Escaping the Brexit effect as an expat in Greece

Escaping the Brexit effect as an expat in Greece

Escaping the Brexit effect as an expat in Greece

If the mere thought of Brexit is giving you itchy feet, now’s the time to consider Greece as the perfect expat hideaway.

With Brexit looming, disenchantment with the chaos in the British parliament and the possibility of a no-deal crash out of the EU is causing many UK citizens to think about leaving before it’s too late. Emigration often involves a mix of dreams over years and a sudden dose of reality, resulting in a snap decision to go for it before it’s too late. In these uncertain times, the snap decision is more urgent, and the decision as to where to head for is even more relevant given Britain’s uncertain future outside the EU.

Many Britons now approaching retirement have spent memorable holidays in Greece and dreamed of living there one day in the well-planned future, but getting out of a Britain they now hardly recognise in a hurry wasn’t part of the dream. However, Greece is well-versed in welcoming foreigners, be they tourists or expats, and getting settled can be relatively straightforward in spite of Greek bureaucracy.

Housing is a first priority, and prices are wallet-friendly at the present time. Before deciding on a particular realtor, checking they’re legally registered and are members of the Federation of Greek Real Estate Agents or the Hellenic Association of Realtors is a must as it gives peace of mind and guarantees protection. Agency fees vary, but are usually set at around two per cent of the property purchase price and are paid by both buyer and seller.

There are a few locations in which foreign property purchase is forbidden, usually set near borders or close by important army bases. The Greek mainland offers the best choice of suitable homes for expats, with islands set close to the mainland another option. Buying homes in designated forest areas can be done but takes a long time as permission is needed, and legal searches on properties within urban areas are much faster.

If it’s city life you’re after, the Athenian suburbs of beachside Glyfada, Voula and Vouliagmenis are within easy access to the beauties of the historic city as well as its nightlife and events. Further down the coast is the ancient Peloponnese region, famed for its thousands of years of history and its glorious coastlines dotted with former fishing villages now given over to tourism and small expat communities.

The cost of living outside the major cities is less, and property prices are also more affordable, but the short, cool winters attract fewer visitors and may be too peaceful for younger expats and retirees. For lovers of seriously ancient historic sites, all of which feature strongly in 2,000 year-old and more Greek literature, the Peloponnese truly is a dream destination, and its peoples are amongst the friendliest in the world.

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