How Prices Of Properties Are Raising In Greece – The Perfect Time To Buy A Property Overseas

Greece has become an increasingly attractive destination for people looking for a property overseas. According to a 2007 study conducted by “A Place In the Sun” a specialist magazine, through exhibitions devoted to property seekers in Britain, Greece has acquired position No 7 in the top ten most popular countries for a British to purchase a home in the sun.

Results of a survey published in January of 2008 in an article in the Greek newspaper “Kathimerini”, showed that in Athens and Thessaloniki in the so called “premier areas” the value of properties increased by 175% between December of 1998 and December of 2006. As an average this rise in value equals to 26% annual increase. At the same time in the less expensive areas, the value of properties increased by 91% for the same period, which translates to an average percentage of 13% per annum.

In other parts of Greece as in Crete, the annual rise of property prices is 10 to 15% despite the fact that on the island of Crete, developments emerge mostly in premier areas. The natural formation of this island offers a large number of plots in what is considered by locals and citizens of the world as premium locations.

In the same article mentioned above “Kathimerini”, writer Giannis Siotou mentions: According to the experts, renewing a property portofolio according to when it was built and to the current market trends i.e. emerging markets, can protect its value from time. A property is not like wine which gets better as time passes by. Despite regular maintenance its value shrinks as years pass by. However in the Greek property market there is limited experience of investments leading in damages.

Two of the main factors that will help a property maintain its value even in times of crisis are highlighted in the above article but are also known to most property seekers these consist of: a) location and b) quality of construction.

There are a number of developers who believe that in the wider Chania area in Crete there is now an emerging market where prime location is offered widely. Views of the sea and/or mountain peaks covered with snow are found in the majority of villages while access to sandy beaches is often a matter of a few minutes drive or walk. As a result the factor “location” is covered in the majority of cases.

As far as quality of construction is concerned the competition in Chania and Crete is probably more intense when compared to the rest of Greece. The reason behind this is exactly the number of interested buyers attracted and the offer of options through various builders and developers. Naturally selecting a quality builder is vital and property seekers may always remember that people get what they pay for.

In general quality and location exist and that is the reason why, while in most areas in Greece prices remain stable the prices in Crete are raising. However, the raise when compared to other areas in Greece or overseas is reasonable and that is a key factor that protects the market and the purchaser.

A home seeker or an investor may not forget the importance of real estate companies. They are bound to be professional and guide people by offering them independent advice when conducting a research for them.

Nektaria Kladitis, owner of Talos Properties, a real estate company based in Chania, Greece.

Property – Kalamata – Foreigners Buy Second Homes in Messinia, Greece

The desired area for the British to purchase second homes, on the Greek mainland is Kalamata in the Messinia region on the Peloponnese. There is an abundance of properties for sale to select from. Many British people are buying up property such as villas, town houses, village houses, farm houses and apartments either for holiday or permanent homes. Property remains one of the best long-term investments and property is certainly one of the most pleasurable. Buying a home in the Messinia region is a fabulous way to broaden horizons and revitalize life. It provides a welcome bolt-hold to recuperate form the stresses and strains of modern life.

The Peloponnese is the southern part of mainland Greece, now divided from the Greek mainland by the Corinth Canal. The Peloponnese peninsula hosts some of the most significant and impressive ancient sites in Greece. The climate is usually mild and green in the winter and it’s not too hot in the summer. Messinia alone has more than 100km of coastline, with some of the best and cleanest beaches in the whole of Greece. The Mani peninsular is situated to the east of Kalamata and has a mountain landscape that is simply stunning. Taygetos is one of the largest mountain ranges in the Peloponnese and dominates the city of Kalamata. Situated to the west of Kalamata is the Messinian peninsular which in contrast has rolling hills and fertile valleys. It’s considered to be the market garden and wine centre of Greece. The city of Kalamata with all its modern facilities nestles at the head of the Messini Bay. Kalamata is an ideal location for prospective second home owners to search for property for sale in the surrounding area of Messinia.

