Topic: News

Buying Property in Athens

Buying Property in Athens – things to know about investing in the capital

The unique metropolitan lifestyle and the proximity to many Greek islands makes Athens an appealing option for local and foreign property buyers.

Buying property in Athens has never been more enticing.

It’s a city blessed by the gods with its crystal blue coastline, magical sunsets and mountainous landscape.

Greece has traditionally been a nation of home owners who proudly pass-on their properties to their children.

The resent economic crisis forces many to sell properties they can’t maintain.

With low residential prices and high yielding short-term rental income, investment from overseas buyers have surged in recent years, allowing many to make true their dream of owning a summer holiday house in Greece.

Why Athens and why now?

Athens offers an easy lifestyle against the backdrop of a buzzing and dynamic city that is steeped in history and legacy. The harsh economic climate has seen some positive change and exciting developments in food, art and culture, providing a much more rounded urban experience and making it one of the most exciting cities in Europe right now.

The sea and its southern coastline of Blue-Flag beaches are easily reached from the center, as are the many hills you can climb to admire its beautiful landscape from above.

Central Athens is built around the Acropolis.

 

The newly built Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center has been the most ambitious cultural and architectural project to date. The €617 million development by the prominent Greek shipping family was the largest donation made to the city so far.

Many central suburbs are in the midst of a reboot too, as gentrification takes hold in various pockets around town. The southern coastal districts from Piraeus to Vouliagmeni will get a boost thanks to recent plans to transform the major shipping and passenger terminal of the Port of Piraeus and its surrounding area. Plans are also in place to finally resurrect the former Athens airport near Glyfada, into a modern hub of residences, retail and leisure facilities.

The urban sprawl of Athens

Be prepared and do your homework

It goes without saying that you should find a reputable team of professionals to guide you through the purchasing process. You’ll need a Lawyer to protect your rights and a notary to transfer the property to your name.

When purchasing existing property, it’s also wise to have an engineer conduct an independent inspection to make sure your property is structurally sound and complies with relevant laws and regulations.

Property transfer Fees

  • Buyers tax fee 3% .
  • Greek tax file number (equivalent to a social security number): no fee
  • Real Estate Agency fees are usually between 2-2.5 % of the final purchase price.
  • Notary and Lawyer fees can be a fixed fee but no more than 1% each on the contract value.
  • All above are subject to 24%  VAT/GST.

 

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An expert’s advice

Property consultant, George Sagirakis from National Real Estate has assisted many overseas buyers through the paperwork and overcoming language barriers to purchasing Real Estate in Athens and all around Greece.

We asked George to get his expertise and experience on buying property and Visa in Greece.

Q: George, as a property consultant, how can you assist overseas buyers wanting to invest in property and in obtaining the Golden Visa?

A: We usually come in when the client needs help to find a property or has decided on buying a property or has narrowed down options of properties they are interested in.

We all know that buying a property, either as an investment or to leave in, is going to be one of the most careful decisions we make and you should not throw good money away on an emotional decision or a decision made by ignorance.

Buying good property means  to gather  as much information as possible in advance, in order to make an educated decision and make sure that you get Value for Money.

Q: Where do people commonly find properties advertised for sale in Athens?

A: The most common methods are through Real Estate Agents or privately advertised properties. Walk-by signage is also great idea providing you have available time. We advice potential buyers to walk or drive around neighborhoods at different times of the day.

Athens, a city of rooftop living.

Q: What is a realistic time frame for someone from overseas coming to Athens to buy a place? Do they need to be physically present the entire time?

A: The time required to view, inspect, negotiate and close a property is more or less the same as in any country.

Property Buyers may appoint a specialist Lawyer or a Real Estate Broker to do all is required. Overseas buyers don’t have to be physically present in Greece for the documentations.

Q: What are the usual steps to buy a property in Greece?

A: A deposit of 2-10 per cent (depending on the type of property and its value) is usually required. When an agreement has been reached, the seller should provide all  legal and technical documents required by the Law.

Signed contracts will be lodged to the local Registry Office in your name/s as well as at the Hellenic Cadastre Office.

 

Rrenovating

Property owners no longer have to obtain a permit for minor repairs or upgrades. In some cases when an apartment is located in a building of historical heritage, the process can become more complicated and restrictive. This is one more reason why it’s a good idea for buyers to  consider appointing an architect-engineer before purchasing property, as they can potentially help quantify in advance, the cost and time involved to renovate a place.

