Greece is full of rich culture and history that would make an ideal home for you. If you are moving to Greece or plan on staying here for a few months, you might want to get a house. Buying a house here as a foreigner is allowed, and we have broken it down into simple steps you can follow to get your dream home.
Can A Foreigner Buy A House In Greece?
Yes, anyone who comes to Greece can buy a house. However, the system prefers those who are native to Greece or EU nationals when approving their request. They are at an advantage here, but non-EU residents also have no rules against buying a house here. Their request goes to the ministry of defence, where they ask your intentions behind getting a house and then approve or reject accordingly.
Is It Worth Buying A House In Greece?
The greek economy has seen a lot of fall in the past decade. From the 2009 crash to the coronavirus pandemic, the housing market has been on the low for a while now. For potential buyers, this might be the opportunity to snatch up a nice house at a cheap rate. This might be a risk, but recent trends show that the prices are increasing again, although slowly. This might prove to be worth taking a risk.
Buying a house here will be worth it if you plan to stay for a while. Otherwise, you might as well rent a place out. Here the taxes are low, you can easily afford to live here, and it is very friendly to all ex-pats who stay or drop by.
Is It Hard To Buy A House In Greece?
It depends on what your definition of hard is really. You will easily find a cheap place to buy here. If you are an ex-pat not from the EU here, then the process of approval might be a bit difficult as the ministry of defence looks into your intentions behind staying here in Greece. They will ask for proof of funds, bank statements, employer contracts, etc., before deciding. Finding the perfect house might take a long if you’re in a hurry, so you might have to compromise a bit here.
How Much Money Do You Need To Buy A House In Greece?
There are considerable costs involved when buying a house in Greece. You will need to keep the property’s location, condition and size in mind as costs vary according to those factors.
Necessary Equity Capital When Buying A House In Greece
Usually, when you start the payment process, you are asked to pay 10% of the price upfront to ‘reserve’ the place. Other than that, it is generally said that you should have 20 to 30% of the property’s price with you as equity. This acts in your favour as the higher your equity, the higher your chances of getting a better mortgage.
Fees And Taxes To Expect When Buying A Property In Greece
When setting aside a budget for buying a house, you should also consider the extra fees and costs involved during and after the process.
- Registration and notary fees – notary fees are a must when buying a property. In Greece, these vary from 0.65-1% plus VAT.
- Real estate agent fee – usually, people tend to buy a house through a real estate agent. You just let them know your requirements for a house, and they will find the best possible matches for you. A standard agreement in the industry is to charge a fee of 2-2.5% plus VAT.
- Property acquisition tax – this recurring property tax is known as ENFIA and stands at 3.09% on all taxable properties.
- Lawyer fees – when drafting up a contract for the lease and mortgage of the house, you will need to hire a lawyer to review the contract. They charge about 0.4-1% plus VAT.
Greek Mortgage Calculation
Usually, before finding a house, you should sit down and calculate the cost of the house and the mortgage you can afford. This sets realistic goals for you to move from there on and find the perfect house.
What Is The Average House Price In Greece?
On average, a 100 square-meter apartment in Greece is priced at 100 000 euros, whereas outside urban areas, the same-sized apartment can be bought for 80 000 euros. There is increasing demand for houses here, and the prices have also been going up.
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How To Find A Greek Property To Buy?
The most convenient way to find a property to buy in Greece is through a real estate website or a real estate agent. Both options help smooth the process, and you will find properties that suit your requirements and budget.
Real Estate Websites
Most real estate websites might be in Greek, but you can navigate through them with some help. These include:
These have private listings put up by private owners themselves and others that real estate agents post. The benefit of buying from a private owner is avoiding agent costs and commissions.
Real Estate Agencies In Greece
You can contact a real estate agent if you do not have the time to search for a property online. They will scout the best locations for you; you just have to drop by to check it out. With websites, the pictures can be a bit misleading. Here the agent will have had a look at the property once themselves before bringing you in. some famous agencies include
Estia Santorini Property
Foukis Real Estate
Finding the best agent will be a task unless you know someone who knows an agent. Word of mouth helps in this situation, as the wrong agent might make this process much more tedious.
Seven Steps For Buying A House In Greece
Preparation Is key
- Define what area you want to buy a property in
- Figure out your finances
Start Scouting For Properties.
- Give this ample time, as it may take longer than you think.
- You might benefit from signing up to different online portals where you will get notified if something pops up that suits you.
Get A Pre-Approval For A Mortgage
- You just need to fill in a simple form which will help you out after you have found the place you are looking for.
Start Looking At Properties.
- Scout the area beforehand
- Take someone with you so that you don’t miss anything.
- Look at it during the daytime.
- Take pictures and measurements.
Make an offer on the house.
Finalize Your Finances And Mortgage
- Finalize your mortgage
- Make sure you have covered all additional costs as well.
Buy The House!
- Take a good look at the contract before buying.
- Attend the notary appointment
- Pay your taxes
What Role Does A Notary Play In Greece?
Without having a notary present, you will not be able to buy a house here in Greece. They act as a middleman between you and the seller. Their tasks include:
- Legal consultation
- Looking at past mortgages that the last owner needs to make
- Preparing a preliminary contract
- Creating and presenting the finalized contract
- Notarizing the signed contract
Buying a property seems a bit daunting and is a big commitment one makes. If you are new to the country, you don’t need to worry too much about the whole process as long as you find the property you are looking for. Hopefully, the article will guide you about what you need to do, and it won’t be a hassle. The people here are very welcoming, so hopefully, you will find a great place to call home.