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Which Home Should I Buy in Greece? Off-Plan Homes Vs. Existing Homes

If you’re searching for your dream home in Greece, you’ve probably already run into the question: should I buy an existing home in Greece, or a new, off-plan home?

First things first, let’s define off-plan homes.

Trinity Hills Rethymnon

What is an Off-Plan Home?

An off-plan home is a property that is sold before construction is started. In Greece, almost all new holiday homes are sold off-plan. In other words, if you find a property in Greece that was built in the last few years, it is likely a resale, and its price will probably be substantially higher than those of similar off-plan houses. 

Trinity Hills Rethymnon

Advantages of Off-Plan Homes in Greece

1. Higher Re-sale Value

An average off-plan property is already worth 20-30% more as soon as it is completed. This means that with the same investment, you will get much more value for money if you go for an off-plan property when compared to an existing home.

 

2. Modern Design

Off-plan homes in Greece are typically built by new, up-and-coming architects who use minimalist designs. This means new tiles, new bathrooms, stylish furniture, sleek sight lines, and often an infinity pool.

Summer House in Tinos | Panos Nikolaidis Design, Photo by Louisa Nicolaidou

3. Easier to Rent Out

Off-plan homes often rent more easily in comparison to something that was built 10 years ago. The quality of the architects’ work is attractive to high-income renters who find an appeal in innovative constructions.

 

Not only are off-plan homes more popular when rented out through platforms like AirBnB or Booking.com, but people are also willing to pay more for them. The difference in rental prices between new and existing houses can be huge, even up to 100%.

 

4. Cheaper Than Existing Homes

Let’s assume you are searching for a home in a specific area, with a specific size and specifications. Comparing off-plan and existing, newer properties, off-plan homes will likely be less expensive to buy. There are of course some exceptions to this rule, and prices can vary based on the specific location in Greece.

Summer House in Tinos | Panos Nikolaidis Design, Photo by Louisa Nicolaidou

5. Ideal Locations in Greece

Off-plan homes are typically found on the outskirts of Greece’s picturesque villages. So the hospitality, local cuisine, and central squares so characteristic of the Greek lifestyle are never far away. However, you often get the privacy and scenery that you wouldn’t get when in a town center.

Summer House in Tinos | Panos Nikolaidis Design, Photo by Louisa Nicolaidou

6. Customisable

Off-plan homes in Greece are often fully customisable. You can design it the way you like, style it the way you like, choose the kitchen, tiles, bathrooms, etc. You can really have the house you always dreamed of, within a budget you plan for.

 

7. Brand New Appliances and Equipment

Off-plan homes are brand new. If there are any small defects, add them to the snagging list and submit them to the constructor for fixing. Equipment and appliances are new and have warranties. The home is up to today’s standards and will be likely maintenance-free for at least the first five years. 

Marathi Villas
Marathi Villas

8. Best Sustainability

Off-plan homes have high standards of energy-efficiency and sustainability, as they are built according to the newest specifications. This means that the home may have extra features like green roofing, heat pumps, solar panels, and a solar boiler.

 

Marathi Villas

FAQ’s About Off-Plan Homes in Greece

What is the Payment Schedule for an Off-Plan Home?

The payment schedule for an off-plan home in Greece is set up to minimise financial risks for our clients. The whole process starts with you purchasing the plot. This means that you own the plot and everything that is going to be built on it, from start to finish.

 

After that, every further instalment is connected to the completion of specific construction stages. So you only pay for the foundations after they have been completed, then for the concrete structure once it’s finished, and so on for every building phase.

 

The last payment is due after completion of the villa. Then, you can inspect the villa to see if it’s built as agreed and only then make the last payment. That way, it’s actually the constructor that needs to worry if you make the payment, since he has already completed the works connected to your payment.

Marathi Villas

When Do I Sell an Off-Plan Home in Greece?

Buyers generally keep their home for about 10 years before selling it, which means that of the homes that were recently built, there are few resales. The ones that do become available are sold very quickly due to the high demand for this kind of home.

Can the Cost of an Off-Plan Home Increase During Building?

If you’re going to build a new home without agreeing on a fixed price with the contractor, there’s always a chance that the final amount you’ll spend is higher than you calculated, due to increased prices of materials or labour.

 

Therefore, we always advise to make a deal with a contractor with a closed, guaranteed budget that is not subject to changes. This way, the contractor carries the risk for any price increases that might occur, and you know exactly what the house is going to cost you from the start.

Marathi Villas
Marathi Villas

Advantages of Existing Homes in Greece

1. No Need to Wait

Unlike off-plan properties, where you see the home slowly being built, an existing property does not need imagining. You get the immediate satisfaction when buying and can enjoy your dream life in Greece without waiting for the construction to finish.

Olive Mill Villa
Olive Mill Villa

2. Traditional “Greek” Feeling

Off-plan homes usually have modern designs, view lines, pools, and more luxurious finishing. On the other hand, existing homes are ideal if you like simplicity, a more rustic feel, and a feeling that you are living among the locals. 

 

Papigo Village

3. Historical Value

Some regions of Greece have building styles that are historic and tell a story about the people who lived there. For example, the Tower Homes in the Peloponnese, the stone houses of Crete, and the pebble mosaics of Rhodes are all a piece of history.

Vathia, Mani
Vathia, Peleponnese

4. Easier to Get Golden Visa

The Golden Visa program in Greece is a residency-by-investment program for non-EU residents. By purchasing real estate above a certain price in Greece, you are eligible to apply for the Golden Visa, which grants residency, restriction-free Schengen Zone travel in Europe, and family inclusion.

 

The minimum investment required for a Golden Visa is set at 250,000 Euros, except for a few areas like Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Thessaloniki, where the minimum is 500,000 Euros.

 

Golden Visas are given for completed properties. So, for off-plan homes, you need to wait for the construction to finish before you can get a Golden Visa. Existing homes are better if you want a Golden Visa in a shorter amount of time.

Kastellorizo (Megisti)

5. No Need to Furnish

If you buy an off-plan home, consider that you will have to furnish your new home. With an existing home, you don’t need to spend time or money on decorating. Of course, for some people, half the joy lies in the searching for furniture and decorations, but for others it might be an extra cost they didn’t take into account. 

Olive Mill Villa

6. Full-grown Garden

With an off-plan home, your freshly planted garden will take some years to become full-grown. A golden tip: whatever you do, plant a bougainvillea from the very first day your house is delivered. 

 

Bougainvilleas in Greece are ideal not only only because they will grow into a beautiful eye-catcher, but also because they will add value to your property. Everyone loves bougainvilleas, and so will future renters (and buyers!). 

 

An existing home will, on the positive side, already have a full-grown garden. It might even have a bougainvillea!

Bougainvillea

7. Price Can Be Negotiated

With most developers, prices of off-plan properties are non-negotiable. Developers have made their calculations and have established their exact profit margins, so prices of new developments are more or less fixed. 

 

What you can do is to try to get a better price on extra options, like solar panels, pool heating, or other features. An existing home, on the other hand, can usually be negotiated. Of course, it depends on the seller’s personal and financial situation whether and how much room for negotiation there will be, but you can always give it a shot!

Olive Mill Villa

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