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Greece – Ancient Founder of the Modern World

12 May 2011 - News

Greece is a country with an epic past and is credited as one as the forefathers of civilization. From creating western philosophy in the 6th century BC and epic early works of literature, such as Homer the Iliad and The Odyssey following on around the 8th century, it is the Greeks who are thanked for bringing a sense of ‘mind’ to Europe when many of its other countries were still predominately savage.

Through the ages Greece has brought us the Olympic Games, wonderful theatre, great art, sculpture and architecture. It is respected as the birthplace of politics as we know it. Also, when it comes to mythology, is there any other country that can rival Greece? Her tales are so embedded in our conscience; it’s hard to know just how many books may never have been written had the Greeks not laid the ground work first.

So for any traveler looking to find a country with a bit more than the usual sun, sea and sand, a place with real history to revel in, they need look no further. Greece is a stunning country, with incredible inland areas and coast line, famously beautiful islands, dreamy hot sunny weather, great food and wine, with the added bonus that this country just happens to be one of the building blocks of modern culture itself.

A conservative country whose main religion is Christianity, Greece has a population of around 11.2 million and a land mass of a just over 50,000 sq miles. Noted as a high income economy, Greece is constantly credited in the ‘high quality of life’ rankings. Greece has been a member of the European Union since 1981 and the Euro zone since 2001. Although Greece has enjoyed a rapid economic and social climb since post World War II, the growth has in the last few years been hit hard with the world wide slowdown, largely due to high public spending combined with the credit crunch and a lingering problem of tax evasion.

However, in 2010 Greece’s fellow Euro zone members agreed on a $145 bn bailout package to avoid the country defaulting on its debts. The major conditions written in to the loan were a new leaner approach to public spending and tax rises throughout. This has not been popular with the majority of the people and it is still to be seen if the loan will be a permanent fix to keep Greece in the club. Still, for now Greece has weathered the storm and with an estimated 18.8 million tourists every year, it is the country itself which is proving the biggest asset.

Greece is loved for her Islands and has more than 6,000 throughout the Aegean Coast, of which only 227 are inhabited. Here you will find islands of small fishing communities with idyllic coast lines, intimate bays, scattered coves and beautiful historic white washed villages. There are also full on party islands that are awash with hotels, bars and clubs. There is something for everyone, from the culture vulture seeking authentic Greek village life by the sea to the young and hip wanting their summer experience in Technicolor.

If island life is not what you are looking for then mainland Greece is a wonderful place to explore for city tourism. Greek cities offer everything that you would wish to experience from a city environment, history and culture mixed with modern shopping, nightlife and second to none facilities. The historic cities of Patras, Thessaloniki, Heraklion and Volos are well worth a visit as they all benefited from an injection of cash during the 2004 Olympic Games, adding a new dimension of modern world class infrastructure to fuse with their unbeatable historical elements. Of course Athens, the ‘historical capital of Europe’ is a veritable treasure chest for anyone who seeks to be inspired by being in the place that gave rise to so much that we now take for granted.
For those that know Greece, it is easy to fall for her charms. The people themselves are some of the most open and hospitable in Europe, making it a real contender when thinking of a country to buy a home in that literally ticks all the boxes.

Prices start at around €18,000 for an old finca in need of restoration. If this is something that interests you, make sure that all planning permissions are gained first and you are sure of the real costs in total when attempting such a project. Buying cheap to in effect build up your own dream property, can be a great way to secure you a dream home at a relatively small price, but do not underestimate the ongoing cost of renovation.

Small village homes can be bought for as little as €30k - €50K with little or no work to be done on them. This has to be a real contender for those wishing to find a peaceful place to live for a fraction of what you would spend for similar homes in France or Spain. It is important to shop around as bargains can be found in this price range. Remember that any work on the property will cost you more so finding a property at a very affordable price that is key ready to live in, is what makes a real bargain.

If you are looking for an island apartment just off the beach then prices start at about €60k for a one bed and €65k for a two bed. Competitive prices when compared with Europe's other hot spots. Villas can go for anything from €100k plus dependent on location, size and materials. Of course it all comes down to just what you want to spend as Greece also offers very high end options, but, no matter what you’re in the market for, Greece is currently a good option for anyone looking for a home in a beautiful country with amazing coastline, sunshine and heritage with very good rental returns.

Main Pointers For Buying In Greece
Before anyone purchases a property a tax role number is needed. This is known as an AMF and can be obtained from any tax office. Anyone buying in Greece must be able to show where the money is coming from for any wireless transfers made during purchase. A Greek bank account will be needed in order to make payment, as it is standard that funds are first paid into a bank account before any further transaction payments are made within the country.

A public notary in Greece is an independent official and is there to oversee the property purchase. Before a contact can be drafted, an initial offer must be made and subsequently a deposit of 10% is made. This deposit is not refundable unless the sale is not made due to a shortcoming on the side of the vendor. Once the buyer has finance and everything has been agreed then final funds can be transferred.

At execution of the final transaction, the ownership of the property is legally passed to the buyer. At this stage it is decreed in Greek law that the estate agents involved must be present for signing.

As with any property purchased abroad it is recommended that you hire a respected solicitor that speaks both Greek and your own native language, as they will guide you through the entire process.

By (May 12, 2011)
Greece Property sales | Greece Holiday rentals | Greek Monthly lettings



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