When considering the prospect of relocating from the United States and possibly buying a house in Greece, you may want to know whether Americans can secure a mortgage from a Greek bank. The good news is that, yes, individuals hailing from diverse corners of the globe, including the United States, can access mortgages from Greek financial institutions to facilitate property acquisition, construction, or renovation of real estate.
Greece is an attractive location for buying property thanks to its unmatched natural beauty and variety of landscapes, but also because Greek real estate prices remain within reach for most budget sizes.
Buying property in Greece, while not inherently difficult, does entail a methodical process. Navigating this process armed with knowledge, patience and thorough preparation can significantly expedite the proceedings and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Can I finance real estate with a mortgage in the Greek Golden Visa program?
The Greek government has introduced an enticing proposition known as the Golden Visa scheme to allure foreign investors. This initiative is a pathway for foreign nationals to secure permanent residency in Greece by investing in residential or commercial properties with a minimum value of €250,000, or €500,000 is some locations.
Importantly, Greek legislation extends the privilege of applying for the visa even if property acquisition is financed through a mortgage. Nonetheless, it’s advisable to confirm your eligibility for the Golden Visa with the Consulate before initiating discussions with a financial institution regarding a mortgage.The Greek government currently imposes minimal restrictions on property acquisitions by non-European Union citizens and imposes no restrictions on purchases by EU residents. Since the economic turmoil of late 2009, the Greek government has actively fostered foreign investment in the country, rendering Greece an appealing destination for property buyers from other countries.
For what types of projects can you get a mortgage in Greece?
Mortgages in Greece serve a versatile array of property-related objectives, including:
- Procuring a residential property, whether it’s a pristine, newly constructed house or an older, character-rich dwelling
- Investing in land zoned for residential development
- Financing the construction, completion, or renovation of residential real estate
How large of a loan can I get in Greece?
The quantum of a mortgage available in Greece hinges on a meticulous evaluation process that scrutinizes diverse aspects of your financial profile. Factors such as personal income, creditworthiness, and the collateral value of existing real estate assets are pivotal in determining the final loan amount. While Greek banks generally limit loans to 85% of a property’s appraised value, the ultimate figure remains at the discretion of the bank.
What are the typical mortgage terms and conditions in Greece?
Contemplating a mortgage application in Greece mandates a minimum age of 25. You must settle the mortgage before your 58th birthday, and the smallest loan attainable in Greece starts at €10,000 (approximately $11,000).
Initiating the mortgage application process necessitates establishing a Greek bank account and obtaining a Greek tax identification number, referred to as an AFM.
Additionally, a cash deposit equivalent to at least 10% of the property’s value is a prerequisite in mortgage agreements.
Greece mortgage rates and terms
Mortgage rates in Greece exhibit a spectrum, ranging from a modest 3.5% to a peak of 7.5%. Likewise, mortgage terms encompass diverse durations, extending anywhere from 6 to 30 years, offering flexibility to align with varying financial strategies and capacities.
What documents do I need when applying for a mortgage in Greece?
Procuring a mortgage in Greece as a foreign citizen entails submitting several essential documents. Notably, these documents should be in Greek and duly notarized, bearing the official signature and seal.
Greece has numerous licensed public notaries, known as “Συμβολαιογράφος” or “Symvolaiográfos,” who charge around €5 to €20 ($5.5 to $22) per document. In instances where locating a notary proves challenging, local Citizen Service Centers (KEP) might provide notarization services or offer guidance to suitable alternatives.
What costs are associated with buying real estate in Greece?
Property acquisition in Greece comes with several costs, including application and legal fees, along with property taxes such as the ENFIA tax. These taxes vary depending on the property’s value, ranging from 0.10% for properties valued at €200,000 (approximately $220,000) to 0.35% for properties valued at €350,000 (approximately $385,000).
Additional expenses encompass:
- Property transfer tax: 3.09%
- Registration fees: 3.5%-7.5%
- Notary fees: 1.86%
- Legal fees: 1.86%
- Agent fees: 2.48%
For those contemplating fund transfers from the United States, prudent monitoring of exchange rates is advisable, as fluctuations can impact your costs.
Is there mortgage insurance in Greece?
Yes, you need to purchase insurance when buying a house in Greece. Therefore, it is imperative to consider mortgage insurance costs. Property insurance against fire and earthquakes is mandatory in Greece, with coverage encompassing the full cost of property restoration in the event of damage. Typically, insurance premiums are estimated at €1.5 per square meter of the property (about $0.15 per square foot).
Moreover, financial institutions may mandate the acquisition of life insurance that extends beyond covering your life. Such policies may include provisions for permanent disabilities and potential loss of income over the planned mortgage term.
What are the steps of buying property in Greece with a mortgage?
The property acquisition process in Greece typically spans one to three months from the date of registration. Prerequisite preparations entail securing a tax identification number and obtaining preliminary mortgage approval from a Greek banking institution.
- Upon identifying a property of interest, prospective buyers can secure it by placing a deposit with the property owner or agent. Typically, this deposit usually amounts to €5,000 (about $5,500) and secures the property for a period, often up to four weeks, though this duration can be subject to negotiation with the seller.
- Engaging the services of a legal representative is paramount. A qualified lawyer is entrusted with the responsibility of meticulously reviewing all legal documentation concerning the property and the mortgage. Legal fees for this service generally approximate 1.5% of the property’s value, inclusive of Value Added Tax (VAT).
- Following the green light from your lawyer, the next step involves payment of the deposit and formalizing the preliminary contract, a legal document that necessitates notarization. Notary fees for this procedure typically amount to approximately 1.2% of the property’s value. Additionally, a registration fee, usually ranging from 0.5% to 0.75% of the property’s value, is applicable at this juncture.
- The final stage entails the submission of all necessary documents to the Land Registry and the Registry of Mortgages, culminating in the acquisition of the property’s title deed.
Seizing real estate opportunities in Greece
As Greece’s real estate market continues to rebound from the economic upheavals of recent years, the present moment is an ideal time to become a homeowner in Greece for those contemplating a move from the United States to Greece. The property market, in particular, presents promising prospects, whether as a primary residence or as a vacation home, with or without the aid of a mortgage.
The insights provided above not only demystify the process of securing a mortgage in Greece but also offer a holistic view of the broader landscape for potential real estate endeavors. Greece, with its rich history and natural beauty, has been an attractive homebuying destination for foreigners for decades, particularly because it continues to be one of the top vacation spots in Europe.
This article originally appeared on MyDolceCasa and was syndicated by MediaFeed.
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