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House Hunting Questions

House Hunting Questions

Old Aug 4th 2023, 1:27 pm
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Default House Hunting Questions

Hello everyone.

We sold up in Italy in 2020 and have finally made the decision to look for a new place in Hungary. Our aim is to find a good family sized property in a rural location with a bit of land which we could use initially for elongated holidays of up to the allowed 180 days per year, with an eventual aim of gaining residency on retirement (is that even possible for non EU citizens..?)

Three years on from our Italian house sale and with so much which has changed in the world since then we find ourselves to be completely out of the European property game, and as we are right at the beginning as complete newbies to Hungary and all things Hungarian, we know nothing whatsoever about the house buying process there, or even where and how to look.

Therefore I would like to ask in the first instance for recommendations on property websites and/or estate agents, as well as how we should proceed in finding a good English speaking solicitor for our purchase.

For an initial look around we are planning a trip for the first two weeks in October and aim to base ourselves probably around the western end of Lake Balaton from where we will travel around in our search on a radius of say around 60-80 miles from base in any direction. We need information on pitfalls, legal quirks, such as inherited debt on sold properties (which was a very real issue in Italy) property scams, possible complications, taxes, general buyer requirements for property purchase - ie would we need a Hungarian bank account, fiscal code, or anything else..? As I say we know nothing and are right at the beginning, so any help or guidance would be especially welcome at this stage. We do at least have the advantage of having owned property abroad before - we had the place in Italy for 16 years - so are not so naive as to go into the process with any kind of fairytale pie in the sky romantic ideals about it, and know pretty much in general terms of what to expect in the real world, but obviously we need to know specifics. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

Last edited by Jake.White; Aug 4th 2023 at 2:23 pm.
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Old Aug 4th 2023, 5:00 pm
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Default Re: House Hunting Questions

Jake, welcome to the Hungary sub Forum on BE.. I am not sure it is allowed to recommend estate agents via the Forum but I will include a link to a site that has a lot of different properies listed by agents and you can contact them for yourself.

https://ingatlan.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjw...hoCdUEQAvD_BwE

You do not have to be a citizen of a EU country to retire here in Hungary or to purchase non agricultural property. What you will need is proof of Health coverage, an adequate provable income to sustain yourself . I am not certain of the current requiredincome level but it used to be £1000 per month when we moved here in 2017. I do not think that number has been increased but maybe someone with more recent information will chime in. To get residency you will need proof of accomomdation (a lease or rental agreement contract valaid for 12 or more months signed by the property owner or proof of property ownership.

There can be issues with debts staying with property when sold plus ownership issues when there are multiple owners such as from an estate being sold by children of a deceased parent etc etc. A reputable estate solicitor should be able to sort that out before you make a contract to purchase. I would caution you against purchasing wine houses or seasonal houses because if they do not have a legal address you will encounter issues getting a residence permit. If they haave what is considered a legal address (IE they are located in a village or city you will probably be purchasing a property with a legal address.
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Old Aug 4th 2023, 6:26 pm
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Default Re: House Hunting Questions

Thanks for that. I'll have a look at the link. I take it from what you say in your post that agricultural property is out. How about a smallholding..? or at least a house with a big (ish) plot of land. We had two+ acres in Italy and would hope to find something along the same lines as a minimum, but having cruised around today on various websites I find that most of the properties for sale that I looked at seem to be in village streets with immediate neighbours either side and a pretty small plot of land, whereas we'd be looking for isolated, or at least reasonably detached from the nearest neighbours, along with a sizeable plot.
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Old Aug 4th 2023, 6:43 pm
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Default Re: House Hunting Questions

Originally Posted by Jake.White
Thanks for that. I'll have a look at the link. I take it from what you say in your post that agricultural property is out. How about a smallholding..? or at least a house with a big (ish) plot of land. We had two+ acres in Italy and would hope to find something along the same lines as a minimum, but having cruised around today on various websites I find that most of the properties for sale that I looked at seem to be in village streets with immediate neighbours either side and a pretty small plot of land, whereas we'd be looking for isolated, or at least reasonably detached from the nearest neighbours, along with a sizeable plot.
Jake, you can find many smallholdings located within villages. I purchased a former tanya (farm property) with 4200 m2 land, a barn old farmhouse and a couple other agricultural buildings. I have seen some of these sort of properties listed with 10,000m2 of land so if a smallholding is your desire you can find them.
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Old Aug 4th 2023, 8:54 pm
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Default Re: House Hunting Questions

