After a two-year pandemic delay, the time had come for Nick Hados and his husband, Ken Cook dinner, to seek out an condo the place they might retire. The couple, who reside in Little Havana in Miami, had fallen in love with Athens, spending their holidays there in a tiny pied-à-terre they’d owned since 2016. However by early 2022, they wished one thing large enough to reside in full time.
The precise condo would even be their ticket to Greek residency. As Americans, they couldn’t transfer to a rustic within the European Union, which limits vacationer visas to 90 days. But when they spent €250,000, or about $267,000, in money on Greek actual property, they might qualify for a five-year renewable visa, referred to as the golden visa, so they might reside within the nation 12 months spherical. (Starting in Might, patrons must make investments €500,000 in some components of the nation, together with Athens, to qualify for the visa.)
“We love touring, and we need to be someplace the place we are able to pop to Rome or London or wherever,” stated Mr. Cook dinner, 58, a retired company high quality director. “We stated, ‘OK, let’s do that.’”
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The couple had grown hooked up to Athens, a vibrant metropolis steeped in historical past, and one which felt family-centric, embracing everybody from the very younger to the very outdated. Wander down a slender, meandering avenue and also you’re as prone to encounter a Byzantine church as you’re to go a household out to dinner at 10 p.m. or a pair dancing in a neighborhood park. The nation was notably significant for Mr. Hados, 59, who’s of Greek descent and speaks the language.
“It’s simply chock filled with creativity right here. There’s a variety of younger individuals, a variety of power,” stated Mr. Hados, an architect. “In Miami, outdated individuals, they don’t exit, however right here, they exit. Folks of all ages are strolling round all hours of the day or night time.”
The couple additionally noticed Greece as a spot to retire affordably, with a decrease price of residing. As retired Greek residents, they might spend much less on taxes, meals, healthcare and different residing bills. The couple set their sights on Pangrati, a classy neighborhood in central Athens favored by artists and filled with eating places, cafes, parks and civic gems just like the Nationwide Gallery of Athens. The hilly neighborhood additionally supplied streets with unbelievable metropolis views, and Mr. Hados wished an condo with a view of the Acropolis and the Parthenon.
“It’s like having a view of the Eiffel Tower,” he stated. “It’s Greece.”
However what’s a view with out room to take pleasure in it? In order that they added out of doors area to their checklist of must-haves. No matter condo they selected needed to be inside strolling distance of the town’s historic websites. And it needed to price a minimum of €250,000 to guarantee them a golden visa.
In Athens, in contrast to in the US, actual property brokers should not have unique listings, and plenty of properties are bought by the homeowners. So the couple didn’t work with an actual property agent. As a substitute, they scoured numerous actual property itemizing websites.
In January 2022, they bought a industrial property in Miami, securing the funds to pay for an condo. With the cash in hand and their choices narrowed to some finalists they discovered on-line, Mr. Hados flew to Greece in February looking for their ultimate dwelling.
Amongst their choices:
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