It’s not only the British that are showing an interest in purchasing second homes in the Messinia region. Each year thousands of foreigners are selecting Greece as their preferred destination to purchase property for permanent or second homes. These people are mostly Germans and Americans although there are growing numbers of other nationality appearing such as Canadians, Dutch, Czechoslovakians, Austrians and Scandinavians.

Despite property prices in the Kalamata area increasing by 30 per cent last year, foreigners are snapping up property for sales at bargain prices. There are plenty of old stones houses for sale. Such properties are full of charm and character, needing renovation or maintenance and can be purchased from as little as 30,000 pounds. New homes start from as little as 75,000 pounds without swimming pool.

Most of the foreigners who are looking to purchase property have visited Greece previously as tourist holidaying on the Peloponnese peninsular. A large number of them are pensioners who have settled and brought homes to live in permanently when they retire. However, we are increasingly seeing younger couples and young families purchasing property, settling down and creating a new live for themselves.

According to the Greek National Land Registry, there are 1,750 properties and estates in Messinia that are owned by foreigners. Already many British and other foreign people have brought second homes on the Mani peninsular. Whereas there are relatively few that have purchased property on the Messinian peninsular. However, things look set to change. Interest has increased in this area largely because the Government is actively encouraging investment on the Messinian peninsular. It is aiming to stimulate local revenue and employment by developing tourism projects and local infrastructure.

It is hardly surprising that even through property prices are rising steadily, Kalamata and the Messinia region is proving to be a favourite destination with foreigner’s who are looking to purchase their dream property before price become to high.

Claire May is the proprietor of Claire’s Messinian Properties a licensed real estate agency in the prefecture of Messinia, Greece which offers a wide range of property including; houses, villas, apartments and plots of land. For more information about properties in Messinia visit our website

Guidelines for Buying Property in Greece

Greece property is known as one the best property in the world due to its geographical location as well as the beaches and pleasant weather. There is a huge demand of property in Greece, as it still undervalue today and expected to grow more in future. Buyers can find many Greek islands, so one has an unlimited choice to select the appropriate location accordingly. Some of the popular areas in Greece are known as Cyclades, Dodecannese, Ionian Islands etc. Therefore, if you are planning to buy a property in Greece, then the following guidelines should be kept in mind to crack a better deal:

Real Estate Agent: It is very important to choose a genuine real estate agent, as you might be offered different prices for a single property. Therefore, it will be a wise decision to make your deal with a licensed and experienced real estate agent for a secure transaction.

Analyze the location: It is necessary to analyze the location, which is an important factor for evaluating the value of real estate in Greece. For instance, if you are planning to buy property to stay, then it is advisable to visit it in the winters to get better idea of whether according to your choice.

Lawyers: You can easily locate various English-speaking lawyers in Greece from the Embassy in Athens. The lawyers can provide you the assistance related to various laws and rules related to property and ensure a transparent deal.

Hire a Civil Engineer: If you are planning to construct property on a vacant land, then you can also hire a civil engineer for appropriate construction of property according to the title document. They can also be consulted regarding any specific construction in your selected area.

Property Insurance: Make sure to get insurance of your property to get rid of various unexpected risks or accidents. You can get the assistance on insurance from various UK brokers or Greek Bank.

AFM Number: It is necessary to have Greek tax roll number (AFM) to buy property in Greece, which is issued by the tax offices. It does not require any charge and is issued immediately. In order to get AFM number, you need to submit the application to special tax office, which is located at 18 Lykourgou St, Omonia.

So, next time, when you are planning to buy a property in Greece, the above-mentioned guidelines and measures would ease your mind from various doubts related to property deals and construction.

The author is an experienced Content writer and publisher for Business Development. Visit at to know more about property in Greece.

