Buying property in Greece as an expat offers a captivating blend of Mediterranean charm and investment potential. Greece’s picturesque landscapes, affordable real estate, and straightforward buying process make it an attractive destination. However, navigating legalities, understanding local markets, and seeking expert advice are essential for successful property acquisition in Greece.

This article will provide an overview of everything you need to know about buying property in Greece, from taxable property to the buying process and the best places to find your dream house.

Why You Should Buy Property in Greece

The Greek property market has transformed, offering diverse opportunities for investors. Affordability, coupled with favorable immigration policies, has attracted international buyers. Athens and popular islands like Santorini are hotspots, witnessing more foreigners purchasing property.

Path to European residency

Buying Greek property offers a promising path to European residency for non-EU residents through its popular Golden Visa program. Known as the “Greece Golden Visa,” this initiative allows expats and investors to obtain Greek residency by investing in real estate.

GCS-ICONS-01Low taxes

Greece offers a tax-friendly environment through its non-domicile tax regime. The Greece Non-Dom Tax regime allows non-EU citizens who qualify for the Golden Visa scheme through purchasing commercial or residential property to pay a flat annual income tax fee of €100,000 on foreign earnings.

GCS-ICONS-88-2Affordable lifestyle

Greece is known for its affordable lifestyle, making it an appealing destination. The cost of housing, dining out, and daily expenses are much lower than in the United States and many other European countries. Access to fresh, locally sourced food and low healthcare expenses enhance the quality of life.

GCS-ICONS-36Diverse property options

Greek real estate encompasses various property types, from traditional village houses to modern apartments and luxurious villas. Foreigners considering buying Greek property to obtain a Golden Visa have many real estate properties that suit their preferences and lifestyles.

GCS-ICONS-56Easy to travel to

Greece’s accessibility by land, air, and sea makes it a prime destination for people from all over the globe. Major international airports, well-connected ferry services, and a robust road network facilitate easy travel from within and to the country. Whether you make a property investment in Athens or on a small Greek island, you have easy access to other parts of the country.


Greece’s expat-friendly environment is marked by its welcoming culture, English proficiency in major cities and tourist spots, and supportive communities. Favorable tax policies, straightforward property acquisition processes, and various residency options make it an attractive destination.

How to Buy Property in Greece: Step-by-Step Process

Entering Greece’s property market can be daunting, but with some research, expert guidance, and maybe the help of a local real estate agent, it need not be difficult. Below we’ll give an overview of what you can expect when buying your dream home in Greece.

Required documents

You’ll need the following documents to purchase property in Greece as an expat:

  • A valid passport
  • Your Greek tax registry number (AFM)
  • A valid visa to enter Greece (if you’re a non-EU national)
  • Proof of residence or a residence permit
  • Copies of your tax returns
  • Proof of current residence (bank statements, bills, etc)

Step one: Research and planning

Determine your budget: Assess your financial situation and decide how much you can afford to spend on a property in Greece. Apart from the property price, consider additional costs like property taxes, legal fees, and maintenance.

Choose your location: Research different regions in Greece to find the one that suits your lifestyle and preferences. Consider factors such as proximity to amenities, transportation, and local attractions.

Legal requirements: Verify the legal requirements for expats buying property in Greece. Ensure that you have the necessary permits and visas to own Greek properties. You may also want to open a Greek bank account to make financial transactions easier.

Step two: Find a property

Browse property websites: As a hotspot for those seeking European residency. Greece has many real estate websites, including Spitogatos and Pato, showcasing available Greek properties.

Recommendations and research: Seek recommendations from other expats who have purchased a property in Greece—research reputable Greek real estate agents with experience helping expats enter Greece’s property market.

Step three: Negotiation and offer

Price negotiation: Once you’ve found a suitable property, negotiate the price with the seller through your real estate agent. Be prepared to make a reasonable offer, taking market conditions into account.

