Now that Portugal is on the cusp of ending its Golden Visa option for real estate investors, there aren’t many ways left to get EU access. Hungary is increasing the physical presence requirements. Spain is an option but with rising interest rates the real estate market is unlikely to do great there.
Even for those that manage to squeeze in last minute for Portugal, they are probably going to get hit hard as Portuguese real estate is one of the European markets most exposed to rising interest rates.
I’ve been warning people since last year to stay away from Portuguese real estate.
Then there’s the Malta Permanent Residency Scheme but it’s a donation more than an investment.
What about Greece?
The Greek golden visa is a great solution. Schengen access for the full family (main applicant, spouse, children under the age of 21, parents and parents-in-law).
However, the way it is being promoted rarely leads to good investments. Just as with the Turkish Citizenship by Investment program, most promoters try to sell new, overpriced buildings because the commissions are good.
However, if you look to invest in smaller islands, away from the Golden Visa crowd, you can make decent investments. Actually, these investments are decent as is, golden visa or no golden visa.
You need to invest at least €500,000 in a single property in Athens, Thessaloniki, and some of the main islands. But when you venture farther away the minimum investment drops to €250,000 and can be spread across multiple properties.
On Lesbos Island you can make net rental yields of 7% and buy homes for as little as €25,000
Yes. You read this correctly. In the video above, I visit a few apartments and houses in Lesbos island and run the numbers with Angelina, who started a second real estate agency on Lesbos Island after her first in Istanbul.
A major point I like about Greek real estate is that in such areas, it is still dirt cheap, and it will NOT be impacted by rising interest rates. Real estate is much likelier to maintain or even grow its value in such islands than in Northern Europe for example.
There is essentially no more mortgage market in Greece. Banks haven’t been lending for years.
Unlike in Athens, Santorini, etc. where prices have been going up, prices have barely budged in Lesbos Island. They have reached rock-bottom and have been consolidating there for years.
If anything, Turkish tourism to Lesbos island is booming because it has become more affordable than holidaying on the Turkish coast.
You can find more information on the Greek Golden Visa, Lesbos Real Estate and get in touch with Angelina here.
To a World of Opportunities,
The Wandering Investor.
Other ways to get Golden Visas and Citizenships by Investment:
- Invest in Lesbos Real Estate for the Greek Golden Visa
- Fastest way to get Permanent Residency in Malta
- Be careful when you buy a passport in the Caribbean
- Best Deal for the Citizenship by Investment in Turkey
- Buy affordable real estate to obtain the Egyptian citizenship by Investment
- How to obtain Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment
- Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment
- St Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment
If you want to read more such articles on other real estate markets in the world, go to the bottom of my International Real Estate Services page.
If you want to discuss your internationalization and diversification plans, book a consulting session or send me an email.
Transcript of “High ROI Real Estate for investing in the Greece Golden Visa”
LADISLAS MAURICE: Hello. So today, I am in beautiful Greece. And we’ll be discussing the best way to get the Greek Golden Visa and how to get very decent capitalization rates and net rental yields of about 8% to 10% on your real estate investments here in Greece. Because, typically, when you try to do the Golden Visa, you’re pitched a bunch of new developments in Athens, in Thessaloniki, and random islands that give you very low returns. But on this island, here, in Lesvos, the situation is very different. Prices are dirt cheap, and you can get some very interesting rental returns, so not only for the Golden Visa, but also as a pure real estate investment for people who want exposure to Greece and to tourism here in the region.
The situation in Greece
LADISLAS MAURICE: So as a little bit of background information, it’s important to also be truthful with oneself in terms of the situation that Greece is finding itself in. So in 2008, the economy completely crumbled. Essentially, everything blew up in Greece, the banks, the government, everything. People voted for against some of the reforms that were proposed by the European Union. But still, the European Union just went ahead and forced these reforms onto the Greek people. And the result was that, for 10 years, approximately, the country just sunk into a deep, deep depression, which was driven by having to pay back debt. And by a strong euro, which was imposed by Germany, which led to, essentially, manufacturing dying in Greece.
Migrants on Lesbos Island
LADISLAS MAURICE: So as things stand in Greece, there is barely any manufacturing anymore. It all left because the Euro was just too strong compared to what the Greek economy could absorb. A lot of emigration happened, so the best Greeks left the country. The fertility rate plunged, so people don’t have any children anymore, because they can’t afford it. And instead, what you have is a bunch of Nigerians, and Pakistanis, and Afghans that keep coming into Greece, stay here, in camps, for a few months, including here on the island of Lesvos, where there are camps deep inside the island. It’s a huge island, but you don’t see any foreigners here. I haven’t seen any nonwhite person in the last five days that I’ve been here, and then they get sent to all over Europe. So they don’t necessarily they don’t stay here, but actually it’s good for the economy here because it’s a whole business with government people, NGOs, etc., that spend a lot of money here on the island, and then it gets this, and then these people get dispatched to all over in Europe.
Real estate price crashed in Greece
LADISLAS MAURICE: The result is that, on a PPP basis, so taking into account purchasing power, the average Greek is now poorer than the average Turk, right? So that’s the very sad reality of what has happened to Greece. So when you hear this, you think, Oh, I would never want to invest here, blah, blah, blah. I understand. However, asset prices have completely crashed here, proportionately even more to what happened to the Greek economy. So now what you find is that real estate in Greece is a cash market, there’s barely any leverage in the market. Banks do not lend. And when you look at charts in terms of the mortgage market, it keeps decreasing as people pay back their loans that they got before. And people that try to enter the market do not get access to mortgages.