Exotic Property for Sale in Greece

Greece is an exotic place to visit and is one of the major tourist destinations, which is popular for its mesmerizing scenic beauty and spectacular architect. It is the main country of Europe and most developed and advanced one. It is placed at 22nd position in human development index in 2010. Its high standard of living and quality of life has made it as the prime choice of people to live in. This is the reason investors are investing in Greek properties like never before. The price of property for sale in Greece has increased in last few years. The demand of residential, commercial, and industrial properties is raised due to the infrastructural and industrial development. Though the prices are increased but still are affordable and available at competitive rates.

Greek’s liberal foreign policy has encouraged investors from all over world to invest in the property. Those people who want to have a quieter place to live in and tranquil lifestyle, then, Greece is the best one. It is a highly developed place with modern infrastructure and growing economy.Greece property for sale is inviting potential buyers from different countries to buy mansions, villas, apartments, and freeholds. Huge foreign investment and industrial development has soared job opportunities due to which many job seekers are moving in to Greece. Thereby it is increasing the demand of residential properties. One can buy these properties in beautiful places like Peloponnese, Cyclades, Venetian, Crete and Athens.

Those people who are interested in buying a house in Greece, there are huge options to opt from. There is a multitude of luxurious houses and villas are available for sale. A house for sale in Greece is provided at competitive prices. Investing in residential property here worth each penny, as the cost of living is comparatively lower than many other countries. The residential properties in Greece have seen a major rise in the last few years despite property rates touching limits.

The rates of property for sale in Greece are much lower than other European countries like France, Italy, England and Germany. Whether it is a hillside area or coastal area, you can choose from an apartment to a house covering acres of lands. The main feature of these properties is that they look luxurious and are located at beautiful places. Getting a property in Greece is very easy and safe, give 10% deposit initially, and if the dealer backs out, he has to return that money to the investor along with 10% fine. This is the reason why Greece is the favorite one amongst investors

The author is an experienced Content writer and publisher for Business Development. Visit at to know more about property for sale in Greece, houses for sale in Greece.

Buying Property in Greece – Top 10 Tips To Avoid Pitfalls

1)Take your time. Shop around, compare prices and credentials. Existing properties may be offered by more than one agent, and the price for the same property may vary considerably. Choose an experienced licensed real estate agent. If buying off plan compare companies, their finished properties and what the price includes. Don’t be rushed into a purchase. What will you really find out during a 3 day buying trip? Would you purchase a property at home on such an impulse?

2)Location. If you are thinking of living permanently in Greece visit your chosen location in the winter. You may have found the perfect property but if you have only visited in the summer months you could find that an attractive village near a small resort, but far from town, becomes much less attractive in the winter months when everything in the nearby resort is closed down. If retiring to Greece think about the suitability of the location when you may be less agile – hills, steps or being far from a bus route, shops or health services could be a problem in the future.

3) House with a View. That olive grove in front of your plot could soon become a building site. To ensure that you keep an unimpeded view buy land/property that is on its own high ground or a slope.

4) Lawyer. You must appoint a lawyer (‘dikigoros’) in accordance with Greek law to make a property purchase. Your lawyer is the most important person in your Greek house purchase so you need to be confident that he/she will be looking out for your interests; a lawyer recommended by the builder/estate agent may have a conflict of interests. The British Embassy in Athens provides a list of English speaking lawyers in Greece and the Islands.

5) Building & Renovating Rules. If you are thinking of building or renovating a property yourself be aware that it is not entirely straightforward. The law requires that you use an architect so as to conform to strict building standards, including earthquake regulations. You are required to obtain a building licence and pay taxes and IKA Insurance for the build – even if you do it yourself. Official tax invoices (timologio) must be obtained for all supplies and labour. Only Greek registered tradesmen can provide the proper certification for electricity and water connections.