Sales agreement: After reaching an agreement, a preliminary contract (Compromis de Vente) is drawn up. This contract outlines the terms and conditions of the sale, including the deposit and timeline.

Step four: Legal assistance

Hire a lawyer: Engage a Greek lawyer with expertise in property transactions to review all legal documents. Ensure they explain the terms of the contract and protect your interests.

Step five: Due diligence

Property inspection: Greece has many historic properties that may have underlying structural issues, so ensure a thorough inspection of the property is carried out.

Financial due diligence: Verify the financial details of the property, such as outstanding debts or taxes. Ensure you understand the payment schedule and taxes involved.

Step six: Finalize the sale

Signing the deed: Once due diligence is complete, sign the final sale deed before a notary public. Pay the remaining balance and any associated fees.

Property registration: Register the property in your name at the Land Registry Office.

Step seven: Post-purchase

Utilities and services: Transfer utility accounts and services to your name. Set up a Greek bank account for property-related expenses.

Tax obligations: Familiarize yourself with Greek tax laws related to property ownership. Pay property taxes and any other applicable taxes at your nearest tax office.

All you need to know about the Greek Passport: Benefits and Requirements

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Pitfalls of Buying Property in Greece

As with every real estate market, there are certain things to be aware of to ensure that you’re legally protected and that you don’t become a victim of scams or substandard property sales.

Avoiding scams

  • Never send money or a deposit to anyone before you have met the seller in person, seen the property, or obtained a set of working keys.
  • Ask the seller for an up-to-date property inspection report. The seller should provide this document to ensure transparency and reliability.
  • Accompany your real estate agent on a comprehensive walk-through of the property, armed with your inspection document. This step helps you assess the property’s condition and verify its accuracy.
  • Ensure that the seller has the legal right to sell the property. Confirm their status as genuine property owners through official documents.
  • Investigate your rights concerning the property. If the property is classified as “Alpha” by the Greek Government (indicating it’s a historic home), be aware that you might have limited ability to make updates or alterations.

Sticking to these guidelines can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to real estate scams during your property search in Greece.

Is it safe to buy property in Greece?

Buying property in Greece for foreigners can be a sound investment and lifestyle choice. Greece offers diverse properties, from stunning luxury villas to historical city apartments. Its favorable climate, rich culture, and welcoming communities make living in Greece appealing.

However, like any international property purchase, it’s crucial to research thoroughly, understand local laws, and work with trusted real estate professionals to ensure a safe transaction. Property values may fluctuate, and there are administrative challenges when buying property in Greece, so carefully considering your financial situation and long-term goals is essential.

Working with a Real Estate Agent

Global Income Tax: Essential InformationWorking with a real estate agent in Greece can significantly simplify your property search. These professionals possess local expertise, offering insights into diverse regions and market conditions. They’ll help you find properties that align with your preferences and budget.

Agents also streamline negotiations, ensuring fair deals. Importantly, they can guide you through Greece’s legal intricacies, safeguarding your interests during the transaction. Choose a reputable agent with experience in expat clientele to facilitate a smooth and successful property purchase.

Moreover, their local knowledge and network can be invaluable in navigating Greece’s real estate landscape, making your investment journey more secure and efficient.

Things to Consider Before Buying Property in Greece

Having a clear plan of what you want, how much you want to pay, and being aware of the process, as well as any additional costs that occur during the buying process, will help you make the right choices and avoid any issues in the long term.

List of things to consider

Below are some questions you should ask yourself so you are prepared for any eventuality while looking for your ideal property in Greece.

What are your criteria?

The choice of your ideal home may vary depending on several factors, such as family size, desired amenities, and the surrounding environment. If it’s just you or you and your spouse, a one or two-room apartment may be enough.

However, if you anticipate your parents and children joining you, opting for a villa would be better. Your housing needs should align with your family’s size and lifestyle requirements, ensuring that you have enough space and comfort for everyone.

What are the must-haves, and what are the nice-to-haves?