So effectively, when you buy in Greece, it’s now a cash market. Prices have been going up of real estate since 2018 slowly but surely. So we’ll be looking at houses that are absolutely stunning for €160,000. We’ll be looking at little houses for €25,000. So now we’re going to go meet up with Angelina. She was my interior designer in Istanbul. She moved here recently to Greece. She set up a real estate agency with a number of Greek partners. And we’re going to look at three houses here in this beautiful rural village. And we will be doing all of the numbers from A to Z in terms of the price, cost of renovations, etc., and then how much rental return we can expect, the expenses, etc., to get to a net rental yield for each of them.
Real estate investment in Lesbos case study #1
LADISLAS MAURICE: This is the house. Angelina with her business partner, Stratos, here from Greece. Tell us about this house. Angelina, you recently sold this house, correct?
ANGELINA: Yes. We recently sold this house to our client. The client was very lucky because it’s very difficult to find such a unique and beautiful historical building with a panoramic sea view in prime location of Plomari. This is very prime location, and this house has very high rental potential.
Target market interview of Swedish couple
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool. So we’re going to go in there, we’re going to do all of the numbers together with Stratos and Angelina. But before, we had these people just randomly walk into the house when we were looking at it. And they are potential real estate investors, because they were asking about the numbers. Where are you good people from?
SWEDISH WOMAN: We’re from Sweden.
LADISLAS MAURICE: From Sweden?
SWEDISH MAN: Yeah.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool. So what brings you here to Lesvos?
SWEDISH MAN: Vacation.
SWEDISH WOMAN: Curiosity and–
SWEDISH MAN: Summer vacation.
SWEDISH WOMAN: We have been in Greece a couple of times before, but never Lesvos.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, so why did you come to Lesvos? Is it your first time to Lesvos?
SWEDISH WOMAN: Yes.
SWEDISH MAN: Yeah.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. Are you considering buying real estate in Lesvos?
SWEDISH WOMAN: We’re curious.
SWEDISH MAN: We met some couples, Swedish couples, who have bought houses. Two couples, actually. And they just love it.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay.
SWEDISH MAN: This is why, but it’s genuine Greek.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, more than other islands?
SWEDISH MAN: I should say.
SWEDISH WOMAN: Yes. And much more than Spain and France. And it’s so corrected. It’s so made for tourists.
SWEDISH MAN: This is more genuine.
SWEDISH WOMAN: Here, it’s like coming into a real village.
SWEDISH MAN: Yeah.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah, that’s very true.
SWEDISH WOMAN: Really great.
LADISLAS MAURICE: It’s like authentic Greek here in Plomari.
SWEDISH WOMAN: Yes.
SWEDISH MAN: Yeah.
LADISLAS MAURICE: That’s very true.
SWEDISH WOMAN: So you like it more and more. In the beginning, “What is this?” But then the more you stay–
SWEDISH MAN: It was a bit ugly but [you more 00:06:23] for every day.
STRATOS: As a local, I confirm.
SWEDISH MAN: Yes.
SWEDISH WOMAN: [laughs]
STRATOS: I confirm.
SWEDISH MAN: You spotted beautiful places.
SWEDISH WOMAN: So now we’re a little bit in love. [laughs]
SWEDISH MAN: Yeah.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay.
SWEDISH MAN: We were out with the boat yesterday for four hours, and it’s fantastic from the sea view.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Good.
SWEDISH MAN: So we really love it.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Have you ever bought international real estate?
SWEDISH WOMAN: No.
SWEDISH MAN: No.
LADISLAS MAURICE: No? Would you consider living in Greece or do you want to continue living in Sweden? Is it just a vacation house that you’re looking for?
SWEDISH WOMAN: Yes. Probably, yes.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Or, for a retirement home? What are you looking for?
SWEDISH MAN: Maybe in a couple of years, when we’re retired. You never know.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay.
SWEDISH MAN: We have thought about Spain, France, and now we’re in Greece. So you never know.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Are you aware of the tax benefits that Greece has to offer?
SWEDISH WOMAN: No.
SWEDISH MAN: No.
SWEDISH WOMAN: No.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. So what if I told you if you move to Greece as a retired person, you become a tax resident here. So you leave Sweden, you become a tax resident in Greece. For 15 years, you would only pay 7% taxes on worldwide income.
SWEDISH MAN: Okay, we move here. [laughs]
SWEDISH WOMAN: Ooh. Babe, it’s–
SWEDISH MAN: That’s interesting. That’s really interesting.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Cool.
SWEDISH WOMAN: I didn’t know that.
LADISLAS MAURICE: You have heard of–
SWEDISH MAN: No, no.
SWEDISH WOMAN: We haven’t come that far in this question, so we don’t know.
SWEDISH MAN: Yeah. But interesting.
SWEDISH WOMAN: That’s interesting.
SWEDISH MAN: Yeah, it’s interesting.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Right? Okay.
