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-   -   retiring to greece (https://www.expatforum.com/expats/greece-expat-forum-expats-living-greece/25182-retiring-greece.html)

trafforda 18th August 2009 03:26 PM

Hi Janie

I have heard that to buy land and then have a house built on it is perhaps the best way to get the location and house size/style you want. In your experience, was it difficult to find a builder to build the property you wanted? Did it work out less expensive than trying to buy a similar property already built?
We are looking to retire to Greece or one of the Greek Islands in about 5 years time, and are currently enjoying learning Greek and holidaying in as many of the beautiful Greek Islands that we can - all in the name of research of course!
Alison

Janie 21st August 2009 04:42 AM

Retiring to greece
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by trafforda (Post 175777)
Hi Janie

I have heard that to buy land and then have a house built on it is perhaps the best way to get the location and house size/style you want. In your experience, was it difficult to find a builder to build the property you wanted? Did it work out less expensive than trying to buy a similar property already built?
We are looking to retire to Greece or one of the Greek Islands in about 5 years time, and are currently enjoying learning Greek and holidaying in as many of the beautiful Greek Islands that we can - all in the name of research of course!
Alison

Hi Alison, we have actually tried both ways. Our first property purchase in Greece was an old house, which although in good condition structurally, needed internal changes/improvements. It was in a beautiful mountain village in the Pelion region of the mainland and we were lucky enough to meet a local builder to do the work, and he then recommended other tradesmen (electrician, plumber, tiler etc). We loved the house and were pleased with all the work which we had done, but realised quite quickly that the mountain village was a little too remote for us, so we sold it and began looking for a piece of land in another village (very close to original one, but by the coast this time). We are now the very proud owners of a beautiful home in the coastal village of Milina. We bought the land from a local, our .original builder recommended a Mechanical Engineer, we spoke with him and explained what we wanted (number of rooms / sizes / shapes etc) and he produced outline drawings, applied for planning permission on our behalf, and project-managed the build. As in the UK, costs vary depending on location, and coastal villages are more expensive that a few miles outside of the area. Designing your own has many advantages ie you get exactly what you want, and the overall cost for us was certainly much less than buying in the UK but difficult to judge whether we would have paid less for an old property which then needed to be refurbished. Hope this is helpful, but let me know if you have any more questions.

Good Luck with all your plans. Janie

jacvin 5th September 2009 03:13 PM

retiring
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dorsetknob (Post 158386)
My wife and I are approaching retirement and are looking for somewhere that our pensions will stretch further than in the UK. We've always liked the Greek Islands, so are trying to get as much unbiased practical information as we can.
Especially from anyone who has made a similar move. We are thinking of renting initially, so some idea of long term rental rates would be a help. Plus a guide to the cost of living. Health care issues. Suggestions of the most suitable islands/areas. And any more relevant information that anyone has would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers dorsetknob.

we live between methoni and koroni in the pelopponese we have been here 3 years.we bought land (very cheaply 5 years ago)and built a house.I think you should rent first and see if you like it in greece if you commit to buying its not good if you don`t like it and renting is very cheap.the cost of living for some things are much cheaper but not like they used to be in fact eating out is the same as britain and food can be very expensive in small supermarkets.we own our own house so we don`t need to pay rent but we live very well on 300 euros a week for 2.We drive home twice a year for xmas and july/august as it is horribly hot and busy then but there is very little to do if you need amusing in winter.there are no queues for doctors and dentists and the hospitals are superb going by my friends visits.hope this helps

cmzk77 5th July 2010 10:21 PM

Anyone have any advice on American employers or English speaking employers anywhere in Greece? I am looking to leave the US in the next 5-7 years, but will only be mid-50's with working years ahead. This is such a wonderful forum full of expertise and information that only you expats can provide. Many thanks.

wka 6th July 2010 05:03 AM

cmz77 - If you are an American citizen (no EU passport) wanting to work legally in Greece, search the forum for my older posts - I have posted multiple times on the legal issues. The short answer is it's almost impossible to do legally. The best way to do it is to discover European lineage and get an EU passport, or marry an EU citizen (although the second option is much more difficult than the first in terms of paperwork). I am married to a Greek (I'm American) and although we've been married since April, I don't expect my work permit to be approved for another year or so, so I can't work during that time. You need to get very informed about the legal aspects before you start to worry about where, what job, and all the rest.

