Buying a house abroad: how we did it!

I regularly get the question “may I ask how you bought a house on Karpathos?”. It’s only logical, of course. It’s very special to buy a house abroad, especially at our age. Yet we do not see buying a house abroad as impossible. I even think that a lot of people could do it. Why? We will tell you why with some tips that helped us. Enjoy!

Are your priorities to buy a house abroad?

Many people’s reaction is “I don’t have money for this or that” or “I don’t have time”. Bullshit. You do have the money and you do have the time, you just have different priorities 😉 This is of course completely fine, but it’s something you have to accept. And I do understand that a house on Carpathos is not for everyone, but if you start setting priorities, a lot of people could do that too. For example, we don’t live in a big house in the Netherlands, just in an apartment building (a starter’s house). We were a bit lucky with the housing market. We have been living here for 4 years now and at that time the interest rates and house prices were a lot lower. Still, if we had lived bigger now, we would never have been able to afford a house on Karpathos. That’s why setting your priorities is important.

That does not mean that I never long for a bigger house with a garden ;). But I am aware of why I do not live in a bigger house (yet). I know very well that for me a house on Karpathos and a small(er) house in the Netherlands is more important than a villa in the Netherlands (proof of speech). I cannot afford a villa haha).

In this way, you need to check with yourself (and your family) where your priorities lie. Do you really need that new car or that new kitchen? We have been driving the same car for 6 years. This is Vincent’s first car and we have deliberately stuck to one. Of course we would like a new one, but our priorities are simply not there.

Huis kopen buitenland

… and a bit of guts

Normally, of the two of us, I am the one who makes the most impulsive decision, but with buying our house on Karpathos, Vincent was just that. The money was there and we really wanted it, so why not! Still I was in the “yes, but what if…” phase for a while. phase. Vincent remained very cool, which I admire enormously. What was the worst that could happen? That we could no longer afford the house, for whatever reason. Okay, tough thinking, but that was solved very quickly by selling the house again. Not fun, but there is a solution for everything.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is extremely difficult. Especially because those around you are often tempted to put you back in if you step out. Taking a moment to consider the worst that can happen to you will certainly help you make that long-cherished decision(s). Because often the worst event is not so bad, you will get over it or what happens to you, if you do it, weighs much heavier than if you do not do it.

Money, money, money!

Of course you need money to be able to buy a house abroad, but you don’t have to be a millionaire for that. It is not that we are choking on money and although Vincent has a well-paid full-time job, I did not work at the time because of illness. I still only work 13 hours a week. Just look openly at the options that are available, because there are plenty of them!

Do you have savings in the bank, for example? If you already have a nice amount of money in the bank, it’s a good idea to take a look at why you have that money. Are you saving specifically for something? Is it just there? Consider whether you can spare the money now. Also think about your priorities! We had a nice little sum in the bank for our wedding day. However, a house abroad was an opportunity for us: we had to take it! Money for a wedding will come later.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to get a direct loan from a Dutch bank to buy a house abroad. Something that is possible when you have a house in Germany or France. However, you can arrange a loan for a house abroad through the bank, in a different way, but still. You can take out an extra loan on your house in the Netherlands. You then increase your mortgage. The bank can give you this extra money if you have already paid off a lot of money, if your salary has gone up or if there is an excess value on your house. All reasons why you could borrow more money from the bank. You can then use this money for a house on Karpathos, or anywhere else 😉


If you have got your mindset right and decided that you want to buy a house on Karpathos or somewhere else in Greece, then it is time to start looking for a house (or maybe you already had your eye on one!). Buying a house abroad can be quite overwhelming, as there is a lot involved. For those who don’t feel like it or are afraid to arrange everything themselves, I would like to recommend Elxis 100%. Elxis is a Dutch real estate company that mediates in houses in Greece. We bought our house on Karpathos with the help of Elxis and that went very well. They arrange and help you with everything. For example, you need a personal number, the purchase of a house in Greece goes through a lawyer and we still had to register our house in the Land Registry (which has recently become mandatory).

Yes! I hope I have been able to take away (some of) your stress, doubts and fears ;). Do you dream of buying a house abroad? Just do it. Of course, you have to do it with common sense, but above all dare to live and think: “What is the worst that can happen?” and is that the worst?

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