Rent a flat in Athens is one of the very first things you would need to do if you are moving to this fabulous city fo a long term. Well I did it several times in my first year in Athens. So I guess I am a kind of experienced. It is good to know in advance how to do it – finding a flat for rent in Athens.
Rent a Flat in Athens – Who Need It?
I was probably one of those very few people who are coming to Athens without having here no family neither friends. Or some work connections should I have arrived to Athens for work. I have none in Greece. I am a kind “digital nomad”. I was not really connected to Greece in any other way except the love to Greece. Well… In the first instance it was the love to the Greek. But already very soon I have realised that my love to Greece was far more promising, mature and huge rather than just love to some Greek. And there are millions of other Greeks exist in Greece, half of them are based in Athens 🙂
I also was not connected to a big group of refugees arriving to Athens and the Greek Islands in many different ways mostly through the sea. They arrive to Greece with an almost impossible intention to move far abroad – to the “Civilised Western European countries”. Well on contrary, I was quite an opposite case – I just ran away from one of those “very civilised, modern, high-developed and social secured countries in the world”, located in Northern-Western Europe.
I was also not a person who come to live with his/her partner (and by doing that, to come to live with all the Greek family of their partners). So there was no a ready-steady place for me to move in. Rent a flat in Athens – long-term or short-term – was the only way for me to get a feeling of settling down.
The only way was to look for an apartment – a house or a studio on my own. First it was a short-term through AirBnB. I knew some people who rented a flat in Athens through an AirBnB for months. I did it also. But I was getting tired from the constant moving. Especially while the time was passing by, I was buying new stuff, like clothes or I wanted to buy some own furniture and electronics.
Rent a Flat in Athens – expat life in Athens
The first apartment I rented in Athens – it was in the end of 2018. And I found it through the well-known web-site of https://xe.gr – like many of other people. In most cases there were ads from the agencies. It’s not a secret that there many Chinese businessmen came to Athens, bought dozens of very cheap apartments and killed two rabbits with one shot. Now, they could get a stable income from the rent and have a residence in one of the European Countries (Golden Visa Program). Well, the owner of the flat that I first rented in Athens was a Chinese person who was working together with a local realty agent. The flat was unfurnished so boy yeah… I had to buy a lot of stuff (and then to sell it:).
Though my first experience of renting an apartment was “not a perfect experience” and I made MANY mistakes, I learned a lot as well. I didn’t know much about electricity contracts, providing other communication means to the apartment (like TV, internet), bills and electrical companies. Well I didn’t know anything. Somehow my first agent didn’t have much experience in all of that too, so she could not be of a good help.
Rent a Flat in Athens – My Second Experience
That is when the second experience has arrived. But before going my second experience of renting a flat in Athens, I went back to the one of the most “very civilised, modern, high-developed and social secured countries in the world”, located in Northern-Western Europe. Just to understand again that I don’t like it at all. And with a great desire to be back in Greece, I went back to Athens.
My second time I was looking more at the Facebook’s marketplace. I found more options from the property owners at the Marketplace rather than I did at www.xe.gr. Prices were a kind of more attractive. More options in general.
But if I say that I didn’t make mistakes in my second experience of renting an apartment in Athens, I wouldn’t not say the truth. There were some, but less than in the first try. They were just minor mistakes and that’s ok.
Pros and Cons: Rent an apartment in Athens
At the first experience of renting a flat in Athens I was denying all the cons of the apartments which I have found through XE.gr. Neither the ground floor (no light, very dark and depressing, very cold and humid in winter), nor having furniture wouldn’t stop me. The number of apartments that I checked was very low. The owners of the apartments were mostly foreigners and they obviously did not know much more about Greece than myself. Etc etc etc. The first time I was just really blindly sticked to Pangrati. Of course the infrastructure of cafe’s, transport links, bars, gyms, shops was great there.
But during my second experience of renting a flat in Athens I decided to spend more time on looking for an apartment and di not restrict myself with the areas. I just limited my choices by the areas where I would never ever liked to live in – Kipseli, Patissia, Acharnon street neighbourhood, Exarcheia. And concentrated more on the areas where I’d like to live at – Nea Smirni, Koukaki, Neos Kosmos, Panormou, Ambelokipi.
I checked at least 10 apartments through the Facebook’s marketplace, before I have found a flat with furniture, with natural light, a balcony and a nice view. It was something where I would enjoy staying at least 2 years. The owners had some roots in Greece, so dealing with the electricity, contracts and other administrative stuff was easier for me (as they had some really good advices and were helpful when I had to fix lets say an Airco or a washing machine). One of the mistakes I made in my second try was also trying to find a long-term rent in a “high season” – end of August – September. This is the time when there is a high demand for rent in Athens from the students arriving to Athens. As a consequence, the rent prices were rising.
My own expat life experience in Athens
Now I am thinking about my third experience of rent a flat in Athens:) But I think I’ll allow a couple of years to pass by before I will be seriously thinking to do it again. More I live here, more I learn. This is like building up my expat life experience in Athens. And to be honest, I am very happy being in Athens and with my current flat here. Is it not something we are living for? Just to experience what the happiness is. It is a moment, being “here” and “now”. Well guys, this is what the Greeks are very good at – no yesterday or tomorrow, only now. Do you want to experience it or learn and see if such a Greek lifestyle for you? You always can try:)
The image is taken from the website of MyGreekFlat