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Based on experiences – mainly in Crete, the general advice would be that you will need to consider the key question: Is the expense to build a swimming pool worth it? You need to weigh up the running costs versus how much of the time the pool will be utilised.

To build an outdoor swimming pool in a private Greek land plot is straight forward from an architect’s and real estate developer‘s point of view. Across Greece there are a number of local specialist construction companies to take on the job of cement, tiling and installing the water pump and filter systems for foreign buyers.

Importantly, you need to take the decision to include a pool for a new house at the outset, regardless if your future house is your holiday or retirement home. The obvious reason is related to building costs, but there are other considerations – mainly the local government bureaucracy and tax implications. The later are most important if you intend to use your dream home to generate income for short term rental to holiday makers. In that case an EOT License is required. (See page bottom for link).

A standard pool size would be 8 x 3 metres or 8 x 5m, or thereabouts. Cost to build is one element, but you should be aware that depending on your local Greek tax office and which ‘legal’ definition your pool falls under, you may have to include it under "Luxury Tax" and declare it as part of your annual tax submission. Speak to your Crete Accountant on this point. If you are hiring an architect, discuss the pool at the planning stage.

The swimming season can stretch from April right through until the Christmas holidays if the weather is kind. But in truth it is more likely to be consistent from late May until mid-September only. Climate change has impacted on the traditional annual weather pattern in Crete where summer seems to start later and last longer — well into November.

Speak to your Architect or Mechanicos for a building cost estimate, then ask your real estate agent about the house re-sale value with a pool. There is no hard and fast rule. There is also the question of size. If it is only to be used by the visiting grandchildren or other youngsters several times during the summer, would a "play pool" be better? or if for adults what about a jacuzzi, that could be used for much of the year?

• Water is the responsibility of your local municipality where your home is located. If water is cut off at peak usage times, as happens now in Summer if you share supply with a tourist resort or intensive farming area(greenhouses or olive groves), the time to replenish water supply can be as long as overnight. And that is just to refill the 200 litre storage tank at your home. This is due to everyone else filling up, causing low water pressure. Normal pressure is unlikely to return until all tanks are filled by the early hours of the next morning.

Justifying the expense is a personal decision, often one based on ego and living out a dream. That is why it is important to draw up a list of pros and cons for adding a pool to your home. For example: Are you prepared to undertake all the work of upkeep or do you need to hire a maintenance man?

Not everyone coming to Crete to live is of the same mind. If you are a sun worshipper and you need to cool off with a dip in the pool every half hour in hot weather that is one thing. But if you like to read a good book and just look at the water perhaps there are better ways to spend your money – a landscaped garden, could be one? As with everywhere else in Europe, living costs continue to rise. Budgets should be realistic and planned for 3 years hence. Allow for 10 per cent annual increases in running costs. Crete’s Going Green – Summer Water Restrictions

"I love to swim and when in land-locked middle England and later in London I spent a lot of time in pools but now I live within 4 minutes of the big one out there and when we move I doubt we’ll be more than 15 minutes away which will suit me fine. Another benefit we’ve found by going down to the big ‘pool’ is that we’ve widened our circle of Greek friends simply by saying "kalimera" to total strangers and taking it from there. Personally, the last thing I want is a pool especially as there’s a big one at the coast.I came here to relax not work on pool maintenance. "

"I don’t know much about borehole water but have heard of some serious problems recently with boreholes in parts of Crete near the coast producing saline water as the water table has dropped so much. Levels are dropping far faster than they can be replenished. This may be something to bear in mind if it might affect your pool in the future."

"The maintenance on a jacuzzi is the same as on a pool and, because the water is warmer, the chemical levels are more critical. The maintenance of our pool takes no longer than half an hour per week, a small price to pay (in my opinion) for the pleasure it gives."

"We have a pool and we certainly don’t regret it – it does need topping up with water, and it does need cleaning etc. It also uses quite a bit of electricity to keep the pumps going in the summer months but as it’s not used at all for more than half the year It’s not keeping us much out of pocket. You should be aware though that goats and sheep do tend to fall in and drown if your property is not fenced in. It’s distressing and messy to get the poor drowned animal out, so bear that in mind."

"I have had experience of the local sheep taking a dip in my pool! Subsequently I have had a gate fitted, if they had drowned it would have been an expensive accident which I would have had to square with the shepherd! The main problem after their adventure was that despite the pool getting a thorough clean, it turned a disgusting slimey pea green a couple of weeks later which made a busy week for my housesitters who had to clean it out in my absence!"

Finally, as Swimming Pools in Crete can be taxed as part of property taxes in Greece, be sure to use a licensed architect or mechnicos to handle all the bureaucracy and the planning, building and commissioning of a pool in a private home, especially if you plan to rent it out. Your real estate developer or agent can also advise you. Trying a go it alone or "DIY" building of a garden pool may backfire on you. Our advice is always consult the professionals.