Property search

Old Jul 23rd 2021, 9:26 pm
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Default Property search

Good morning everyone,

Having recently sold my property in Italy I am now considering Hungary (or possibly Poland) as a new prospect but have no clue as to where to begin looking. Initially I am looking for advice on the best property websites to look at as google searches tend to bring up many possibilities including all the usual suspects of rightmove, zoopla etc and it all becomes somewhat confusing. From experience I want to do it strictly by the book as I made a lot of mistakes with the Italian purchase back in 2004 and don't wish to repeat them. I need to make sure any property purchase I make is fully above board and legal, with no debt or dodgy dealings attached to the property and also want to avoid any legal pitfalls and possible rip offs or scams as I had enough of that from my 16 year experience in Italy. It's a long story with many anecdotes, some good but mostly not so good - see my post history on the Italy forum for more details. I've often popped my head into this forum out of curiosity and I thought it would be a good place to start looking as you guys on here seem very knowledgable.

As for my property preferences :

Ideally rural even to the point of being isolated.
A reasonable amount of land - anything upwards of 1000sq metres if possible.
I really don't mind what condition any potential purchase may be in within reason - ie not completely falling down but in need of some considerable repair or renovation work would be acceptable.
Proximity to Austria would be a considerable advantage for me.
Money is of course the biggest issue and the cheaper the better.

Hope someone can offer some advice.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Jul 23rd 2021, 9:37 pm
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Welcome to the Hungarian page here on British Expats. check out this site, it will take a little hunting if you don't speak Hungarian but you can do it.

https://ingatlan.com/?gclid=EAIaIQob...SAAEgJB7PD_BwE

You will find everything from Castles for sale to wine and seasonal houses contained within it. Elado means for sale and Kiado means for rent or lease. Bear in mind anything with a proximity of less than 30 km from Lake Balaton will be higher priced as will anything in the Budapest metro area.

Keep in mind Wine Houses and Seasonal houses if not located within a village or city will NOT likely have a legal address and if it does not have a legal address then you could not use it as your legal address here in Hungary if your planning to obtain legal Hungarian Residency. To obtain Residency here you must have proof of accomodation either in the form of a lease agreement for at least 12 months (Kiado) or a property in your name from an a purchase. (Elado). or a letter from someone willing to state you are a guest in their home that meets the Hungarian Foreigners requirements.
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Old Jul 23rd 2021, 10:03 pm
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It sounds like Zala County would be a good place to look given that it's quite rural with many villages and very close to Austria. This website will give you an idea of what's available and for the prices ...
​​​​​​https://www.casa-mia.at/en/
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Old Jul 23rd 2021, 11:15 pm
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Thank you to both above, and especially to Jack for the Hungarian words which will be helpful. I've heard Hungarian is pretty difficult for us Brits, is that right? Although I speak reasonable German which is why I want to be near Austria. I knew about the Balaton area and will probably avoid it but I like the sound of Zala so I'll start my search around there. Thanks again.
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Old Jul 24th 2021, 2:13 am
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Default Re: Property search

Originally Posted by Jake.White
Thank you to both above, and especially to Jack for the Hungarian words which will be helpful. I've heard Hungarian is pretty difficult for us Brits, is that right? Although I speak reasonable German which is why I want to be near Austria. I knew about the Balaton area and will probably avoid it but I like the sound of Zala so I'll start my search around there. Thanks again.

Your welcome Jake, One more thing I forgot to mention is to be very leery of houses contructed from mud brick (adobe) because if they ever have a leaky roof or a dampness issue it could be a challenge to resolve the problem once that wall gets wet. Not sure what your budget is like but if you can try to get a more modern dwelling contructed with Porotherm block or clay bricks. By more modern probably anything built after 1980. If you do decide on an old mud brick house the walls can be over 50-60cm thick on the exterior walls and do tend to stay cooler in the summer if you keep the windows shut during the day and open them at night. You won't need an air conditioning in them.
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Old Jul 24th 2021, 3:25 am
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Thanks again. I'll take note of that.

Part of my old place in Italy was mud and brick built with two foot thick walls and there was always an issue with damp. I always thought it was because there was no damp proof course but maybe it was for the reasons you mention.

My budget is pretty small which is why I was thinking about a place which needs a bit of work and I could do most of it slowly myself. I've only just started thinking about it as an option and I probably wont go over there for any kind of visit as long as any kind of travel restrictions are in place as current travel seems to be all just a big hassle which costs a packet - there hardly seems to be a plane in the sky these days anyway and I live quite near Newcastle Airport..! If I do decide to buy over there it will only be after probably several visits as my purchasing there would be on an all or nothing basis where I would sell up here and go over there to live, so I would have to be 100% sure about it and make sure I do all my research rather than just rushing in without a second thought or any kind of planning and end up making a load of big mistakes like I did in Italy.

Anyway thanks again and I'll probably have some more questions to ask as time goes by.

Last edited by Jake.White; Jul 24th 2021 at 3:27 am.
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Old Jul 24th 2021, 5:25 am
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It has become easier as of late fly or drive here from the UK, A couple I know drove here recently, they have had their jabs and I am not certain but I think they had to take within 72 hours of travel a test leaving the UK and then when returning to the UK. I have a friend flying in Monday if all goes well from London for a 4 week stay.

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Old Jul 24th 2021, 5:56 am
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A lot more locations do seem to be opening up again. As far as I can tell Hungary is on the amber list and they are still advising against travel there.

