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Advice with purchasing property

Advice with purchasing property

Old Aug 29th 2018, 2:12 am
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Default Advice with purchasing property

Hi all, a new poster on here.
Me and my wife are extremely interested in purchasing a holiday property in Hungary, a country that we have loved and revisited so often. We have done lots of research and are now in a position to do viewings. We don't want to be naive in any decisions, so wanted to reach out here and see if anyone would be able to answer a few questions for us?

Are there any trusted english-speaking lawyers who could talk us through the actual costs for the first house purchase.

We have limited our search to properties with smaller plots of land/vineyard, conscious that we may not be there for months at a time. Would locals be able to/want to maintain the land at a cost, or would it be ok to be left to grow?! I know there are hungarian laws about the upkeep of gardens.

We would welcome any advice or further contact so we can make the dream a reality soon!
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Old Aug 29th 2018, 2:26 am
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Default Re: Advice with purchasing property

You might get better targetted replies if we know the area that is under consideration.
Also are you looking for a holiday home or somewhere where (at some point) you could take up permanent residence?
The ability to get someone to help with or undertake the maintenance will vary area to area.
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Old Aug 29th 2018, 2:29 am
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Default Re: Advice with purchasing property

Hi Peter_In_Hungary - of course. Thank you for the reply... Our targeted region is Somogy, though a property that we are really keen on is in Igal. Would be a holiday home that we would visit several times a year.
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Old Aug 29th 2018, 5:57 am
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Don't get too worried by the idea of the 'onerous' upkeep of your land. It's enough to strim it/ mow it twice a year: roughly end-May (wildly overgrown) and mid-August (cut down a nocive/ illegal weed, ragweed). If you can't arrange to do it yourself, you can normally find somebody local to do it fairly cheaply. Even when you are struggling to find a cheaper local, the 'top dollar' independents doing this for a living are not going to break the bank though it's always a shame to pay more than you need to, they'll charge at leat twice what a local would want, maybe more.

Sorry can't help re lawyers as my wife is Hungarian so that wasn't an issue. Hungarian property law is very rigorous and you would normally be able to trust most lawyers here and the property purchase process. But for your own peace of mind you'll need to have somebody to assist in translating to English so that you know what's going on. I bet you could get free advice just by phoning a couple of lawyers who advertise in English (or maybe not, most speak English these days) and getting them to give you a 5-10 minute description of the process, they'll probably oblige as they'll want your possible business.
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Old Aug 29th 2018, 6:28 pm
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Default Re: Advice with purchasing property

I think most lawyers understand a degree of English, but even if they themselves don't then it is a good possibility they will employ a secretary who does. Since most of the younger generation now learn English.
Costs are much as you would imagine, Price of property and lawyers fees, after purchase you will have the usual costs of owning a house. you will also need to arrange for all the utility accounts to be transferred to your name.
Once you agree to purchase it is normal for both parties to deposit 10% with the lawyer, which is forfeited should either side renege on the agreement.

As with many things here it is quite common to make private deals and agreements and only involving the legal representatives for the absolute minimum.
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Old Aug 30th 2018, 12:32 am
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And don't forget the stamp duty payable by the purchaser (which I think is 4% but check this out !)

I have never paid a deposit when buying property. Solicitors don't have a clients account in the way they do in the UK (that is an account regulated by law to hold clients money) And certainly do not give anything to an estate agent.

The solicitors managing the sale do not act for either party but rather just ensure that the contracts are legal in that it, complies with the law and that both parties understand the contract. It is not the job of the solicitor to advise about any condition put in the contract and if there is an onerous clause the solicitor will not advise about this - its not his job. Likewise the searches that your UK solicitor does on your behalf in the UK (and has a liability for anything missed) do not happen here unless the purchaser does them for themselves. It will be difficult to find someone to do these and to take liability for them. (So the new motorway at the bottom of the garden or the new electric pylons through the garden are down to the purchaser to discover.

Be very cautious of estate agents - purchasers are seen as cash cows and consumer protection laws are very weak compared to the UK. Most properties will be advertised in more than one place so check to make sure the prices match up between the ads. and make sure that prices reflect the general price in the area. Regardless of what estate agents say infrastructure can be very expensive to install or upgrade. IMO you should insist that any purchase is done with the owner and not an estate agent acting on behalf of the owner..

A quick search of your chosen village shows that it is a spa village. I would expect properties there to be (quite) a bit more than neighbouring villages and probably targeted at foreigners, who as all Hungarians know are all very rich and don't know the value of anything. (This can/will include trades people doing referb work as well)

If you google' buying property in Hungary' you will get loads of detail and if you can sift through the adverts most of the legal requirements are there.
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Old Aug 30th 2018, 4:49 am
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Default Re: Advice with purchasing property

Thanks for everyone’s responses. Really appreciate it. We’re over again in October so hopefully the houses that we have identified won’t have been sold!

