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Old Nov 10th 2017, 9:48 pm   #1
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Hi,
Nice to meet you all.

We are embarking on a trip to hungary to look for a holiday home. We have a comfortable life in the uk but I crave some more space and contact with nature in my holiday time. I have never read this forum before, but after about 40 minutes looking through the articles and comments my feeling is that the majority of answers to posts are hugely negative towards the country and there is a wonder why a number of posters still choose to remain. It has left me rather disappointed towards what we were hoping would be some exciting holidays and a different aspect to our lives.

From the forums i have read that if you buy a property you will not likely sell it again in a decade. You cant rent it out as a home or holiday home as when you are not in it, as the burocracy makes it impossible to clear any funds from it. Any money spent on the property is as good as down the drain. Food is more expensive than the UK....to be honest I stopped there.

If there is anyone who has the time to share any positives on these issues it would be very much appreciated. Kind regards
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Old Nov 10th 2017, 10:30 pm   #2
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Default Re: Disappointed

Hi Chrissie,
Sorry I am not going to give you positives, basically the fact regarding property you have outlined are pretty accurate.

BUT!
Please don't stop or give up on your dream, just think a little more and maybe modify it.
certainly come and look, enjoy the scenery and relax. but treat it as a holiday not so much a house hunting trip.
If you don't have particular ties to Hungary i would suggest you also consider our neighbours, Croatia for example has incredible scenery a Mediterranean coast and a high proportion of residents speak English
You asked why we stay? I for example am one of those disgusting filthy additive smokers, so for me Hungary is a much cheaper option than the UK. and I love the long hot summers, not so keen on the winter heating bills tho.
Don't rush to commit, just enjoy the planning stage for as long as possible.
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Old Nov 10th 2017, 10:52 pm   #3
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I am not going to comment on the specifics (or on other's opinions) but I have to say that we love it here, still, after 4 years living & several years working & holidaying before that. OK, we live in Budapest which is obviously very different to living in the countryside or smaller cities. The people here are brilliant, the language fiendish and for us it has been all positives. You have to decide what works for you & plan to achieve that - and form your own opinion, remembering that whatever happens, it will be different! Try to avoid comparisons with the UK but understand & enjoy the new experience.
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Old Nov 10th 2017, 11:09 pm   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Expatrick View Post
I am not going to comment on the specifics (or on other's opinions) but I have to say that we love it here, still, after 4 years living & several years working & holidaying before that. OK, we live in Budapest which is obviously very different to living in the countryside or smaller cities. The people here are brilliant, the language fiendish and for us it has been all positives. You have to decide what works for you & plan to achieve that - and form your own opinion, remembering that whatever happens, it will be different! Try to avoid comparisons with the UK but understand & enjoy the new experience.
What do you do there, and why did you move to Hungary? I spent some time in Budapest as a student and sometimes think of it as an option. My Hungarian friend told me there are many non-Hungarian speaking foreigners working in Budapest now.
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Old Nov 11th 2017, 9:14 am   #5
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Originally Posted by Shard View Post
What do you do there, and why did you move to Hungary? I spent some time in Budapest as a student and sometimes think of it as an option. My Hungarian friend told me there are many non-Hungarian speaking foreigners working in Budapest now.
Came here originally for work, bringing my Wife on the longer trips. Both fell for the place.
Had a chance of early retirement 5 years ago & thought, why not? Arrived one cold winter's evening with just 1 large bag each, having sold up everything in the UK. Big adventure.

Massive improvement in quality of life. Everybody we have come across (in every situation) has been helpful, considerate & supportive. Many Budapestis speak English (which makes learning the language harder!).
Quite a few foreigners in the city, we don't mix with the expat communities but have made quite a few Hungarian friends. Life is good!

To the OP - just to reinforce Duztee's point.
Don't buy property as an "investment', it doesn't work that way here. Buy as you would, say, a boat - an enjoyable thing to have & to use & accept the associated costs.

Last edited by Expatrick; Nov 11th 2017 at 9:18 am.
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Old Nov 11th 2017, 9:49 am   #6
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Default Re: Disappointed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrissie21 View Post
Hi,
Nice to meet you all.

We are embarking on a trip to hungary to look for a holiday home. We have a comfortable life in the uk but I crave some more space and contact with nature in my holiday time. I have never read this forum before, but after about 40 minutes looking through the articles and comments my feeling is that the majority of answers to posts are hugely negative towards the country and there is a wonder why a number of posters still choose to remain. It has left me rather disappointed towards what we were hoping would be some exciting holidays and a different aspect to our lives.

From the forums i have read that if you buy a property you will not likely sell it again in a decade. You cant rent it out as a home or holiday home as when you are not in it, as the burocracy makes it impossible to clear any funds from it. Any money spent on the property is as good as down the drain. Food is more expensive than the UK....to be honest I stopped there.

If there is anyone who has the time to share any positives on these issues it would be very much appreciated. Kind regards
The property market varies wildly across Europe. e.g. Belgium and Germany have a much higher %age rental market than either Hungary or the UK. Houses in Hungary should be bought to live in and not as an (ever increasing) investment as often seen in the UK.

Hungary has had a falling population for many years (unlike the UK) and as a result there can be in many areas an over supply of houses, when this is combined with the fact that since the regime change in the late 80s the work patterns and opportunities have significantly changed and all means that property market can vary and be very localised. Because of this it is easy to renovate a house beyond its market value and if the seller then wants to recoup their investment it can take years for the market to come up to their asking price.

