Because of the Greek crisis you’ll find that – despite surprisingly low rents – overall cost of living in Greece is actually pretty high and almost reaching UK level.
Buying a House in Greece
Apart from a few designated areas near the borders, you can buy a house anywhere in Greece. In recent years house prices have risen as more people are relocating to Greece or buying second homes. You will find a lot of new buildings – and a lot of estate agents – so shop around.
By law you need a lawyer, who checks the title at the land registry office. You may wish for a structural survey, and for a civil engineer to check the boundaries, and building restrictions.
The sales document is drawn up by the notary – and signed by the seller and buyer in the presence of the notary, and lawyers for both seller and buyer (you can appoint power of attorney to your lawyer if you wish, then he can sign for you and make the payments on your behalf).
You will need a Greek bank account for transfer of funds. Some of the costs are transfer tax (11%), lawyer’s fees (around 1-2%) and around 1% for notary fees and searches.
If your property is worth over 200 000 euro (£162 000) then you have to pay an annual tax. Prices range from around 38 000 euro (£31 000) for a small apartment in a block of flats to a two-bedroom apartment for 240 000 euro (£195 000) and well over 2 million euro (£1 500 000) for a really luxurious villa. It usually costs more than you expect, so check your finances carefully. Currency rates will affect you.
Working in Greece
The European Free Movement of Workers agreement means you can live and work in Greece without a visa or work permit.
Your ability to find work depends upon your language skills. English is a bonus, but you need to be fairly fluent in Greek to take full advantage of the job market. If you are moving for employment, the administrative details may be handled by the employer. It is wise to get a written contract if possible. A verbal contract gives little protection.
Certain professions are regulated by the government and require educational or professional qualifications. The Hellenic Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs is responsible for recognition of qualifications obtained in the EU for most professions (excluding many medical professions, architects and lawyers).
Hellenic Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs
37 Andrea Papandreou Str, 15180 Marousi
Tel: 210 344 2487 / 344 3169 / 344 3175 / 344 2486
You will need to find out the legal requirements when starting your own business in Greece.