The buying process and beyond
Once you have chosen your property this is what happens.
You will need
A LAWYER - As in any other EU country you will need to appoint a lawyer. They check every aspect of the ownership title of the property, and ensure that there are no legal claims against the property or the sellers. We can recommend experienced lawyers, fluent in your language to work on your behalf.
A NOTARY- Your lawyer will appoint a notary to prepare and register the final contract for the purchase. This is a government official who checks all the documents presented by your lawyer to ensure the total legality of the property transfer.
A GREEK TAX NUMBER (AFM)- If you make a Power of Attorney your lawyer will be able to obtain this on your behalf and sign the final contract if you cannot attend the signing in person.
A Tax No. is obligatory for all buyers, and is issued from the Tax Office.
A GREEK BANK ACCOUNT– the necessary documents are:
- Your Greek Tax Number
- A copy of your passport.
- A document verifying your residential home address – drivers licence, council tax bills, utility bills etc.
- A document establishing that you pay tax in your home country – wage slip, or company accounts if you are self employed.
TO PAY A DEPOSIT- this is usually 10% and is paid in order for your chosen property to be removed from the market. This is held in our Client Trust Account and forms part of the funds at final contract completion.
When the time comes for final completion
You can return to sign personally, or you can leave a Power of Attorney with your lawyer to sign on your behalf. They will also be responsible for paying all fees and taxes which are due at this time.
Additional purchase expenses
These vary for each property but you should allow in the region of 12% in addition to the price of the property. This includes - Purchase Tax, Lawyer’s fees, Notary's fees and Agency Fees.
Financing your purchase
It is currently very difficult to obtain a mortgage in Greece, although occasionally it is possible. Most buyers choose to raise finance based on property they currently own in their home countries.
Buying regulations are now the same for Greek nationals, EU citizens and non-EU citizens.
When you need to send money to Greece from non-eurozone areas you should consider using the services of our partner currency exchange company Foreign Currency Direct, www.currencies.co.ukrecently awarded Gold Trusted Service by Feefo.
You will not need to obtain a residence permit before you buy your property. For EU nationals residence permits are simple to obtain and if you plan to stay for longer than 90 days, you will have to register and obtain a permit at the nearest police station or Aliens’ Bureau. You need to present your passport or identity card, four photographs, proof of accommodation (title deeds), proof you have sufficient income (e.g. bank statements or certificate from your employer) and proof of health insurance cover (EU Health Card – which has replaced Form E-111 and E-121 – or a private health insurance policy)
In 2013, the Greek government passed a new law which gives non-EU nationals and their family members residence permits when buying property with a value of €250,000 or more. This residence permit is renewable and allows the buyer to live in Greece, exit and re-enter at any time, and to travel to all other Schengen countries purely with their passport. The permit takes on average about 2 months to obtain once the relevant property has been purchased.
In Corfu or anywhere else in the world, the correct property to buy is not only the one you love the most, but also one which will function as a profitable investment. In buying a property on one of the popular islands such as Corfu you are acquiring a safe, secure investment, with probable appreciation on the property value. It also offers the opportunity of a good annual return on a seasonal rental.
There are a variety of investment options:
- The most common is that of a holiday home which also has letting potential, which can provide wonderful holidays for family and friends, and also be let to generate an income which will support the running expenses of the property.
- A ‘lifestyle change’ investment enabling you to live and work in Corfu, such as a 'bed and breakfast', guest apartments, or a small hotel.
- A property which is simply an investment such as a villa or apartments, which are let throughout the summer in order to provide a regular income.
At Corfuhomefinders we have many years of experience and can identify suitable investment properties, within your budget and fulfilling your personal requirements. We will give you honest, practical opinions on the projected return for your potential purchase, and advice on how to achieve this, with recommendations for locations/types of property etc. We can provide examples of previous purchasers now successfully realising a good rental return on their properties
Once you own your property the question arises of how you want to look after it - if it is a holiday rental will you be here to run it yourselves? If not, you will need reliable people to look after your property and your guests, or you might want someone to take over the entire letting and management process. We realise how difficult it is to have everything the way you want it when you won’t necessarily be on site to organise it yourself.
If it is your personal home you might just want someone to open up the house periodically, check that all is ok, and then simply get the house ready for your arrival and clean after your departure.
At Corfuhomefinders we know local people who can help you with all levels of property management, totally tailored to your personal requirements - if you find the letting process and day to day management rather daunting, we have someone who can handle it for you, if you need a cook, maintenance staff or cleaners arranged and overseen, we can do it, if you have an electrical or plumbing problem, we can send someone.
Property taxes and operating expenses
There is an annual property tax (ENFIA) payable either as a lump sum or in 5 payments. This is calculated on the taxable value of the property, and is area dependent, with amounts ranging from €3 per m2 to €6 m2<
Electricity (DEH) bills are every second month, and included in the bill is a percentage for local utilities, and TV Licence. The smaller the electricity bill, the smaller the utilities bill.
Water bills (DEYAK) are every quarter. Telephone/Wi-Fi land line bills are every 2 months. Wi-Fi, at varying speeds, is available throughout the island.
There are several mobile phone companies who offer contract connections, pay as you go, and also wifi.
Satellite TV is available via Nova or Cosmote, with a monthly subscription, and a wide range of channels including many in English. Many people now use the internet for streaming/downloading television or films.
Most bills are payable either on-line or through direct debit via your bank account.