1. GENERIC QUESTIONS
Our staff speak Greek, English, French, Italian, Russian and we also have German speaking staff available on request.
On your electricity bill there is a small charge for local services, such as road sweeping; there is also a charge for TV licence (whether you have a TV or not). Other basic charges are for water, which providing you do not have many olive trees or a large garden that needs much watering, are not expensive.
Greek banks are reluctant to give mortgages at present, but this may change in the future. It is not particularly recommended unless you already have funds in a Greek bank or have lived or worked for the requested (by that particular bank) time in Greece and can show books authorised by your accountant that you have a reliable income, or can show you have a reliable income coming in from outside Greece.
On the whole, the Cretan people are extremely hospitable and welcoming. Most families build for themselves and do not buy and sell property with the frequency that occurs in other countries and there is no shortage of affordable homes or properties to renovate or land to build upon. It is appreciated however if you learn at least a few words of Greek with which to greet your neighbours.
The Greek language is a beautiful and rich language, but it must be admitted, difficult to learn quickly. It is appreciated however if you learn at least a few words of Greek and you will be the richer yourself for it.
The summers are long and hot, but the “Meltemi” wind keeps things cool. The winters are mild, especially up to the end of the year, but the early three months of the year can be wet. However, apart from in mountainous and hillside areas, there is rarely frost or snow.
Crete does have occasional minor seismic activity and houses are built with this in mind, however, earthquakes are not a major worry or problem here.
Most areas of Crete do not have a problem with water supplies; in those areas that do, extra water tanks/cisterns are recommended. Most villages and towns have taps/fountains that supply delicious spring mountain water.
Unfortunately official unemployment in Crete is high, however, if you are looking for work it is important to get to know as many people as possible, especially related to the type of work you are looking for. To work on an official basis you will need to apply to the police station for a residence permit and pass through the relevant bureaucratic procedures. If you are starting up your own business, bring as much related paperwork as possible.
You need your passport, Greek tax number and proof of residence in your home country. To apply for the tax number you need the same documents plus good quality copy of Birth Certificate. Usually your Lawyer, using your Power of Attorney for the buying process, applies for the tax number on your behalf and then opens the bank account.
You will need to check with your embassy/consulate as to the present situation, which is constantly changing. If you bring a car which you wish to keep in Crete for longer than the 6 months, then you must change to Greek number plates for a fee.
2. PURCHASING QUESTIONS
We have the most comprehensive list of available properties and plots of land available in north east Crete, as well as many properties and plots of land throughout the rest of Crete, particularly towards the west of Crete and the South East.
Prices vary immensely and depend on, amongst other things:
- distance from the sea
- whether within or outside village/town plan limits
- if building permit is required
- condition of property
- vendor’s desirability to sell quickly or not
- if the property has a plot of land or a garden
- year of construction
Now any nationality can buy a property, plot or business. For some non EU-passport holders, they may need to contact their respective Consulates to see if the situation is different.
Purchase Tax ( 3%) is paid only once and this happens before a property changes ownership.
As a property owner in Greece you are liable to Greek income tax laws and it is very important when you import your purchase money that you retain the receipt from the Bank, to prove that you imported the money and did not earn it within Greece. It is most likely that you will need to employ an Accountant at the end of the tax year, to present a tax declaration for you in the proper manner, so you should not have to pay an income related tax.
There is an annual property tax which depends on size of property and land, location and various other factors.
On a straightforward sale you will need to employ a Lawyer, a Notary and usually for the Lawyer to act as your Power of Attorney, a Land Registry fee and the Real Estate Agent fee.
In some cases we can assist in finding you a property to rent while you look for a property. For a long let, a fee is charged.
For official or advertised or short term letting purposes it is necessary you apply for an E.O. T. (Greek Tourist Board) License and use the services of a good accountant.
3. BUILDING/CONSTRUCTION QUESTIONS
There is a building permit, workers’ IKA (National Insurance Stamp) plus the usual Lawyer, Notary and Power of Attorney fees. There are strict rules now about and building and renovating and it is advised you employ an Architect/Civil Engineer to apply for the building permit.
It is well known that part of the Cretan charm is a slightly laid back attitude and sometimes a lack of urgency. This is why you want to live in Crete!! It is wise to use established Architects, such as ourselves in order to ensure the reliability and professionalism of the people working on your house.
Obviously you are free to bring with you anybody who can assist you, however much of the paperwork involved with building a house requires the stamp by an official/Greek recognised professional. This is why it is probably more advisable to employ a registered Architect who can recommend suitable electricians/plumbers and so on and oversee the project and works.