1. Hello fellow Greek American! While I agree with most of the comments here I will add one thing - island property can be very valuable even if the building isn't worth anything

  2. And it's only going to go up. If he can keep the land for 20-30 years it's very very very unlikely he will lose money on the initial investment and upkeep, not even talking about pro actively investing and renting it.

  3. It feels overwhelming, so maybe it's not worth it...but just be sure you aren't turning it down just to avoid a short-term hassle. I tend to agree that you should take the time to go over and see the place to get a better idea what's really going on before you refuse this gift.

  4. You are stressing yourself for nothing. Do you know how much the house is worth? Do you know what the taxes are? Do you know the actual condition of the property?

  5. Taxes could be incredibly low and upkeep minimal, and it's a cool connection to the family history. They could rent it out, or they could let it sit. They could turn it into their summer property. Agree OP needs real answers and a visit to the place.

  6. This so much. OP is starting this assuming all negatives, but you don’t actually know. Even assuming you have no interest in the property, at least find out what work it actually needs, how much you could sell it for, whether it’s still remote, actual taxes, etc

  7. Are you in contact with your relatives on the island? Maybe you can transfer it to them and keep it in the family at relatively little cost?

  8. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Greece. One thing to consider is that smaller communities can be very insular and it can be very hard to get things done locally if you’re not there or embedded into local society. So repairs and maintenance are going to be difficult.

  9. I’ve been to this island, and there is no tourism on this island. It really is a remote, insular village from a bygone age

  10. First, I'd figure out how much the house is worth and how much it would cost to maintain, etc. Even if you can make $20K from selling it, investing those $20K right now would help quite a lot with college fund for your kids.

  11. Thanks so much. I can get Greek citizenship without accepting the inheritance (to even decline I need to go through the motions of registering in Greece, which as a by-product gives me citizenship). My wife and I don’t really have plans to move to Europe ever and don’t speak any languages besides English, but perhaps if the political situation in the US becomes unstable in the future we may have to reconsider, and EU citizenship might be a blessing in disguise.

  12. Came here to say this! EU college for the kid(s)?! Sign me up!! OP, if your biggest issue is language, maybe look into learning a new one! It doesn’t have to be Greek, being a EU citizen you can move around. I heard good things about Germany schools

  13. Hey OP I actually went though the same thing after my parents passed and left their home in Athens to my siblings and me. Yes it's a pain in the ass to get documentation translated open your own tax ID start a bank account and have to deal with the bureaucratic nonsense of the stateside embassy. And you will probably spend a a few to several thousand bucks depending on the legal status of the house and property. Why not get the property appraised and have the lawyer give an estimate on the whole process before you give it up. It will be long and frustrating but you might end up with some money in your pocket.

  14. My first thought is: I wonder what level of financial and mental investment would be required to just demolish the house and own the land. Owning a patch of land on a remote Greek island sounds pretty awesome to me. But if you don’t have the desire to even find the answer to that question I would decline the inheritance. It’s good to consider your family’s finances and (posthumous) wishes, but ultimately your responsibility is to yourself, your wife, and your own future children. Don’t take on something that will ruin what sounds like a really good setup for the benefit of other people, some of whom are no longer alive.

  15. I would accept the inheritance and then decide what to do with it afterwards. I've always heard the phrase "if you own a second home, you need to be within a 2 hr commute to it, otherwise you'll never go" and I tend to agree with it. For me, while it would be really cool to own a place in Greece, I would just never go to make it worthwhile. And instead, it can be sold to someone who would really appreciate and care for it.

  16. I’ve moved to Greece (two years ago) with my American wife into a house that my dad built and left to my siblings and me. I’m a photographer and I’ve established a business, contracted full-time with an international company. Greece is trying to attract the self-employed and business owners and offering a 50% tax reduction for 7 years for those who establish tax residency. I make an American income in a country where the cost of living is dramatically lower and we live like royalty. We’ve also rented a seaside apartment in Athens - it’s a fantastic city, as long as you have the ability to escape occasionally. We can travel easily. I will say, though, that until we figured out what to do with the inherited property, it was a massive white elephant. A huge house and a huge burden, especially through the financial crisis years and then COVID. Cost vs. Benefit analysis.

  17. A friend inherited three Greek properties . A olive orchard, land on an island and a house in Athens. She paid a lot of money to get paperwork translations. I cannot remember exactly but the orchard had issues. The island property had restrictions and couldn’t do anything with it. The Athens house was a dump. In the end she gave all of it up. It wasn't worth the effort. She had to deal with the Greek consulate and she explained that was a pain. My advise is to look deeply into this.

