Buying a house in Poland

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Buying plots of land in Poland

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building plots

Looking for a Building Plot

Only Poles can currently purchase land in Poland for building or otherwise. It is possible to buy land if you have a company or if a holding company buys on your behalf.

Land prices have been rising steadily in Poland over the last few years but it can still be very cheap compared to other parts of Europe.

Land prices in and around Wroclaw doubled in the 2 years 2005 to 2007. Lack of a crystal ball means that it is impossible what its going to happen in the future. There are acres upon acre of land in Poland, it is very under populated compared with many other European countries. But one thing that can be said about land is that 'they have stopped making it'. It's unlikely to fall in price, it may difficult to resell unless you buy in an area of high demand, such as Wroclaw, Cracow, Warsaw or other large city.

We have been looking at building plots for investment and are still learning. All we can do at this stage is to tell you the little we have experienced and hope that it will be a help.

Types of plots of land

The main two types of land classification are as 'budowlana' - building land, or 'rolna' - agricultural land. Plots offered for sale can be either one or the other, or part rolna and part budowlana.

We have come across variations on this theme, for example, agricultural land that you can build on if you already farm or own a number of hectares of farm land, also commercial land where it is not possible to build homes. Quite often we heard the term, suitable for a one family house.

The councils periodically assess the land in their boroughs and can change the status from agricultural to building, especially if the land adjoins other building plots. For a long term investment, it would be fortunate to buy cheap rolna land a field away from building plots because it is likely that permission will eventually be granted and the land re graded.

There are rules concerning sale of recently reclassified land. A tax must be paid if it is sold within five years making it not worth selling. We came across a seller and estate agent who wanted an 'under the table' payment over and above the artificially reduced selling price to reduce any taxes that the seller would personally incur. Caution should be exercised in these situations. The Poland land agency has the ability to demand further payment of tax from the buyer if they think there was any evasion. Best to steer clear of such deals.

Difficulties in viewing the land

viewing land to purchaseAs with many aspects of real estate, viewing land was not entirely straightforward. I tried making appointments during a 2 week block whilst we were in the country. You would think that it would have been reasonable to expect to be able to arrange viewings some time during that fortnight, but heck no. The reasons given were various and curious but the best was that it was raining and too muddy. Do they not sell wellington boots in Poland?

Some estate agents turned up with excellent documentation and schedules that they gave us, one worked from a sheet of addresses and did not seem entirely sure himself which plot was the right one for sale when taken to a field or hillside divided into numerous plots. We found a plot we liked with this estate agent and requested documentation. Six weeks later, we were told that he had asked the owner to supply it, and have heard nothing since.:

One could describe the experience as somewhat frustrating.

Services on the land

services on building plots in PoalandFrequently, services on building plots were marked by a small plaque or colour coded post driven into the ground to indicate the services present.

For example, gas is yellow, electricity is blue (top left) and water from the mains is red. There may not be mains sewerage in rural areas, you would need to install a cess pit or septic tank.

It was common for estate agents to point to the nearest phone cable or electric cable to indicate where power and telephone could be obtained.

Land Purchase Problems

So far, we have made an offer for a plot of part building, part agricultural land. It transpires that access to the land is across someone else's plot, therefore the estate agent is encouraging the seller to sort this out with the neighbouring plot owner. He wanted us to perform the transaction in 2 parts, the first part with part payment on a conditional offer, the condition being that the land is documented with full access by road. It's up to the seller to arrange this. The seller needs this first payment to negotiate with the adjoining plot owner. Once the land and access are documented and written into the land registry, we would complete the deal in 9 months time.

The only problem with this scenario is that it is time consuming and raises certain 'what if's'.

  • What if the owner dies and we're left dealing with his children. What chance of getting our money back?
  • What if the neighbouring land owner changes his mind?

Too many problems involved in this transaction. It's easier to purchase a clean well documented plot. And there are lots to choose from.

Making an offer for land

The purchase of land is subject to the same estate agency fees as a house or apartment. The sale is concluded in exactly the same way at a Notary.

Small farms in Poland

Small farms seem to offer excellent value for money, in that you get a lot of land for your money.

We looked at one small farm that had over 5 hectares of land and a large house requiring modernisation. The cost was under £70,000.

The downside was that the owners had left for the US about 20 years ago to live with their children so that the land was now very overgrown and no one else had expressed an nterest in buying it in that time. Not a great sign for resale but could be attractive tosomeone who woud like to attempt 'the Good Life' and self-sufficiency.

Rules regarding building land

It is possible to build on all of a building plot as long as a 4m gap is left between the building and boundary. There is also likely to be a height limit.

Codes on the Plans

A system of codes s used to annotate plans which we will add in due course.





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