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Best Attractions in the Cismigiu Area

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flowers and vintage watch at the entrance of cismigiu park

If you ask Bucharest residents about their favorite hangout, many will direct you towards the Cismigiu Garden area, a park that goes back over 200 years, and offers you a breath of fresh air right in the center of the city. Take a walk through its picturesque alleys, pleasantly shaded by hundred-year old oaks and chestnuts and dotted by graceful statues, or let your senses be overwhelmed by the colors and sweet fragrances of its Rose Garden. Or you can hire a boat and row around the lake to enjoy a moment of peace and quiet.

Whatever you do, you simply must visit the Writers’ Rotunda, an isolated corner where you can find the statues of the most important personalities in Romanian literature.

As you head out of the green oasis that is the Cismigiu Park, you can go east towards the Elisabeta Boulevard and make your way to the University Square, a popular landmark in Bucharest.

The University of Bucharest was established in 1864 by Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza and it’s Romania’s main academic center. As you walk down the street, on your right, do not miss the huge bronze statue of Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave) on horseback, unveiled in 1873 and the first of its kind in Bucharest.

If you’re interested in more modern art, right across the street from the University building there’s the National Theatre `Ion Luca Caragiale`, which underwent complete reconstruction works in recent years. With its four performance halls, it is the biggest theatre in Europe. Do take a moment to admire the amazing bronze statues in front of the theatre. Some of the statues are four-meter high and represent famous characters in the plays of Romania’s most prolific playwright Ion Luca Caragiale, whose statue is a bit to the side, the guy sitting on a chair smoking.

Also in the Cismigiu area, if you take the western exist and head out on the Stirbei Voda street you can admire the Kretzulescu Palace, or Cretulescu by the Romanian spelling. Built at the beginning of the 20th century in the French Renaissance architectural style, the palace of the noble Cretulescu family today houses the UNESCO Center for Higher Learning.

Just a short walk will take you to the St.Joseph Catholic Cathedral, built between 1875 and 1883, with Romanesque architecture features and elements of Gothic influence. It is the biggest Catholic Church in Bucharest.

Not very far from St.Joseph’s there’s the Romanian Athenaeum, the country’s main concert hall and home of the George Enescu Philarmonic. Inaugurated in 1888, the Athenaeum is an impressive piece of neoclassical architecture with romantic influences. In the park in front of the building, there’s a great statue of Mihai Eminescu, the country’s national poet. If you’re lucky enough to visit Bucharest in the fall, you could go to one of the many concerts taking place during the George Enescu Festival. You should, however, book your tickets in advance, as they are in great demand.

Last, but not least, opposite the Athenaeum there’s the Royal Palace. The monumental building you’ll see was built in 1936-1937, after the old palace was destroyed by fire. Romania’s Royal family did not get to use the palace much, as monarchy was abolished in 1947. For many decades after that, the Throne Hall was used by the Communist regime for various state functions. It might interest you to know that the Romanian Revolution of 1989 started in this square, where Nicolae Ceausescu chose to make his last speech to the nation, which is why to this day the place is called Revolution Square.

The Royal Palace now houses the National Museum of Art, a must see if you’re in Bucharest. The museum boasts an international collection of paintings by Old Masters, such as El Greco, Rembrandt, Tintoretto, Jan van Eyck, Jan Brueghel the Elder or Rubens, as well as a national gallery with works of famous sculptors Constantin Brancusi and Dimitrie Paciurea and paintings by Theodor Aman and Nicolae Grigorescu.

Best Parks in Bucharest

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park with a lake in autumn

Bucharest might not be the greenest European capital on an area per capita basis, but it is still has a fair amount of parks and public gardens. Open day and night, they offer an escape from the daily hassle, clean air, and the chance to rewind.

Herastrau Park

While the park was recently renamed to honor the last Romania king, Mihai I, who passed away recently, locals still refer to it as Herastrau. Located in the northern part of the city, Herastrau is developed around the lake baring the same name. The park stands apart because it is located in area of Bucharest which is posher than the rest. It is enough to look at the premium clubs and restaurants that flank its eastern side. A round trip of Herastrau starting and finishing in Charles de Gaulle Square is approximately 8 km long. Leisure activities include open air cinema festivals, bike rentals, and boat cruises on the lake.

