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Why buy a Property in Crete

Welcome to Crete!

 

 

Reasons to Invest 
1. Investment prospects for the island of Crete are excellent.
2. Greek building regulations are strict, so the island will not suffer from over-development.
3. Crete has a mild climate with short winters.
4. The countryside is magnificent and is an idyllic spot for walking and exploring.
5. Crete boasts some of the best beaches in the world.
6. The locals are friendly and proud of their traditions.
7. Crete has a rich cultural and architectural heritage.
8. The island offers peace, tranquillity and has a very low crime rate.
9. Ideal for retirement as the costs of living are low.
10. A wide selection of properties that are ideal for investments, holidays or retirement.

Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, and the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, and Corsica.
Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits (such as its own poetry and music). It was once the center of the Minoan civilization (c. 2700–1420 BC), which is currently regarded as the earliest recorded civilization in Europe.

Climate
Crete straddles two climatic zones, the Mediterranean and the North African, mainly falling within the former. As such, the climate in Crete is primarily Mediterranean. The atmosphere can be humid, depending on the proximity to the sea, while winter is fairly mild. Snowfall is common on the mountains between December and April, but rare in the low lying areas. During the Cretan summer, average temperatures reach the high 20s-low 30s Celsius (mid 80s to mid 90s Fahrenheit), with maxima touching the upper 30s-mid 40s. The south coast falls in the North African climatic zone, and thus enjoys significantly more sunny days and high temperatures throughout the year.

weather history


Economy

The economy of Crete is predominantly based on services and tourism. However, agriculture also plays an important role and Crete is one of the few Greek islands that can support itself independently without a tourism industry. The economy began to change visibly during the 1970s as tourism gained in importance. Although an emphasis remains on agriculture and stock breeding, because of the climate and terrain of the island, there has been a drop in manufacturing and an observable expansion in its service industries (mainly tourism-related). All three sectors of the Cretan economy (agriculture/farming, processing-packaging, services), are directly connected and interdependent. The island has a per capita income much higher than the Greek average.

Holiday homes and immigration
Crete's mild climate and culture attracts interest from northern Europeans who want a holiday home or residence on the island. EU and Non EU citizens have the right to freely buy property and reside with little formality. A growing number of real estate companies cater to mainly British immigrants, followed by German, French, Scandinavian and other European nationalities wishing to own a home in Crete.

Tourism
Crete is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece. The island's tourism infrastructure caters to all tastes, including a very wide range of accommodation; the island's facilities take in large luxury hotels with their complete facilities, swimming pools, sports and recreation, smaller family-owned apartments, camping facilities and others. Visitors reach the island via two international airports in Heraklion and Chania and a smaller airport in Sitia or by boat to the main ports of Heraklion, Chania, Rethimno, Agios Nikolaos and Sitia.
Popular tourist attractions include the archaeological sites of the Minoan civilisation, the Venetian old city and port of Chania, the Venetian castle at Rethymno, the gorge of Samaria, the islands of Chrysi, Elafonisi, Gramvousa, and Spinalonga and the Palm Beach of Vai, which is the largest natural palm forest in Europe.

Archaeological sites and museums
There is a large number of archaeological sites which include the Minoan sites of Knossos and Phaistos, the classical site of Gortys, and the diverse archaeology of the island of Koufonisi which includes Minoan, Roman, and World War II ruins.
There are a number of museums throughout Crete. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum displays most of the archaeological finds of the Minoan era and was reopened in 2014.

Transport infrastructure
The island has three significant airports, Nikos Kazantzakis at Heraklion, the Daskalogiannis airport at Chania and a smaller one in Sitia. The first two serve international routes, acting as the main gateways to the island for travellers. There is a long-standing plan to replace Heraklion airport with a completely new airport at Kastelli, where there is presently an air force base. The island is well served by ferries, mostly from Athens.

Island morphology
The island has an elongated shape: it spans 260 km (160 mi) from east to west, is 60 km (37 mi) at its widest point, and narrows to as little as 12 km (7.5 mi) (close to Ierapetra). Crete covers an area of 8,336 km2 (3,219 sq mi), with a coastline of 1,046 km (650 mi); to the north, it broaches the Sea of Crete (Greek: Κρητικό Πέλαγος); to the south, the Libyan Sea (Greek: Λιβυκό Πέλαγος); in the west, the Myrtoan Sea, and toward the east the Carpathian Sea. It lies approximately 160 km (99 mi) south of the Greek mainland.

