The ultimate guide in buying property in Crete
Everything you need to know when buying a property in Crete
This detailed article is providing information on the process of buying property in Crete and get residency, and the conditions on how to obtain a golden visa. Our company, Europlan, is an internationaly awarded construction company based in Creta island. We undertake all the necessary procedures for our foreign customers to obtain a residency in Creta island.
Technical Due Diligence Report
- Before buying a property in Crete, the assistance of a civil engineer is deemed necessary, as the prospective buyer must entrust a qualified engineer (civil engineer or architect) of his trust to check what he is going to buy, from an urban planning and technical point of view.
- The technical inspection is just as important as the legal inspection, because if done correctly, it will potentially protect the buyer from an unfortunate and damaging purchase of an illegal urban planning or unsafe or unsuitable for the expected use of a building, as well as invisible problems that can be very serious.
- At this time, the Land Registry, the Posting of Forest Maps and Local Urban Plans are pending, matters in which the assistance of the engineer is necessary. In addition, the engineer will give the prospective buyer a clear and complete picture of the property under negotiation.
Legal Due Diligence Report
- The due diligence stage of a property is also an important process, ensuring that the property to be purchased does not present any legal problems. For this reason, the legal review of the property should be entrusted to a lawyer specialized in real estate law.
- What the lawyer checks during the legal inspection of the property is the legality and regularity of the title deeds of the seller and his licensors, if they are correctly transcribed, if there is any heresy in them, if the price of them has been paid, etc.
- Furthermore, the existence of any encumbrances on the property (mortgage or pre-mortgage note) is checked, as well as the existence of any easements (works of passage, housing, usufruct, etc.) encumbering the property. Also, any existing contract is checked, as well as the terms of the horizontal ownership contract, as well as the possible existence of apartment building regulations and their possible amendments and the agreed uses of the horizontal properties contained therein. The control described above takes place at the competent mortgage office, as well as at any existing competent land office in case the property is located in an area where a land office operates.
Process followed until the final contracts of sale are signed
After the inspection of the property has been successfully completed and the issue of the down payment has been settled, the buyer should indicate to the seller the notary of his choice, who will be responsible for drawing up the contract of sale and handling all the necessary issues, always of course with the assistance of the seller’s attorney within the process of buying the property in Crete.
In this context, the notary will ask the parties (mainly the seller) to provide him with a series of documents that are necessary for the signing of the contract (such as an engineer’s certificate that there are no irregularities in the property, TAP certificate, tax awareness, extract of cadastral chart, etc.). After the notary ensures that he has at his disposal all the necessary documents for the signing of the contracts and checks their correctness and completeness, he must prepare the transfer tax declaration, which is submitted to the tax office, accompanied by a sheet for calculating the objective value of the property. The property transfer tax amounts to 3% of the market or any higher objective value of the property and must be paid once by the buyer before the signing of the final contracts, for which proof of payment must be presented and attached to the contract.
After the above bureaucratic procedures have been completed, the final contract of purchase and sale is signed before the Notary, which should then be transferred to the competent Mortgage Office or registered with the competent Land Office in the event that one operates in the area of the property. The cost of the transfer or registration shall be borne entirely by the purchaser. The transfer of the contract is also the last step for the completion of the sale and the final transfer of ownership of the property to the buyer.
Peculiarities of the property purchase process in case the buyer is a foreign person
Given the great purchasing interest observed in recent years by foreign nationals (whether citizens of European states or citizens of third countries) in the purchase of real estate in Greece, mainly for investment purposes, it is considered appropriate to mention some points worthy of attention for the specific categories of buyers .
First of all, it should be noted that before buying property in Crete, the foreign buyer should arrange through his attorney for the issuance of a tax registration number (TIN) in Greece and for the appointment of someone (usually his lawyer or an accountant) as his tax representative in Hellas. This procedure can be done either by the foreigner’s personal presence at the competent tax office or by authorization to a third party.
In the event that the foreign buyer does not wish or is unable to be present during the process of signing the final contract of sale, he may sign a power of attorney to his attorney (either before a Greek notary public or before the competent Greek consular authority of the place of residence of), by virtue of which the buyer’s attorney will be able to carry out independently any action required for the signing of the final contract (signing of transfer tax declarations, signing of the contract, etc.).
In practice, this means that it is possible for someone to buy a property in Greece, without ever visiting the country, since all actions can be handled by a lawyer under a power of attorney document. In the event, however, that the final contract is signed by the buyer himself and he is a citizen of a third country (outside the EU), it is necessary for him to be equipped with a valid entry visa (visa) of any type or to be the holder of a valid residence permit which has been issued by the competent Greek authorities or the competent authorities of another European country.
How real estate exploitation is taxed?
With regard to legal entities and legal entities of a profit-making nature, it is recalled that income from immovable property is taxed according to the provisions of par. 2 of article 47 of the C.F.E. with a rate of 22%, as the income in question is in any case considered income from business activity. Consequently, the provisions of articles 22 and 23 of Law 4172/13 apply to the expenses incurred and concerning the properties that are leased.
As far as natural persons are concerned, the income from real estate is taxed separately according to the following scale:
• From 0 to 12,000€ with a rate of 15%,
• from €12,001 to €35,000 with a rate of 35%
• and for incomes from €35,000 and above with a rate of 45%.
In parallel with the passing of Law 4646/2019, natural persons who receive income from real estate have the obligation to cover 30% of the annual real income from rents with expenses for the purchase of goods and the provision of services paid by electronic means of payment.
Golden visa acquisition guide and conditions in Greece
Citizens from outside the European Union who meet the conditions for belonging to the Golden Visa program (according to article 155 of Law 4764/2020), can apply for a residence permit and buy a property in Greece, through a proxy, without having to have previously entered the country. The power of attorney is drawn up before a Greek Consular authority. The applicant must, within a period of 12 months from the granting of the certificate of application, enter Greece and submit the required biometric data to the competent agency.
A condition for the granting of a residence permit to citizens of third countries and their family members is that they purchase real estate in Greece, the value of which exceeds 250,000 Euros.
Our customers review
My collaboration with the technical company Europlan lasts for years because they have proven to me their ability to create homes that stand out while at the same time their specialization in luxury holiday homes is known, both in terms of design and construction. Personally for me it is very important to have partners whose work adds value to the money which - anyway - you have to invest.
The quality of the construction absolutely met our standards and expectations. We have a second plot in Elounda and when the time comes to build, we will definitely work with Europlan again.
As the owner of three villas in the area of Plaka, I highly recommend the technical company Europlan for the execution of design and construction of any technical project.