Buying a house abroad : this is how we did it!

I regularly get the question “may I ask how you bought a house in Karpathos?”. Logical too, it is of course special to buy a house abroad, especially at our age. Still, we don’t see buying a house abroad as impossible. In fact, I think a lot of people could do the same. Why? We’ll tell you that through some tips that have helped us. Enjoy!

Are your priorities in buying a house abroad?

Many people are quick to respond “I don’t have money for this or that” or “I don’t have time”. Bullshit. You do have money and you also have the time, you just set different priorities 😉 This is totally fine, of course, but it’s something you have to accept. And I quite understand that a house on Karpathos is not for everyone, but if you start setting priorities, a large proportion could do so too. For instance, we don’t live large in the Netherlands, just in an apartment complex (a starter home). We did have some luck with the housing market. We have been living here for 4 years now and back then interest rates and house prices were a lot lower. Yet if we had moved bigger now, we would never have been able to afford a house on Karpathos. That’s why setting your priorities is important.

That doesn’t mean I never long for a bigger house with a garden ;). But I am aware of why I don’t live in a bigger house (yet). After all, 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 (in a manner of speaking) I can’t afford a villa haha).

In this way, you need to check carefully 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 six years.This is Vincent’s first car and we have deliberately stuck to one. Sure, we would like a new one, but our priorities are simply not there.

Vakantiehuis huren op Karpathos scaled

… and having 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 in Karpathos, Vincent was just that. Money was there and we really wanted it, so why not! Still, for a while I was in the ‘”yes, but what if…” phase. Vincent remained very cool about that, which I admire immensely. After all, what was the worst that could happen? That, for whatever reason, we could no longer afford the house. Okay, hefty you think, but that was resolved very quickly by selling the house again. Not fun, there is a solution for everything.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is incredibly difficult. Especially since your environment is often inclined to put you back in it when you step out. Reflecting on the very worst thing that can happen to you is definitely going to help you make that long-held decision(s). Because often, that very worst event is not that bad, you will get over it or what happens to you, if you do, weighs much more heavily than if you don’t.

Money, money, money!

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

For instance, do you have savings in the bank? If you already have a fine sum in the bank, it is smart to take a look at the reason for that money in the bank. Are you saving specifically for something? Is it just sitting there? Consider whether you can spare the money now. Also think about your priorities! We had a nice savings for our wedding in the bank. However, a house abroad was a godsend for us: we had to grab 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 you can do when you have your eye on a house in Germany or France. Still, you can arrange a loan for a house abroad through the bank, albeit in a different way, but still. Namely, you can borrow extra for your house in the Netherlands. You then increase your mortgage. The bank can give you this extra sum of money if you have already paid off quite a bit, if your salary has gone up or if there is surplus value on your house. All reasons that would allow you to borrow more money from the bank. You can then use this money for a house on Karpathos, or wherever 😉


Have you got your mindset right and decided that you also want to buy a house on Karpathos or anywhere else in Greece, then it’s time to start looking for one (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 find it scary to arrange everything themselves, I would 100% recommend Elxis. Elxis is a Dutch estate agency that mediates in houses in Greece. We bought our house on Karpathos with the help of Elxis and it went very well. They arrange and help you with everything. For instance, you need a personal number, buying a house in Greece goes through a lawyer and we still had to register our house in the Land Registry (which has recently become compulsory).

Yes! Hopefully, I managed to take away your stress, doubts and fears (a little) ;). Do you dream of buying a house abroad? Just do it. Sure, you should do it with common sense, but above all, dare to live and above all, think: “What is the very worst that could happen?” and then is that the very worst?

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