Hungarian estate agents are not covered by the regulatory standards that apply in the UK and primarily work for themselves first, then the seller and the buyer is the cash cow supplying the money. Foreigners are all wealthy and fair game. So if you are going to buy a property here do not rely on the estate agent to be on your side but do your own homework and look carefully at other properties in the area, doing a lot of online research.

IMO you can not reasonably come on a property buying trip for a couple of weeks and expect to find the bargain that will be an easy resale. How long would spend choosing a property in the UK? Why should here be any quicker.

The first job would be to decide upon the area as you can't possibly decide on a property without first deciding the locality - and with that all the particular features of the locality. Hungarians have never burnt down holiday homes as was the fashion in Wales a few years back but some areas have their social issues (as will any country) and the estate agents will not tell you of these, you have to research these for your self.

It is possible to rent out holiday homes without hassle. But it will always be a problem when you are short term renting a property from 1000 miles distance. Agents can be used and cleaners employed but this will significantly eat into any profits. Also the holiday season here is very short and weekend lets don't really happen. (we did holiday lets but now have residential long term lets as it is less work and more income).

We have been here 23 years and would not return to the UK.
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Old Nov 11th 2017, 9:53 am   #7
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Quote:
We have been here 23 years and would not return to the UK.
Wild horses and David Davis won't drive me back to the UK!
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Old Nov 11th 2017, 12:06 pm   #8
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Default Re: Disappointed

Hi Christie
We have been here for four years and love it. We knew Hungary very well before we moved here and were under no illusions about the real estate market and bureaucracy.
I think what you are buying into here is a certain lifestyle and not an investment. For me part of the reason for moving was my health, I don’t need to work here and the environment is peaceful and clean, the food is fresher and more healthy and of course the weather is better. I had a vitamin D deficiency in the UK but here that isn’t a problem.
We enjoy a much bigger house and more land than we could ever afford in the UK.
My personal opinion is not to go for the areas that seem really cheap but pay a bit extra for a good location and practical access to amenities. We live in a very good village near to Veszprem and the Balaton. There are lots of holiday homes in our area and I think you would like it around here. Have a look at Ingatlankínálat - Properties.
Good luck
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Old Nov 11th 2017, 4:11 pm   #9
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Default Re: Disappointed

In addition to Cathy's and Patrick's remark:

There are some very nice places near the Balaton with lots of people in summer - but in winter they are kind of deserted ...
That was my first experience 20 years ago (end of October, coming from Budapest).
And then I came to Hévíz - and there was life ...

So unless you want splendid isolation look around - a place near a larger town with all the usual amenities (from hypermarkets to hospitals) is not a bad idea imho.
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Old Nov 11th 2017, 4:34 pm   #10
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We moved here just over 9 years ago and would not consider moving back to England. Things are far from perfect but the lifestyle suits us better in Hungary. We own 2 small houses with large gardens, surrounded by forests and are immersed in nature. Something we could never have afforded in England. Bureaucracy can be difficult and frustrating and the language is not an easy one to pick up.
We have many good Hungarian friends but there are also many who are rude, ignorant and downright unpleasant, much like back in the UK. Not everyone is out to be your friend, we have met many businesses that will up the price because they think we are tourists or just rich foreigners.
We have to work as our financial intentions didn't plan out once we arrived which means that our future is never guaranteed but my intention is to try and obtain my Hungarian citizenship next year. My wife already has dual citizenship. This should ease things regardless of Brexit.
Most goods are similar or more expensive than the UK but used vehicles are considerably more expensive. Markets are full of fresh, seasonable fruits and vegetables which are tastier and healthier than supermarket brands and you simply can't beat growing your own.
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Old Nov 12th 2017, 10:32 am   #11
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I am one of those who came from UK to Hungary and decided it was not the right country for me. I am English but returning to England would not be economically viable for me. I never did own a house outright in England and if I sold everything I could not raise enough to buy one there now.

You are right in thinking that rural property in Hungary is likely to be difficult to sell, even at a loss. My place is on the market for about the same as I paid. The purchaser will be getting the improvements I made, such as central heating, double glazing, major roof overhaul, new kitchen etc. for free. It has been up for sale for about a year so far.

The huge problem for me has been the language barrier. I think if I had tried to learn Hungarian when I was younger I might have managed better but the older you get, the harder it becomes to learn new languages and Hungarian is one of the hardest. I have opted for inland Croatia. House prices are low, lots of people speak English and I find Croatians are generally more friendly than Hungarians. Property at the Croatia coast is a lot more expensive but a holiday home there could make a good rental income in parts of the summer when you were not using it.
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Old Nov 12th 2017, 11:12 am   #12
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Originally Posted by fidobsa View Post
I am one of those who came from UK to Hungary and decided it was not the right country for me. I am English but returning to England would not be economically viable for me. I never did own a house outright in England and if I sold everything I could not raise enough to buy one there now.

You are right in thinking that rural property in Hungary is likely to be difficult to sell, even at a loss. My place is on the market for about the same as I paid. The purchaser will be getting the improvements I made, such as central heating, double glazing, major roof overhaul, new kitchen etc. for free. It has been up for sale for about a year so far.

The huge problem for me has been the language barrier. I think if I had tried to learn Hungarian when I was younger I might have managed better but the older you get, the harder it becomes to learn new languages and Hungarian is one of the hardest. I have opted for inland Croatia. House prices are low, lots of people speak English and I find Croatians are generally more friendly than Hungarians. Property at the Croatia coast is a lot more expensive but a holiday home there could make a good rental income in parts of the summer when you were not using it.
Sorry to hear this, good luck with your next move.
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