SWEDISH WOMAN: Very. In Sweden, we have high taxes, so–
Many Scandinavians moving down to Lesbos Island
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah, you do. Cool. And I think, Stratos, you’re seeing a lot of people moving down from Scandinavia to the island, am I correct?
STRATOS: Yeah, we have many people from Norway, from France, from Sweden, from Denmark. I mean, we have 32 or more architects now have already bought properties in Plomari.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Thirty-two architects?
STRATOS: At least, yeah. At least.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay.
STRATOS: Yeah. They own a house in Plomari now.
Case study #1 continued
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool. And I think this is really important for people to understand, when they invest in an island like here, sure, we discussed this a bit earlier, the Greek economy is a bit crappy, but when you buy here, when you invest here, what you’re buying is cash flow from Northern Europe. You’re buying assets in Greek prices with Northern European cash flow, which can result in interesting yields. Let’s look at this.
Angelina, so it’s your client that bought this. You would be running with essentially the whole renovation, the remodeling of this unit. What would be, just in three sentences, your plan? Would you turn this into a one-bedroom apartment, two-bedroom apartment? What would be your plan here? Because these views are absolutely gorgeous. You see like the whole port here. It’s just beautiful. It’s like real Greece, really real Greece here. Angelina, what would you do here?
ANGELINA: Our plan is divide this house to three separate units and rent out–
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. This is only one of the floors?
ANGELINA: This is only one of the floors, is the top floor, and is most beautiful. Of course, this panoramic view. And has potential to convert to the loft apartment. We plan to break the ceiling and leave it open till the roof. This is will be two bedrooms apartment, loft apartment, with huge salon, open kitchen. And we think it’s like around €175 per night, the rental, short-term rental.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. So the €175, is that, I assume, just for peak season?
ANGELINA: Yes, it’s only on peak season.
LADISLAS MAURICE: How long would peak season be in your numbers?
ANGELINA: We want to be very pragmatic, we talk about 3½ months. Usually, peak season can be four, five months, even six, but we’re talking about 3½ months.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah, let’s stick to 3½ for the numbers. So 3½ months at €175 a night. What would be your occupancy rate?
ANGELINA: Around 80% this floor, top floor. This is a very special apartment.
LADISLAS MAURICE: It is, it is. What we’re doing, also, for the numbers, is we’re removing 12% for discounts. So when people weekly bookings or monthly bookings. What about the rest of the year, so offseason, which is about 8½ months?
ANGELINA: Offseason, in total, you would make, for 8½ months, half what you would make for 3½ months of high season.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. I think this is quite conservative. You’re talking about the renovation. We’re going to go check out the other units. What would be the total renovation budget, roughly, for the whole house?
ANGELINA: We think that renovation costs will be about €85,000. And the purchase price is €120,000. Plus, furniture, I think, would cost €25,000. So in total, it’s about €234,000.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Cool. And that’s for three apartments?
ANGELINA: This is for three units, I’m talking. We’re talking about whole, of course, expenses for the owner.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. Let’s go check out the other apartment downstairs.
ANGELINA: Yeah, this is you can see the sea view from here, too.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Beautiful, okay.
ANGELINA: Beautiful. The marine is there. All the restaurants are there. Clubs and bars all are there. It’s just two minutes from here.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. Do you recommend the bars, and clubs, and restaurants here?
LADISLAS MAURICE: [laughs]
ANGELINA: It’s very nice. [laughs]
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay.
ANGELINA: They have very nice food, very nice atmosphere. It’s very safe. Sometimes, at night, I can see grandmother with grandchildren at club.
LADISLAS MAURICE: In the nightclub?
ANGELINA: At the nightclub. Yes, I was surprised. [laughs]
LADISLAS MAURICE: [laughs] Cool. You’ve got to love the family spirit here in Greece, it’s really nice. Cool. So each apartment has their own entrance?
ANGELINA: Yes, each apartment has own entrance. We don’t need to divide the three and break anything. It’s already divided into three units.
LADISLAS MAURICE: All right. Cool. So this one, the ceiling definitely not as high. But yeah, lovely views as well.
ANGELINA: Not as high but has same stunning view.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah, amazing views.
ANGELINA: And has a balcony, it’s also advantage. You have a nice balcony to chill out in the evening, and to watch sunset and beautiful marine.
LADISLAS MAURICE: What are the numbers for this one in terms of the rental expectations?
ANGELINA: We are thinking about €100 per night for this unit. It’s very pragmatic. It could rent out much upper price, higher price, because of this beautiful marine view. And this is one-bedroom apartment. So top floor would have two bedrooms. This is one-bedroom apartment but still it’s like a suite for the honeymoon couple.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, and the occupancy rate?
ANGELINA: Occupancy rate, around 75%.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, and same metrics?
ANGELINA: And same thing as for the top floor. So in total, you would make, 8½ months of low season, half what you would make of 3½ months of high season.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool. And Stratos, there’s also a ground floor unit but you don’t have the keys right now. But this one doesn’t have views? It just has views onto this.
STRATOS: It doesn’t have a view but it’s just on the low level, so you can walk, and the proximity of all the shops, the taverns, the restaurants, bars is quite close.
ANGELINA: And it has very beautiful flowers.
STRATOS: You know?
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. And how much would the nightly rate be for that one, the one-bedroom there?
