The Merchant's House, Old Perithia, Corfu


The charming mountain village of Old Perithia, in the northeast of Corfu, is the best kept example of the Venetian architectural origins of the island. With 130 houses, 8 churches, 5 Greek Tavernas and the highly-acclaimed Merchant's House Hotel / B&B, it is considered as a special place to visit by locals and visitors alike.

In 2010 the owners of The Merchant's House restored three ruins (dating back to 1650) using local materials and craftsmen with the aim of bringing the village back to life.

The property is currently operating as six boutique B&B suites and has an extensive list of accolades and reviews. For any prospective buyer, it is a 'turn-key' business with a proven track record, top reviews and an excellent client list.

The property could alternatively be converted into individual apartments (with plumbing and wiring already in place), as a family home, or a combination of any of the above. All licenses for operating as a B&B are included with the property, as well as a license to serve breakfast, light lunches and drinks and to sell books & publications.

Each suite is extremely well appointed and has its own entrance, a double bedroom, sitting room and good sized bathroom, and access to a planted terraced garden, paved with local stone and laid with lawn.

There are Daikin air conditioning units in all of the suites as well as Buderus central heating and a water recycling system. All the furniture, beds, and the wrought iron works in the property, both internal and external, are hand made by local craftsmen.

The reputation of The Merchant's House has gained it an iconic status and made the village of Old Perithia one of the island's most famous and exciting locations as it comes back to life with further future potential and interest.

Further land is available by separate negotiation - approx. 7 stremma, next to the iconic Skordilis mansion, with views to sea, and includes the ruins of a historic monument, which was once the village look-out tower against pirate attacks. Building permission could be sought to build a villa, a restaurant or to expand the current business for example with a yoga retreat or health spa etc.


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.

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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