Mountains and valleys
Crete is mountainous, and its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east, formed by three different groups of mountains:
• The White Mountains or Lefka Ori 2,452 m (8,045 ft)
• The Idi Range (Psiloritis 2,456 m (8,058 ft)
• Kedros 1,777 m (5,830 ft)
• The Dikti Mountains 2,148 m (7,047 ft)
• Thripti 1,489 m (4,885 ft)

Gorges, rivers and lakes
The island has a number of gorges, such as the Samariá Gorge, Imbros Gorge, Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Ha Gorge, Platania gorge, the Gorge of the Dead (at Kato Zakros, Sitia) and Richtis Gorge and waterfall at Exo Mouliana in Sitia.
The rivers of Crete include the Geropotamos River, the Koiliaris, the Anapodiaris, the Almiros, the Giofyros, and Megas Potamos. There are only two freshwater lakes: Lake Kournas and Lake Agia, which are both in Chania regional unit. Lakes that created by dams also exist in Crete.

 

Crete Videos

 

 

 

 

Residence Permits for Non-EU Citizens


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Greek Government offers residence permits to non-EU citizens who buy real estate in Greece.
(First successful sale to Chinese citizen, client of our office, has taken place in Rethymno, Crete)

Greece can grant residence permits, for Non-EU citizens and their families with the acquisition of property worth more than 250.000 Euros. The residence permits are renewed every five years, as long as the non - EU citizen keeps the ownership of the property. It is not a work permit. Once the non - EU citizen acquires a residence permit in Greece, then is allowed to live in Greece, exit and re-enter Greece any time without a visa and travel to all Schengen countries without further documentation other than passport.

According to the Law "Creation of a Development Friendly Environment for Strategic and Private Investments" (4146/2013) there is added a new paragraph in the Greek Immigration Law, which mentions that there can be granted a residence permit to citizens of countries not members of the European Union, who want to invest on buying or renting property worth more than 250.000 Euros.

The initiative, comes in response to strong demand from Arab, Chinese and Russian investors and is anticipated to give a great boost to the property market. Valid for five years and open to renewal, the residence plan follows similar measures adopted by Hungary, Spain and Portugal in the past. The permits will enable the holders, their spouses and children under the age of 18 to freely travel-though not work-in the Schengen area for three consecutive months at a time.

In more details: By decision of the General Secretary of Decentralised Administration, a residence permit for five (5) years is issued to a third-country citizen, if he/she has obtained a visa, if required, and legally owns, either personally or through a legal entity whose shares are wholly owned by him/her, property in Greece, or has, at minimum, a ten-year time-sharing contract under Law 1652/1986: \"Time-Sharing and Regulations on Related Issues\" (A' 167) as applicable, or a 10-year lease of hotel accommodations or furnished tourist accommodation (houses) in tourist accommodation complexes according to Article 8, par. 2 of Law 4002/2011 (A' 180). The aforementioned residence permit may be renewed for the same duration (five years), if the property remains unchanged in its legal ownership status as described above and the contracts of ownership remain in effect, and other statutory conditions detailed above are met.

The minimum value of the property and the contract price of the time-share leases and the leases for hotel accommodations or tourist furnished accommodations (houses) in tourist accommodation complexes, according to this Article, shall be two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) Euros.

By joint decision of the Ministers of Interior and Finance, the value of the above-mentioned property may increase or decrease, and will be determined in accordance with the stated prices of the sale documents of the properties, or leases as per their contracts, or as determined by ministerial objective values.

The period of residence, under these specific conditions, is not taken into account in cases of granting citizenship to said residents.

The aforementioned third-country citizen (property owner) may be accompanied by the members of his/her family, as specified under paragraph 1 of Article 54 of Law 3386/2005. Upon their own request, family members may be granted a personal residence permit that is renewed and/or expires concurrently with the residence permit of the sponsor (property owner).

The residence permits do not allow a right to employment of any type.

For more information feel free to contact us.

Would you like to sell your property in Crete?

soldSelling your home is an involved process that affects your family and your future. Before you begin this process, you'll want to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information. When should you sell? How do you get the best price? What kinds of renovations should be made prior to the sale?