STRATOS: Around €50 per night.
LADISLAS MAURICE: In peak season. And then using, again, the same methodology. Okay. About the cost, so how much do the two of you charge for Airbnb management?
ANGELINA: We charge 25% for urban management. It’s a bit difficult management here. It’s very small town, so it’s more effort than manage units in big city like Istanbul. We charge 5% more here than in Istanbul for the reason.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. What about the property taxes, Stratos? How much would be the property tax, roughly? I know, in Greece, it’s different because it’s like depending on the income of the person, it’s a bit complicated here, but roughly?
STRATOS: I mean, around €200 per year.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Around €200?
STRATOS: Euros, per year.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. €200 per year. Okay, guys, so $220 for three apartments a year in property tax. This is not going to break the bank. So Stratos, what about the utilities?
STRATOS: Utilities will be around €25 to €30 for the internet for the best speed you can get. Then around €200 for electricity. And water is, maybe we don’t need to mention it on the spreadsheet, something like €5 to €10.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, so all in per month, roughly?
STRATOS: Around €250, €260.
LADISLAS MAURICE: And Stratos, in terms of maintenance, how much of a maintenance budget would you leave each year for, I don’t know, little issues, plumbing problems, and, sometimes, repainting outdoors, and stuff like that?
STRATOS: When in renovation, you put good workers, good craftsmen and good materials, maintenance costs drops dramatically. So I would say, like, €500 to €600 per year.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, we’ll increase that number a little bit just to be safe to put buffer in the numbers. But essentially, we come down to a net rental yield or capitalization rate of about 9%, so before local income tax, which is much better than anything you can get pretty much anywhere else in Greece when you’re looking at Golden Visa operations. This would qualify for the Golden Visa, the purchase of the property, not necessarily the renovations, but the purchase of the property. This is one way that you can get some very interesting capitalization rates and also potentially a capital gains when you do the renovation, and if you want to sell later on at some point and then switch onto another property. Because you do have that flexibility, in Greece, to keep your Golden Visa, you just need to always have property for that amount so you can do operations.
Greek real estate has become a cash market
LADISLAS MAURICE: So now, we’ve reached a stage where counterintuitively buying real estate in Greece is less risky than buying real estate in places such as Spain, such as Portugal, such as the UK, or Belgium, where there is a lot of leverage in the system. It’s a cash market, so if a big crash comes in Europe, real estate prices here won’t really be impacted that much, because nobody will be forced to sell. So that’s from the economy.
As a whole, obviously, there are other risks in terms of Greece, earthquakes. Down there, if you look, you can see, I don’t know if you can see with a camera, but there’s Turkey down there. So there’s always a risk of conflict between Greece and Turkey. But the reality is, if you want to get the Golden Visa, right, you can either invest in low-yield projects on other islands or on the mainland, or you can come here and buy some interesting stuff. There’s a whole bunch of things for sale here, because the economy is so depressed because people left, but you can still get very decent returns. Why? Because most of the tourism here, so here we’re in a little town called Plomari, on the island of Lesvos, and because most of the tourism is actually Northern European, right.
So what we’re seeing is a lot of Scandinavians, Germans, and Dutch, mostly that come down here, not just for the summer, but for the whole year as well. So they either come down here for the summer, like regular Europeans, because Greece is cheaper, and it’s nice, and the food is good, and all of that. But increasingly, you have Northern Europeans that are moving down to Greece on a permanent basis, because of all the tax incentives that the Greek government is now putting in place to encourage people to move down to Greece. So if you’re a German, you can either stay in Germany with massive inflation, the cost of living going up, a lot of issues in Germany, horrible weather, economy of Germany is being turned upside down, or you can come down to Greece, live in a beautiful village like this, you can go swim in the Aegean Sea, reduce your overall tax rate, life is a lot cheaper, people are a lot more lax. So that’s the decision that a lot of Europeans are making.
So you’re making a bet on two things. So tourism, and, two, also people moving down, and that’s the one that I believe in, people moving down from Northern Europe to Southern Europe, just like we see in the US and Canada, people moving from North America down to Latin America because life is better, cheaper, a lot more pleasant, etc., etc., and more freedom. So people come down here in Europe for the same reasons they move from north to south. Even though you’re buying assets that are extremely cheap, right, so that are potentially drachma-denominated, right, so if Greece were to leave the European Union, you would have an asset that would be drachma-denominated, but the cash flow is Northern European. And I think that’s important. You’re buying assets in potential drachmas and you’re buying cash flow in whatever the currency in Northern Europe would be at that time.
If we take the worst case scenario of the Euro breaking up, if this continues and nothing’s too bad, then you’re just getting… you’re buying cheap assets here in Greece, renting out to wealthy Northern Europeans.
Greek investment property in Lesvos case study #2023
LADISLAS MAURICE: Tell us about this house, because it’s gorgeous. Like, once redone, I can see how beautiful it is.
STRATOS: This house was originally a doctor has the house. He was keeping good care of it. Now, eventually, the children don’t want to do anything with the house. One of the children living in Athens, they have other properties, so now it’s in the market.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Cool. How much is it going for?
STRATOS: €160,000 is the–
ANGELINA: Asking price.
STRATOS: asking price.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. Angelina, for your clients, how much would you try to negotiate this down to?