  18. Thank you. I already know that accepting this inheritance will involve many many trips to the Greek consulate (and many fees), and refusing should require just 1 (and just a one-time fee) if I do things correctly.

  19. You can run a document of any size through Google translate for free. The only reason to pay for professionals translations these days is if they are required for legal reasons.

  20. This. Maybe consider doing something intentional with money: put it toward your first house, invest with a specific goal, etc. That way, every time you think about the gift, you'll appreciate the thought and could directly say how it benefited your life.

  21. I'm assuming that lawyer gave you an honest assessment of the upkeep and tax costs of the property. If you have hard data that says it's a money pit, then the best course of action might be to accept the property but instruct the lawyer to sell it immediately. You might actually realize a small profit which could be put to good use you establish your own home.

  22. The reason you can't sell many of these rundown houses is that unless they have been maintained and updated they're literally a bunch of rocks. You'll see houses for sale in many Mediterranean areas for almost nothing.

  23. My first instinct is to run. Greece has terrible taxes. But, it's a family home, so maybe work with this lawyer to see if it can be transferred to a corporation or something.

  24. Greek is a beautiful country, you should take vacation to that island. Maybe Airbnb to you coworker or to tourist. Since it’s being the family for generations, I would not sell it.

  25. I would take this route if it was me. It wouldn’t hurt to check it out and see what’s going on so peace of mind can happen. I would also suggest not rushing into anything. It’s been there for years and isn’t going anywhere.

  26. Would property you inherit in Greece have a stepped up basis? I’d want up know what the tax implications are before I say yea or nay

  27. If its not worth much, how much could the property taxes possibly be? I'd look into exactly how much those expenses will be before I declined the inheritance, get all the info before making a decision.

  28. It is very difficult to legally obtain property in Greece. Often there are no records at all of who has owned a property since when. As such there is a complicated and error-prone bureaucracy involved with proving that the seller of a property actually owned it to begin with and can sell it. Bribes just to get paperwork moving are common.

  29. Your lawyer has laid out your options, but you need to speak with a fiduciary that specializes in Greek/European properties to understand the actual value of the property and whether or not it's worth retaining.

  30. This is probably the best advice in this thread. Thank you so much for posting! Do you happen to know where I might be able to find any reputable fiduciaries with this specialty?

  31. Youd be crazy to pass it up. Everyone here has already said everything as to why and how to keep it. I agree totally with them.

  32. Just because your dad was mean to your aunt doesn’t mean you need to be. Maybe give it to your aunt and help her get it moving as an income property.

  33. Maybe talk with stepmother about having the current condition of the house and land assessed and either selling it on to someone who will love it, or if it's not in terrible shape maybe going through a reputable property management firm to handle maintenance and renting/leasing it out. If things are optimal, it will be self-financing and generate a modest income for you and stepmother.

  34. Use your savings to fix the house and turn it into an AirBnB to create a new income source. Have your step mom manage the property to earn her 50% of the revenue. This can all be done from her home.

  35. I vote you quit your job, move into your newly acquired property, and become the star of a summertime romance novel about reconnecting with your roots.

  36. OP setting aside any perceived inconvenience, this sounds like a great opportunity. Can’t drive stick shift? Then learn, it’s real simple and if you know anybody that drives a stick then they will be happy to teach you. Owning property in a Greek island sounds like a good opportunity to have a little getaway, if not at least a cool story. I think you would regret turning down the inheritance more than anything. Because even if you accept it and it turns out to be a pain, then at least you tried.

  37. Get that dual citizenship buddy. Figure out how much it will cost you to maintain it, real estate is treasure don't make a mistake. Maybe you can rent it out but you should still come out winning on equity alone.

  38. Declining it will feel bad for a little while. Accepting it and having to put money into something you get nothing out of will feel bad for ever.

  39. You sound like the sort of person who doesn't understand that the phrase "May you live in interesting times" is a curse.

  40. What I'm hearing is that you're trying to dictate what someone else should have to go through with absolutely zero understanding of the situation. I think you've watched too many movies.

  41. How much would it cost to take it and sell? Can you make money by selling (after all taxes and fees are paid)?

  42. One of the stipulations in the will is that the only person I am allowed to sell it to is my stepmother. My dad left her with a mountain of debt here in the US (don’t want to get into the specifics, but it’s a situation that’s worse than a second mortgage). I know enough details to know she can’t afford it, so we’re I to give up my stake I would do so as a gift to her for free. I do not see myself making any money off of this property; only spending. I also do not wish to invest any time into thinking about this property. The time and stress finding out about this inheritance had already cases me several sleepless nights. I wish it would just go away.

