Kalimera! We are Vincent (30) and Athina (27), and in 2017 we bought a house on the Greek island of Karpathos, where we now live. In this blog, we take you through our story.
How did we end up on Karpathos so young?
I (Athina) have been coming to Karpathos since I was 9 years old. My parents first visited the island in 1994 and first took me there in 2004. They were so in love with the island and loved how little it had changed after 10 years. They always wanted a holiday home abroad and so they bought a house during that vacation.
Since then, I have been visiting Karpathos at least twice a year. In 2012, Vincent came along for the first time, and he liked it too. We travelled to the island together the following years and stayed at my parents’ house. We dreamt, however, that one day (when we would be older, maybe past 40) we would own our house on a Greek island.
Those were our thoughts were in 2017. Never did we think we would actually make an offer on the house on Karpathos a few months later. But, as it turns out, things can go fast! At this point, we were 22 and 24 years old, and what seemed like a dream to be fulfilled in 20 years from now was already happening.
Elxis had a house for sale on the island for some time; when they re-shared the house on Facebook, we saw that the price had dropped. From then on, everything went very fast. We made an offer which was accepted, and then the process of figuring out the financial and legal matters began.
We really liked the fact that everything went through Elxis. In Greece, everything works so differently— you don’t speak the language, legal processes can get quite bureaucratic, etc. That’s exactly why it’s nice to have a company like Elxis taking care of everything for you and helping you out.
The major renovation
In 2021, we decided to go to the island and planned to stay for a long time. Eight months to be precise. We wanted to know what it would be like to stay on the island for a longer period of time and whether we would like it. In early 2021, we rented out our house in the Netherlands and left for Karpathos. After two months, we were sold: we were going to live in Karpathos.
We already started talking to a Dutch real estate agent for our house, and I (Athina) flew home in September to start arranging everything. We stayed in the Netherlands all winter, and in January 2022, we left for Karpathos again.
The house we bought on the island was a holiday home and quite old. That is to say, it was not beautiful in terms of furnishing. We, therefore, hired an architect to remodel our house completely. In the meantime, we stayed in a flat and also for a while in our own camper van that we had temporarily driven there with all the moving stuff. After a few days of demolition, only the outside walls were standing! So strange to see. Really everything has been renewed, and we can now really enjoy living in our house. It really is a difference when you put the two photos side by side. The renovation eventually took three months.
We have now been living on the island for almost two years. We spend most of the year on the island, but we also have a camper van where we live when we spend time in the Netherlands. We wouldn’t want it any other way for the time being.
Life here is so much quieter than in the Netherlands, and we love that. We see friends again when we are in the Netherlands, and we keep in touch online a lot. Last year, however, we got married on the island, so friends flew over from Holland. Great fun to show them where and how we live!
In terms of work, we have managed to arrange things so that we can do that online. Vincent works online for his Dutch employer. Three days a week, so we also have enough free time. We also have our company, “The Karpathos guide”. We write blogs and have an e-book with all the highlights of the island.