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No matter how much of a DIY expert you consider yourself, at some stage you are going to need to employ the services of a tradesperson to complete work on your new home in Greece, whether it be renovations or self build. Whether you are sourcing building companies, plumbers or gardeners, there are a few simple rules that always apply.   So, how do you find tradespeople in Greece?  There are a number of options to consider.  One in particular is that you can advertise, but this is effective if you know the language.  Greek Property Experts have found that the best way to find tradespeople is to get recommendations from others you might know within the region.  Look at the work that has already been completed, but one thing is a definite, never employ a relative.  It this is the only option, then do look at the work first.  It is absolutely important to get personal references before employing a tradesperson to do any work for you. You wouldn’t do this any different elsewhere, so why do people seem to think it doesn’t apply when operating abroad?

The good news is that Greek Property Experts can recommend reputable tradespeople to fulfill your requirements.  Another aspect to note is that the locals often quote crazy prices and if people don’t get alternative quotes, then they can end up paying way over the odds, and not necessarily getting the quality of work that they would want or expect.  Here at Greek Property Experts, one choose the level of works that need completing and this includes a 10 year guarantee.  The price that is quoted is the price you will pay.  No hidden extras, to shock you as you go along.  Professional sound advice at all times and example of works completed can be shown.

Bear in mind that times are really hard in Greece at the moment, so you might get lumbered with inexperienced tradespeople, who might exaggerate their skills in order to earn.  Assess the person, get quotes, compare and really do your homework well, otherwise you could end up paying thousands of Euros, over and above the actual price.  So the golden rule is never do anything any different as to how you would normally do in your own country, especially the UK and obtain trusted references at all times.

 

 

If this is the year that you plan on making your move to Greece, it is important that you are up to date with all the latest goings on of the property market.  Many might be afraid of buying a property in Greece, especially with the current financial crisis.  But with the policies that the Government have recently implemented and that Greece will definitely not return to the Drachma, my opinions are that Greece will make a slow but steady improvement.

Within this region of the Ermionida, it is an area that has been ‘untouched’ by all the problems displayed in the bigger cities. Strikes in Athens and other cities are apparent, but here life go on pretty normal.  Sadly though, many see Athens in the news and think that the whole of Greece is in turmoil, which just isn’t the case.  People need to continue visiting and have confidence in Greece.  Then they will realise that there are very few problems.

This region is very much upmarket, and prices haven’t crashed as the potential buyer might wish.  But one thing which is more noticeable is that sellers are more open to negotiations and prices are as good as they have ever been.  Everyone likes to make as much money as possible, but the sellers have realised that they must adapt to encourage more sales.  The choices for the potential buyer are vast.  From traditional renovation projects, to prime land locations, there is definitely something to suit everyone.  With the construction of the new luxury yacht marina here in Ermioni, this area will definitely be a hot spot for potential investors.

Many people love the Mediterranean life.  Food costs are about the same as the UK, or cheaper if you buy local produce.  Petrol and car insurance are more expensive, but then utilities are very much cheaper. Yes, there is the new property tax, but if you are from the UK, it is far less than council tax.  The new property tax is worked out on the square meterage of the property, with a fixed rate for each area. With this, it seems that taxes are now the sort of reasonable taxes which you would expect to pay as a property owner in any country.  Before, property owners never used to pay anything at all, thereby contributing to the general financial problems.

This region, within the Peloponnese has long been popular with Greeks, especially  holiday-seeking Athenians, but British buyers such as the BBC’s John Humphrys have also purchased within this region, and Greece’s most expensive new development, Aman Zoe which is between Kranidi and Porto Heli.

One aspect of buying in Greece is that you do need to give a lot of thought to this project.   EOT licences were requirements if you wanted to rent out your property for short term lets.  From March/April ’13 this will all change.  Instead, renters will have to apply for a small business licence which will mean the issuing of receipts.   If you dream of buying property in Greece, don’t be deterred.  Many people are still doing so and living the dream.   Greece is still a country of beauty and has so much to offer the potential investor or holiday maker.

 

Situated next to the Ermioni football pitch, a new luxury super-yacht Marina is planned for construction, opening in the summer of 2014.  Building plans have been approved, and one can see the fenced off area in place.  Operated by Camper and Nicholsons, the exclusive marina will accommodate more than 120 super yachts, up to 65m in length.  The whole complex will have its own bars, restaurants, shops, and in addition, a swimming pool and chandlery.  This new marina will also provide 5 star facilities for existing and prospective property investors in the Ermionida region.  Smaller yachts and flotillas will also have numerous places to anchor within the inner harbour of Limania port, or at Mandrakia, on the Southern side of the Ermioni peninsula.

 

If you are thinking of buying a home in Greece, whether for permanent living, or as holiday home, or as an investment with view of renting to holiday makers, then you might wish to consider renting first, before making a purchase.  Presently Greek Property Experts are offering you the opportunity of spending 3 nights free within this region, which will give you an opportunity to find out everything you need to know about living in Greece.  Also it will give us an opportunity to show you round the region.  Do your research first, and do use professional real estate professionals.  Greek Property laws have changed and severe fines are in place for individuals who think they can take short cuts.