6)Remote Properties – Water & Electricity. If you are buying off plan from a developer the costs for connecting to mains electricity and water supplies are usually included in the purchase price, but this is not always the case. Check your contract if buying or building a property in a remote area as you may have to pay thousands of Euros for connection to utilities and telephone. If extra pylons or a transformer need to be erected to take electricity to your property you could be burdened with the cost. The same goes for telegraph poles for your telephone line – if there are no poles nearby you will pay for the connection and erection of telegraph poles, and for a water supply you could end up paying for pipes to connect you to the nearest mains.

7) Keeping track of the construction. A number of people have their plans drawn up, sign a contract and return a year later expecting to find their house completed, only to find that it is way behind schedule or that things are not built to plan, have been omitted or the wrong fixtures and fittings have been installed. Keep in touch with your agent or project manager and request photographs at all stages of the build if you are not on site.

8) Buying to Let. Don’t rely on rental returns paying for your investment. There is much competition for holiday rentals and oversupply in some areas, so there are no guarantees of rental income. In order to legally rent your Greek property to holidaymakers you must obtain a licence from the Greek National Tourist Organisation (EOT).

9) Tax. At the outset of a property purchase in Greece the buyer must register for a Greek tax number (A.F.M.). Once the tax number has been issued you are required to submit a tax return yearly in Greece, regardless of income or residency. If you are non-resident and / or have no income in Greece this may be a nil return, but it must still be declared. Import slips (the ‘pink slip’) must be obtained for any cash transfers to prove that cash has originated elsewhere and has already been taxed. Employing a local accountant to give advice on your personal circumstances and obligations is essential.

10) Capital Gains. The market in Greece saw property costs rise steeply between 2002 and 2006, but has now started to slow down. If you are buying property as a short term investment don’t expect to make a quick profit. Remember that you will also need to recoup the high purchase costs of around 12 % (lawyers, estate agents, notary fees & taxes) and pay capital gains tax.

Carol Palioudakis is the author of “Living in Crete. A Guide to Living, Working, Retiring & Buying Property in Crete”, a resource for those moving to Crete and Greece, available from her website

Real Estate In Greece And Greek Property Investment

Recently, the Real Estate services in Greece are very well improved. Many agents are trying to organize the Greek property so as their clients to invest their money to property that really worths. Greece is a blessed country as far as the property is concerned. Beautiful beaches, unique islands, peaceful mountains with rich winter and summer tourism. Many tourists who visit Greece decide to buy real estate and spend more time to this country.

A developing country which is also a part of the European Union couldn’t be away from the Real Estate market. Real Estate offices pop up in order to support the market and help the potential buyers to make the best choice for them. Property to islands and in the inner country as well is preferred and Greek people see more foreigns to visit Greece and also to become their neighbors.

One of the important developments that are recorded in a lot of regions of Greece is the entry of Russians in the market. Corfu, Crete, places of Cyclades and Skiathos are certain examples of intense purchasing or even investment interest from Russia. It is characteristic that these buyers move among expensive choices, concerning the purchase of residence or the purchase of ground.

The market of Real Estate is found in the first line of interest, but there are cases what is asked is not available. The acquisition of large areas near by the sea constitutes the pick for what is asked from the investors and fortunatelly Greece has many beaches and islands. Constructional groups and so on are what big constructing companies tend to develop so as the market to be sufficient. Shortly, these investments will mature with the growth of settlements that will be directed for the abroad market. Thus, it is expected that the following years the physiognomy to be perceptibly diffirent, but also the dynamic of purchase of rural residence in Greece.

The constructing companies have already made big plans for many places around the Greece. Investors coming from many places of Europe and other countries have visited the constructing companies and relative services so as to search for profitable real estate. They can see that day after day people search for property in Greece where they can spend their vacations or even they can see it when the third age people look for other places where they can live after their retirement.

So, whether you are looking for a beach villa on one of the stunning Greek islands, or a traditional mansion in the mountains, Greece property has listings for a huge selection of different property and real estate to suit the desires and requirements of everyone. Fortunately, the market is quite big and the prices are in a low level up to now and for this there is a great number of potential buyers.

