Reasons to buy a house in Corfu
For most people, the idea of a visit to the Greek islands conjures images of warm sun; vast vistas of blue sea; fresh, local cuisine; and a simpler, slower paced life. Many of the 227 inhabited Greek islands—each with its own character and attractions–are dream destinations for travelers all over the world. However, for those who are choosing a Greek island property as an investment or residence, there are far more things to consider than just hotels, nightlife and the best beaches.
How accessible is the location? Is there life beyond the typical tourist season? How will I fit into the community?
Many international residents believe that Corfu’s location, environment, year-round activities and unique culture and community make it the perfect choice for international buyers who are a primary residence or second home.
A Jewel for All Seasons
Corfu is safely nestled in the Ionian Sea close to mainland Greece, Albania, and the boot of Italy and easily accessible from Athens and international airports. Because Corfu and its sister islands are in a relatively protected location, they offer calmer seas and warmer temperatures in the late fall and winter. Unlike the many of the starkly beautiful Aegean islands, Corfu is a green, jewel of an island with lush olive groves, elegant cypress trees, thousands of wildflowers, mountain ranges and striking views of the sea—enhanced by the backdrop of the Albanian and Greek mainland coasts.
Not Just for Tourists
Corfu is a place where one can live and relish year-round activities that go beyond typical tourism. Most tourists who visit Corfu inhabit only one small part of the island for a short time. While venues that cater solely to the short-term visitor exist, residents who want to avoid such spots can easily do so, finding other delights. Clear water, hiking trails, herb-scented fields, palatial manor houses and tiny chapels coexist alongside the arts, theater, shops, sports venues and epicurean pleasures for every taste and budget.
According to one international resident, “Corfu does not shut down in winter like many of the other Greek islands, which means international residents can experience a full life on Corfu year round.”
Corfu’s beauty, proximity and unique culture have beckoned people from all over the world for many years, resulting in a thriving international community all year round. Greece itself offers a number of benefits for those who are considering purchasing residential property. Its safety, hospitality and high standards of private health care and education are just a few of the attractions for international investors who want to live here.
Buying for Investment
In recent years, Greek property has been an excellent investment – particularly on popular islands such as Corfu.
Nevertheless, you should consider your property investment over the medium to long term – like a minimum of 5, preferably 10 to 15 years.
Also take into account the income tax if you let your property. And recoup the high purchase costs of up to 15 per cent when you sell.
Generally speaking, the four main categories of investment property:
A holiday home, which can provide a return in many ways. It can provide your family and friends with rent-free accommodation while (hopefully) maintaining its value, and you may be able to let it to generate supplementary income. It may also produce a capital gain if property values rise faster than inflation (as in recent years).
A home for your children or relatives, which may realise a capital gain. This could also be let when not in use to provide an income.
A property purchased purely for investment, which could be a capital investment or provide a regular income, or both. Many people have invested in property to provide an income on their retirement.