After a two-year pandemic delay, the time had come for Nick Hados and his husband, Ken Prepare dinner, to seek out an condominium 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 that they had owned since 2016. However by early 2022, they needed one thing sufficiently big to reside in full time.
The fitting condominium 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’d qualify for a five-year renewable visa, generally known as the golden visa, so they might reside within the nation 12 months spherical. (Starting in Could, consumers must make investments €500,000 in some elements of the nation, together with Athens, to qualify for the visa.)
“We love touring, and we wish to be someplace the place we will pop to Rome or London or wherever,” mentioned Mr. Prepare dinner, 58, a retired company high quality director. “We mentioned, ‘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steeped in historical past, and one which felt family-centric, embracing everybody from the very younger to the very outdated.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 more likely to encounter a Byzantine church as you might be to go 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 plenty of younger individuals, plenty of vitality,” mentioned Mr. Hados, an architect. “In Miami, outdated individuals, they don’t exit, however right here, they exit.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 dwelling. As retired Greek residents, they might spend much less on taxes, meals, healthcare and different dwelling 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 implausible metropolis views, and Mr. Hados needed an condominium with a view of the Acropolis and the Parthenon.
“It’s like having a view of the Eiffel Tower,” he mentioned. “It’s Greece.”
However what’s a view with out room to take pleasure in it? In order that they added outside house to their record of must-haves. No matter condominium they selected needed to be inside strolling distance of the town’s historic websites. And it needed to value a minimum of €250,000 to guarantee them a golden visa.
In Athens, in contrast to in the USA, actual property brokers don’t 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 varied actual property itemizing websites.
In January 2022, they bought a industrial property in Miami, securing the funds to pay for an condominium. With the cash in hand and their choices narrowed to a couple finalists they discovered on-line, Mr. Hados flew to Greece in February seeking their excellent dwelling.
Amongst their choices:
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