 

Renting a property

Short-term or holiday rental income must be declared as if one were renting to a long-term tenant. Owners must now declare the property, names of renters and the duration of the lease.

 

Monemvasia, Castle, Peloponisos, Greece, Waterfront, Heritage

George Sagirakis was born and raised in Greece. He moved to Australia where he lived and worked in the retail and construction industry for over 22 years. He is now based in Athens and is a licensed Realtor. His second office is in Limassol, Cyprus.

George provides consulting services for Real Estate and renovations matters in Greece and Cyprus. All property management services are handled by registered Attorneys and/or Accountants.

George is experienced in Real Estate marketing, buying/selling/rending  as well as renovating residential and commercial properties, as well as assisting with all property-related matters such as obtaining certificates and permits.

You can contact George directly via this website.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided is general and should therefore NOT be considered as advice or consultation to act upon. Links to third-party websites do not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of products and services.

George Sagirakis

ENTERPRICE GREECE

https://www.enterprisegreece.gov.gr/en/greece-today/living-in-greece/residence-permits#top


Types of driveway materials

8 Dec 2017 

First and foremost, the driveway needs to withstand the load of vehicles and provide easy access between the road and where the vehicle is stored. A driveway that will give way to the pressure of traffic can damage the property and car, and lead to increased maintenance costs; a driveway that makes it difficult to enter and exit the property can prove a daily hassle.

In addition to providing practical benefits, a driveway must be attractive to preserve the look and value of the property. After all, it does occupy a large portion of the property’s frontage and plays a large role in forming people’s impression of the house.

When considering the costs of installing a new driveway always factor in the ongoing maintenance costs. Some driveway materials are expensive to install, but require little by way of maintenance; others need ongoing maintenance to keep them looking their best.

Below you’ll find articles on the materials most commonly used for driveways

 

Concrete driveways

 

A concrete driveway

What is a concrete driveway?

A concrete driveway is made of aggregate (stones and gravel) bonded together by cement. The aggregate used can vary in size and appearance.

Concrete does have a bit of reputation of being drab, but its appearance can be livened up with the addition of coloured stones, concrete paint, or the application of stencils to create the appearance of pavers.

What’s the best use?

Concrete driveways are suitable for a wide range of applications, as the surface can be adapted for practical (i.e. different finishes for grip) and aesthetic needs (concrete can be finished in a number of colours or engraved).

What maintenance is required?

With a high quality installation, concrete needs very little maintenance. Ensure spills of oil, grease or petrol are removed as soon as possible to prevent stains forming and reseal the concrete every two years and your drive should look good for at least a decade, if not longer.

 

What are the minimum and maximum grades?

To ensure water drains, concrete driveways should have a fall of at least one percent away from the house and towards the street.

The grade should not exceed 1:4 within the property boundary. Note that in some areas, there are restrictions on how steep a driveway can be; be sure to check with your local council about these limitations.

Do concrete driveways need steel reinforcing?

Concrete driveways can be constructed without steel reinforcing, as it does not increase or decrease the load capacity – it merely prevents cracks widening should they occur.

How is it installed?

For non-reinforced concrete and standard passenger cars, concrete needs to be 100mm thick. For heavier vehicles, the required thickness increases to 130mm.

Installation of a concrete driveway will usually proceed as follows:

  • Choose a cool, overcast day to pour your driveway – don’t proceed if there’s a chance of rain or frost. Very hot days should also be avoided.
  • Excavate 200-300mm
  • Create a base with hardcore of at least 150mm
  • Cover with fine gravel and level it off
  • Ensure good compaction with a vibrating plate or roller
  • Install timber forms along the sides of the drive, with stakes at regular intervals and and at every join between timber forms
  • Check the elevation to ensure uniform slab height
  • Lay the concrete
  • Insert shrinkage joints at least every 5-6m to avoiding cracks forming. You can also cut control joints. These will need to be done with 24 hours of pouring – sooner if the weather is hot.
  • Keep vehicles off your drive for at least seven days. If the weather is quite cool, extend this by another 5 days.

What will a concrete driveway cost?

