You want your own paradise in Greece. House or apartment? Is there a difference between buying a house vs. apartment in Greece? Will it be easier to buy an apartment? Buying a property in Greece is a slightly more complicated process than we are used to inWestern Europe as Greece lacks of a central digitized register, but if you think it is easier to own an apartment, you should know certain things before you buy one.
In Greece there is no concept of housing association
For us Swedes or Germans, or other Western European citizens, who are used to buying condominiums, another unusual problem is added. The actual buying process is the same as for a house or plot, but there is a difference that you need to consider. In Greece, there is no concept of a tenant-owner association, but you buy your own apartment and then it is your own. But? Wait a minute now! What about the building and the plot? Heating and other common facilities? Each house / building has a type of housing association, but there are no legal rules on how it should work, but it is different from each house. The housing association must take care of the common areas and other things that require continuous supervision and also decide on the care of the property (eg painting outside and inside, replacement of heating system, maintenance of exterior doors, etc.).
Greek Democracy: everyone who owns an apartment in a house must cooperate
Most often, all the owners of the house appoint one of those responsible for the house in the coming year (collection of monthly fees, payment of common costs, implementation of decided measures and representatives of the property). As a rule, these services are purchased, paid for and invoiced monthly, usually via a common cash register. In many places this works really well, but since the crisis hit, there are many owners who refuse to pay the monthly costs, or some of them, and it is difficult to access them. It can end with lawsuits, but even if you win the court ruling, you still have to pay your own legal costs in Greece, so it can be expensive and many people take advantage of this.
Checklist for those who want to buy an apartment
First of all, it makes a big difference if the house was built in the 1990s or later compared to those built earlier. In the case of older houses, the insulation can be (and usually is) downright deplorable. Insulation is important for both summer and winter and a poorly insulated room in the corner of a house can be unbearably hot in summer and therefore cold in winter. The following are extra important to check:
- Additional costs that may occur: Kitchen fittings, appliances and wardrobes are not always included in the purchase
- Also check: Safety devices, burglar alarms, awnings etc are included in the purchase.
- Check if there is individual measurement of the heat per apartment (a clear advantage)
- There are ready connections (electricity and water) to the solar heater on the roof (usually available today)
- There is a repair fund (not so common) and it usually raises the price of the apartment
- Are there security doors to the apartment and well-insulated ones with THRESHOLD (you have not missed the autostrada of the cold or warm downdraught under the Greek entrance doors?).
- Check which rules are available for the house. For example if pets are allowed or sun heaters on the roof
In addition, you should always check the number of rented apartments in relation to the total number and preferably, NO apartments should be rented, but as few as possible. Why is this important? Otherwise, the owners are not active in the housing association, nor are they always interested in the care of the house and nothing can be imposed on the tenants.