ANGELINA: I would put offer around 140K. I think they would accept this house in good conditions. We can see inside.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool. Let’s go see it.
ANGELINA: And it has very beautiful features.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool. So is your plan for this one as well to chop it up into different apartments?
ANGELINA: Yes, we also suggest to divide it into three separate units. But with this house, you have to build separate entrance. And the interesting opportunity here in Greece, if you submit the project of new flooring plan before you complete purchase, then you don’t need to ask for permission. This floor plan would be accepted before purchase the building, and you can separate into three units without any extra permission.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, so this would be a one-bedroom unit downstairs?
LADISLAS MAURICE: Is it two-bedroom? One-bedroom unit?
ANGELINA: This, we can make it two-bedroom unit. There is dark there, I don’t think you can show, but it’s very big space.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. Let’s go upstairs because it’s the same way out.
LADISLAS MAURICE: It’s the same way out, okay.
ANGELINA: The same way out, it’s very big space, and it’s very high ceiling. You can see the ceiling is so high, it’s three-and-a-half, something, here.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah, it’s beautiful. Yeah.
ANGELINA: Beautiful. And the upper floor, I think, is four meters high ceiling. Very unique room. The property from the layout and the building construction point, to find such a high ceiling is always beautiful historical features. Not so much [inaudible 00:23:18].
LADISLAS MAURICE: Cool. And the view. Okay, cool.
ANGELINA: This has a beautiful view. Of course, every unit has a sea view.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Cool. So you chop this up into three units.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Angelina likes to chop things up. She does the same thing in Istanbul.
LADISLAS MAURICE: She chops things up and hijacks rooftops, that’s her specialty.
ANGELINA: Yes, that’s how we make money and rental income.
LADISLAS MAURICE: [laughs] Yes.
ANGELINA: People appreciate, they want to rent the house.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah. That’s pretty much what she is helping me do with my investments in Istanbul, being very creative with the remodeling and all that. Cool, okay. This is gorgeous here, the ceiling is absolutely stunning. Wow, beautiful.
ANGELINA: These ceilings, these features, you cannot find, almost gone.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Beautiful view.
STRATOS: Look at the staircase, also, it’s–
LADISLAS MAURICE: Beautiful. Yes.
ANGELINA: Yes, staircase is beautiful–
LADISLAS MAURICE: So two bedrooms here? So essentially, you would cover the staircase?
ANGELINA: Yes, we’ll cover the staircase. Unfortunately, so beautiful staircase but we’ll cover them to create three separate apartment, which will be much better for rental income and for the owners to get good yield.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool. And then you would add an entrance where for this one, because I don’t–
ANGELINA: So for this one, we would add entrance here.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay.
ANGELINA: Here. We will add staircases on the street.
LADISLAS MAURICE: So you would add stairs on the street.
LADISLAS MAURICE: And you were saying that’s the thing where you ask for permission from the government to get the permit?
ANGELINA: We wouldn’t ask for permission because we will submit the full new floor plan before the purchase will be finalized.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay.
ANGELINA: So we will submit the floor plan that this house already has the separate three entrance, and already has the stairs.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool.
ANGELINA: We will submit new drawings but saying that it is already exist.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool. Stratos, what do you think, what would be your estimate for the daily rental income in peak season, and then, again, assuming that we keep all the other metrics constant that we used in the previous case study?
STRATOS: All right, so top floor, because of the view is better, will be around €175.
LADISLAS MAURICE: And it’s a two-bedroom?
STRATOS: It’s a two-bedroom. Then we get first floor, around €140, and ground floor, around €70. It’s low level, easy to access.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool. Fantastic. So when we do these numbers and then we take the renovation cost, how much would the renovation cost be about?
ANGELINA: So renovation cost, we think about €140,000.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah, because it is a lot bigger than the other one.
ANGELINA: Yes, it’s a lot bigger. So same price as you spend on purchasing this property, just to double.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah, double.
ANGELINA: Be safe, on safe.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Plus, furniture?
ANGELINA: Plus, furniture, around 35K.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool. And then so we add the usual purchasing cost, taxes, etc., we deduct the usual costs. So here’s a breakdown, just a bit more for utilities compared to the other one, because this one’s bigger. I mean, you can tell the ceiling are way higher, so that’s going to be more electricity, for sure. And we get to a net rental yield, before income tax but after all expenses, of about 7½%. So less good than the other one but it’s clearly a much more beautiful house. It’s historical. And from a living perspective, it’s very livable. So again, it’s the sort of investment you do the Golden Visa, and then you have like an apartment that you can use for yourself, rent out the rest of the year. And even when you’re here, you’re still making rental income from the other places.
LADISLAS MAURICE: So essentially, that’s kind of the thinking around this. Cool. So now I know people have been waiting for this one. Let’s go check out the €25,000 house, and we’ll do the same numbers as well to see the ROI. So we’re going to go to the other side of town. Stratos, you wanted to say a few things here about this, like, this is what, a plaza here?
STRATOS: This is a plaza. Business, one, two, traditional cafeterias.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah, they had nice ice cream in this one. It’s beautiful.
STRATOS: This is a photo museum on the floor. And Plomari is very famous for its ouzo. It’s the motherland of ouzo.
