Chania Old Town House for Sale. How this property will pay back
Are you looking for a Chania Old Town House for Sale? Some Chania Old Town houses in no-so-great states of restoration can be great investments, if you’re willing to put the additional time, sweat equity and money into them. However, because of their construction characteristics and age, Chania Old Town houses can be costlier to fix and renovate than newer ones. You may find that generations of homeowners have made repairs and additions with varying levels of expertise, and old walls and wooden floors can hide some big surprises.
If you’re thinking about buying a Chania Old Town house, you need to make sure you’re up for the challenge – financially, technically and emotionally.
ARENCORES surveyed four Chania Old Town homeowners who have taken on these projects and asked them to share the lessons learned– good and bad. In addition, the insightful article about the Pros & Cons Of Old & New Properties in Chania provides some very useful information for the potential investors.
Meet the panel:
David, a professor at University of Tel Aviv, Israel bought an 1897 townhouse in Chania Old Town in 2000 with his wife. The house had most recently been occupied (and vandalized). The couple spent 8 years restoring it, documenting the project on a blog.
Annie and Tom are currently restoring a Historic Venetian stone house in Chania Old Town, Crete. They had already worked on similar properties from the 1890s and 1900s, and were living in one from 2002 when their current came on the market after a foreclosure.
Ken’s restoration of a 1910 late-Victorian-style home in Chania Old Town, led him to a career and location change from engineering to historic preservation and from Copenhagen to Chania, Crete. He has worked for the renewable energy industry and is now a consultant helping other owners of historic properties with their projects.
All of the homeowners surveyed agreed that restoring an old house brings value that can’t be measured just in financial terms.
“People have an emotional connection to suck kind of properties,” Ken said. “People knock on our door and tell us about when they lived here. It was broken up into three apartments at one point. So Greek families with lot of members lived here, and they bring photos when they come to visit. The history of the people who lived here was remarkable.”
“We’re not just restoring this Chania Old Town house for us,” she said. “We’re restoring it so other people can continue to love it.”
Chania Old Town House for Sale Con: Historic designations may limit some of your choices
If a Chania Old Town house for sale has a historical designation or has some archaeological restrictions, you may have to follow certain procedures when making restorations to the exterior spaces.
David was already planning to keep a historically accurate color palette on the house’s external walls, but the local archeological service did hesitate when considering their plan to turn a porch into part of their new living room.
“There were three windows about a foot above the floor, and when we wanted to move those windows so we could put cabinets in, there was a little pause,” David said. “But they decided that because [the porch] was an addition and not part of the original house, it wasn’t a problem.”
“If we had wanted to change a window on the front of the house, they probably would have said that wasn’t allowed,” David said.
Chania Old Town House for Sale Pro: You’ll learn a lot
Annie and Tom acknowledged that they didn’t have a lot of home-restoration experience going into their first old house in Chania, but they’ve picked up a lot of expertise and lessons learned along the way.
“We’ve learned how to do a restoration that will help preserve our historic building, and I don’t want people to be hesitated of a renovation project and think they can’t do it,” Annie said.
“It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but you’re not the first to take on a project like this,” Tom added. “People take these on and are able to get it done.”
Chania Old Town House for Sale Con: Your project will probably take longer and cost more than you expect
Another point on which the Chania Old Town homeowners agreed is that your renovation project will almost definitely take longer than you expect.
“I thought we’d be done in 16 months,” Ken’s said. “I had this confidence, and I kept repeating to myself: ‘Just one year and two months, just one year and two months.’ I couldn’t submit that optimism, and it drove me.”
In the end, the Ken’s renovation took almost two years.
They started with a bank loan to fund some of the immediate repairs like replacing the roof and plumbing, renovating floors and making electrical repairs. But they had to slowly save up for additional costs like custom-made, hand-turned balusters to restore structural damages.
Chania Old Town House for Sale Con: You may have to sacrifice some creature comforts
During the renovations, you’ll have to put up with a lot of mess and maybe should re-prioritize some of your Chania Old Town house normal amenities to facilitate your renovation project.
While Annie and Tom said they were able to go without a fully functional kitchen for four of five months, the overall situation was more complicated.
“We were basically living in squalid conditions for two years, living with broken and damaged objects and structural components for years,” Annie said.
Tom advised Chania Old Town homeowners to create at least one “clear” room during their renovation project where they can rest from the renovation procedures madness. It doesn’t have to be a completed room, but it should be clean and free of tools and building supplies.
What you’ll find behind the walls is anybody’s guess
You never know what you’ll find behind the old walls of a Chania Old Town historic home. Annie and Tom were in their home for about a year-and-a-half before they realized they had some serious structural problems: They had water damage and an addition a part of the house had been built without a concrete foundation.
Through the years, a lot of people in most historic homes in Chania Old Town have been making repairs and “enhancements” of sometimes-dubious quality. That’s why it’s so critical to hire a professional engineer to look carefully for potential issues before property’s acquisition.
“I think with all houses, especially here in Chania and particularly a Chania Old Town house, you should discover something you weren’t aware of, even after the inspection,” David said. “I wish we had been better prepared for that emotionally and financially.“