Cismigiu Park

Cismigiu is the oldest and probably best-known park of Bucharest. Established in 1847 in an attempt to copy the style of contemporary English gardens, it is now classified as a historical monument. Testimony to that is the impressive number of sculptures and monuments that ornate the alleys and provide even the most casual of strolls with a bit of history. Cismigiu is the traditional place for first dates, wedding photoshoots, and is packed throughout the warm season.

Tineretului Park

Tineretului (Youth’s Park) has the largest area of all Bucharest’s parks and the history behind the name is intriguing. The communist authorities wanted to quickly repurpose an old landfill and they resorted to a practice common for the time – patriotic voluntary labor. It took just 8 months to the work and the landscape is pretty much the same since then. A central lake with a circumference of 3 km is the focal point of Tineretului. Bucharest is a flat city here is one of the few places where one can actually find high ground to admire the panorama and enjoy a sunset.

Carol Park

Carol Park is built around the Mausoleum dedicated to the Unknown Soldier, an impressive homage paid to the fallen soldiers of World War I. However, the park was first created as grounds to host the National Exhibition of 1906, honoring the 40 years of reign of King Carol I, the first monarch of modern Romania. The stairs leading up to the monument offer a great view overview of Bucharest and the park is typically less crowded than others throughout the week-ends.

Alexandru Ioan Cuza Park

Located in Sector 3, it is generally viewed as the most stylish and well-maintained park of the city, with upkeeping being carried out almost on a daily basis. Although officially named after Romanian ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza, this is another case where locals refer to it according to the older names (IOR Park or Titan Park). Like most parks of Bucharest, it also has a lake in the middle. Throughout the summer months hydro bikes and kayaks are up for renting. Because it is literally the only oasis of green in a sea of 10-story blocks, this park is one of the busiest when the weather is fair.

Circului Park

Although small when compared to others on the list, this park stands apart for having a natural lake at its center, packed with water lilies and aquatic birds. In its proximity one can also admire the unique architecture of the National Circus.

Izvor Park

Izvor is another park located in the center of Bucharest, nor far from Unirii Square. Because it was recently opened, most of its trees are young, and its alleys are not quite as shady as one would need to escape the scorching summers of Bucharest. From Izvor, tourists have a great panorama of the imposing People’s House (the seat of the Romanian Parliament and one of the largest buildings in the world).

Vacaresti Delta

Although not technically a park, this is a great location for nature enthusiasts. Vacaresti was for a long time a huge abandoned area, with no development plan whatsoever, after the communists failed to create a lake. Because vegetation developed and wild animals found refuge here (more than 90 species of birds), authorities decided to call it a protected area. Still in its infancy, Vacaresti Delta has the potential of becoming Bucharest’s most important green lung.

Buy-to-let real estate in Bucharest. Is it a solid investment?

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ADVANTAGES OF BUY TO LET BANNER

Buy-to-let real estate is a kind of investment that works pretty simple: you buy a property and rent it in order to make money from the tenants. Whether it is a residential house or a commercial space, buy-to-let investments have been common practice on the real estate market for decades.

You might want to choose this kind of investment since it seems much safer than, say, stocks and shares, it is very much long-term and might return a potential good profit. Nevertheless, there are some risks you should take in consideration, like prices going down in case of global recession, bad tenants, natural disasters or other complex social and urban shifts that might make a certain areas less attractive for tenants.

 

What are “the signs” of a good buy-to-let investment?

 

In spite of some uncertainties, people are investing in real estate; it is considered a low risk investment and a way to get high yield from rent and property value increase.

For a good buy-to-let real estate investment, you’d have to follow the local real estate market closely and see the most important trends and if the market shows any signs of a possible collapse. For example, the real estate market in Bucharest had a massive crash in 2008, together with rest of the world, with prices dropping massively at that time. Ever since, though, things have been booming in the capital city of Romania.

It is also important to follow the local regulations, like the taxes on rent profits. Also, the costs of maintenance and property management are another important factors.

