3 Things To Check When Buying Greek Property

March 21, 2017 by in Greece
3 Things To Check When Buying Greek Property

Every time I visit a place I end up liking, I always wonder what it would be like to live there. I suppose a lot of tourists end up doing this, because a LOT of our clientele is foreign to the country they end up wanting to build in. Be it either for investment or for personal use, a great number keep coming back to the same place year after year until they finally start property hunting for their own piece of a foreign country. Here are 3 things to check for when searching for your property in Greece:

  1. Boundaries – many are disputed (!) make sure the property you are buying is either registered with the public registry aka ktimatologio (many are not) or has survey maps with neighbors signatures so no unhappy situation arises in the future
  2. Titles – again, some are disputed. Many properties in Greece are in the hands of multiple people that are not all willing to sale. When proceeding with a property purchase ALWAYS use a lawyer to conduct your own research and make sure no one will come and contest property ownership down the line, no one owes property tax or has mortgaged the property – if the property has unpaid taxes or was mortgaged certain agreements can be made to facilitate it’s sale
  3. Build-ability of a property – some you just can’t build on. Just like you would hire a lawyer to check the titles, you also need to hire engineers to check build-ability of a property… Some of the things we look for are:
  • Clearance from the forestry department aka dasarxeo. If a property does not have this then an application needs to be submitted. What is being cleared on the property? Forest property cannot be built upon in Greece, if however a property had been used for agricultural purposes in the past then you can build on it. Where do we search for evidence of this? Amongst other places the most likely would be in the aerial photography archive of the government. Another clue that lets you know the property most likely can build? If it has olive trees or vines it’s most likely good
  • If it’s within a city/village or beyond it’s borders – this will affect how much or if you can build on the property
  • Likelihood of Archaeology clearance. To get a building permit in Greece, the historical department needs to give you the ok since many ancient artifacts are still buried under dirt. Although no one can guarantee a property does not have ancient artifacts in it, there are a few signs to watch for that indicate this probability. In other places you would consider it a blessing to have bought an ancient theatre…. Not so in Greece as all historical artifacts belong to the country and not the land owner. More on what happens should you have discovered ancient artifacts on your property in future posts
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