The country of Greece has many options for expats to buy property. However, there are certain restrictions that expats and foreigners must overcome to finally purchase real estate in Greece. They also need to hire lawyers for the process. Keep in mind that the most expensive places to buy real estate in Greece are by coastal and island resorts.
Attorneys and Real Estage Agents
You will need to hire a lawyer in the process of buying property in Greece. Property and property ownership are taken very seriously by Greeks. Your lawyer will also act on your behalf in the process of paying local taxes and registering your property with the Greek Land Registry.
You may work with a real estate agent. If you are buying in a foreign owner-restricted zone, they can give you advice and help you with obtaining approval.
During this process, you will also need to hire a civil engineer. They will make sure that your prospective property is structurally sound. Be aware that Greece suffers from earth quakes, so the advice of this expert is very helpful.
You will need to deal with a notary public (in Greek: Simvoliographo). Greek notary publics are professionals, and their jobs are very seriously, so they will not let a contract pass if they see something suspicious. The notary public is also responsible for checking that your prospective property has a clear title.
Rules, Regulations and Restrictions
There are some property restrictions for foreigners. Part of the reason is the proximity of Greece to Turkey. Most of the restrictions are easy to overcome.
When you are going to purchase property, you must sign up for an AFM, which is a Greek role tax number. There are no restrictions to obtaining one of these for foreigners. They are available at any tax office in Greece. YOu need to present a passport to the tax office if you are not an EU national. Foreigners are also required to show where their money is coming from with a “pink slip.” It confirms that the money is coming from abroad by legitimate sources. This is necessary to set up a Greek bank account.
It is difficult to obtain a mortgage through a Greek bank, and the mortgage interest rates are higher than most places of the European Union. It is much easier to set up a mortgage from a different bank outside Greece. If you are financing your home with outside money, this must be documented and officially declared to the Bank of Greece.
Foreigners are allowed to purchase real estate in most locations in Greece. You are required to get approval from a local prefecture if you plan to purcahse real estate in certain parts of northern Greece, Crete and Rhodes. Certain real estate agents will assist you with this. This is not a difficult process.
First, you should settle on a property, and make an offer to the seller. Next, a preliminary contract must be drafted. When this contract is signed, you should put down a 10% deposit.
Before you actually purchase the property, you are required to pay the transfer tax, as well as make a tax declaration for the property tax.
You must then finish arranging the financing with the government and the bank, while the seller finishes with all their necessary work and documentation. The notary must do their proper research to be sure that there are no confusions on the property title. When all of this is cleared, you and the seller must sing the final contract in front of the notary. If you are using real estate agents in this process, they must also be present at the time of the final signatures. Then the property is yours. Your lawyer will help you with registration and taxes.