Do not hesitate to trust our real estate office. We can advise you and offer you the benefits of our marketing strategies to help you sell your property in the best time.

Our services:

  • we estimate your property
  • we effectively advise you before the sale of your property and ensure compliance with the legal provisions
  • you benefit from our portfolio of potential clients (local and international clientele)
  • you benefit from the exposure of your listing on our website and our partners sites
  • you benefit from showcasing your listing in our window display
  • you benefit from the sharing of your file between our cooperated estate agencies
  • we track your file and handle all steps of the signing of the sales agreement and the signing of the deed.

Contact Us for more Information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is property ownership secure in Crete?

The Registry of Mortgages is the State authority charged with securing property ownership. All property titles are held, and all encumbrances registered, there. Property is filed under the owner's name; lawyers/attorneys are entitled to check under the name of any individual or organisation. A thorough property title search here will uncover any/all extra hidden claims, covenants or charges attached to the property; it will also confirm the proper previous transfer of the property. This must always be done as part of the transactional process.

Who can purchase property in Greece/Crete?

EU citizens Generally speaking, all EU citizens have the right to purchase property in Greece/Crete. Non EU citizens Generally, Non EU citizens have the right to purchase property in Greece/Crete. For details of current regulations, contact the Greek consulate or embassy in your home country. Residence Permits for Non EU citizens Greece can grant residence permits, for Non EU citizens and their families with the acquisition of property worth more than 250.000 Euros... [Read more]

Am I required to purchase property in my own name?

Not necessarily. You can purchase property in joint name, with spouse and/or other third parties, in the names of children, legal heirs or a company.

Do I need a Greek Tax Registration?

Yes. Anyone purchasing a property is required to have a Greek Tax Registration Number. You should apply to the local (Greek) tax office, with your passport/ID and sometimes birth certificate. Your appointed solicitor can make the application on your behalf, if you have granted him/her Power of Attorney.

Can I obtain a mortgage in Greece?

Yes. Each bank or financial institution may have its own stipulated requirements of the applicant; but generally, with your passport/ID, you will need to provide proof of earnings (P60's, payslips or tax returns if self employed) for 2-3 years. You should also bear in mind that you must be able to pay all closing costs before the bank will release any funds.

What is a Notary Public, and do I need one?

The Notary Public is a lawyer who represents the Greek government in the property purchase transaction. You must appoint a Notary or you will not be able to legally purchase a property. It is his/her responsibility to process and certify the transaction. He/she will draw up all the necessary legal documentation. The contracts must be signed in the presence of the Notary who must be happy that they have been read and understood by all parties.

Do I need a lawyer?

It is highly recommended to have legal representation throughout the transaction. Your lawyer is also responsible for carrying out the necessary legal surveys and property title search.

Do I need a Greek bank account?

Yes. You need a Greek bank account for the transfer of funds. Among other things this account shows that the money has come from an external country; and so is not subject to local taxation. Opening an account is usually easy. You will need to show your passport/ID and tax registration. It takes no time at all, and you are not required to make an opening deposit on the day.

Am I required to sign the contract personally?

Not necessarily. If you wish, your solicitor can sign on your behalf if you have granted him/her Power of Attorney.

What and how much are ‘closing costs'?

Closing costs include all legal expenses, fees and taxes. There is no set figure for this; but it is generally prudent to budget for an additional 9 - 12% as a guide for total purchase costs. You or your appointed representative should clarify this at the earliest opportunity.

How should I best insure my new property?

The building industry on Crete is subject to EU regulations and standards. In addition there are strict local regulations for earthquake protection. It is therefore prudent to insure your new property in the standard manner against fire, water damage, storm damage, earthquake, theft and third party.

As a property owner, will I have to file Tax Returns in Greece?

Yes. Anyone owning a property in Greece is legally bound to file annually an E9 form with the Greek tax authorities. This must be filed in conjunction with the basic Income tax E1 form. If you don't actually have an income in Greece you should enter "0" income in the E1. Your accountant will help with this.

What is meant by the Tax Objective Value of property?

The Tax Objective Value of a property is assessed by the Greek tax authorities for the purpose of levying taxes. It is not the purchase price of the property; generally being significantly lower than that.

How are utilities bills generally paid?

Generally, these can be paid by standing order by your bank. You can, of course, pay in person at the relevant office.

 

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