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Crowded Market in Athens, Greece

Moving to Greece

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Moving to Greece: Expats, retirees and digital nomads talk about everything you need to know before moving to Greece.

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What do I need to know before moving to Greece?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Greece, they said:

"There are no real estate agents on the smaller islands, so be prepared to do the foot work yourself, looking for signs posted. Ask around about what is for sale in each village and don't be shy. Good contacts might be architects, expats already here, lawyers. Be prepared for climate differences - extreme heat, gale-force winds. We never reach the freezing point here, so have flowers (and bugs) all year round. But we also have roaming goats and sheep and dogs and cats run free. So having a successful garden is a major challenge, even with a fence. Learn a fair amount of the new language before moving abroad to any country! It's your best bet and opens all sorts of doors for you," said another expat in Agean Island.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Greece?

"We bought a 200-year-old farmhouse in a mountain village. It is not so typical, as most expats prefer larger homes and build new. Few rent. Most come here for the long term," remarked another expat who made the move to Agean Island.

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What is the average cost of housing in Greece?

If you are thinking about moving to Greece, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"Our costs are considerably lower here. I lived in Germany for 25 years after leaving the States, but before moving here, and our monthly utility costs run less than half of what we paid there. Houses here run from U.S. $15,500 (for slightly falling apart) upwards and you can spend as much as you like if you decide to build a villa," commented one expat who made the move to Agean Island.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Should I buy or rent a home in Greece?

If you have not spent a lot of time in Greece, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision:

"Ended up building our own house as one was not available where we wanted to be. Another story... quite a challenge, but it was nice to have exactly the building we wanted," added another expat who made the move to Paros.

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What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Greece?

We asked people in Greece if they could share any humorous cultural blunders they commited. For new expats, keep in mind that these incidents are an inevitable part of expat life. Learning to laugh about them is the key!:

"I once almost offered someone a Potana instead of a Potiri......stopped myself just in time! Then I realised I did know enough Greek to spot the difference in the words lol," remarked another expat in Corfu, Greece.

"So what! You learn from your mistakes not when things are plain sailing. The Greek will probably not tell you. There'll just be misunderstandings. But watch for the Greek national and personal pride and leave well enough alone," said another expat in Athens.

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How are healthcare services Greece?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Greece, they replied:

"Always use insurance in Greece if you can, if not get reciprocal healthcare," commented another expat living in Paros.

"Either get private health insurance if applicable, or be prepared to pay for private care," commented one expat who moved to Paros, Greece.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Crowded Market in Athens, Greece

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