Regardless of your chosen location to purchase property in Greece, ensuring that the area caters to your needs is essential. Primarily, proximity to your workplace and connectivity to neighboring towns through various transportation options are vital considerations.

Moreover, if you have children, opting for a property near quality Greek educational institutions would be highly advantageous. Additionally, access to outdoor spaces and nearby markets adds to your selected property’s convenience and overall quality of life. Prioritizing these aspects ensures that your property meets your current requirements and offers a well-rounded living experience.

What is your budget?

Greece provides a diverse range of property options to suit various budgets. Once you’ve determined how much you’d like to spend, you can readily explore affordable housing options. Depending on your financial limitations, you can reside in any city or town where properties align with your budgetary constraints.

Be mindful to include not just the purchase price or property value in your budget but also any legal fees, notary fees, and registration fees you may have to pay to the local land registry when registering your residential property.

Also, if you’re buying real estate through the Golden Visa program, you may have to double your investment to €500,000 if you wish to buy a property in the more sought-after areas.

What is a deal-breaker?

Specific property issues can potentially be deal-breakers. During property tours, you may identify shortcomings, such as maintenance and structural issues, pool condition, or pet-friendliness. Equally crucial is evaluating the neighborhood’s safety before making a decision to purchase property.

Best Places to Live in Greece

Greece has an abundance of beautiful villages, towns, and cities, so no matter your ideal location, you’re sure to find it here. Below is a brief overview of some of Greece’s most popular cities and islands, helping you to get a step closer to your Greek dream life.

Popular cities

Although Greece has many excellent cities, the two most popular hubs of urban life are its capital, Athens, and the northern city of Thessaloniki. Those cities also demand a minimum of €500,000 investment if you apply for Greek residency through the Greece Golden Visa Program.


Athens-city-greeceAthens is a timeless testament to human civilization, blending ancient history with a vibrant modern spirit. Nestled against the backdrop of the Acropolis, this historic city is the cradle of Western democracy and philosophy. Its ancient ruins, including the iconic Parthenon, offer a glimpse into the glory of classical Greece.

Athens’ bustling neighborhoods, like Plaka and Monastiraki, offer a taste of traditional Greek life with narrow streets, charming tavernas, and lively markets. The city’s museums, such as the National Archaeological Museum, house priceless artifacts. As a global hub, Athens boasts a rich cultural scene, a dynamic culinary landscape, and warm hospitality, making it a destination that seamlessly merges antiquity with contemporary culture.


Thessaloniki=city-greeceGreece’s second-largest city exudes a unique charm as a crossroads of history and culture. Nestled along the azure shores of the Thermaic Gulf, it boasts a rich tapestry of influences, from ancient Greek and Roman heritage to Byzantine and Ottoman legacies.

The White Tower, an iconic landmark, reflects this captivating blend. Its vibrant waterfront, lined with bustling cafes and lively promenades, invites visitors to savor Mediterranean flavors and enjoy breathtaking sunsets. Thessaloniki is also a cultural hub, with world-class museums, festivals, and a thriving arts scene.

This city’s dynamic character and warm hospitality make it an exceptional choice for expats seeking history, culture, and a taste of contemporary Greece.

Popular Islands

The Greek Islands, scattered in the sparkling Aegean and Ionian Seas, are a paradise for travelers, tourists, and expats alike. With over 6,000 islands and islets, each offers a unique blend of pristine beaches, ancient history, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine. These sun-kissed destinations beckon with their timeless beauty and warm Mediterranean charm.


Mykonos is a captivating jewel in the Cyclades and is renowned as Greece’s party paradise and a haven of cosmopolitan charm. Famous for its dazzling beaches, including Paradise and Super Paradise, the island attracts sun-seekers and partygoers worldwide.

Beyond the beachfront, the town of Mykonos enchants with its maze-like streets, lined with whitewashed buildings and bougainvillea-clad balconies. Iconic windmills, historic churches, and Little Venice’s picturesque waterfront add to its appeal.

