Frequently Asked Questions
Can I purchase property in Crete?
You can buy property in Crete (Greece) provided that you are a citizen of the European Union. In certain circumstances it is possible for nationals of other countries to buy property. To establish what the regulations are in these cases you would need to contact the Greek Consulate or Embassy in your home country.
Is buying property on Crete a difficult process?
No. In many ways it is simpler than in the UK. There are many legal safeguards in place and by paying a deposit and drawing up a preliminary contract the notorious pitfalls of property buying are averted.
How can I be sure I actually own the property I have bought?
For each property there is a very detailed and precise set of deeds which establishes correct ownership and freehold title. In addition to this, there is also Land Registry on Crete where the property will be registered in your name.
Do I need a lawyer / solicitor?
Yes. Solicitors are mandatory for the buyer and seller and carry out necessary legal surveys and conduct a property title check for the past 20 years; they ensure the property is free of any mortgage notes, claims, expropriations, rights-of-way and, in general, any legal encumbrances. In addition, solicitors ensure that all property taxes burdening the vendor have been paid.
Do I need a Tax Registry Number (AFM)?
Yes. This tax number (AFM) is mandatory for all buyers, including foreigners and permanent residents abroad. It is issued on the spot at tax offices, free of charge. All applicants must present their passport and sometimes also their birth certificate. If you have granted your solicitor full Power of Attorney, he / she can apply for an AFM on your behalf.
How long does it take to buy a property?
Taking the necessary steps and acquiring the necessary documentation will take approximately 4 to 6 weeks.
Will I have to be present in Crete to sign the final contract?
No. By giving your lawyer Power of Attorney they can sign the contract on your behalf. The property will then be transferred into your name immediately.
What are the costs associated with buying property on Crete?
The purchaser undertakes to pay all costs involved in the purchase. This can be calculated at 11 to 14% on ready built properties or plots and includes Property tax, lawyer’s fee, notary public’s fee, Land Registry fee and the agency fee.
Can I work or open a business?
All European Union citizens have the right to live and work in Greece. You will need a residence permit that also serves as a work permit. This is now a relatively simple procedure and there is a very small fee. It is obtained for the nearest Police Headquarters. An accountant or lawyer will help you with the formalities of opening a business.
What about the language – will it be ‘all Greek to me’?
No. Apart from the most rural areas, it is quite possible to get by with little or no Greek as English is widely spoken especially in major towns and resort areas. However, there are many Greek courses available privately, in language schools or, from time to time, the state offers free courses.
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