Chania Land Plots for Sale:
How, Where and Why to Invest

While it may not be the most popular real estate investment, buying a plot of land can be a good investment — if you understand how to invest in land properly like a real estate developer. Chania land plots investments can produce high returns, passive income, and large profit margins.

Invest In Land Properties

Buy Land Plots in Chania, Crete in an Unrivaled Position

Nowadays, there are many Chania land plots for sale available. However, most of the people who are willing to make investments in Chania real estate market – and in Crete in general – may know what sort of land they want to invest in but may be unaware of how to initiate the process of acquiring such a property.

For this purpose, ARENCORES provides a dedicated and holistic guide to assist investors and property buyers who wish to invest in Chania, Crete or somewhere in Crete.

We Assist You to Make Fruitful Investment Choices

People wish to invest in real estate or buy land plots for several reasons such as building land for sale or wishing to proceed to property development for residential or commercial purposes to take advantage of the excellent summer rental market. According to RESTful – our Big Data Analytics platform – it has been observed that more public is interested in making their investments to land plots for sale in the Prefecture of Chania whether for self – build purpose, recreation or touristic development.

Our highly experienced real estate agents and investment consultancy team brings the most unique and aspiring investment opportunities for our clients at the most desiring locations in Chania, Crete. We aim to identify, evaluate and prioritize the best options of property and real estate in Chania, Crete for our investors.

Nevertheless, like other types of property investments, investing in land profitably comes down to thorough due diligence. Let’s dive in to how to invest in land, why you might want to, and important things to know before you buy a land plot in Crete.

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NOTE: Since we first published this article in March 2019, we have had many emails from foreign buyers on this subject – both those who have already bought plots or investment land and those who were about to purchase a piece of land somewhere in Crete.

Despite that the Greek Law clarifies everything about the building permission and planning zones, it is clear that some developers continue to break the law at the expense of innocent property buyers – especially foreigners.

Unfortunately, a further negative consequence because of these unethical practices has been generated: Some buyers who purchased a property without knowing the latest building regulations are currently face the prospect of their property views being blocked by illegal structures in front of them …


What Kind of a Property is a Vacant Land?

Currently, there are so many Chania land plots for sale available. However, investing in a plot of land can be a large, lucrative investment with multiple possibilities for usage. Among others, versatility, longevity, and appreciation are often top reasons that make land property investments relatively safe, reliable, and profitable over time.

There are three types of real estate investments: Residential property, commercial property and land. Vacant land is a plot of land without any construction (building) or equipment that can be used for the development of commercial or residential real estate or for farmland, ranches, or natural resources such as mineral, water or wind rights.

When you invest in land, you are acquiring untouched, raw land, that has not been developed or prepared for construction.In essence, it’s completely untouched terrain. The land’s zoning designation is very important aspect for the potential buyer because it determines how many square meters can be used for future development – commercial or residential.

There are seven main categories of land properties:

  1. Residential
  2. Commercial
  3. Industrial
  4. Public (like a library, public school, square, hospital parking)
  5. Public green spaces, community, neighborhood parks
  6. Agriculture (which can include farmland, olive and orange groves or forestry)
  7. Right of Access (which is a type of easement that provided property owners access to their property through another piece of land or parcel)

For those looking for Chania land plots for sale it is crucial to understand the term Land Use. The “Land Use” term refers to the building type or building usage allowed in a particular area. These zoning laws vary from district to district and in some cases a single district may be zoned for more than one use.

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What Do All These Terms Really Mean?

Currently, there are some exceptional Chania land plots for sale. However, what to do with all these terms in the property description really mean? According to Greek urban planning legislation regarding land use, zoning, planning and building regulations, plots are characterized by the following factors:

Building Capacity in Greece” refers to the building restrictions – if any, which stipulate that a plot of land must comply with specific planning requirements and certain conditions, such as possessing the minimum surface area or required length of facade, in the least; otherwise, the plot is unsuitable for building. These conditions vary from region to region.

Permitted Building Area” refers to the plot’s total allowed building area, measured in square meters plus basements and verandas.

Building Ratio” is a number which, when multiplied by the total size of a plot, gives the total square meters that are allowed to be built on a plot within the city limits (the “Permitted Building Area”). Underground spaces and verandas are not included in this total.

EXAMPLE: a 1000 m2  plot has a “Building ratio” of 0.6. Therefore, the “Permitted Building Area” is 1000 m2  x 0.6 = 600 m2  for the total area of building structures, plus basements and verandas.

Coverage Ratio” is a number which, when multiplied by the total size of a plot (in square meters) within the city limits, gives a result which equals the maximum area of ground that can be covered by a building structure.

