Buying Property in Greece – Top 5 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 buy on impulse or be rushed into a purchase.
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.
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.
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