A great benefit of buying property in Greece is that the process of obtaining a mortgage is relatively simple and remarkably similar to what we are used to in the UK.
An Introduction to the Purchasing Process
Fortunately, the process of purchasing a property in Greece is relatively similar to the UK, making it a much less daunting prospect for new investors. Having said this, local advice is still essential as administration can be slow in Greece, particularly on some of the smaller islands and mistakes regarding ownership can be extremely costly.
A Look at the Process
As previously mentioned, securing finance can be a particularly time consuming affair and it is generally best to obtain a mortgage offer agreement, before you travel to Greece. This way, you can ensure that you inspect the correct properties; you will also be taken far more seriously by vendors when you put in your offer.
Before venturing to Greece, consider the type of property and area on which you intend to concentrate. Greece is a very diverse country, with everything from cosmopolitan cities to virtually deserted islands, each with their own merits! Once you have decided on where you want to buy, consider appointing a solicitor and an agent in order to help you find the property.
Tax Registration Number
Applying for a tax registration number (or AFM as they are commonly referred to) is one of the first things that you should do once you have secured financing and decided on where you are going to search for your property.
Every foreign buyer will need this AFM before they are able to own a property legally in Greece. The AFM is free and is issued immediately at tax offices. In order to obtain a number you will need to show a passport and a birth certificate as proof of identity. It is possible for a solicitor to apply for the number on your behalf, provided you have given them full Power of Attorney.
Putting in the Offer to Completion
Once you have agreed the purchase price for the property, you will enter into a pre-contract with the seller which will lay down all the terms and conditions of the agreement; you will also need to pay a 10 percent deposit.
Following the pre-contract, there is normally a period of 6 - 8 weeks when your solicitor will work towards completion. At completion, the entire balance becomes due and you will take ownership. All fees and taxes have to be paid, at this point.
There is currently no land registry in place that covers the whole of Greece, although some islands do maintain a register; your local solicitor will be able to advise you on where your ownership should be noted.
the process of purchasing a property in Greece broadly follows the same process as in the UK;
it is worth appointing a solicitor early on, as they can assist with various aspects of the purchase such as obtaining a tax registration number;
a tax registration number is free to obtain, but is essential before you are able to purchase any property;
there is currently no land registry that covers the whole of Greece, making ascertaining ownership particularly tricky.