Living in Crete – possibilities for everyone!

The reasons why someone wants to live on Crete or generally in Greece are as diverse as the island and the country itself. Reasons are, of course, the pleasant climate, the amazing nature, the wonderful feeling of freedom, the healthy and delicious food and – last but not least: the Greek hospitality.

“Simple life” in Crete

And really everybody will find an appropriate place to stay: the historic yet modern cities in the north and east, the turbulent life in the tourist areas on the north coast – especially in summer, the quieter small tourist villages on the south coast and, of course, the traditional mountain villages in the hinterland. All of them offer plenty of opportunities to live accordingly to your individual needs and requirements.

Some people come to live in Crete because they want to spend their well-deserved pension here, others want to escape the „rat race“ in their respective country of origin and finally live in and with nature again, maybe even keep a few animals or do something else meaningful to their life – or simply „just“ want to LIVE – Crete is the right place for all this!

„Simple life“ – ​​how and where?

And the ideas of potential “new Cretans” regarding the desired accommodation are equally diverse. An apartment in the city, a cottage by the sea, an old house in need of renovation in a mountain village, a plot of land to build your own dream home on – with or without a swimming pool – there are no limits to individual wishes and ideas.

Concerning success in finding a suitable location/estate on the one hand and financial resources on the other the limitations are more restrictive – especially if the Greek language skills and knowledge of bureaucratic hurdles and local customs are not really advanced. And apart from finding a reputable broker with whom you can communicate, you also want to trust him.

A question of timing?

As with all larger investments the question of the right timing also arises in this case. But the answer is not difficult at all and is: NOW!

Why? Because „now“ ALWAYS is the right time! The past already passed, the future is not here yet – and if you believe the Matala hippies of the 1970s, it will never come („Tomorrow never comes“). So as a logical conclusion the right time is here and now!

However, there are other reasons than Matala’s hippies´ philosophy for looking for a real estate investment right now, because at the moment real estate prices are at least relatively cheap – i.e. relatively compared to other European sunny countries. In absolute terms “cheap” may not be quite the right word but this depends on individual financial possibilities. And another reason for „NOW!“ is this damn market economy whose rules also apply here: price decreases –> demand increases. So….first come, first served.

Basically ther is nothing more and nothing less to be considered regarding investments in other European countries – but we recommend to follow a few recommendations: don´t hurry – be well informed and don’t rush head over heals into a deal. Of course, it is a market rule that due to increased demand prices will rise again. This admittedly can be seen as a dilemma but with a little planning and common sense you will find a solution.

Our recommendation – go and get help from experts: a lawyer specialized in German and Greek real estate law, a civil engineer or architect who can advise you concerning the building structure when visiting a property, of course you may need a broker and – when the time has come – a notary. Not to forget a tax advisor for everything that comes next!

And obviously it is extremely advantageous to speak the Greek language…

Let’s come to financial matters and bureaucracy

Before starting any kind of activity in Greece you need the infamous AFM, in Greek ΑΦΜ ( Αριθμός φολογικού μητρίου – to „German“: Arithmós Forologikoú Mitróou -) – your individual tax identification number. Without this tax number you can hardly do anything (in terms of economic undertakings) in Greece. But no worries – you get this AFM free of charge.

You will have to calculate broker’s fees, costs for the architect, civil engineer and the lawyer and – when the time finally has come – the tax for the acquisition of a real estate object, the fees for entering your new possession into the official land register and for the notary. Most of the fees are calculated as a percentage of the property´s value.

And don’t forget: the ENFIA – Eniaíos Fóros Idioktisías Akiníton (ΕΝΦΙΑ – Ενιαίος Φόρος Ιδιοκτησίας Ακινήτων)! This is a uniform real estate tax introduced January 1st, 2014 which your trusted tax advisor will be happy to explain and calculate for you.

Complicated? Not really!

Even if the previous sections of this article may make you doubt your plans – don´t be discouraged!! Of course, this is an investment in the future – which may never come? – and as such is always associated with a lot of bureaucracy, nerves and the need for information – but you are not alone! On top of the above mentioned „supporters“ there are also companies whose full-time job is to provide “don´t worry be happy“ turnkey solutions regarding your investment wishes and are happy to communicate with you in your native language!

The Bollmann Group in Chania.

The Bollmann-Group Hellas offers you a full package from planning and construction to key handover, from the complete project of buying a property to selling condominiums – you get everything from a single source.

And we are back from where we started: „Simple life, simply live on Crete!“