. Throughout Greece, the same thing applies, and the only buildings that are finished are those belonging to the government, or the very wealthy. When a building permit is acquired, the applicant is allowed up to five years before starting, and ten years to finish. He begins paying taxes on it after the house is finished, or after the ten years is up, whichever comes first.
Another reason for the many half completed buildings is the lack of money. Where in the western world, we go to the bank, get a loan, build a house, and spend the rest of our lives paying it off, here in Greece, they build what they can afford. If they have money for a bathroom this year, that's what they build. Maybe the next year they'll put in a kitchen. Of course it may take ten to fifteen years to finish a house this way, but when they are done, the house belongs to them, not the bank.
m_xx Posted Jul 17, 2000
thank you , finally i got a got an answer to this phenomenon
Lazy traveller Posted Jul 23, 2000
hi! I'm from Greece. I used to live in a flat. I think it was finished. Most of the houses in the block were completely finished.
If you want my contribution to your discussion, maybe what you have seen was:
1) Ancient ruins. There are so many in Greece that sometimes you won't believe that you've found more.
2) Parts of Crete - and this is not a shame- mostly those that are away from the touristy North coastline - are extremely poor. A poor house of a villager can seem to you and me as a not completed house. There is no garage and no swimming pool.
3) The villagers, trying to find an alternative way to gain some money were building massively rooms to rent mostly in the middle eigties. Usualy they were struggling to get ready before the high season.
Lost in Scotland Posted Jul 24, 2000
I am fairly certain that they weren't ruins, since they were built using new-looking materials, and there were still building-site-looking stuff laying around by the houses.
The houses that weren't finished were privately-owned villas, not looking like they would be big enough to house any tourists.
Because of those details, I draw the conclusion that they just weren't finished and that people still were building them.
This didn't stop them fromliving in them, though, because usually the ground floor was done and the first or second floor was under construction.
Lazy traveller Posted Jul 24, 2000
You may be right. Usualy they build one floor for the family house and the other floors are for the future family of their son or for rooms to rent to the touristis. That's why they don't need to finish everything at the same time.
This story that I read about the taxes belongs to ths sphere of imagination.
It is truth that in Greece there are no Building Societies organised like in UK. Usually people from villages who own some land are able to build their houses on it. The good thing is as someone already said that the house finally doesn't belong to the bank... but to them. The bad thing is that everyone is building whatever he can afford and most of the cities villages or towns don't follow a clear architectural rythm.
I mentioned before that some areas of Crete are of the most poor areas of European Community. This is also a good excuse for the delays.
Anyway, Crete is a magical place. Holidays are approaching. Shall I go there or shall I go to Serifos?
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