KathyK 7th July 2010 04:06 AM

We retired to Greece 3 years ago, and costs have rocketed this year!!! Petrol is more expensive than UK, so are things like Nova (compared to Sky) and telephone/internet charges are much higher than UK too. We live on an island, large but very low population, only about 200 "foreigners" here (mainly Dutch) as opposed to around 7,000 Greeks. We have never been cut off for "days" on end as per another post, only for a few days since we've been here and for an emergency you will always get a helicopter send over. The doctors are pretty good, but family/friends do most of the nursing if you are in hospital. We find renting relatively expensive, but did own our own home in England. Do you have pets? Cat food extremely expensive, and cat litter - 2 or 3 times the price it is in UK. Meat is cheap we find, can sometimes be difficult to get decent fruit or vegetables. Mainland has probably got the better connections so you'd get a better choice where food items are concerned, though the islands are improving all the time. EVERYTHING is complicated, even the Greeks don't understand the systems!!!! And of course this year the strikes are constant, but you learn to know when to visit the bank, the post office, when to travel (ferries and planes - keep checking the websites for strikes and be prepared to change your travel plans!!). Beware buying land or property, always always problems. Get an independent English or English speaking lawyer whatever you do. Greeks are lovely in life but b.....ds in business.

KathyK 11th July 2010 10:36 AM

Car insurance very expensive too, compared to what we paid in England. I don't think many Greeks take out insurance for travel, house contents etc. But if you are on the Internet it is quite easy to find insurance companies to cover you for all this. Once again, probably easier to find and do in Athens/Thessoloniki etc. On this island and some near us, a detached villa is around 320 to 400 or more euros per month to rent, but they are SMALL. Usually just 2 rooms and a bathroom. Apartments around 250 to 300 euros but obviously bigger ones are more expensive. Electricity, water, dimo charges etc on top of this price. Hope this is of help.

hecate 12th July 2010 08:28 AM

Ummm, yes, Greece is a great place to retire to...IF you're well-prepared. The best advice given here has been to come for an extended stay before- hand. Going through an agent or from what can be gleaned about properties on-line is asking for trouble. And September's by far the best time to get a good deal.

I'm surprised that some find the cost of living better here, since prices have been skyrocketing for quite a while. We've just had another VAT hike which translates to: petrol projected to be close to 2 Euro a LITRE; a cup of [usually bad] coffee 4-5 E, an ouzo 6, etc, etc. Food prices in the larger supermarkets are bad enough, but absurd in the small shops outside major urban areas. My last electric bill was just over 50 euros (for one person in a small flat), with only 9 euro for my actual electric use. All the government's much-touted austerity effort is having a direct and immediate effect on everyday prices. i.e. house owners pay more tax so can charge higher rents...

None of which is to suggest you shouldn't come here - just that you must get beyond the usual hype of how simple and cheap and easy it is here. NOT. [See kathy k's savvy input]

Having said that, you should know that when you're connected/accepted/helped, it can be very satisfactory. Friends from the States are now ensconced in an apartment-with-sea-view on an island that they're paying 250/ month for, have linked up with other expats, and are blissfully exploring "their" new island. It was found because we went scouting and chatted up locals, and negotiated [in greek]. Same way I found my home.

Please know that the practicalities are not more important than who you are and what you're about. Have you ever lived in a place where you can't communicate easily with others? Where The System doesn't work as you'd expect? Where uncertainty leads to fatalism and attitudes very, umm, foreign to you? Where all that we assume to be givens in modern life may be missing? And where the interests and activities and expertise you've developed over a lifetime simply aren't relevant. Be prepared to develop new ones!

Many islands better than others...let me know if you'd like more input

Cheers,
Hecate,
Anglo-Yank retiree ( Athens AND Islands)

hecate 12th July 2010 09:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cmzk77 (Post 329406)
Anyone have any advice on American employers or English speaking employers anywhere in Greece? I am looking to leave the US in the next 5-7 years, but will only be mid-50's with working years ahead. This is such a wonderful forum full of expertise and information that only you expats can provide. Many thanks.

Line up job before you leave States [required unless law's been changed] If you're not an EU citizen, or of Greek extraction, you'll find pickings lean indeed unless you want to risk working under the radar. Check with your nearest Greek Embassy.
Cheers, Hecate

tpebop 12th July 2010 09:52 AM

hecate. maybe you should move here to Rhodes.Petrol is @ most 1.58 € , the cheapest is 1.45 € . Coffee is 2 €


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