Purchasing property in Athens can be an exciting prospect for foreigners looking to invest in real estate or find their dream home in this historic and culturally rich city.
However, navigating the process can be challenging, especially for those unfamiliar with the Greek property market. This guide aims to provide an overview of the process and highlight potential pitfalls to avoid when buying property in Athens as a foreigner.
- Research: Begin by researching the Athens property market, identifying desirable areas, and understanding the local property laws and regulations. This will help you make informed decisions and set realistic expectations.
- Engage a Local Real Estate Agent: A local real estate agent, such as Mobilia Real Estate, can provide valuable insights into the market and help you find suitable properties. They can also assist with negotiations and guide you through the purchasing process.
- Legal Representation: It’s essential to engage a Greek lawyer to represent you in the property transaction. They will ensure that all legal requirements are met and protect your interests throughout the process.
- Obtain a Tax Registry Number (AFM): As a foreign buyer, you’ll need an AFM to purchase property in Greece. Your lawyer can help you obtain this number.
- Property Inspection: Before finalizing the purchase, arrange for a thorough property inspection to identify any potential issues or required repairs.
- Secure Financing: If necessary, secure financing for your property purchase. Be aware that obtaining a mortgage in Greece as a foreigner may be more challenging and may require a higher deposit.
- Sign the Contract: Once all the necessary checks and preparations are complete, you and the seller will sign the property sales contract in the presence of a notary public.
- Register the Property: After signing the contract, your lawyer will register the property in your name at the local Land Registry.
Pitfalls to Avoid
- Overlooking Due Diligence: Conduct thorough due diligence on the property, including checking for outstanding debts, legal disputes, or building code violations. Your lawyer can assist with this process.
- Underestimating Costs: Be aware of the additional costs associated with purchasing property in Athens, such as taxes, legal fees, and agent commissions. Factor these into your budget to avoid financial surprises.
- Ignoring Location: Pay close attention to the location of the property, considering factors such as access to public transportation, proximity to amenities, and potential for future growth.
- Failing to Negotiate: Don’t be afraid to negotiate on the property price. A local real estate agent can provide guidance on market values and help you secure the best deal.
- Rushing the Process: Take your time when searching for and purchasing property in Athens. Rushing the process may lead to overlooking important details or making hasty decisions that you may regret later.
Buying property in Athens as a foreigner can be a rewarding experience if you take the time to understand the process and avoid potential pitfalls. By engaging the right professionals, conducting thorough due diligence, and being aware of the additional costs and challenges, you can successfully navigate the Greek property market and secure your dream home or investment property in Athens.