Buying a house in Poland

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Buying a House in Poland

buying house poland
buying house Poland

Personal experience

This is an ongoing personal account of buying a house in Poland. Why, how, our experiences, problems and solutions. Anything that you do for the first time, especially in a foreign country is going to be challenging so I thought I would document it just in case it was useful to those who follow in our footsteps.

And challenging it has been in many respects. I'm detailing problems we've encountered as it all happens so that you may learn from our mistakes and hopefully avoid them.

Why we are buying a house in Poland

There are a significant number of foreigners looking to buy property in Poland, some purely for investment, others for a variety of other reasons. One thing is certain, property or real estate is much cheaper in Poland than in my home country of England, or indeed many other countries, although prices have been rising steadily and the decreasing value of the pound continues make a substantial impact.

My husband and I bought a house in Poland for several reasons, one of which is purely sentimental – I would like to own my own small patch of what would have been ‘my homeland’ if Hitler had not invaded Poland. More about us and our reasons for buying in Poland...

The first comment I would make is that the whole process of buying a house is very different from the process in Britain. Firstly, we have found our estate agents especially helpful both during and after the purchase. There are different rules and regulations to negotiate. Some of it has been enjoyable, other parts tiring and frustrating - much like house purchase anywhere but having the estate agents we did has made everything so much easier because they have not only dealt with the purchase but also the bank transfers, arranging for direct debits for payments of utility bills and house insurance following the purchase.

We wish that there had been some sort of guide for us to follow, someone to ask but didn't find any single knowledgeable source, just snippets of information from various sources - it's all still new for many people, both in Poland and abroad, so we thought we would create this site and extend it as new knowledge and experiences develop.

Hopefully, people who have already purchased successfully and perhaps rented out holiday homes will come forward and share their experiences. We know of a few Polish nationals who have returned to Poland to invest but it is so much easier for those who already know the system, know which government offices to turn to, speak the language and do not need to obtain permits to purchase houses (no permit required for apartments). View houses for sale in Poland.

When did we start looking for a suitable property? real estate poland

A holiday home abroad is something that we have considered for a good while.

In January (2006) we went for a short house hunting break of 3 days after drawing up a short list of properties we wanted to view from the Internet. We managed to view 6 of the 10 that we liked and made an offer for one of them.

View some of the real estate sites that were helpful:

more estate agency or real estate web sites ....

Our area of interest buy house polandThe area that we are interested in is a triangle between Krakow ( Cracow), Zakopane in the south (a well-know skiing resort) and the Dunajec River. It’s a scenic area, popular with tourists, both Polish and from abroad.

We hired a car for the duration but need n’t have - the estate agents were more than happy to drive us to view properties. We dealt with 3 different estate agents altogether.


Polish Language Problems
Language could be problem for some – I speak, read and write Polish, albeit badly, but can make myself understood. We found that 2 of the estate agents understood a reasonable amount of English but could speak it less well. They both told us that English speaking estate agents were available at their offices. The use of English in Poland is increasing – many people speak it quite well, some fluently, and as always, put the Brits to shame.

More about the Polish Language .....

Making an offer for a property
The estate agents in Poland used to charge both vendor and buyer 3% of the sale price of a property.This has now changed and the buyer does not pay any estate agency fees. No money changes hands unless you commit to buy.

More about making an offer .....

Who is allowed to purchase real estate in Poland i Theoretically, non-Polish EU citizens are allowed to buy a property in Poland but they must obtain permission first from the Ministry fo Internal Affairs ( unless it's an apartment for which no permit is needed, plus it's also possible to buy through a business that you set up). It is best to do this through an estatte agent in Poland who can recommend an expert in this field to save you the hassle of doing it yourself as I did.

As someone with Polish parentage living abroad, I tried to accomplish obtaining my Polish citizenship via the Polish Consulate in London, which was a mistake that wasted a lot of time. This entailed filling in a form and sending it with documents certified as being identical to the original to the relevant local government body. Associated documents required are birth certificate, passport, driving license (for proof of address because the UK passport does not show an address). I also submitted a copy of my family tree to demonstrate my Polish roots which is not applicable to foreigners. The 3 official documents were certified as being copies of originals by the Polish Consulate in London and at the time cost £22 each. If you go to the Consulate in person, be prepared for a lengthy wait outside the door. The inner hall is quite small and they allow only a few individuals in at a time. They have absolutely no idea about queue management; people push and lie to wheedle their way in. A simple ticketing system used by supermarkets for cold counters would solve this problem.

If there are people with babies in the queue, they are allowed to go to the front of the queue. On one occasion we waited for well over an hour in freezing weather, a grumble travelled through the queue each time another mother with baby arrived.

And, they speak Polish in the Consulate. Take a Polish speaking individual with you if you go in person. If you do hand in documents, you will also have to return in person, and queue again to collect them. Do check the times of submission and collection because they are different, generally one takes place in the morning and the other in the afternoon.

Personally, I am still unhappy with the Polish Consulate in London - they did not respond to any phone call messages, emails or even a fax. They originally 'never received' my passport application although found it again 5 months later. I would recommend anyone to deal with Poland directly and avoid the Polish Consulate in London like the plague.

Making an Offer for a house In our case, we made a conditional offer, which is unusual in Poland but we felt that it had to be based on the condition that we managed to obtain an authorised permit or my Polish citizenship which meant I did not subsequently require a permit.

Permits: A permit is apparently applied for and issued on application with administration fee. These are necessary to purchase a house rather than an apartment.

Currency Fluctuations: When we originally purchased our house, we were obtaining about 5.8 zloty to the British pound. The rate in February 2008 is only 4.8 zloty to the pound which makes all property in Poland instantly 17% more expensive for Brits.



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