Buy/rent Symi Property

Friday, August 27th, 2010 No Comments
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Symi property is available to buy, rent, develop and renovate; the problem is where do you start looking? You could try our links list on the right to find Symi Estate Agents, if you are thinking of buying (and there are a couple at the bottom of this article), or Symi Holidays if you are thinking of visiting. You will also find links to agencies that provide longer lets, and there are agencies that will take care of your Symi property while you are not here, assuming you already own one. It is really a question of searching around, but the following may be of interest to you first. [caption id="attachment_2484" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Symi Village"]Symi-Property[/caption] Here is a list of questions that people often ask me about properties on Symi. My answers are based on my experience of living on the island for eight years; always check facts with the professionals. How much does a Symi property cost? That very much depends on lots of things, but where it is, and what state of repair it is in are the two most important things to consider. And location isn’t just a question of views and amenities. If you are renovating then location is going to seriously affect your costs. There is only really one main road on Symi and not every house is near it. There are off-shoots and lanes where some vehicles can go, but if your renovation project is up in the higher parts of the village or the more inaccessible parts of Yialos, then you are not going to get your building supplies there by vehicle. That’s where the donkeys come in and that’s when the price starts to soar. Similarly, if your Symi property is ready to move into, you need to consider how you will get your belongings up to it. You may need to hire teams to carry furniture and so on. So, the closer your property is to a road the more valuable it is going to be? Not necessarily but the closer it is to a road the easier and cheaper it is going to be to renovate or movie in. [caption id="attachment_2485" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Symi ruin on the Kali Strata"]Symi-Property-Kali-Strata[/caption] Prices also vary depending on the size of the property – and in Greece they don't go by the number of rooms but the square meterage. Not something that, being from the UK, is easy to get my head around. This is where an experienced estate agent will come in – and an architect, and all the other people you will need to formalise your purchase. They will have to be paid as well. Some Symi property websites used to put the prices of the properties on line, some still do. But if not you will have to contact them and ask. You can’t really say ‘a two bed, typical Symi house, costs €X’ because each one is individual, all are in different states of repair, new-build houses don’t come all the same as they do elsewhere, and there is no set price guide. Again, it depends on condition and location (and who you are buying from). There are addition costs: Agent’s commissions of course, plus 7% contract price tax and 2.5% tax on completion, plus an annual property tax of 0.1% of valuation. Is it easy to renovate a Symi property? Assuming you've bought a ruin… And if you have you probably would (or should) have asked an architect to check the property and let you know how much it’s going to cost to redevelop. Bear in mind that the island falls under the control of the ‘Archaelogia’ (excuse my spelling) and that buildings here are ‘listed.’ Think of this as a kind of National Heritage site and you might understand some of the restrictions that are put on your development. For example, as I understand it, and correct me if I am wrong, you can’t build anything that wasn’t there before, designs have to adhere to strict guidelines, you can’t put up a concrete block hotel or put in plastic windows and so on. Which is how Symi keeps its charm and beautiful looks. [caption id="attachment_2486" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="A ruin below the Castro"]Symi-Ruin-Property-Castro[/caption] I know of one architect on the island who is currently booked up with projects for a good time yet to come. There are others (and I don’t know them well enough to comment but I expect they too are kept busy), and again it’s a question of looking around, taking advice and finding someone to project manage for you. How do I go about renting a Symi property? If you are simply looking for a Symi holiday then check the links on the right and find the travel agencies, independent holiday companies and so on. If you are looking for a long term Symi rent, here is my advice: • Ask the locals, which you can do through some websites by email if you are not here. Some of us will ask around for you, though some people are reticent to do this as it might sound like they are recommending you – and they may not know you, and if you then turn out to be a bad tenant it will come back on them. So: • Try a holiday let for a couple of weeks, and during that time make your own enquiries. If you've been to Symi before you will probably know people to ask. This way works quite well, and you can ask Greek as well as Expat people. • Try some of the independent holiday companies who have private villas and apartments to see if they can do a deal on a longer than usual let. • Contact the estate agents and see if they can help. Is it expensive to rent a Symi property? Once more this depends on… All kinds of things really. Mainly it depends on whom the landlord is going to be, how big the property is and where it is. Remember that all Symi houses are different, as are all landlords. Some are sensible and will charge a reasonable price knowing that to have a good tenant who pays on time is better than have a bad one who doesn’t pay regularly. Some landlords (and landladies of course) go for as much as they can get, then put the rents up after a period of time and wonder why people move out. There are laws around this and your best bet is to contact a letting agent or legal advisor who knows the island. Remember, the laws of your country count for nothing in this situation, the Greek laws are what matter. [caption id="attachment_2487" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Pedi, properties by the sea"]Symi-sea-front-property[/caption] And I know you want figures… I know people who are renting (long term) a typical Symi house in Horio for €350 a month (2010). A ‘typical’ village house will have two rooms up and two rooms down, or a combination of this. A kitchen and a store room (sometimes converted to a bathroom) and an outside bathroom down, and a saloni and a sleeping area up. Mind you, I know other people who pay €300 a month and have a kitchen, bathroom, sitting room, bedroom, mousandra and saloni, plus a terrace and courtyard. And I know someone else who pays €400 a month for one bedroom and a kitchen/diner, a small bathroom (inside) and a small courtyard. See what I mean? Prices vary – and those were just for the village which tends to be cheaper than properties in the harbour or close to the sea. So where you do you from here?
  • If you are looking to buy a property on Symi, get in touch with the local estate agents. (Links below).
  • If you want to rent long term, also contact them, but also look at the independent websites and companies, people, who manage properties for owners. Ask around. Visit and view.
  • If you are looking for a holiday property, the island’ your oyster and again look around the links list or below.
  • If you are thinking of moving here and becoming an expat that I can heartily recommend my own guide, ‘How to movie to a Greek island, or other place in the sun’ which is included in my book Symi 85600 which you can buy online. The details are all found by clicking here.
Links Symi Estate Agents: Doma: Houses, Land and Large country properties. A quick check of their currently published prices reveals a range from €250,000 to €1,350,000. You will see photos and contact details on the site too. The Symi Estate Agent website arranges available property by location, gives good details of the properties, including photos, and an ‘offers in the region of’ price guide on some properties. Symi Architects D. Zographos: This site comes with lists of projects, a profile of the company, photos and contact details.

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