Moving to Greece

Moving to Greece

Moving to GreeceMOVING TO GREECE AS AN EXPAT – Here’s what you should know…

If the draw of architecture, Greek culture and lifestyle and the notion of living amongst the Gods in a year round sun-drenched country appeal to you then look no further than our articles and blogs for essential advice and information on moving to Greece.

In this article, we’ve given you

  • House hunting Greek Style.
  • 6 Key facts every expat should know about living in Greece.
  • You’ll need these 4 hassle free steps for planning your international move to Greece, to save money and prevent stress.
  • Steps for staying connected with friends and family.
  • We’ve looked at ex-pat and career opportunities and finally, what it is really like in the land of the Gods.

House Hunting Greek Style

Keep in mind that unfurnished properties in Greece means exactly that. The Greeks take everything with them when they move including all appliances. It’s always been this way and nothing to do with the current financial crisis. Worth bearing in mind though, because appliances can be expensive so shop around and thoroughly check what is on your inventory.

Check out utilities too, they can become the second largest outgoing after rent. Don’t assume, for example, that if you see solar water heating panels on the roof, it means your apartment has this facility. Currently, natural gas is the more reasonably priced option.

Surf expat bulletin boards and be prepared to pay expat prices. You’d think because the salary is low, accommodation prices should be low. Not the case. It isn’t easy to find real estate agents specifically helping ex-pats either, and another problem is the language, but doubt not, many landlords resort to calling in their children who will have a better command of English!

Top Tip: Look for flats for sale because it takes so long to sell an apartment the owner may well accept your offer to rent in the meanwhile. By the way, short-term rental in Greece means a minimum of six months. They prefer 1-3 years. And PS if you leave before another tenant is found, do not return the keys – this is your only form of negotiation if there is any problem getting your deposit back!

6 Key Facts Every Expat Should Know
About Living in Greece

  1. Cash is the name of the game here. And plenty of it. Payment in Greece is mainly through cash, in Euros. You’ll get away with credit cards in hotels.
  2. Avoid sewerage problems in your accommodation by ensuring you don’t flush paper down the toilet. It’s entirely fair to say that the Greek sewerage systems are not envied by other countries.
  3. Private healthcare is a must repeat must, for expats. Greece has one of the worst healthcare systems in Europe with no support for expats.
  4. Thinking of building? Carefully check out the construction rules because every region in Greece has unique construction rules.
  5. If you’re superstitious then watch out for Tuesday the 13th which is the Greek equivalent of Friday 13th.
  6. Local salaries are low however it swings and roundabouts because the cost of living is roughly 30% less than many other European countries. Food products are cheap and it’s entirely probable that cost of living will reduce further due to deflation caused by the economic crisis.

4 hassle free tips for moving to Greece

Of course you can move any time of the year, but a hassle free move is always the better way. We’ve given you tips for saving money and preventing stress.

  1. Greece enjoys a beautiful climate. So from the weather perspective it doesn’t matter when you choose to move there. However, Moving Companies will be at their busiest during the summer in your own country and will be giving higher quotes and longer waiting times so go for low demand months, consider removing kids out of school during term time and go for mid-week removals.
  2. Check out weather issues and times where traffic challenges might be more of a problem, incurring further fuel costs.
  3. Are you flexible on the actual day you move into your accommodation? You’ll find cheaper prices from your Moving Company if you negotiate a lease that begins mid-month rather than the first of the month.
  4. Look for an International Removal Company who knows their Greek! Pick their brains and listen to any tips and tales.

Getting and staying connected in Greece.

Maintaining those crucial connections with loved ones

Make some new connections: with fellow expats in Greece click here:

Mobile phones – main providers are Telestet/TIM, Vodaphone & Panafon and Cosmote, with monthly contracts you’ll require a tax number and ID however, pay-as-you-go are easily accessed at phone shops and cigarette kiosks. If you are considering installing a phone line, with cheaper calls to loved ones overseas, you’ll need your passport and tax number.

Greece lags behind the rest of Europe when it comes to the
– so be prepared, although you will find Internet cafes in towns and larger villages. Broadband is available in most towns and some suburbs but check availability in villages and other parts of the country.
The main Internet service providers are Otenet, Forthnet, Tellas, Hellas online and Panafonet.

Expat Job and Career Opportunities

  • Your chance of a successful job is vastly increased if you’re fluent in Modern Greek because 99% people speak it as their first language.
  • If you’re lucky enough to be moving to work in an international company within Greece, salary and lifestyle will be high.
  • There are jobs in tourism, childcare and manual work but pay will be low and local unemployment is high.
  • Currently, Greece experiences continual VAT hikes, therefore if you have a high salary and/or savings you’ll be fine!

According to the Nomad list with feedback from travelling nomad workers the best cities are:

  • Athens
  • Patras
  • Thessaloniki
  • Rethymno
  • Mikonos
  • Rhodes
  • Santorini

You’ll find a rating list on cost of living, co-workers forum, best places to work and connections, get in touch, make those connections…

P.S. It really IS in the lap of the Gods!

Greece is a lovely place to live, full of history and culture wherever you look. It exists in a different time warp and truly is a different world; so allow time and the space to settle in. A general rule of thumb is twelve months when moving to another country and six months to settle in when it’s a move within your own birth country. Plan a twelve-month schedule of things to enjoy – yes the move plan and the after-plan are two different parts in the overall move to Greece – so go explore and immerse in what Greece is all about as well as doing the work thing. After all, you moved to Greece for “that change of life” didn’t you?

Small steps are more effective than large ones when an international move is undertaken, there really is no need for stress to get in the way, you’ve made your choice, you are moving, so now’s the time for research, book your removal company ASAP and go on forums where people share their experiences and there’ll be no need to get overwhelmed. Still stressed? There’s always that book, you know the one – Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway! And read our blogs on managing stress: I’ll show you a worry-free way to Move Home OR Moving Home? It really is all in the mind – Managing TIME for a successful move.

απολαύστε την κίνησή σας όλα θα πάνε καλά
apoláfste tin kínisí sas óla tha páne kalá

(Enjoy your move all will be well)

AND GOOD LUCK! καλή τύχη kalí týchi

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