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Rivoli Cottages, Fiskardo, Kefalonia, Greece

€695,000

Two beautifully restored cottages set in terraced gardens with a pool, in a quiet hamlet of northern Kefalonia close to Fiskardo.

On a west-facing hillside above Kefalonia's rugged northern coast, the tiny hamlet of Markandonata gets stunning sunset views across fields and woodland onto the deep blue Ionian Sea. Set in pretty Mediterranean planted grounds with a pool, these charming whitewashed cottages have been lovingly restored by a British owner to combine traditional local style with tasteful antique furniture and full modern comforts.

Ideal for a romantic escape or for families wanting a peaceful rural holiday retreat, one cottage sleeps 4-6, the other 2-4. They are set a discreet distance apart from one another, and the peaceful setting is wonderful. Close by are excellent un-spoilt beaches: two are within walking distance, and Myrtos, frequently cited as one of the most beautiful in Greece, is a 30-minute drive away.

Lime Cottage is the larger of the two. You enter into an open-plan kitchen and living room, with white-and-grey flecked marble floors and a whitewashed wooden pitched ceiling. A cool, light and airy space, it combines modern cooking facilities with a boxy white sofa, armchair and flat-screen TV. There are 2 big white metal fisherman's lamps, as well as spotlights, and an old-fashioned wood-burning stove, making it atmospheric after dark.

Lime's master bedroom has exposed stone walls with a wooden floor, a white wrought-iron double bed and French doors opening onto a small balcony with views across the fields towards the sea. The other bedroom is rather basic though nice, with one exposed stone wall and 2 single beds, making it ideal for a family with 2 children. There's also a white wooden mezzanine level above the living room with a sofabed, meaning that Lime can in theory sleep 6.

Fig Cottage sleeps 2 and is ideal for a romantic escape. There is an open-plan kitchen and living area - again with marble floors and a whitewashed wooden pitched ceiling - which opens onto a lovely stone terrace with sea views. From the kitchen, marble steps lead up to the sleeping area with its wrought-iron double bed, and a shower bathroom. There's also a double sofabed in the lounge. The cottages are being sold fully furnished and ready to move into.

A BUYING GUIDE TO GREECE

If you’ve found a beautiful property to buy in Greece, the buying process itself is a well-trodden path. With good legal advice, it shouldn’t hold any surprises.

Firstly, three basic formalities:

  • You need to register any funds with the Bank of Greece that you’re bringing into the country to make your purchase, and gain their permission to proceed. You may also need to open a Greek bank account, for the funds to pass through.
  • You will need an ‘AFM’tax registry number from the Greek tax authorities.
  • If you’re a non-EU national, take the precaution of checking that you are allowed to buy your planned property. You are unlikely to get permission if it is located in a sensitive area, such as near a military installation or a national border. On certain Greek islands, you may also need the permission of its local council.

 

With these obstacles out of the way, the normal buying procedure begins.

Step 1: Find a lawyer and make your offer

Naturally, you need a specialist lawyer with local knowledge to help you navigate the buying process.

This begins with making your offer for the property. If it’s accepted, both parties sign a purchase agreement, which you instruct your lawyer to draw up. This process is overseen by a public Notary, who is an independent legal official.

With your finance in place, your lawyer carries out checks on the title deeds, and makes sure there are no issues attached to the property, such as loans secured on it, or that it is located on an archeologically sensitive site.

Step 2: Complete

When the final contract meets everyone’s satisfaction, it is then signed by you (or your appointed legal representative) and the vendor, in front of the notary.

The notary will need to see:

  • All official documents relating to the sale
  • Your valid passport, AFM tax number, and any special permission to purchase (if applicable)
  • Proof that the seller has complied with all required conditions
  • Evidence that the transfer tax (similar to stamp duty) has been paid
  • That all other fees, taxes and charges are settled.
Costs

You will need to budget for various taxes, charges and fees – typically, up to 8-9% of the purchase price.

As the buyer, you pay:

  • Transfer Tax at a flat rate of 3%
  • Land registry costs of approximately 0.475% (+ VAT @ 23%)
  • Notary fees of 1% on the first €120,000 of value, and on a decreasing scale to 0.65% on a value of €380,000 - €2 million (+ VAT)
  • Your own lawyer’s fees are by arrangement (subject to a minimum laid down by law), and may typically range from 1% on a property value of up to €44,020, and then on a decreasing scale to 0.4% on a value above €1,467,351
  • The buyer’s share of the estate agent’s fee at between 1-2.5%. This is often already included in the overall asking price, so do check first.

 

Please note: This article reflects Aylesford’s current understanding of property legislation in Greece. It is offered for general guidance only; specialist legal and tax advice should always be taken for any property transaction.

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