If you are looking for a specific property of piece of real estate in Greece, you are more than welcomed because probably you will not be disappointed. A large portfolio of properties is available to the most agents for the investors, which gives them the possibility to find the right property according to their demands and requirements, with absolute confidence and professional responsibility that successfully Greek agents provide. If you sometime visit respectively international exhibitions you may come up to Greek representations where many Greek property agents participate so as to give the potential buyer the opportunity to meet with Greek real estate, get better acquainted with the services and above all to feel a bit of Greece as the home seeker or investor must feel and get a taste of home prior to making Greece her or his home.

Nick Papas is the webmaster of Real estate in Greece Greek property directory and co-webmaster of, a free high quality article submitting site.

A Few Things to Consider When Buying Property in Greece

Buying property in Greece seems to have caught the fancy of numerous property investors across the globe. Many people, particularly those from the UK, have found investing in their own country’s property market a costly affair. Therefore, investing in foreign property has becoming an increasingly attractive option and is becoming a trend of sorts.

Many countries that were, until now, avoided by oversea property investors seem to have sprung into prominence, which includes Greece. Greece now has a large number of foreign nationals who have already invested in property and this number seems to be growing by the day. The property market of Greece is one of the fastest moving in Europe because of so many overseas investors rushing to buy property in the country.

As most people know, Greece is a popular tourist destination, and it is no wonder, with its sunny climate, stunning views and laid back approach to life. The cuisine is known throughout the world, for example: moussaka, feta cheese, and dolmades. And many homes have a bottle of Greece’s famous Ouzo in their drinks cabinet. The cost of living is 40% lower than the UK, and in today’s economic climate that is welcome news.

Many people want to enjoy the delights of Greece on a regular basis and are purchasing a holiday home…or two…in the country. Some visionary people are taking the concept of purchasing holiday homes one-step further. They are buying property in Greece and then leasing them to enthusiastic travelers. A large number of people travel to Greece every year and renting a holiday home can often be cheaper that staying in a hotel over a period of time. Holiday homes also tend to be more personnel than a hotel room, which is another reason why they are popular with travelers.

Greece is also popular with sporting enthusiasts, after all Greece is associated with the first Olympic games and the country has won many sporting laurels. Greece hosted the summer 2004 Olympic games and one of the many benefits to hosting the Olympics is the value of property increasing. Holiday homes are now being regarded as a valuable investment that promises good returns in the long-term.

There are many types of properties available on the market and the average Greek property prices are: new 1 bedroom apartment from EUR50,000 to EUR150,000; new 2 bedroom apartment from EUR100,000 to EUR300,000; and renovated property from EUR50,000 to EUR300,000 plus.

When buying property, Greece, has more to offer than just holiday homes. Many foreign nationals have invested in commercial properties in the country, especially in the more developed cities. Commercial properties include retail enterprises as well as office buildings, and since Greece became a member of the European Union, the demand for office buildings has increased.

Whenever buying property in Greece, the investor must bear in mind that investing in any overseas property requires adequate planning, for example: looking at the market situation; the best location to invest in; when to buy; and what type of property to buy – for example: low-priced single-family homes are difficult to find in the well-developed city of Athens, but are easier to find in other cities such as Larissa. There is help at hand to assist investors: local real estate agents can acquaint foreigners to the realities of the property market; there are English-speaking lawyers specialising in property sales; and oversea holiday clubs.

In conclusion, when buying property, Greece has plenty to offer investors because the property choices are wide and varied, the country is popular with tourists, and property investors are already making excellent returns on their investments.

Annie Hewitt wrote the Article ‘A Few Things to Consider When Buying property in Greece’ and recommends you visit for more information on buying property in Greece.