While famous for its thriving nightlife scene, the island offers plenty of relaxation and daytime exploration opportunities. It seamlessly marries adventure with tranquility, making it a quintessential Greek island experience.


Santorini, a mesmerizing crescent-shaped island in the Aegean Sea, is a postcard destination. This volcanic paradise offers breathtaking panoramas of whitewashed villages perched on dramatic cliffs.

Fira and Oia are the epitomai of Cycladic beauty, with iconic, blue-domed churches and charming narrow streets. The island’s unique beaches, like the red sands of Red Beach and the black sands of Kamari, contrast the turquoise-blue waters.

Beyond its visible beauty, Santorini boasts delectable cuisine, local wineries, and historic sites like Akrotiri, making it an enchanting blend of natural wonder and cultural richness.


Corfu is a lush island with a captivating blend of Venetian, French, and British influences. Its vibrant Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, reveals narrow cobbled streets, charming pastel buildings, and imposing fortresses. Corfu’s diverse landscape features stunning beaches, including Paleokastritsa’s crystal waters and Glyfada’s golden sands.

The island’s hinterland is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, with olive groves, cypress forests, and traditional villages like Pelekas. Local cuisine is a delightful fusion of Mediterranean flavors, and Corfu’s rich history is visible in landmarks like Achilleion Palace.


Crete is Greece’s largest island and home to many foreigners retiring in Greece due to its mesmerizing ancient mythology and vibrant expat community. Its diverse landscape includes dramatic mountains, fertile plains, and pristine coastline. The Minoan Palace of Knossos, a testament to Europe’s oldest civilization, is a historic gem.

Chania and Heraklion showcase Venetian and Ottoman influences in their picturesque harbors and architecture. Crete’s cuisine is a culinary journey, with Cretan olive oil, cheeses, and traditional dishes like dakos (Greek bread with fresh savory topping) and souvlaki (meat or vegetable skewers). The island’s beautiful beaches, including Elafonissi and Balos, offer both relaxation and adventure, especially for water enthusiasts.


Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades islands in Greece and is a multifaceted gem that marries natural beauty with a rich history. Its diverse landscape boasts lush green valleys, rugged mountains, and stunning beaches like Agios Prokopios and Plaka. Most notably, the island is steeped in mythology, with Mount Zeus, the mythological birthplace of Zeus, standing as a towering symbol.

Naxos Town (Chora) delights with Venetian architecture and the iconic Portara, an ancient temple gateway. The island’s vibrant cultural scene includes local festivals, museums, and traditional Greek music. Naxos also offers superb cuisine, featuring local cheeses and fresh seafood, making it a captivating destination for those seeking a harmonious blend of history, nature, and culture.


Paros is a stunning island that seamlessly combines timeless charm with modern appeal. Its picturesque villages, like Parikia and Naoussa, feature enchanting, whitewashed buildings adorned with vibrant bougainvillea. Paros’ stunning beaches, including Golden Beach and Kolymbithres, offer crystal-clear waters and water sports galore.

The island’s rich history is evident in ancient ruins like the Frankish Castle and the Sanctuary of Delion Apollo. Paros is also known for its traditional pottery and local cuisine, showcasing fresh seafood and savory dishes like pitaroudia (chickpea fritters with tahini sauce). This island embodies the quintessential Greek experience, blending culture, natural beauty, and Mediterranean hospitality.


Antiparos is part of the Cyclades archipelago and is just a short ferry ride from Paros. It offers a tranquil escape from the bustling tourist scene with pristine beaches, like Soros and Agios Spiridon, with their crystalline waters and quiet shores. The charming main town, also named Antiparos, features traditional Cycladic architecture, cozy tavernas, and a lively square.

The iconic Cave of Antiparos, adorned with stunning stalactites and stalagmites, should not be missed for its breathtaking natural beauty. This laid-back island is beloved for its unhurried pace, making it a haven for relaxation, hiking, and simple pleasures.


