Buying Property in Greece: A Guide for Canadians

Buying Property in Greece: A Guide for Canadians
Santorini, Greece
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2024

Considering buying a vacation home in Greece? As you envision yourself enjoying the sunny Mediterranean climate, pristine beaches, and rich history, it's essential to focus on the practical aspects of purchasing property abroad. Key among these is managing international payments and navigating foreign exchange rates. The process involves more than just finding the perfect seaside villa or quaint village house; it also includes transferring funds internationally, which can significantly influence the overall cost of your property due to fluctuating exchange rates. Efficiently handling these financial transactions is crucial to ensure you get the most value out of your investment in Greece. Let's delve into what you need to know to make your dream home a reality, keeping financial surprises to a minimum.

Why should you buy property in Greece as a Canadian?

Buying property in Greece as a Canadian offers several compelling benefits that can make it an attractive option for both personal use and investment purposes:

Affordable real estate: Compared to many other European destinations, Greece offers relatively low property prices, especially in the wake of economic adjustments. This affordability makes Greece an excellent place for Canadians looking to buy vacation homes or investment properties.

Scenic beauty and climate: Greece is famed for its stunning landscapes, encompassing everything from idyllic islands to historic sites and mountainous regions. The climate is predominantly Mediterranean, offering warm summers and mild winters, ideal for Canadians looking to escape colder climates.

Tourism opportunities: Owning property in a tourist hotspot can be financially advantageous. Greece is a perennial favourite among international travellers, which means there is potential for property owners to earn rental income from tourists during the peak seasons.

Cultural richness: Greece is steeped in history and culture, offering a unique living experience that blends ancient sites, traditional Greek festivals, and a vibrant contemporary culture.

Lifestyle and health: The Greek lifestyle, known for its emphasis on relaxation, socializing, and a healthy diet (Mediterranean diet), is considered highly beneficial for longevity and quality of life.

Strategic location: At the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, Greece offers a strategic advantage for those looking to explore these regions. Additionally, the country is well-connected with many international airports and ports.

EU access: Buying property in Greece may facilitate more accessible travel around the European Union and Schengen Area, which is particularly beneficial for Canadians who enjoy frequent travel.

Potential residency: Greece offers a Golden Visa program, where significant real estate investment can lead to residency permits for non-EU citizens, providing an added incentive for Canadians considering making a substantial investment.

Best places to buy property in Greece

Greece offers a variety of enticing locations for buying property, each with its unique charm and advantages. Here are some of the best places to consider:

Athens: The capital city is not only rich in history and culture but also offers a vibrant urban lifestyle. Athens is ideal for those looking for amenities and an active real estate market that appeals to both tourists and locals.

Santorini: Famous for its stunning sunsets and picturesque scenery, Santorini is highly popular among tourists. Owning property here can be a lucrative investment due to the island's strong demand for short-term rentals.

Crete: The largest of the Greek islands, Crete offers a mix of tourist hotspots and tranquil retreats. The island has a robust agricultural and business sector, providing more stability in property investment.

Corfu: Known for its lush green landscapes and pristine beaches, Corfu is another favourite. It has a well-developed infrastructure for tourists and offers a rich cultural heritage.

Thessaloniki: As Greece's second-largest city, Thessaloniki is a cultural hub with a lively arts and food scene. Its real estate market is diverse, catering to various budgets and lifestyles.

Mykonos: This island is famous for its vibrant nightlife and luxury lifestyle. Properties here tend to be expensive, but the investment return potential is high due to the popularity among international tourists.

Peloponnese: Known for its historical significance and natural beauty, this region offers more affordable property options compared to the islands and is famous for those looking for a quieter lifestyle.

Rhodes: With its beautiful beaches, historical sites, and strong expat community, Rhodes combines the allure of island life with practical amenities and a well-established tourist industry.

Nafplio: A former capital of Greece, Nafplio is renowned for its well-preserved architecture and seaside fortresses. It's less crowded than the major tourist spots but offers a rich historical experience and beautiful views.

What do I need when buying property in Greece as a Canadian?

Tax identification number (AFM): Before you can proceed with purchasing property, you must obtain a Greek tax number (AFM) from the local tax office. This is necessary for all property transactions and tax purposes in Greece.

Greek bank account: Opening a bank account in Greece is often required to handle transactions related to property purchase, including paying taxes and utility bills.

Pre-purchase property checks: It's important to conduct detailed checks on the property, which include confirming the property's legal status, checking for any outstanding debts or liens, and ensuring that building permits and land usage rights are in order.

Property insurance: Once you own the property, securing property insurance is advisable to protect your new asset.