Property – Greece – The Cost of Living in Greece

The cost of living in Greece is considerable lower than in most other EU countries, but it offers a good standard of living and a wonderful quality of life. Studies indicate that the cost of living in Greece is about 30% lower than Cyprus’ and Cyprus’ is 30% lower than Spain’s and Portugal’s. Over and above the lower cost of living, those who purchase property in Greece will be amazed by how inexpensive houses are. In addition Greece has a very low crime rate, low pollution, and plenty of sunshine. All things considered purchaser of holiday homes in Greece have an extremely attractive package.

Annual Income

A couple living permently in Greece can expect to require an annual income of around £10,000 (14,000 Euro). Example;

House running costs + food……………………………£4816

Two people eating out twice per week………………£1664

Garden maintenance…………………………………… £984

Car insurance…………………………………………… £310

Petrol 5,000 miles per year at £2.25p per Gal…… £360

Return trip to the UK to visit family and friends…£600

Contingency fund………………………………………£1266

Total per year…………………………………………£10,000

Food Prices

Prices have risen quite steeply since the introduction of the Euro in 2002. Locally grown produce is cheap when in season. Imported and processed foods are often highly priced.


To give you an idea of the price of furniture and kitchen appliances, here are some examples for a typical starter package;

Electric cooker…………………………………..£350 (500)

Fridge freezer…………………………………….£350 (500)

1 x double bed…………………………………..£275 (400)

2 x single beds…………………………………..£350 (500)

Dinning table & 4 x chairs……………………£350 (500)

Three piece suit (1 x sofa 2 armchairs)…….£730 (1200)

Patio furniture (plastic table & 4 chairs……£90 (150)

TOTAL COST………………………………….£2586 (3750)

Consumers Rights

If you should be unlucky enough to buy a faulty product in Greece you have the same rights of complaint against a Greek retailer as in any other EU country. For further information or advise contact INKA, free tel: 11727 or 210 363 2443.

Car Running Costs

To purchase a small saloon car in Greece (Fiat Panda or similar) would cost around £4,600 (6,700Euro)

Fully comprehensive insurance and road tax is likely to be about £310. (450 Euro)

Petrol is about 65p per litre (0.91Euro)

Car Rental will be £20-£30 per day, depending on size and duration of hire. For 15 days plus, the smallest might cost £18, and a 4WD between £25 and £40.

Claire May is a knowledgeable author of articles regarding property in Greece and Messinia. Her articles aim to Make buying and selling property in Greece easy and helps buyers with their research and assist them through the unfamiliar Greek property purchasing procedures. Claire has also designed a website to provide readers with information about buying property in Greece

Buying Property In Greece

Greece is one of the best choices for buying property, either for holiday purposes or permanent residence. The number of Europeans that decide to buy a property for sale in Greece increases steadily year after year. The purchase procedure is more or less similar to those of other European countries.

Let’s start by saying that foreigners can own a property in Greece by law, at most parts of Greece. There are some restrictions regarding certain areas, for example near the borders. European Union citizens do not have to worry about these restrictions because they do not apply on them, whereas non European Union citizens have to obtain a license from the local authorities in order to overcome this matter.

Secondly, foreigners – just as Greeks – can obtain a bank loan from a Greek bank or a foreign bank with branch in Greece, in order to finance part or the entire purchase of the property. This makes things easier, especially if you can provide at least 50% of the purchase amount yourself and get a bank loan for the rest.

Foreigners, as well as Greeks, must have a tax roll number called A.F.M., in order to be able to undertake any kind of transaction in Greece. You don’t have to be a Greek citizen to obtain that, nor have you to be living permanently in Greece and/or have residence permission.

Foreigners must, also, prove that the money for the transaction is legal. You can do that either by a bank statement which shows money transfer from your bank in your country to a Greek bank, or by keeping the receipts of currency exchange (pink slips).

Finally, you’ll need a lawyer, a notary and maybe a civil engineer (if you buy a second hand house or land) in order to finalize the purchase procedure.