Permanent living/Seasonal living:  For permanent living, one needs to ensure that correct heating provisions are made for the colder months. Everybody seems to think that Greece is warm and sunny all year round.    It might be sunny most of the year, but in terms of being warm all year, then this is not the case. Greece can be very cold and wet during the winter.   Houses do get damp, due to the elements of living close to the sea. Even an old house, with thick one meter walls, can be very cold.

Holiday rentals/personal use:  If the house is bought with view of renting out to holiday makers, for investment purposes, then it is important to consider families requirements and ensure all amenities are in place for guests.   Note: Anyone who is renting out to holiday makers, family or friends for less than 3 months of the year, needs to ensure they have an EOT license.  The cost for this license can be anything up to 3000 Euros.   Less than 3 months, means guests staying for one or two weeks only.   If you rent to one individual/family for over 3 months, then a license is not applicable.  Greek Property Experts can help you with all your planning details.

Island living:  Consideration needs giving to living on an island and what this actually means.  When the weather turns and there are extreme windy, stormy weather conditions, islands can be cut off from sea sailings.  You or the holiday maker could be trapped on this island for days, until the weather improves. Therefore provisions need to be made should this happen.  This is not applicable for islands that are served by Super Ferries or have an airport.  Furthermore, the islands are full of life during the holiday seasons, but during the periods of October to November, islands can become desolate and one can feel cut off.  This is not applicable to the bigger islands of Rhodes/Crete/Corfu, as island life is continuous; nothing shuts down, except the holiday resorts.  Do you wish to rent out all year or just seasonal?  If it is all year rentals, then an island might not be the best choice, as the sea timetable schedule change during the winter months and there will be very limited provisions available to holiday makers.  During the height of summer, there might be water shortages on some islands, which has to be shipped in, as a result.  This is a huge inconvenience if you have rentals, as guests might run out of water for showers.  At  least on the mainland, there are no problems in terms of shortages of water or any utilities.  Buying within this region, gives you the feeling of island living, as the area is surrounded by the sea on three sides and you are never cut off.

Village life/old village houses:  Old houses are charming, full of character, thick stone walls, stone floors that date back to the Mycenaean period, traditional Greek features and Greek courtyards. These types of houses are what individuals seem to enjoy and appear to be the better investment.  Living in an old historic village allows you to enjoy village life and participate in community events, even though you might not speak the language. However, living in a village does have its drawbacks.  Houses are old, charming and full of character, but village houses rarely have gardens, only small charming courtyards.  If you are a keen gardener and have enjoyed gardening, then you will have to make do with pots.  Church bells might also be another nuisance for some, but these bells are all part of the charm of village life.  Motorbikes might also be another nuisance, but again, like everything else, one gets used to these.  Motorbikes are the form of transport within a village, besides cars, which might surprise some.

Villas/with pools away from it all:  For some, this is totally ideal, away from it all, in peaceful and tranquil settings……..mountainous or sea fronts.  However, villas need maintaining, especially if they are bought for rental purposes, also villas can be damp after the height of the hot summers. The gardens/pool will need maintenance, and can be viewed as demanding and another added expense.   However, some villas are stunning, some villas have 360° panoramic views, and are truly magnificent.   A note worth considering:  research from Greek Property Experts has found that modern type of accommodations, whether they are villas or apartments; tend to struggle in terms of holiday rentals, yet old village character houses, do offer better returns, as they are sought after and very different from one another. If you are considering buying a villa as an investment purpose, do think carefully, as the economic downturn is saturating the market with villas.

A restoration project or a full renovation project:  If it is an old house with character that you want to buy for rental purposes, then this could be good option.  Prices are high for these ‘wrecks’ and costs for restoration or renovations can be high.  But once finished, the house will be a beautiful traditional Greek house, oozing with character. These types of houses will provide lots of return all year round and could be considered as a good investment.

Buy land and self build:  Land is plentiful in Greece.  Buying land and self build means one can choose the exact location and custom build.  But, beware that if the house is to be for living purposes all year round, adequate provisions need to be made for the colder months.   If it is a project with view of renting, then do consider the needs of the holidaymakers and investing in the EOT licence.

Real estates or private buys:  Real estates are the safest choice to buy in today’s property climate.  Greek Property Experts will guide you and give you all the professional advise to ensure your buying process is safe and within the requirements.

Do not buy any differently from how you would buy in the UK or your own home country:  Do not be pressurized into any immediate buys, no matter what is said to you. Sometimes when you are in the sunshine, in a Mediterranean country, many make big mistakes. We did exactly the same thing. We liked the house we bought and the pressure put on us by the seller, lost us 600 Euros. We thought we were dealing with an independent solicitor, but in actual fact, we were dealing with the vendors solicitor.  In England, one would seriously think carefully before buying.  Do the same in Greece. Do not part with any money beforehand.

Do you wish to buy as an investment:  The properties that make good investments are the ones that are sought after, rarely available and ones that are different from all the rest. These also would provide excellent rental returns.   Modern houses, villas, apartments, may be slower in terms of investment and returns, unless you can offer panoramic sea-views etc.