  43. This. Finding a way to donate it and get the tax deduction for it sounds good, if you really don’t want it, and you’re in the US.

  44. Dude having a holiday house in Greece would be amazing. Afternoon Mythos and fresh feta on the deck, the dream... I'd love to partially retire in the Mediterranean or New Zealand (I'm Aussie)

  45. I mean a free house on an island in Greece? I mean decline it if whatever you’ve got going on at home is more interesting than that, but damn that sounds cool.

  46. Look at this guy being given a vacation home in Greece and the land but is acting like a brat.... Man some people have all the luck

  47. That's assuming OP can get more for it than the various taxes that will need to be paid before he can even take ownership.

  48. I don't understand why you can't just turn around and sell it? That would seem to be the best option here if you don't want it?

  49. Back in 2003, I visited Greece with some friends who were Greek Americans. I learned that the Greeks who came to the United States had left their family homes in the country and would come back with their kids. Their kids (that generation) while loved going back, didn't really have the same connection as their parents. "that" generation did not return to Greece with their own kids. The original family homes were left behind. And so the villages, from what I saw, were dying. There were only the oldest of people living there in the summers.

  50. See how much you owe if you inherit it - then see how much you could sell it for. Since you said it wouldn't sell for a lot, maybe see if there is some organization you could donate it to (Maybe the village needs a building?)?

  51. It really is amazing what different perspectives we all have! I have not looked into Greek tax laws, and that is certainly something I need to do before pursing dual citizenship any further!

  52. Went through the same thing in different country, just sell it for scraps and use the money for something else in life. Don't buy into this whole flip and sell mentality, this varies country to country. You will spend more money doing that then what its worth.

  53. As a person who really values family heritage and multigenerational gifts, i would treasure that home. It may seem like a burden at first but i can almost guarantee you will regret giving up the home ao easy. I would literally kill for a home to be given to me

  54. No idea what numbers you’re talking about here, but what I might do is try to talk to a property management company. You pay the taxes and contract with the management company to rent it out as an Airbnb - maybe they take 80% and you take enough to cover the taxes, but then it still keeps it in your family and gives you options on the future for it.

  55. A good notary would sort it all out for you. The legal and real estate system is different to the US. Be careful with Greek property it can acquire its own debt and is passed on to the next owner. Out of interest which island is it on? I have been buying property in Greece since the golden visa opened.

  56. I think you need to do more research on the numbers and rates the houses go for how much the taxes will be and how much you could make/lose. Do this before you think of doing anything with the property.

  57. Go check the place out and spend a little time in Greece. This could be a nice opportunity for you to at least entertain a vacation home..

  58. I'd keep it and turn it into the local version of an Airbnb. Even if all it does is pay for itself it becomes a free asset that you have access to in time of emergency. Plus you could always use it for a vacation every few years and potentially take a tax deduction on your american taxes as a business trip to inspect you holdings.

  59. You haven't spoken to the financial burden of keeping the property. You have to "maintain" it, but what does that really mean? Are we talking just a few thousand a year? If so, I'd say it may be worth it. Or - get this - bulldoze the building and just hold the land and see what offers come in the future.

  60. I know nothing about estate taxes in Greece but I can't imagine they would be 100% of the value... So I would think if you take it and just immediately sell it "as is" you would still net some cash, even if not very much cash.

  61. Assuming the island is remote, without tourism going to touch it, and you do NOT want to retire to Greece at some point in the future and use the house, I'd probably decline the inheritance, unless you think you can sell it for a profit. But I doubt a rundown house on a non-touristic island will ever be worth much.

  62. I don't want to sound cold but your dad's dead my friend. If you want nothing to do with this house your father will never know and I doubt even care. If I were you I would avoid this tremendous financial strain at all cost and decline the inheritance.

  63. It sounds like you feel as though you can’t sell it and split the earnings with your stepmother because your dad wanted it in the family. Is that the case? I don’t think any parent wants to hand down a burden though. Sure if it were a blessing to you guys that would make sense, but if after paying taxes you can sell it as-is and make some money, I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.

  64. Inherit it, and sell it split it 50/50 after you go on a freakin’ vacation. Or turn it into an air bnb and let me go visit for a reasonable price on your new money pit! 🤭

  65. At least go visit it and see. Would ba a nice vacay for you and the wife and maybe you could make a vacation home for you and AirBNB it when you arent around. Up front maintenance and a local to watch it while you are gone can be covered in cost pretty quickly with the way greek island properties rent for.

  66. I would accept the inheritance. Greece is very popular with AirBnB houses on the islands. Renovate the property and list it. Make some money off of it and help your step mom.

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