LADISLAS MAURICE: What’s ouzo?
STRATOS: Ouzo is a Greek drink. It’s made from anise. You put water and ice and you drink it and you enjoy by the sea.
LADISLAS MAURICE: You look very passionate when you talk about that drink.
ANGELINA: Greek vodka.
STRATOS: I mean, come on.
ANGELINA: It’s Greek vodka. [laughs]
LADISLAS MAURICE: [laughs]
STRATOS: There you go.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Greek vodka.
ANGELINA: And here is–
STRATOS: This is cross sales now.
ANGELINA: And here is the shop.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay.
STRATOS: Here is one of the shops.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah. Right here?
STRATOS: One of the most famous brands.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Cool. Nice. And how much does a coffee cost here, when you have a coffee here?
STRATOS: Greek coffee?
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah, Greek coffee with the local guys, how much?
LADISLAS MAURICE: €1.50. And a large beer?
STRATOS: Large beer, if it’s rough, around €2.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Wow, okay.
ANGELINA: And Baileys, just €3.
Foreign real estate investors on Lesvos island
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. Okay, clearly, Angelina likes Baileys. Okay, cool. All right, so I think we’re going to go for a beer after this €25,000 house. Let’s go. So you both help foreign investors here. So where are most of the buyers from here on the island?
STRATOS: They’re Europeans, they’re from US. Mostly Europe, I can say.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Which countries?
STRATOS: France, Denmark–
ANGELINA: Norway, Sweden.
STRATOS: Norway, Sweden, France, and also–
LADISLAS MAURICE: Cool. What about Greek buyers, what percentage of sales do they represent here on the island?
STRATOS: On the island, it’s around 40% at least.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. So 40% Greek, 60% foreigners, mostly Europeans, and then a little bit of, talk to me about the non-Europeans. Which non-Europeans are investing here on the island?
STRATOS: Before things get a little complicated with Turkey, also Turkish people wanted to buy property here. Mostly, for like a resort, like a summer house. French people. French people buy a lot, and reselling–
ANGELINA: Non-Europeans, also, Americans buy a lot here. But the most famous non-Europeans who did crazy buying in this island is Israelis.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. Why are Israelis investing here?
ANGELINA: I think this is a great opportunity. Israelis know, they know where to invest. This is place of organic food, or this is place of the water. If you buy plot, you will have your own water–
STRATOS: Artesian water.
ANGELINA: Artesian water for the rest of your life without any payment.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. So you also both have like plots to sell?
ANGELINA: Yes. There are many–
Build a villa in Greece for the Greek Golden Visa
STRATOS: Of course. Israelis mostly are buying plots. So what they do, they find a nice plot with great view, they buy, they build a villa. Then maybe they will sell the villa, or they can add like three, four small villas for rent. It’s also investment for them, not only lifestyle.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool. And I think, in terms of the Greek Golden Visa, you can also help with this in the sense that, generally speaking, renovations are not included in the Greek Golden Visa. But if you buy a plot of land, and you have a contract with a builder, and you pay all the proper VAT and taxes–
STRATOS: It’s an investment.
LADISLAS MAURICE: it counts towards the Golden Visa in that case.
STRATOS: Of course.
LADISLAS MAURICE: So plot plus house is Golden Visa. I didn’t want to make a video on this, I was more interested in the older houses, cheap houses that you can renovate, etc. But that’s also an opportunity for people who are interested.
ANGELINA: And plots are not expensive, it’s like 65K, 80K price.
LADISLAS MAURICE: For like how big?
ANGELINA: Like, 65K is 4,000.
LADISLAS MAURICE: 4,000 square meters?
STRATOS: Square meters.
ANGELINA: Square meters.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay.
ANGELINA: And you can have two houses on that plot.
LADISLAS MAURICE: So it’s almost one acre of land for €65,000 to €80,000, roughly, with a sea view?
ANGELINA: With a sea view.
LADISLAS MAURICE: And then you can build your house–
STRATOS: Or an island.
LADISLAS MAURICE: On an island, cool. Stratos, what are the construction costs, roughly? Now we have a little– you see, this is typical here, all the motorbikes here on little streets. What are the construction costs for such villas per square meter? Roughly, what’s the range?
STRATOS: Roughly, it’s €1,600 per square meter.
Buy a €25,000 Airbnb in Greece for the Greek Golden Visa case study #3
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, great. Cool. So now we’re going to go to the house, and we have to go up these stairs. So here we are, the €25,000 house. So in this cute little alley. Yeah, you definitely cannot take a car here. It’s this balcony here. The second balcony is another house, belongs to someone else. But essentially, this whole house. How many square meters, roughly, is this place?
STRATOS: Roughly, 42. Roughly, 42.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. Like, so 21, 21?
STRATOS: Something like that.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool. So, let’s go inside. And then I’d like to understand what you would suggest people should do with this property to maximize it as an investment for Airbnb. So, yeah, it’s a total gut job, let’s be clear.
ANGELINA: Yes. So we suggest totally to open this area. Crash this wall, [drag 00:33:26] this wall.
STRATOS: [crosstalk 00:33:30]
ANGELINA: We have– yeah.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah. You see, total gut job.
ANGELINA: You can see there–
LADISLAS MAURICE: But there’s a window here, so that’s good.