Get a good lawyer:  This is an absolute.   Lawyers in Greece are plentiful, but do ensure the lawyer works for you and not for the vendor.

Land is plentiful in Greece, from prime coastal locations, which offer fantastic sea views, to less expensive country locations, with mountain views.   Land in Greece is measured in stremmas (one stremma = 1000 sqms) and vary greatly in price, depending on location.  This option allows you to build and design your own villa/house to your own specifications.  The company’s design and build service is very popular with investors, as many customers request luxury properties on large plots of land.   It offers excellent value for money.   Your exact requirements will be catered for, and regular updates will be sent to you.  There are many pieces of land available, but many are not advertised, due to the exclusive locations and costs associated with this exclusivity.  A word of caution…….please buy from reputable real estate professionals, as Greek Property purchases has changed.  Severe fines are imposed for people not acting with the law.

New for 2013:  Greek Property Experts are offering 3 nights free accommodation to potential investors, which will allow us to show you around the wonderful area, view properties and answer all your questions.   Food is not included, high season will only be considered if booked well in advance.

The buying process in Greece for investment purposes is not difficult.  However, please  choose sensibly and buy from reputable real estate professionals.   Greek Property law has changed hugely, and if short cuts are taken, then the penalties are huge.  Using the professionals will guarantee peace of mind, and the process will run smoothly.  First you need to decide what type of property you want.  I strongly recommend that you take up the opportunity of a free 3 night stay, where you can view all what is available within your specifications.    It will also give you an opportunity to ask questions about anything that might be a concern.   Once you have selected your property and made an offer, this will be referred back to the seller.  If accepted, you will then start the process of buying.  At this stage it might make sense to have your finances readily available to avoid any chance of loosing your selected property.

To secure your property, a 10% deposit on the purchase price is normally required on signing the preliminary sale agreement. This agreement details the names of the parties, the price, a property description, the payment method and any agreed conditions.

We advise you to appoint an English speaking lawyer, or a lawyer of your language, ideally one who is local.  This will allow then to conduct searches and will be updated with the new property regulations.   They can check for clean title, help to fix the “assessed value”, and ensure that the property is free from outstanding taxes which the new owner would otherwise inherit.   Local lawyers within the region can be recommended, who work independently.

Property transactions in Greece always take place in the presence of lawyers representing both parties, and the notary, who will not authorise the sale without the appropriate tax papers and deeds being in order.At this stage, if the vendor backs out after a pre-contract has been signed and deposit paid, you get your deposit back, plus they will pay you an equal sum as penalty. If you back out, you would lose your deposit.

The purchase tax/VAT, legal and notary fees are paid for by the buyer, in Greece. These are calculated against the “officially assessed price” of the property and not the actual selling price.  In order to keep costs down, the “officially assessed price” can be as much as a third cheaper than the actual selling price.

• Legal fees  1-2% (of assessed price)
• Notary fees  1-2% (of assessed price)

Purchase taxes/VAT also apply depending on a number of factors including building/building license date and location of property. These range in value greatly but are generally around 10% for re-sale properties. For individual design and build it can be less but for new developments it can be more.  As these percentages are based on the lower “officially assessed price”, you should allow for these total costs to add up to approximately 10%-13% of the sale price.

Once all the papers are ready and in order, completion takes place . The Notary will have prepared an official contract which is then signed at their offices, in the presence of the lawyers representing both sides. If the customer decides not to be present, they can agree to a Power of Attorney, for their lawyer to act on their behalf and under their instruction.

New for 2013:  Greek Property Experts are offering 3 nights free accommodation to potential investors, which will allow us to show you around the wonderful area, view properties and answer all your questions.   Food is not included, high season will only be considered if booked well in advance.

 

Renovations are pretty much straightforward, but it is important that you use professional services for all your needs, from buying to renovating, as Greek Property laws have changed hugely.  Gone are the days of cutting corners.  Many old houses are available, crying out for restorations.  Many have lovely old features such as stone arches which are begging to be restored to their former glory. We work in conjunction with a professional real estate company within the region, who have the skilled people to complete your restoration and renovation project, exactly to your needs, and guaranteed 100%.  Architects are available to understand your needs at all times, and will work exactly to your specifications.  Renovation projects can vary from 3 months to one year, but one thing you can be sure off, is that you will receive continuous updates at all times.  Costs for renovations vary.  You can opt for cheaper options, or top of the range options, or if you have a specific budget, this will be maintained without any further hidden extras.  Restoration projects, might seem more expensive than the normal villa type of building, but the beauty of a renovation project, is that your finished product will be a unique character Greek home, with beautiful period features.

New for 2013:  Greek Property Experts are offering 3 nights free accommodation to potential investors, which will allow us to show you around the wonderful area, view properties and answer all your questions.   Food is not included, high season will only be considered if booked well in advance.

 

 

The Greek government has announced that all foreign investors buying land and property within Greece will have the right to become Greek citizens.  This means that as Greek citizens, these investors will automatically become members of the European Union.  This is great news to investors from outside the EU.  It is hoped that this new ruling will encourage more foreign investment in Greece.

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