On a a slight side note, if years down the line, we wanted to convert a barn that’s in the plot, would we need to submit plans? It would be in a number of years, but wanted to keep our potential options open.

Really appreciate people taking time to respond...
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Old Aug 30th 2018, 6:35 am
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Thats a good question about the barn. We also have a barn that would make an excellent place to live and renovate. I would love to hear the answer to your question.
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Old Aug 30th 2018, 6:43 am
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Default Re: Advice with purchasing property

You'd definitely have to get permission to convert a barn & they'd want to see a plan. Villages are laws unto themselves, most will be reasonable but you need to get them onside via the polgarmesterseg people.

Our village once decided all development in the outer village would not be allowed - a smallish village, 3-4000 pop, so half was in the inner village, half in the outer village.

That got relaxed some years ago and everybody's building everywhere so it seems - Budapest got expensive, Viktor Orban decided to stimulate the economy with cheap building loans & policies, so loads of people are building in commuterland/ closer villages to Bp.
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Old Aug 30th 2018, 8:21 am
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Afaik the rules for building in "the outside" were changed recently but even my wife doesn't understand them really...
The most visible effect we see is that many "summer houses" on one of the outer streets now have signs: street name plus number.
Putting the strett name on every sign is obviously a bit silly, but who cares.
And there also are now garbage containers where these people are supposed to put their trash in - only they have keys for the containers.
PS:
Those special rules regarding foreigners being allowed to owning land there (or not ...) are also something which I'll never understand!
I bought my house on the main road in 1998 when it was officially allowed for foreigners to buy ...
In any case you should have a look at the "ground book" (Grundbuch in German) where all this is documented - that's something that was introduced by the Austrians. Ownership is described there and also other things - if it's not there it's not valid - unlike in GB afaik where this doen't exist.
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Old Aug 30th 2018, 7:34 pm
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For a barn conversion you would have to check the regulations and the village plan at the time of conversion. Recently planning permission was changed and you can now do a new build up to 300m2 without planning permission. (not building regs) and when we converted the other half of our barn recently (first part done years ago) we were told by the authority that as it was all internal work without changes to the external they were not interested.
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Old Aug 30th 2018, 8:52 pm
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Default Re: Advice with purchasing property

One or two more things to add...
We've bought 3 houses here and sold 1 in the last few years and on each occasion the buyer and seller have used the same solicitor and the buyer has been responsible for the solicitor's fees (about 50,000ft).
When we bought 2 of the houses we put down a 10% deposit, paid to the solicitor who held this money in her account. If we were to back out of the deal we would lose our deposit. However, if the seller were to back out then they would have to pay us 20% of the agreed purchase price.
Also, an inventory needs to be drawn up with the seller and solicitor to state exactly what will be left in the property. It's not unkown for people to remove complete kitchens when they leave. I've also known new buyers be left with a house, attic and barn full of stuff that they didn't want and had to get rid of before moving in.
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Old Aug 31st 2018, 1:06 am
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Default Re: Advice with purchasing property

Originally Posted by PaulinEger
One or two more things to add...
We've bought 3 houses here and sold 1 in the last few years and on each occasion the buyer and seller have used the same solicitor and the buyer has been responsible for the solicitor's fees (about 50,000ft).
When we bought 2 of the houses we put down a 10% deposit, paid to the solicitor who held this money in her account. If we were to back out of the deal we would lose our deposit. However, if the seller were to back out then they would have to pay us 20% of the agreed purchase price.
Also, an inventory needs to be drawn up with the seller and solicitor to state exactly what will be left in the property. It's not unkown for people to remove complete kitchens when they leave. I've also known new buyers be left with a house, attic and barn full of stuff that they didn't want and had to get rid of before moving in.
+1 - pretty much mirrors my experience. Buyer/ seller using the same solicitor is normal. We never actually put down or requested the 10% deposit as money always changed hands on the day.
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Old Aug 31st 2018, 2:06 am
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Default Re: Advice with purchasing property

Originally Posted by Pilis Nemzeti Park Fella
+1 - pretty much mirrors my experience. Buyer/ seller using the same solicitor is normal. We never actually put down or requested the 10% deposit as money always changed hands on the day.
+1 We have never given a deposit either and always paid in cash on the day in the solicitors office.

Using the same solicitor is normal as said but remember that the solicitor is not acting for anyone, just overseeing the legality of the process so the solicitor has no liability for/to either side.
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Old Aug 31st 2018, 5:47 am
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Just to add - when we bought our family house in the Pilis hills, we specified that the light fittings were included in the price. This is because we learned from earlier experience: when we bought our Bp flat earlier, the seller took all the light fittings as they were not specified as having to remain & must have cost a bob or two.
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