George Ioannou is a business consultant and a real estate agent based in Athens, Greece. You can find out more about real estate in Greece by visiting his website (properties for sale throughout Greece).

Buying Property in Greece – The Dream Verses Reality

Living the Dream

If you are planning to buy a property in Greece or even just thinking about it you will need a guide to help you though the Greek property purchasing process. Whether you dream of a beach villa, village house or an apartment in the town, it is important to avoid the pitfalls of buying a property in Greece in order to make your dreams come true.

The Dream Verses Reality

In your favourite daydream you have decided to leave your present home behind you and settle in another country. You pack your belongings and leave your country behind. You can imagine the little table, chair and parasol on your terrace overlooking the beach. You are watching the sun set peacefully into to azure sea, while drinking a glass of local red wine and eating olives hand picked from your own trees. You are relaxing away from the stresses and strains of your current life and enjoying a life that you so rightly deserve…

Well, we all have fantasies but, this is the real world and things are simply not always that easy. Are you planning to book a cheap package holiday for a week or two, spend a couple of days looking around, and then buy the perfect little house on the spot? Or have you really thought about what’s involved in purchasing a property in Greece? Have you done your homework, research and planning? Do you know where you want to live when you reach your dream destination? A little forward planning will help you achieve your goal of living the dream. It’s much better than leaving things to chance.

What do I really want from a property in Greece?

The first question you should ask yourself is exactly why you wish to purchase property in Greece. For example, are you looking for a retirement or holiday home? Do you want a summer, winter or permanent home? Are you seeking a sound investment or do you wish to work or start a business? Probably you will find that there are a number of reasons you wish to buy a property in Greece. If this is the case there are many more factor to take into consideration then just buying a holiday home. Take some time to decide what kind of property you would like to purchase, and then discuss your ideas with your partner and family. If you are at all unsure of what or where to buy, the best decision is usually to rent for a while first.

When buying a property you need to consider where you would like to live. Resorts are lively in the summer, but may be crowded with tourists. However, in the winter they may be completely closed, with nothing in the way of facilities or shops. In the mountains or villages a few kilometres in land you will probably be a part of a friendly village community, but if the village is remote no-one may speak your language, so you will have to learn theirs quickly. Another option is to excel at mime. You can make many friends among the villagers this way and have great fun too.

Financial Considerations

One of the most important aspects of buying a property in Greece and living there is finance, which includes everything from transferring and changing money to mortgages and taxes. If you are investing in property or a business it is important to consider the exchange rate. Take a realistic look. It is easy to imagine that you have more money to spend on your dream property than you actually have. The cost of purchasing a house and costs of repairs can spiral dramatically without you being prepared for it. If you need to borrow money to fund your dream property, be careful where you borrow the money from.

Many mortgage companies will not lend money for property overseas. It may seem trivial to mention, but always remember that if you borrow money to buy property, or to rebuild it, you have to pay the money back! This statement is one that should be at the forefront of your mind when you are making your plans. It’s advisable to have your finance in place before your inspection visit. If you see your dream home you will be able to purchase it without any delays. This way you will not miss out.

Do not count on holiday lettings for your property to tourists during the months you are not there. In the last two years there has been a decline in the tourism in most parts of Greece, and income from letting property has declined with it. To let out rooms legally, you must have a license from the Greek Tourism Board. You must also fulfil fire and safety regulations, and you must pay tax on this income. Authorities are having a clamp down on illegal lets, and fines are enormous!

If you are planning to move permanently to Greece, unless you have enough private income for you to live well on, you must consider employment in the place you are going to live. You must ensure that this will be possible before you buy a house. What kind of job can you really expect to do? What are your qualifications and experience? Are they recognized? Do you speak fluent Greek? Unless your Greek is fluent you wont be completing on equal terms with the local workforce (you wont anyway, but that a different issue!). Most Greeks aren’t interested in employing people who do not have a good knowledge of the Greek language unless it deals exclusively with foreigners. Are there any jobs in your profession or trade in the area that you plan to live? Answer to these questions and others can be quite disheartening. However, it is better to ask them before moving to Greece, rather than afterwards.