ANGELINA: Yeah, there’s window and it’s big space.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Gosh, what a mess.
ANGELINA: So if we crash all this wall and open up, it can be big salon and kitchen.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Gosh.
ANGELINA: We can add bathroom here.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah. Okay. So this would be living room, kitchen, bathroom?
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay.
ANGELINA: And then we can go upstairs. But this space open. Open bedroom.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. So you kill, you remove this?
ANGELINA: Yes, we remove this. And we remove this.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, so it’s like, essentially, one big bedroom?
ANGELINA: Yes, it’s like one big bedroom and with a big Jacuzzi here.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Jacuzzi here?
ANGELINA: Yeah. And we open this wall, destroy the wall and put the glass, glass wall with a glass door to the balcony so we have Jacuzzi with sea view in front of the glass.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Cool. And like, another window?
ANGELINA: Yeah. And here, dedicated to working space.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool, for digital nomads?
ANGELINA: With internet, all the proper equipment.
LADISLAS MAURICE: And then here you redo the balcony?
ANGELINA: Yeah, we redo the balcony and also just [bolder 00:34:42].
LADISLAS MAURICE: And then from the bed, and yeah, definitely, I am not stepping foot on this balcony. And then from the bed, from the Jacuzzi, you have this beautiful view. Gosh, look at this. Look, this is what you want. This is how you want to spend time in life. Right now, if you’re watching this, you may be in New York, or like some terrible place like Frankfurt, or Utrecht, or, I don’t know, in the UK. You could be living here. And–
STRATOS: The beach you see has a Blue Flag, by the way.
LADISLAS MAURICE: The beach here?
STRATOS: The one you’re showing, the one you’re showing.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah, there’s a beach, if you go down there. Actually, we don’t quite see it here. Yeah, down there, there’s a beach which is Blue Flag. And there’s one which is a four-minute walk away, which is also Blue Flag, right?
STRATOS: This is not recognized Blue Flag, but, of course, the same water. There are many beaches around Plomari, more than 10.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Beautiful. Yeah.
STRATOS: Some of them, you can access only by boat.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool. So absolutely gorgeous. Okay, so buy this for €25,000. It’s the list price, maybe it’s possible to negotiate a bit. Cool. You pay the usual notary fees, your agent fees, all the usual stuff. What would be the renovation budget?
ANGELINA: So we think like 40K renovation budget. A bit high, €40,000 the renovation cost. Because we want a Jacuzzi, we want to do this very high-level looks luxury apartment. So renovation cost a bit over-budget for such a small apartment with this kind of square meters, just because we want to create a different kind of space. And we think that this apartment could be rented out on daily basis for €120 per day at least.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. And then using the same metrics, etc.?
ANGELINA: Yes, same metrics, 3½ months. So 80%, 75% occupation. So 12% minus for the–
LADISLAS MAURICE: Discounts.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool. And then furniture–
ANGELINA: And the rest is 8½ months, you start half of what, in total, what you made for the short-term.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool. And then another, I don’t know, 5K for like top-of-the-range furniture, all of that?
ANGELINA: Yeah, 5K for the furniture.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Cool, okay. So the cost, 25% for your Airbnb management fee.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Stratos, utilities, because I mean, there’s a Jacuzzi, all that that adds up.
STRATOS: Okay. Jacuzzi adds a little bit of electricity cost, of course. We can say, roughly, €80 per month. Internet, same, €25. And you can add a little extra to the bill for water.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool. So we’ll put €125 a month. What about property tax, how much would that be, roughly?
STRATOS: It’s a small house, and because you have to go up some stairs, the value drops a little bit in terms of property tax, less than €100.
LADISLAS MAURICE: I love the portraits. I love the people, they’re so–
STRATOS: There are many, many.
LADISLAS MAURICE: They’re like, you know, family members of people who lived here. It’s beautiful. Cool.
STRATOS: You can see they weren’t smiling on the selfies back then.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah, yeah. Cool. And then a little bit of a renovation budget. Cool. Another happy camper here. So a little bit of a renovation budget. So essentially, we get a net yield of about 9.5% before local income tax. For a small investment of, like, roughly, €75,000, you end up with a net yield of 9.5% and like one hell of a lifestyle property. I mean, look, just as a pure investment, this is very viable.
Who is investing in Greek real estate on Lesvos island right for?
LADISLAS MAURICE: For someone that doesn’t have that much money, yeah, you can end up having like a luxury little house on a Greek island giving you decent yields. And there’s a lot of opportunities like this here. I mean, you showed me some houses without views of almost 400 square meters here in town, without views, for like €120,000 or something.
STRATOS: Yeah. There are some great deals around, but you have to be [snaps fingers] fast, you know?
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah, it’s a crazy market. Like, there are so many, so many deals. So yeah, so I find here, Plomari, on Lesvos Island, in Greece very interesting. So people who want the Golden Visa, I think that it’s a no-brainer to prefer to buy here rather than everything that these immigration agencies are pitching to you online, by far. Come here and do your own, essentially, do your own Golden Visa and make good investments. One. Two, people who want lifestyle properties, this is really interesting. If you want the real Greek lifestyle as opposed to going to Mykonos or Santorini where it’s like it’s almost Disneyland at this point, this is really, really Greece. It’s affordable, the people are very friendly, the food is authentic, it’s very pleasant. And you can rent it out the rest of the year and make some decent yields.
