They Needed to Dwell in Greece Full Time. However What Would They Discover for $300,000?


After a two-year pandemic delay, the time had come for Nick Hados and his husband, Ken Cook dinner, to search out an residence the place they might retire. The couple, who stay 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 stay in full time.

The precise residence 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 euros, or about $267,000, in money on Greek actual property, they might qualify for a five-year renewable visa, generally known as the golden visa, so they might stay within the nation yr spherical. (Starting in Could, patrons should make investments €500,000 in some elements 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 connected to Athens, a vibrant metropolis steeped in historical past, and one which felt family-centric, embracing everybody from the very younger to the very previous. Wander down a slender, meandering avenue and also you’re as prone to encounter a Byzantine church as you might be to cross a household out to dinner at 10 p.m. or a pair dancing in a neighborhood park. The nation was significantly significant for Mr. Hados, 59, who’s of Greek descent and speaks the language.

“It’s simply chock stuffed with creativity right here. There’s loads of younger individuals, loads of vitality,” stated Mr. Hados, an architect. “In Miami, previous individuals, they don’t exit, however right here, they exit. Individuals 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 value 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 stylish neighborhood in central Athens favored by artists and stuffed with eating places, cafes, parks and civic gems just like the Nationwide Gallery of Athens. The hilly neighborhood additionally provided streets with incredible metropolis views, and Mr. Hados wished an residence 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 listing of must-haves. No matter residence they selected needed to be inside strolling distance of town’s historic websites. And it needed to value at least €250,000 to guarantee them a golden visa.

In Athens, not like in the US, actual property brokers don’t have unique listings, and lots of houses are offered 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 offered a business property in Miami, securing the funds to pay for an residence. With the cash in hand and their choices narrowed to a couple finalists they discovered on-line, Mr. Hados flew to Greece in February searching for their supreme house.

Amongst their choices:

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