Greek summers


PHOTO: While ‘passionate New Zealanders’, Vanessa and Richard wanted to be closer to their Europe-based kids over the northern hemisphere summers.

Vanessa and Richard Owen had fantasised for years about trading “grim” New Zealand winters for summers in Greece so when a real estate agent emailed them, out of the blue, about a home they’d admired on holiday 12 years ago, they decided it must be serendipity.

The couple run a B&B in Kerikeri and, as most of their work over winter can be done remotely, they’d been trying to figure out how they could make flying north for those months work.

They’d discovered they would be able to rent out their Bay of Islands home to people new to the area, so when the agent told them the owner of their dream Greek home was prepared to sell – and let the buyer pay the place off over three years – they “jumped at it”. Having three adult children in Europe who couldn’t afford trips home only provided added incentive.