Zakynthos, a lush, green island, captivates visitors with its natural beauty and vibrant culture. Its coastline boasts some of Greece’s most stunning beaches, with Navagio Beach being the crown jewel, framed by dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear waters. The island’s stunning interior is dotted with olive groves and vineyards, producing exquisite olive oil and local wines.

Zakynthos Town offers a blend of history and cosmopolitan charm with its historic churches and bustling waterfront, and marine life enthusiasts can spot endangered loggerhead sea turtles nesting on its shores. Zakynthos effortlessly blends Greek traditions, scenic landscapes, and coastal allure, making it an enchanting destination for a diverse range of travelers.


Milos is a captivating Greek island in the Cyclades, a geological wonder, and a cultural treasure trove. A popular hotspot for Americans living in Greece, its dramatic coastline is adorned with unique rock formations and hidden coves like Sarakiniko and Kleftiko, making it a haven for adventurers and beach lovers alike.

The island’s lunar-like landscapes are a testament to its volcanic past, with the stunning Milos Catacombs offering a glimpse into its rich history. Beautiful villages like Plaka and Pollonia exude Cycladic charm with their quaint streets and fresh seafood restaurants, making it a desired location for visitors and expats alike.


Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in Greece and effortlessly blends history, culture, and stunning landscapes. The UNESCO-listed medieval Old Town of Rhodes showcases centuries of history with its imposing fortifications, cobblestone streets, and ancient architecture. The Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, once stood guard here.

Pristine beaches like Faliraki and Lindos Beach offer relaxation and water sports. Beyond its coastal beauty, Rhodes boasts archaeological sites like the Acropolis of Lindos and the ancient city of Kamiros. This island’s rich tapestry of past and present is an attractive pull for expats who want to enjoy traditional Greek life.

Take a look at out Greece Golden Visa 2024 Ultimate Guide by Experts

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Average House Prices in Greece

Below is an estimation of Greece’s real estate market prices per square meter by region, according to Numbeo:

Type of Tax

Price Per m² in the City Center

Price Per m² outside the City Center

Average Price for a 100 m² Property

























Average house prices: Grece vs the US


Price Per m² in the City Center

Price Per m² Outside the City Center

Average Price for a 100 m² Property





United States




Real Estate Property Tax in Greece

Real estate property tax in Greece is an obligation for property owners. When buying Greek property, you must obtain a Greek tax number, a prerequisite for engaging with the Greek tax authority. Besides transfer tax to transfer a purchased property title and VAT, annual property taxes are payable at the local tax office and are based on the property’s assessed value, typically lower than market value.

Keeping up with tax responsibilities for a property sale or purchase is essential, as the Greek tax authority closely monitors property transactions. Failure to pay taxes can result in fines or legal consequences. Staying informed about the latest tax regulations and deadlines is crucial, and seeking guidance from tax professionals can help ensure compliance with Greek real estate property tax laws.

Property acquisition tax

Property acquisition taxes in Greece encompass various levies and fees that buyers must consider when purchasing real estate. These taxes include:




Transfer tax (or property transfer tax)

3 percent of the purchase price

Resale property

Value-Added Tax (VAT):

24 percent

New property

Notary fees

0.65 to 1 percent of the purchase price

All properties

Recurring property taxes

A foreign national must pay property taxes annually as a Greek property owner. They include:



Property tax (ENFIA)

€0.0037 to €9.25 per m2

Personal rental income

15 to 45 percent

Corporate rental income

22 percent

Greek taxes may include local municipality taxes, such as a garbage collection fee or a lighting tax, which can vary by region. Rental income taxes in Greece apply to individuals and entities earning rental income from Greek property investment. A property owner can deduct certain expenses related to the property, such as maintenance and repairs, from their rental income.

