International real estate market specialists note that prices for apartments in Greece are beginning to gradually increase (in the second quarter of 2018, the increase in the cost of 1 square meter was about 1%).
Greek real estate is considered by many non-residents as a profitable investment instrument that can bring significant profits in the medium and long term, and in addition, save capital.
Advantages of buying a home in Greece
Commercial organizations and individuals registered in the Russian Federation and CIS countries can purchase housing in Greece without any restrictions. An exception to this rule are border areas (the islands of Kos, Rhodes, etc.). The purchase of real estate located in border regions will require permission from the Ministry of National Defense.
Buying a home in Greece gives a foreign owner the following advantages:
- obtaining a residence permit that is valid in all countries included in the Schengen area (the market value of the purchased property must be at least € 250,000);
- favorable conditions for the sale of an apartment, house or office by a non-resident (the authorities of the Hellenic Republic have imposed a moratorium on the payment of tax on the sale of commercial and residential real estate);
- the opportunity to receive a stable income from rental housing with a deliberate choice of area (the tourism industry is the basis of the Greek economy).
The process of buying a home in Greece begins with choosing a property. The most popular among foreign investors are properties located in Athens, Delphi, as well as on the islands of Kerkyra (Corfu), Mykonos, Chalkidiki, Santorini, Crete and Paphos.
The process of purchasing and registering housing in Greece: key stages of the transaction
You can choose housing yourself or entrust it to a real estate agency (this type of activity in Greece is subject to mandatory licensing). Before signing a contract, it is important to carefully study the title documents of the real estate company. Once the buyer has decided on the property, the next steps are:
- Checking the apartment. It is better to entrust the legal inspection of housing to a lawyer recommended by specialists from a real estate company. The lawyer will find out the current status of the property, request the history of transactions with the apartment, check for encumbrances and examine the seller’s title documents. He will also protect the client’s interests in government agencies in case of unforeseen situations. An experienced lawyer has good knowledge of the local market and all the intricacies of national legislation. Qualified legal advice will minimize the risk of fraud and transaction failure. When purchasing a home in Greece, you should definitely take into account the cost of a lawyer’s services (a lawyer’s fee is about 1.5% of the market price of the property).
- Transfer of the deposit. The transfer of funds to the seller is carried out on the basis of a preliminary contract drawn up by a lawyer. The average amount deposited is about 15 thousand euros. Payment of the deposit is carried out by bank transfer with a preliminary transfer of funds to an account in a Greek bank or in cash. The transfer of funds is certified by a receipt or bank statements. If the deal falls through due to the actions of the seller, the client will receive the payment made in double the amount.
- Payment of tax on transfer of ownership. The receipt for payment of the obligatory state payment must be presented to the notary.
- Signing of the main contract. The purchase and sale agreement is drawn up in Greek and certified by the signatures of the parties in the presence of a lawyer and a notary (at the request of the parties, the contents of the contract are translated into Russian). The purchase and sale agreement describes the property in detail, as well as its price and payment plan. The agreement must be certified by a Greek notary.
- Payment for purchase. The new home owner transfers funds to the seller within seven days after signing the main contract. The transfer of the required amount is made by non-cash method.
- Registration of transfer of ownership rights. The agreement is registered in the local Mortgage Register. After this, the government agency issues the buyer a certificate of ownership of the apartment or house.
Buying a home in Greece can be done remotely through a trusted person. For example, a realtor or lawyer accompanying the transaction, for whom it will be necessary to prepare a power of attorney. This legal document must be translated into Greek and certified with an apostille.
The process of purchasing and registering housing in Greece: necessary documents
A non-resident wishing to purchase a home in Greece should open an account in a local bank and obtain an AFM (the Greek equivalent of a TIN) from the Tax Office for foreign citizens. To do this, you need to prepare the following documents:
- international passport;
- Russian passport;
- document confirming official work activity;
- a copy of the tax return certifying the presence of legal income.
The guarantor of the fulfillment of contractual obligations is a Greek notary, who is an official representative of the state.
The process of purchasing and registering housing in Greece: other expenses
Buying a home in Greece involves certain additional expenses, which in most cases depend on the market price of the property. These include:
- attorney fees;
- payment for notary services;
- fee for translation of documents;
- payment for banking services;
- tax on transfer of property rights;
- state fee for registering a transaction.
The total amount of additional costs can be up to 10% of the current transaction price. Related expenses can be calculated not only from the market value, but also from the cadastral value of the property. This method is used when the cadastral price of housing exceeds the market price (the exception is the services of a realtor, which are calculated only from the market value of the purchased housing).