How to choose a plot for construction of a villa

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Basic information

The decision to build a villa in Greece is the very beginning of the journey to your own house by the sea. The next step is to choose a land plot for construction, which, unfortunately, does not always depend only on personal preferences. In Greece, there are two categories of land for construction. In addition, regulation of land issues is different in every region of Greece, depending on the plot location and size. The whole issue is rather complicated, so let's figure out how to choose a plot for the construction of villas and avoid any miscalculation.

How to choose a plot

Plots for villas in Greece fall into two main categories, Ikopedo and Agrotemahio, described in: Types of land plots in Greece. To sum up, the first category includes land within the boundaries of settlements, and the second refers to plots outside settlements. Each has its own coefficients and building rules - for example, agrotemahio build-up area is much less than that of ikopedo. The cost of 1 sq.m. of agrotemahio is generally much lower than 1 sq.m. of ikopedo.

Apart from the land type, there are two more criteria to be considered when choosing a plot for construction. These are: "artio", meaning "approved", "compliant with", and "ikodomisimo" translated as " suitable for construction ". Both criteria refer to the possibility of erecting structures within the plot, based on its location, size and specifications. Both must be reflected in the documents for the plot.

Key aspects to be considered when choosing a plot

– Land category
– Plot size
– Plot location details
– Constructability of the plot
– Issued building permits
– Proximity to the sea/infrastructure
– Development plan of the area
– Segmentation potential

The plot location is the first issue to manage. Coastal areas, especially the first coastline, are expected to be especially popular. Accordingly, these lands are much more expensive. It is worth mentioning that the seafront plots do not include the beach: the coastal strip in Greece cannot be acquired by a private person. Therefore, even when buying a plot with direct access to the beach, it should be borne in mind that anyone can use this beach. However, there is always a way around: you can buy a plot located in a small bay or remote from public beaches and beach bars. As a rule, strangers rarely reach such locations, especially if access to the beach is troubled by terrain.

Building plots in Greece, located away from the sea, are acquired, as a rule, for permanent residence or olive growing. However, it can be combined as production and sale of olive oil brings stable income, being a promising investment. In this case, it is better to choose a plot of the agrotemahio category, with already planted olive trees.

Coastal areas are especially popular when choosing a land plot.

The size of the plot directly depends on the land category. This is due to the construction potential, which is much higher for the Ikopedo. Accordingly, a modest ikopedo plot with a build-up factor of up to 2.4 is also suitable for a large house, while, for example, on a 4 000 sq.m. agrotemahio plot only 186 sq. m. can be built, without basement floor, balconies, stairways. To avoid miscalculations, prior to purchase it is recommended to involve a specialist for a detailed analysis of the plot construction potential.

Building permit – many of our clients would prefer to buy a plot with already issued permit, however, most plots in Greece are sold without it as permit is issued only for a specific architectural design with full package of documents, so if you want to build a house according to your own design, you will eventually have to re-obtain a building permit, although it will be formalized as permit modification. A building permit is issued for a period of 4 years and can be extended up to 8 years.

Finally, agrotemahio plots located near settlements are of great value. The urban development plan is constantly expanding - accordingly, there is a risk that the settlement will “absorb” your plot, reorganizing it into ikopedo and changing the building coefficients, and the plot price eventually.

150 sq.m. project on agrotemahjo 750 sq.m. agrotemahio

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Purchase of a land plot

Let's assume that you have analyzed all the aspects and found the perfect plot to build in Greece. The purchase procedure is next. It consists of several stages, similar to the stages of buying real estate, summarized in: Purchase stages. However, some stages deserve special attention:

Engineering and construction verification and due diligence of the plot

Property due diligence is important aspect to be analyzed before signing a contract. Due diligence of the plot cannot be checked without assistance of an experienced lawyer who will analyze the documents for the land, from land allocation to the first deal with it. The verification procedure takes one to three days.

Important: if the lawyer reveals violations or issues with the documents for the land plot, you have the right to require that the seller returns the deposit, if any.

Clean title to the real estate is a crucial aspect

However, when buying a plot, you should not be limited only to legal verification, it is necessary to involve an experienced civil engineer who will evaluate all the details of the land plot. Such engineer makes a site visit to check the plot boundaries with a topographer, outline the construction footprint, in special cases, to perform a soil analysis. In addition, the engineer must check the availability of all necessary documentation for further obtaining of a building permit, and verify it is possible to implement your design within the plot. When you buy land with Greece Invest assistance the whole team of specialists will be at your disposal: an architect (Russian-speaking), a topographer, a lawyer, a translator, who will control all the transaction stages and continue to assist you in implementation of the design, whether it is a house by the sea or an investment project.

Sales contract

The stage following verification of documents is signature of sales contract. Usually, the parties sign the main contract in the presence of a notary with simultaneous transfer of funds to the seller with deduction of the deposit amount. Upon contract signature the title to a land plot is transferred to the buyer. The contract is liable for registration at the Registration Chamber, being the final stage of the sale and purchase transaction. The registration process takes about three weeks.

In some cases, a preliminary contract is required. This happens when the seller for some reason cannot register the main contract. The most common situation is when the land was inherited by the seller, but he has not yet entered into the inheritance rights. Also, the reason can be any documentation problem that can be fixed, but requires time. Finally, the land plot could be the subject of a litigation - the decision may have been made, but has not yet entered into legal force. In this case, the main contract can not be signed until the relevant decision comes into full force. In all cases, the preliminary contract shall specify the expected date of signing the main sales contract.

Plots for the construction of villas

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Elena Dolmenidi
real estate agent