Factors that will alter the cost of your concrete driveway include:

  • Size – the length and width
  • The slope – the price increases as the slope does
  • The appearance – plain concrete is cheapest. Add in colour, exposed aggregate or stencilling and the price will increase.

To ensure you get an accurate quote from your concreter or can put together an accurate budget, make sure you know all of the above items.

Many concreting companies have quote calculators on their website, making it quick and easy to get a quote.

Advantages and disadvantages of concrete driveways

Advantages
  • Durable
  • Cost-effective
  • Low maintenance
Disadvantages
  • Can be unattractive
  • Requires a large amount of prep work

 

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How to hire a bathroom designer

 

Nowhere in a home is good design more important than it is in the bathroom. Not only for the sake of wowing visitors with beautiful tile patterns and frameless glass, but also (and arguably more importantly) for safety, and to ensure that it stands up to the abuse it’s likely to endure on a daily basis.

This is a room where floors and walls are likely to get soaked with water on a very regular basis (especially if you’ve got kids). Steam’s likely to penetrate every available nook, mould’s always a potential problem and proper lighting, ventilation, plumbing and electrics are all crucial no matter where you live.

For better or worse, in most cases bathrooms also have a very significant impact on the resale value of a house too. Installing a sexy bathroom’s as much about improving the value of your house as it is about durability and safety.

 

Why should I hire a bathroom designer?

To be very clear, you don’t need to hire a professionally qualified bathroom designer to plan your bathroom. Good bathroom design’s a seriously complicated affair though. Hiring a properly trained bathroom designer’s a great way to ensure that you’re getting a stunning, expertly finished bathroom, and that every practical issue has been completely considered and accounted for.

In many circumstances, forking out more for a bathroom designer will pay for itself in terms of the value it adds to your home, and (possibly) to eliminating the need for additional alterations further down the track.

 

What do bathroom designers do?

A bathroom designer’s job is to work with you throughout the process to ensure that what you need (and want) from your bathroom is clearly established.

The designer will assess your tastes and requirements, your budget and what that will allow, what kinds of space you have available and various other practical issues. From there, the designer will put together a design that meets your needs, and reflects his or her own creative vision.

Some designers may also be able to help project manage your bathroom build for you too – and even recommend a team of trusted contractors or arrange special deals with suppliers.

Many (if not most) bathroom designers start their careers in related fields like plumbing, tiling and interior design. For that reason bathroom designers usually have a very good practical appreciation for the building process. Likewise, many have also undergone formal training and have gone on to become Certified Bathroom Designers.

What makes a ‘good’ bathroom design?

A really well put together bathroom is one that balances a long list of important practical considerations against aesthetic choices. Below are just a few of the things that need to be fully considered:

  • cohesive visual style or theme
  • layout and accessibility
  • safety and slip prevention
  • material and product choices
  • ergonomics
  • waterproofing
  • appropriate lighting
  • plumbing and electrical requirements and limitations
  • adaptability for special needs (perhaps in the future)
  • privacy
  • energy and water efficiency
  • the practicality of the design to be executed by trades people and other specialists

 

What qualifications should bathroom designers have?

There’s no legal requirement saying that people need a formal qualification to call themselves ‘bathroom designers’. Having said that, if you’re paying for someone to design your bathroom, it’s wise to make sure they have all the right skills and experience.

Certified Bathroom Designers need to keep up with changes in trends, regulations and with new developments in terms of materials and technologies in order to maintain their certifications.

Where can I find a bathroom designer?

In many cases, companies that offer bathroom renovations will have in-house bathroom designers. Likewise, many suppliers (tile and bathroom plumbing suppliers, for example) engage interior specialists to help with the selection of products, which can be very helpful if you’re researching a particular style or application.

Many bathroom designers work independently too, and can be contacted either directly, through trade or design directories.

How to choose the right bathroom designer

There’s no hard and fast rule about what makes one designer better than another – and for the most part it’ll come down to:

  • what you think of the designer’s previous work
  • how well you and the designer communicate, and
  • the extent to which you believe the designer will create something you like

Remember that the design process is as much about the designer’s creative vision as it is your own preferences and requirements. If you’ve got your heart set on a particular look, style, material or colour, it’s up to you to properly communicate this and set a realistic budget for your dream.

 

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