So lifestyle, great. And then also people who are pure investors, especially, I’d say, Europeans or people that are comfortable making Euro investments at this stage, this is a very decent opportunity, in the sense that it’s hard, generally speaking, in Europe, to make high yield when making investments, especially in pleasant places. Because if you’re going to make high yields in places like Germany, or places like France, or Belgium, you’re going to be buying little studios in immigrant neighborhoods next to the train station. It’s not going to be anything nice. Here, you get high yields for very pleasant properties, and a beautiful place, and a place where you could actually spend time yourself.
And as I said, I expect, and you’re both seeing it, I expect more and more people from Northern Europe to be making a permanent move down to Greece, either part of the year or the full year, because of better weather, because of better lifestyle, and local taxes. So we saw that Swedish couple who are probably well-off, who clearly enjoy spending time in Southern Europe, and they had never even heard of that program of the government where–
STRATOS: For tax.
LADISLAS MAURICE: for massive tax incentives. And there are other tax incentives as well for people who run their own business, for people who work online. There’s a host of different tax incentives for new residents to Greece. And I think that’s important. People who are existing Greek tax residents are getting fleeced by the government, but when you come as a new tax resident to Greece, there’s a ton of incentives that you can take advantage of, move here, benefit from it. So it’s not necessarily very fair, so I feel sorry for you, Stratos, but it’s bringing a lot of people here. You benefit from–
STRATOS: It’s still undeveloped. The island is still undeveloped, so it’s cheap, properties are plenty, and opportunities are many. And of course, you’re getting sea view and walking distance from a beach. I mean–
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah, where else?
STRATOS: it’s crazy, yeah.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Where else you get this in Europe–
STRATOS: Only Greece, I mean.
LADISLAS MAURICE: €75,000, walking distance, a little luxury house like that with a view? You do not get that in Montenegro anymore, I can tell you that. Albania, maybe, but Albania is vastly inferior to Greece. And even Turkey now, it’s hard to find prices like this in Turkey. Prices are more expensive in Turkey at this stage. Or, you go to Bulgaria, but then you’re on the Black Sea, which is–
ANGELINA: Not comparable to the Aegean Sea.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Exactly. Exactly.
STRATOS: Small note that Lesvos is the third biggest island in Greece. It has sustainable economy. I mean we’re producing food here. It has 11 million olive trees.
LADISLAS MAURICE: It’s beautiful.
STRATOS: And then, in 2012, if I’m correct, we joined the UNESCO Geopark.
LADISLAS MAURICE: It’s beautiful. We went driving in the mountains, you showed me some properties in the mountains. I mean, there are, like, I mean, kind of rundown properties like this, in the mountains, little villages in the mountains for €5,000, €10,000. Investment-wise, definitely, you wouldn’t get the rental yields that you would here because no one really goes there, but from a lifestyle point of view–
STRATOS: Yes. You get some peace and quiet.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah. You can–
ANGELINA: And beautiful view.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah, yeah. With not much money, you can have your lifestyle of having a nice apartment with sea views here, and then just, a 20-minute drive in the mountains, your own little house there in the mountains with amazing views.
STRATOS: Of course, you can get some land there, build a farm house. Many locals do. I mean, they left the houses here and they moved upwards to the mountain side. So they have this big plot, they build their house there because, often, like, the room for children and horses, maybe, is a kind of house.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah? Cool.
STRATOS: That he wanted–
ANGELINA: And sheep, and chicken. [laughs]
LADISLAS MAURICE: Nice. Perfect. So if you’re interested in making a real estate investment here in Lesvos, feel free to get in touch with Angelina and Stratos. A link below with more information on their services. And there is also the email below, they can send you a brochure with all the price lists, etc., if you want to buy real estate, or if you want to apply for the Golden Visa. So they work with lawyers locally that have helped a number of people obtain the Golden Visa here. So it’s all very doable, they can help coordinate–
STRATOS: All the paperwork.
ANGELINA: We can provide all the services, what needed to get the Golden Visa.
STRATOS: [crosstalk 00:45:04] yeah.
LADISLAS MAURICE: So Golden Visa, buying the apartment, renovating the apartment, and then managing the apartment?
ANGELINA: Yeah. And also, if you just want to buy for investment and get residency.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay, cool. Yeah, there are all other programs for residency here, and then also taxes, accounting, all that. So they have all the network to help you with your investments.
ANGELINA: Accounting and professional accountant, or you want to set up the company, all the services are included.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. Perfect. Great. All right. Angelina, Stratos, thank you very much.
STRATOS: Nice having you here.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah.
STRATOS: It’s a pleasure.
LADISLAS MAURICE: So now, we’re going to go have some ouzo–
ANGELINA: Thank you very much, too.
STRATOS: There you go. Now we’re talking business.
ANGELINA: Some souvlaki.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Yeah, and some two euro beers.
ANGELINA: Greek kebab.
LADISLAS MAURICE: [laughs] All right.
LADISLAS MAURICE: Let’s go. Cheers.
ANGELINA: Let’s go. Cheers.
STRATOS: Okay. Bye.
ANGELINA: Bye-bye. Thank you.