When you think of Corfu, you probably picture sun, sand and buzzing nightlife. But if you’re considering investing in property, you’ll need to think about life outside of the summer season. In this article, we’ll show you what life could be like as a full-time Corfu resident.
Corfu’s location, climate, culture and traditions make it a great choice if you’re looking to buy property for investment or permanent residence. It’s located in the Ionian Sea, right next to Greece, Albania and Italy, so it’s accessible by air and sea. Corfu is only a three-hour flight from London.
Corfu’s climate is appealing, with mild winters that maintain the island’s lush emerald green look. The summer tends to be pretty hot, but there are gentle breezes that make peak times bearable. Due to the island’s size, you’re never too far from the sea. Even the most remote villages are only an hour away from the airport or Corfu Town. Plus, the island has a good road infrastructure, apart from a few rogue potholes.
The people of Corfu are renowned for being welcoming and friendly towards foreigners, so you’ll find investors from around the world throughout the island. Corfu doesn’t have areas where expats live together. Instead, expats tend to be integrated within their local communities.
Corfu also has bags of culture and history. Due to its location, the island has architectural and artistic influences from the British, Venetians and French, which you can find all over the island – but mostly in Corfu Town. The Liston area is a particular favourite for tourists and locals alike. Plus, the island hosts many cultural events, like music, theatre and exhibitions. The cost of living on the island is also pretty favourable compared to other European countries, especially when it comes to eating out and food shopping.
If you’re after some luxury, check out Corfu’s north-east coast. Areas like Agni, Barbati, Kalami and San Stefano are popular with international investors. But due to the lower property prices (thanks to the global financial crisis), other parts of the island are becoming appealing investment sites, too. They offer stunning scenery and potential for lucrative rental yields and property appreciation. A 3-5 bedroom villa right by the sea can go for €650,000 up to €8.7 million.
If your budget’s tighter, there are plenty of traditional family houses on the market all over the island. Village houses have lots of character, ooze charm and tend to be the cheapest option. But what you gain in character, you might have to sacrifice in space – village houses can be a lot smaller with minimal outdoor space and limited parking. Depending on size, a three-bedroom village house starts from around €100,000.
‘Goldilocks’ houses tend to have the most appeal for families looking to start a new chapter in their lives – as well as foreign investors. They’re modern properties that have garden space, and sometimes a pool (or space for one). Because they’re newer, they’re much easier to maintain, requiring little or no renovation.
Having a pool increases the appeal to investors looking for buy-to-let properties, in order to take advantage of the lucrative summer season. A modern three-bedroom villa with garden space and no pool starts at around €185,000. Without the pool, rental yields are between 6.6-10.1%. If you’re looking for the added luxury and appeal of having a pool as well as outdoor entertainment space, prices start at around €240,000.
Moving abroad is exciting but it can be pretty overwhelming, too. We’d love to help you secure your new home in Corfu by transferring your funds – with great exchange rates and minimal fees. Get in touch if you have any questions.
*The information in this article is correct at the time of publishing (September 2019). It could change depending on the outcome of Brexit. *
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