Congratulations, you made the decision and want to find your Greek home. What is better, to build a new house or buy an existing house? As usual, there are disadvantages and advantages to both. Elias and I hope that our tips below can be helpful.
Build new versus buy existing
Although it may seem strange, for you with a smaller budget, the decision to invest in building a new house may be a more beneficial option. First of all, you save a lot of taxes and fees for property purchases in Greece. You pay tax and fees on the price of the plot and not on the whole house.
As an example, if you buy a house for 300000 Euro, the total cost of the fees will be approx. 30000-35000 Euro incl. attorney’s fees, inspection fees and broker’s commission. But if you buy a plot of land for 100000 Euro, the total cost will end up around 10000-12000 Euro.
The construction costs are approximately 1500-1900 Euro per square meter depending on the materials used and this includes the architect’s drawings, building permit, IKA/EFKA (employee insurance), VAT and the house ready for occupancy (excluding furniture and electrical appliances). Note, however, that the cost above is for time of writing! Pictures below from a (currently) ongoing house construction that will shortly be ready for sale.
The right house or the right location?
What is most important to you? Finding a house or finding the right location? If you choose to have a house built according to your wishes, it means that you do not have to compromise with the location, the plot or the standard and planning of the house. For those of you who choose the “right location”, a decision to buy land is a good option that will also save you time searching for both the right house and the right location. In addition, since all payments and fees are paid in stages, you have the opportunity to settle the entire financing at a slower pace. Below are pictures from our own construction project in Nomitsi, Mani: before and after.
Building new vs. buying existing part 2
However, investing in a construction project is not for those in a hurry. And you can have that due to various reasons, such as age. At the time of writing, it will take approximately 2.5-3 years from the day you find your dream plot to the day you can put your suitcase in your Greek home. It is also more beneficial for the environment to buy a house that already exists and leave the olive groves alone. AND: if a mature garden is important to you, nothing, absolutely nothing beats buying an existing house. For example, it takes about 5-10 years for an avocado tree to grow and become large, even if it bears fruit earlier.
However, it is super important that you understand from the beginning that you must secure the financing of the purchase in your home country! It is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to borrow for the property purchase from Greek banks when you don´t have you recidense permit in Greece.
Also keep in mind that whoever buys a property with a house is responsible for examining it very carefully on their own. This is the so-called investigation duty. As a buyer, it is not possible to get compensation from the seller afterwards, for errors that should have been discovered during a thorough investigation.