Steps for Canadians buying a property in Greece

For Canadians looking to buy property in Greece, here are the essential steps to follow to ensure a smooth and successful purchase:

Obtain a Greek tax number (AFM): Before any property transaction, you'll need a Greek Tax Identification Number (AFM). This can be obtained at any local tax office in Greece and is required for all financial transactions.

Open a Greek bank account: It's often necessary to have a local bank account in Greece to facilitate transactions such as paying taxes, handling utility bills, and transferring the purchase funds.

Hire a real estate agent: While optional, a local real estate agent can provide invaluable assistance in finding properties, negotiating prices, and understanding the local market.

Engage a lawyer: It's crucial to hire a Greek lawyer who specializes in real estate transactions to ensure that the property has no legal encumbrances, verify the title, and guide you through the legal processes.

Find a property: Decide on the type of property and location. Consider visiting the properties and exploring different areas to find a place that meets your preferences and budget.

Conduct due diligence: Have your lawyer check the property’s legal status, ensuring no outstanding debts, liens, or legal issues. Confirm that all property taxes are up to date.

Agree on a sale price and sign a preliminary contract: Once you find a property and agree on a price, an initial contract is drawn up, which outlines the terms of the sale. You'll usually need to pay a deposit at this stage.

Sign the final contract: The final purchase contract is signed in the presence of a notary, who ensures that all legal aspects are correctly addressed.

Pay the property transfer tax: Before the final sale can be completed, you'll need to pay a property transfer tax based on the value of the property.

Finalize the sale: After all checks are completed and the final contract is signed, you can complete the sale. Your lawyer and notary will handle the transfer of deeds and register the property in your name at the local Land Registry.

Post-purchase administration: Set up utility services and familiarize yourself with local property management and maintenance requirements.

Why exchange rates matter when purchasing property in Greece?

Understanding exchange rates is crucial when purchasing property in Greece, especially for Canadians dealing with currency conversion from CAD to EUR. Here’s why exchange rates are significant:

Impact on purchase price

Exchange rates directly affect how much you pay for the property in your home currency. A stronger Canadian dollar against the euro means your money goes further, lowering the effective cost of the property in Canadian dollars. Conversely, a weaker Canadian dollar makes the purchase more expensive.

Budget planning

Fluctuations in the exchange rate can impact your budgeting. Knowing when to exchange your money can save you significant amounts, especially in a high-value transaction like a property purchase. Monitoring exchange rates can help you plan the best times to transfer funds.

Ongoing costs

After the purchase, you’ll likely have ongoing costs in euros, such as maintenance fees, taxes, or renovation expenses. The exchange rate will continue to affect the cost of these expenses when converting from CAD to EUR.

Long-term investment value

Currency fluctuations over time can influence the value of your investment. If the euro strengthens against the Canadian dollar after your purchase, the value of your property in terms of Canadian dollars increases, potentially giving you a better return on investment if you decide to sell.

Cash flow management

For those who might rent out their property, receiving rent in euros and converting this income into Canadian dollars can also be impacted by exchange rates. Managing this effectively is crucial for maintaining your expected income level.

MTFX is your trusted international payment partner for overseas property purchase

When purchasing property overseas, MTFX serves as a reliable international payment partner, streamlining the financial aspects of your transaction. Here’s how MTFX can facilitate your property-buying process:

Competitive exchange rates: MTFX offers highly competitive exchange rates, which can significantly impact the overall cost of your property purchase by reducing the amount you spend on currency conversion.

Efficient money transfers: MTFX ensures swift and secure transfers, essential for meeting the often tight timelines of property transactions in foreign countries.

Expert financial guidance: MTFX provides expert advice on navigating the complexities of international payments. This includes the best times to exchange and transfer funds based on current market conditions.

Tailored solutions: Recognizing that each buyer’s needs are unique, MTFX offers tailored solutions to fit your specific requirements for international transactions, making the process smoother and more personalized.

Reduced transaction costs: By offering lower fees than traditional banks, MTFX helps minimize the overall transaction costs associated with purchasing property abroad.



Get the best exchange rates for EUR/CAD today with MTFX

To get the best exchange rates for EUR/CAD today, you can use our live exchange rate tool available on the website. MTFX provides competitive rates and low transfer fees, making it a cost-effective choice for currency conversion, especially for significant transactions like property purchases. Our platform offers real-time currency market updates and tools like rate alerts, allowing you to secure the best possible rate for your currency exchange needs.

For the most current rates and detailed services, sign up on the MTFX website. This will ensure you have the latest information and can make informed decisions regarding your currency conversion from CAD to EUR.

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