EXAMPLE: If a plot measures 1000 m2 with a Building ratio of 0.8 and a Coverage ratio of 20%, then the plot can accommodates a building structure covering 20% of its ground level surface area (or 200 m2). Since the Building ratio is 0.8, this allows a building of 800 m2 in total. The remaining 600 m2 can be built on levels above ground, under the provision that these do not exceed the maximum ground cover level of 200 m2.

Building Height” is the allowed height of a building structure. This number varies from region to region depending on the plot location.

Land Use in Greece” refers to the building type or building usage allowed in a particular area. These zoning laws vary depending on the region and in some cases, a single district may be zoned for more than one use.

Counter-performance in Greece” is a type of contract according to which the owner provides his plot / land to a construction company that undertakes to build at their own expense. The company offers a percentage of the building back to the owner of the plot / land. The rest of the building remains the property of the construction company.

Reasons to Invest in Chania Land Plots

  • Low Cost
  • High ROI
  • Little to no Maintenance
  • Exceptional Prospects
  • Profitability

Investment Ways

  • Buy & Hold
  • Buy & Lease
  • Buy to Sell
  • Land Flipping

Ways to Invest In Land Properties in Crete

Just as there are several ways to invest in residential or commercial property, there are multiple ways to invest in land. ARENCORES presents some of the more common practices for those interested in Chania land plots for sale. You can discover publicly listed plots for sale or our off-market properties.

Buy and hold

Some real estate investors prefer to acquire a land property with the intent to hold the land for a larger period. Their investment practices may defer; They may want to proceed to a development project in the future or they prefer to hold on to see if the demand for plots in the area can be increased (thus increasing the value of the land). However, as the buyer-investor prefers to wait, they are responsible for paying annual taxes and maintaining the property as required.

Buy and lease

If the goal of purchasing and owning a land property in Crete is to create a passive income stream, which is residual income that is paid to the investor monthly — the landowner can lease the land for a third party to use.

For example, if a land investor owns a large plot in Apokoronas region with a productive olive grove, rather than maintaining the land himself, he can lease the land to a local farmer. The farmer pays the property-owner monthly rent and is responsible for the maintenance of the land.

Buy to sell

An alternative and economically viable option for creating a passive income stream when investing in a land property is to sell the land after a short period of time. Property investors can make a decent amount of money with this practice. Traditionally, buy-to-sell was a safe bet for anyone looking to gain from Crete’s booming property sector.

Nevertheless, for the past few years tax and regulatory cataclysm have made this a less attractive option for investors. On top of this, economic uncertainty and the effects of the COVID-19 have caused a property market cool-down in Crete, Greece – but this has not discouraged investors, with the island of Crete remaining one of the leading hotspots for overseas and domestic real estate.

Land flipping

Land Flipping is one of the most popular methods of investing in a real estate asset. The term land flipping it means you buy a land for a low price and sell it later for a higher price with good returns potential.

Land flipping can be as simple as buying low and selling high, but some of the largest returns generated by improving and establishing a new marketability spectrum for the property. Doing this work adds value and make the property much more appealing.

Things to Know Before Investing in Chania Land Plots for Sale

You might suppose that if two properties have the same characteristics and all of their properties have the same size, they would be considered equal in terms of their value and appealing features. Let’s take a closer look and see what happens. A plot of 3000.00 sq.m in Almirida, Apokoronas and with a building permission for a 400.00 sq.m construction costs some thousands more than a plot of similar size located in Drapanias, Kissamos.

Environmental factors, building regulations, planning zone, building permits and other factors play a huge role in the value of the property as a whole.

When you evaluate a piece of land, you want to make sure the property can be developed or used for its intended purpose. A property near the naval base of the Hellenic Navy and NATO at Souda Bay could be subject to several restrictions and it may be difficult or impossible to develop as desired.

In addition, always conduct systematic and holistic due diligence on:

  • the property’s zoning
  • building permit-regulations
  • demand for that type property in that area
  • the property’s current value or potential future value with a reliable appraisal
  • the annual property taxes
  • the associated  property buying expenses
  • public access to the property or if ingress and egress rights are needed through a neighboring piece of land
  • utilities — if the parcel has infrastructure already established such as water, electricity, phone-internet
  • potential restrictions for the area based on local zoning laws (Chania Airport, ΝΑΤΟ Naval Base, Architectural site, etc)
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Depending on the type of property investment, it may be critically important to request a feasibility study done before buying a land property in Chania to determine if the proposed development is economically and technically feasible on that plot or in that location.

Even with accurate due diligence, there is always a possibility not exposed all the aspects of the property or the unexpected expenses that could arise during the development-construction process.

While there is no denying – for those who do know the ropes – that land investments are a riskier investment, these properties can be exceptionally profitable as well. This investment strategy can get complicated but ARENCORES can facilitate your decision making with reliable and detailed research works and assessments to help you identify the right piece of land at in an unrivaled position with the highest ROI potential.


Header Image Credits: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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