Excellent. Thanks again. I did find one with slightly more than 10 000 sq metres just after I posted that so it's good to know that sizeable places are available.
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Old Aug 6th 2023, 9:23 am
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Default Re: House Hunting Questions

Originally Posted by Jake.White
Excellent. Thanks again. I did find one with slightly more than 10 000 sq metres just after I posted that so it's good to know that sizeable places are available.
Big plots are available but very few of them. Buying an isolated or separated place will probably mean outside a village which in Hungary has different regs. and infrastructure will almost certainly limited. e.g.poor electricity supply, no gas, possibly no mains water, no mains drainage, no proper phone line or mobile connection - all of which we 'benefit' from living outside a village.

As you will have seen village properties have a plot size typically between 1000m2 and 2500m2. If you want something substantially bigger then I suspect compromises in other wants will have to be made with location being the main compromise.

As a foreigner buying agricultural land will be difficult and restricted and when I last checked it was limited to less than 10,000m2 which further limits your purchase options (buying jointly can increase this I believe) but plots in villages are usually not classified as agricultural but then separation from neighbours might be the issue.

With the amount of agricultural land you are allowed to purchase you will not be able to build new because you can't buy enough land to get planning permission for a new build. (If you had considered that route).
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Old Aug 6th 2023, 10:18 am
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Default Re: House Hunting Questions

Thanks Peter. I was gradually forming that impression from looking at the various websites, although I've seen a few houses with plots of around 5000 sq m which would possibly be enough for us. Definitely NOT looking at the new build route - we prefer older and more traditional.!
I'll scour round all the little villages in the area we'll be visiting in October and hopefully come back with a few ideas. It's always best to be on the ground to carry out a search in my experience.
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Old Aug 6th 2023, 11:37 am
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Default Re: House Hunting Questions

Unless the older house has been renovated (in which case it will probably be v.expensive) then expect some (or lots) restoration will be needed i.e. questionable roof, little to no insulation etc.
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Old Aug 6th 2023, 12:06 pm
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Default Re: House Hunting Questions

Thanks again. It would be pleasant to find a place which was fully done and which we could just move into, but in practical terms I would probably expect to find somewhere which needed at least some work to be carried out. Most of the places we looked at in Italy all those years ago were in a right state and needed loads doing, and I pretty much expect the same again.
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Old Aug 6th 2023, 12:48 pm
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Default Re: House Hunting Questions

Originally Posted by Jake.White
Thanks again. It would be pleasant to find a place which was fully done and which we could just move into, but in practical terms I would probably expect to find somewhere which needed at least some work to be carried out. Most of the places we looked at in Italy all those years ago were in a right state and needed loads doing, and I pretty much expect the same again.
Also be aware if you need workmen to carry out renovations, you have to book them several months in advance.
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Old Aug 6th 2023, 12:58 pm
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Default Re: House Hunting Questions

Originally Posted by Sachina
Also be aware if you need workmen to carry out renovations, you have to book them several months in advance.
Thanks. I'll keep that in mind.
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Old Aug 6th 2023, 1:09 pm
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Default Re: House Hunting Questions

Jake, wish you the best!
Before we moved to the Danube to be nearer our young ones in Budapest I had bought a house in Zala county, not too far from the Balaton, ver nice.
Like many other houses in the village the ground had 3 paers with frnces between them. The first part (for the dog and the cars) and second part (originally for the hens) were of the village proper - the part behind was agricultural. Of course we rented that out for a nominal sum to one of the neighbours, but we could have used this ourself to plant corn eg.
But generally you have to be careful and sure that your ground is part of the village proper with all the amenities - water, electricity, gas ...
And also the postal service needs an address!
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Old Aug 6th 2023, 1:48 pm
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Cheers. Very much looking forward to our first trip there in October. We'll be making it a road trip for extra adventure..!
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Old Aug 7th 2023, 9:37 am
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Default Re: House Hunting Questions

Jake
Are you looking for a small holding - that is a place that can produce crops for income or self sufficiency with the infrastructure to do that or do you just want a nice big plot and is within a village a non-starter. (I know of a small holding but it is within a village)
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Old Aug 7th 2023, 10:27 am
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Either or really. Smallholding or house with big plot. We already grow much of our own veggies, potatoes etc here in the UK, and we also keep chickens so would like to expand a little bit on that to grow most of our own stuff, have more chickens and possibly a goat or two if space will allow
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