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/hungary

That in itself wouldn't stop me as I went to Italy 3 times last year in June, September, and October but I only just got out of Italy in time on the last trip before they shut it all down again and locked everyone up in their homes. I had trouble finding overnight accomodation in Germany too. Now with all this traffic light carry on, the whole business of getting endlessly tested at great cost and then having to quarantine when I get back here makes it all seem much more difficult than it should be so I'll hang fire for a while yet before making a decision. Property does seem incredibly cheap there though I must say and my enthusiasm is increrasing...
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Old Jul 24th 2021, 7:48 pm
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I know most Brits seem to be centred around the Balaton side of the country, but if you want an inexpensive property, with a good amount of land but fairly isolated, then take a look at Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen. (Northern Hungary).

I've lived in a remote village of only 65 inhabitants for the past 14 years, and in an adobe house which I renovated on a 2673 sq metre plot of land. My nearest British neighbour lives 50 kms away in Miskolc There's a regular Intercity train from my local town which takes about 2 hours to get to Budapest.

My Hungarian leaves much to be desired, but being the only "foreigner" in the area, everyone knows me and goes out of the way to help. Hungarians I think, realise their language is hard to learn and are more than happy to speak English.

I bought my property through this company.

https://www.hungarianhouses.com/north-bukk-matra.html
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Old Jul 25th 2021, 10:46 pm
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As said above adobe (Hungarian vályogtégla) houses can be problematic. Stone built houses, that is stone / rubble walls are a lot more forgiving when repairing / renovating. Most older properties will have a plot of over 1000 m2, in fact some villages have a 1200 m2 minimum. Any house that is isolated and therefore outside a village boundary will almost certainly have a lack of infrastructure, probably electricity but anything else would be a bonus. Houses that are (very) cheap relative to others in the area will be cheap for a reason. Also some areas have neighbour problems (theft and vandalism) and others do not so it is best to check out this aspect as well (such areas are also cheaper than good areas although price on an individual property is not a guide to the safety of the area.
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Old Jul 25th 2021, 11:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Peter_in_Hungary
Also some areas have neighbour problems (theft and vandalism) and others do not so it is best to check out this aspect as well (such areas are also cheaper than good areas although price on an individual property is not a guide to the safety of the area.
I do remember reading when I was looking for a property that a good rule of thumb is to check out the church first in the village you are looking at ... if it is well kept then chances are that it's a good village / area ... maybe there is some truth in this !
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Old Jul 25th 2021, 11:43 pm
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Originally Posted by hobgoblins
I do remember reading when I was looking for a property that a good rule of thumb is to check out the church first in the village you are looking at ... if it is well kept then chances are that it's a good village / area ... maybe there is some truth in this !
I have two in my village, both of which are well maintained.
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Old Jul 25th 2021, 11:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Peter_in_Hungary
As said above adobe (Hungarian vályogtégla) houses can be problematic. Stone built houses, that is stone / rubble walls are a lot more forgiving when repairing / renovating. Most older properties will have a plot of over 1000 m2, in fact some villages have a 1200 m2 minimum. Any house that is isolated and therefore outside a village boundary will almost certainly have a lack of infrastructure, probably electricity but anything else would be a bonus. Houses that are (very) cheap relative to others in the area will be cheap for a reason. Also some areas have neighbour problems (theft and vandalism) and others do not so it is best to check out this aspect as well (such areas are also cheaper than good areas although price on an individual property is not a guide to the safety of the area.
Which part of Hungary are you referring to? It certainly wasn't true when I bought my property. We have never had any "undesirables" living here, no vandalism either, and only one theft in the 14 years I've lived here You can still buy a house in need of renovation on a 2000 sq metre plot in my village with mains water, gas and electricity laid to the property boundary for less than £10000.


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Old Jul 26th 2021, 2:32 am
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I've just seen a family house for sale not far from Eger in NE Hungary. A popular tourist destination. The 2 storey house is in a small village and is stone/brick built. It has 3 bedrooms and has undergone renovation,, which needs finishing. New gas, water, electricity, heating, doors and windows already done. Garage, outbuildings, cellar and garden. The price is 10.9m ft. Seems like a really good buy. I know the village but not the particular street so couldn't comment on its exact location.
There are some good, well-priced properties out there.
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Old Jul 26th 2021, 10:04 am
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Originally Posted by Sachina
Which part of Hungary are you referring to? It certainly wasn't true when I bought my property. We have never had any "undesirables" living here, no vandalism either, and only one theft in the 14 years I've lived here You can still buy a house in need of renovation on a 2000 sq metre plot in my village with mains water, gas and electricity laid to the property boundary for less than £10000.
I know of a village near tatabánya where the cellars on the vineyard hill are left empty and the doors left open because if the doors are locked they are kicked in to see what can be stolen - leaving the door open just prevents unwanted damage, on the other hand the old lady who lived down the road from us hadn't locked her door for over 40 years. So as in any country there are areas of (very) high petty crime and areas of virtually none.
Property prices do vary by area but my point is that areas that are cheap are for some reason people don't want to live there - why is perhaps important for someone looking for property, also a property cheaper than compatibles in the area also needs caution - a simple reason could be a distressed sale or perhaps something more sinister.
Estate agents are not bound by the trading standards that consumers enjoy in the UK so more so than in the UK it is buyer beware.
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