Mortgage in Greece: Financing a Property Purchase

Getting a mortgage from a Greek bank as an expat can be a viable option for those looking to invest in Greek real estate or secure a home for personal use. Here’s a guide to help expats navigate the mortgage application process in Greece:

Most Greek mortgages are available to Greek residents. Some Greek banks, including Eurobank, Paraeus Bank, and Alpha Bank, may offer mortgages to non-resident non-EU citizens, including additional requirements such as a larger down payment. Down payments for foreign purchases range from 20 percent to 40 percent of the property’s purchase price, and the mortgage terms range from ten to 30 years.

While obtaining a mortgage in Greece can be challenging, it’s not impossible. Diligence in meeting the requirements and seeking professional guidance can facilitate the process and help you achieve your property ownership goals in this beautiful Mediterranean country.

Property evaluation: Should you get a property survey in Greece?

Getting a property survey in Greece is highly advisable when purchasing real estate. Property surveys provide valuable insights into the condition and boundaries of the property, helping buyers identify any potential issues or discrepancies. This is particularly important in Greece, where land ownership and boundaries can sometimes be unclear due to historical reasons.

A professional survey can prevent future disputes, ensure you’re buying what you expect, and help you make an informed decision before you purchase property. While it may incur an additional cost, a property survey is a wise investment to safeguard your interests and peace of mind when acquiring real estate in Greece.

Buy Property in Greece and Obtain Residency

Foreigners who buy a house in Greece worth at least €250,000 can qualify for the Greece Golden Visa and a renewable permanent residence permit for themselves and immediate family members. Purchasing property in northern and central provinces, the South Athens Attica region, and the municipalities of Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini requires an investment of €500,000.

The Greek government requires applicants to have a clean criminal record and obtain private health insurance. Greek Golden Visa property owners can renew their residence permit indefinitely, provided they maintain their investment. After seven years of residency, residence permit holders can apply for Greek citizenship

How Can Global Citizen Solutions Help You?

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique migration consultancy firm with years of experience delivering bespoke residence and citizenship by investment solutions for international families. With offices worldwide and an experienced, hands-on team, we have helped hundreds of clients worldwide acquire citizenship, residence visas, or homes while diversifying their portfolios with robust investments. 

We guide you from start to finish, taking you beyond your citizenship or residency by investment application. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Buying Property in Greece

Can foreigners buy property in Greece?

Yes, foreigners can buy property in Greece. Greece has favorable property ownership laws for non-residents, making it a popular destination for international buyers seeking to invest in real estate or own a holiday home.

Is it easy to buy a house in Greece?

Buying a house in Greece can be relatively straightforward, but it’s essential to navigate the local regulations, property market, and legal processes. Consulting with local experts and professionals can simplify the experience for buyers.

Is it worth buying property in Greece?

Buying property in Greece can be worthwhile for those seeking Mediterranean living, investment opportunities, or vacation homes. It offers beautiful landscapes, a rich cultural heritage, and potential for property appreciation. However, careful research and consideration of personal goals are essential.

What is the cheapest Greek island to buy property?

The cheapest Greek islands to buy property can vary, but some of the more affordable options include islands in the Dodecanese or Northern Aegean regions. Thassos, Ikaria, and Samos are examples of islands known for relatively lower property prices compared to others.

However, prices can still vary significantly depending on the location and type of property. Conduct thorough research and work with local real estate experts to find the best deals that align with your budget and preferences.

Is buying property in Athens a good investment?

Buying property in Athens can be a solid investment, thanks to its growing real estate market and strong tourism sector. However, like any investment, it requires thorough research, an understanding of market trends, and careful consideration of individual goals and risk tolerance. Consulting with local experts is advisable.

Is Greece a safe place to buy property?

Greece is generally a safe place to buy property. The legal framework protects property rights, and the country offers a stable environment for real estate investments. However, it’s essential to conduct due diligence and seek professional advice to navigate local regulations and property markets effectively.

Are there property taxes in Greece?

Yes, there are property taxes in Greece. Property owners are subject to various taxes, including property tax (ENFIA), recurring local taxes, and taxes on rental income. The rates and obligations can vary depending on factors such as property size, location, and usage.

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