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Personal experience: sudden relocation for permanent residence and search for an apartment in Greece

How realistic is it to prepare for the move in seven days? What are the features of rented Greek housing? How to quickly speak the language of Hellas? On this and many other things in the story told by of the Muscovite Natalia Kovaleva, now living in Greece.

The question of moving to Greece hung over my head with a Damocles sword from the first day of marriage, that is, almost 15 years. My husband is Greek. Nevertheless, I did not plan to move to another country: I was completely satisfied with the weather in Moscow, people and work. Greece perfectly fulfilled the function of the country of summer holidays.

However, the work increasingly demanded a personal presence in Greece, the Greek children did not want to learn Greek in Moscow, and it became more and more expensive to live in two countries. As a result, a strategic decision was made – to move, and there life will show.

Preparation for the move took exactly seven days
For a start it was necessary to solve a number of issues. First, find a comfortable apartment in Thessaloniki or the surrounding suburbs. Secondly, to understand what to do with an apartment in Moscow in our absence. And finally, the main thing is to solve the issue of education for children. But time was short.

All the preparation took exactly seven days. And such time trouble is not the most correct option in terms of psychological comfort. But it was important for us to have time for the beginning of the school year. In Greece, it begins on September 15th.

We chose the school a bit in advance. And when this question received its concise conclusion – the private Greek school in Thessaloniki confirmed that it takes our children to study, and we signed an agreement with it – we collected the most necessary things and set off, who was on the plane, and who was on the car.

We traveled to our new home by car for two days. We drove quietly, stopping to eat and spend the night. As a result, we drove 3 thousand kilometers and crossed the borders of six countries: Belarus, Poland, Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia and Greece. Visas are not done, because for more than ten years we have a valid Greek residence permit.

Real Estate Thessaloniki

In Greece, the problem is to find a furnished apartment
Since we were leaving in a short time, a big problem was to find a furnished apartment. Mostly apartments in Greece for a long time are rented without furniture (only the kitchen and cabinets), and the tenant purchases the rest. For the Greeks, this is a normal practice. They do not buy furniture, but move with their belongings from one place to another during their lifetime. We did not want to incur additional expenses, to spend time for arrangement.

Pre-selected areas with good infrastructure and a comfortable location for us, so that it is convenient to get to both school and work. The fact is that they are located in different places: a school in the suburbs of Thessaloniki, the company’s office is in Halkidiki. And then they simply looked for a furnished object that would suit us.

The selection of objects and the final selection itself took us two days. I think we were just lucky. In all senses. First, we rented a high-quality, renovated, furnished apartment with three bedrooms and household appliances. The house is located on the first line in the suburbs of Thessaloniki. And, secondly, we drove into it at the planned time, although the apartment should have been released only on October 1. The tenant and landlord met us halfway, and we settled on September 17th.

But my advice – it is better to deal with the lease in advance. There will be more objects to choose from and a higher chance to pick up what you need.

Suburb of Thessaloniki

For us, the distance from the city center did not play a significant role. Although now I am ready to consider options for moving closer to civilization. Why? In winter, our area seems to die out. For example, in the winter period in our complex of 36 apartments only a third is occupied, mainly by pensioners. And children need social activity. In summer and autumn it is more fun here: vacationers come.

Another housing option will be selected as the end of the school year. And, most likely, in the middle of summer. August is a dead month among the Greeks – everyone is resting. Yes, and move out earlier, by and large, we have no right. We have a long-term lease and the contract is concluded for a year, so we can only leave after September 17.

In Thessaloniki and the surrounding suburbs, you can rent a quality apartment with two or three bedrooms in the range of € 350 to € 600 depending on the area. The house will cost more – from € 600 to € 1500 (the price affects the size of the house, plot, etc.).

See also: The procedure for purchasing property in Greece
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Mandatory requirement for all relocating – the presence of heating. It is individual and is in almost all the houses of Northern Greece with rare exceptions. Because a couple of winter months in an unheated apartment in Greece may seem like torture. Especially Russians, accustomed to warm housing in the winter.

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