The Greek equivalent of the English Job Centre is the OAED which has a special department for Europeans seeking work, although you should expect it to be easy to find a job. Unemployment rates in mainland Greece is generally high. It is higher still on the islands. Some islanders can only find work during the summer season, when tourists visit. This means they either have to save enough money when they are working to live on during the winter, or learn to survive on unemployment benefit in the winter months. Unemployment benefit is only paid if they have enough national insurance stamps credited to them over eighteen months. Working one summer season will not earn you enough to be paid benefits. If you are self employed in Greece you are not entitled to benefits at all.

Looking For Your Dream Greek Property

After you have answered all these question and more your will be ready to start looking for a property to suit you and your family. Now do your research. The internet is a helpful tool. Listed below are links to relevant articles and information about property and the prefecture of Messinia which will help with your research.

Take notes about the kind of properties that are available and their location. Also note down any that are just below your price range (just below, because you will need some money to pay for taxes, legal fees, and hidden costs of buying property). Discuss the properties that you have found with your family and friends. Find out about the area to see if it suits your requirements. Study maps and guide book descriptions of each location.

When you have established what your requirements are contact the real estate sites you have been looking at. Find out if the online property list is up to date, quite often agents only advertise a small selection of the properties that they have available. Let the agents know your full requirement (be as detailed as possible) and leave your up to date contact details with them. Ask the agents to let you know when any suitable property comes up. This will make it easier for them to narrow down the search so you do not spend months looking at unsuitable properties.

If you intend booking a holiday in order to view properties, it is important to let the real estate agent know you are going to be arriving at least a couple of weeks in advance. Tell the agent where you will be staying. Take a mobile phone with you that works overseas, so they can contact you if they need to. The agents will be able to arrange viewing of properties for you while you are in the country, and hopefully, will be able to find several properties in each area you are interested in.

Be open minded, it may be worth considering purchasing a plot of land, rather than a house that already exists. Design and build properties are easy to find and are a very popular choice. Check if the plot has planning permission. It is often automatic if the land has road frontage, with all services (water, etc) nearby. If the land is within the town planning area it should also be buildable, but always check, and get it in writing. Prefabricated buildings are available in Greece now, they can be built by the manufacturers, or by yourself. If you plan to build any property yourself you it is important to remember that you have to build to Greek and European building and safety regulations. These are very different from UK regulations. All buildings must be built to withstand earthquakes, for example!

When you have found the property you would like to buy, it is advisable to get a survey done. This is a step that is often missed out in Greece. Some areas are prone to flooding, earth tremor damage, or sink holes (A large hole that suddenly appears in the earth when the limestone beneath is eroded away by water). Save yourself a lot of trouble in the future by paying for a good survey. When you have found a good lawyer (who speaks your language, as well as Greek) and a good accountant (to sort out a tax number for you, and some financial details), you are ready to make an offer.

It is normal to pay a deposit of 10 – 20 % of the agreed purchase price. This seals the contact between the seller and buyer. If the seller pulls out (which is unlikely) he must return the money plus the same amount again. If the buyer pulls out the deposit is forfeit. However, if previously known problems are revealed the deposit will automatically be return. Property purchase is generally completed in a short period. It can take as little as 48 hour to 2 weeks. However, if the seller has not collected all the necessary documents for the transaction, it can take up to 3 months. You must not pay the full amount until all the documents are in place and your lawyer has made it all legal!

Good Luck with the purchase of your dream Greek property. Enjoy your little piece of Paradise, you’ve earned it.

Claire May is a recognized author of articles about property in Greece and Messinia. An article of her successful undertaking was published in the Escape property magazine. For more information about Messinian properties come and view our website