People in Bucharest are ready to pay almost 30% more on an apartment’s rent if that apartment is close to the metro or to the city center. Also, there are some certain areas where office spaces are erected overnight and where real estate developers started building residential apartments to take advantage of the development tide. Buying in these “hot” areas could also mean bigger rents and easier-to-find tenants.

 

The main advantages of buy-to-let real estate in Bucharest

 

There are many advantages for investing in buy-to-let properties in the capital city of Romania. One major advantage is the prospected growth in investment. Big players in the real estate market are betting big money on Bucharest and this also makes prices boom. Let’s see some facts!

 

The real estate market in Bucharest and prospects for 2020

 

Price for residential studios and one-bedroom apartments rising with 3% in the previous year, while the residential houses’ price has risen with 10% in 2019. This is a quite big growth if you take into consideration the time frame and the percentage.

Most real estate agents in Bucharest claim that the number of real estate transactions were on an ascendant trend last year and that there are high prospects they will continue to grow in 2020 as well.

The main source of this wobbling on the residential real estate market and the general concern is mostly because of the governmental “First House” program which enables young individuals to buy a house or apartment with the financial aid of the government. In 2020, there are discussions of a big grant from the government. Nevertheless, the prices are still surging and buy-to-let investments are still on the rise.

 

The volume of real estate investments in Romania will rise to 1,1 billion euros in 2020

A lot of big developers are investing their money in Romania real estate, especially Bucharest, which is expected to attract 80% of the total investments, according to analysts. To put it in perspective, last year’s total investment value in real estate was 683 million euros, in Romania. So, if big players are investing in real estate in Bucharest, then you should too.

Another study shows that the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Bucharest is 420 euros/month.

 

What are the risks of buy-to-let investments in Bucharest, Romania?

 

You can’t start a real-estate investment without analyzing the risks. In Bucharest, the biggest risks are:

  • Dropping prices as a result of a real estate crisis
  • Not being able to sell the property at a much better price than your initial purchase
  • Bad tenants which can damage your property

Taxes and fees

 

If you make money from rent in Romania, you (as a foreigner) have to pay 6% of the monthly rent as a tax to the state. So, always keep that in mind when calculating the yield.

 

There is a demand of 4,6 million square meters of office and industrial spaces in Romania, in 2020

 

4,6 million square meters of office and industrial spaces are about to be built in Romania in 2020 and the market has the potential to double that to 8 million square meters in the next years. This demand is mostly focused on the biggest cities in Romania, Bucharest included. This demand will most probably attract investors, which will attract more jobs, which will attract more people coming from disadvantaged areas in Romania to work in big financial centers like Bucharest. They will need a place to stay, right?

So yes, there is a lot of potential in the Romania real estate market. In Bucharest, office spaces spring out like daffodils all around, rent prices skyrocket and getting a mortgage is quite hassle-free. This period is good for purchasing relatively cheap properties with big prospects. It’s all in the way the market moves.

All in all, buy-to-let real estate investment is not a great way of making a profit on real estate property in Bucharest.

Renovate Yourself or Buy Renovated Apartment

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Homes are our comfort places, our safe haven, and our relaxation hub at the end of every day. And when it comes to maintenance of our homes, we have to make some tough decisions as well. This includes the decision of renovating the house; whether you are willing to take this responsibility in your own hands or opt for a professional service? To understand this idea and responsibility better, it is only sensible to make this decision based on interviewing any homeowners who have renovated homes themselves, or any professional home renovators. Determining the real challenged involved in this project might be a tough task; but the more you know beforehand, the better you’ll be able to decide.

Smart Planning Before Starting the Renovation Project

For some people, home planning is just limited to the idea that it takes little effort, and costs much less to renovate the home. This is very complex and mostly not true. First thing is to know all the points about your home that need renovation, and then measure the intensity of damage there is, and costs involved to renovate it. Examining all the places in your home, managing their costs, quality and time frame can become very difficult for you to handle besides your daily job. Because of this purpose, a lot of people prefer paying professional renovators to strategically plan the renovation project and work on a budget. When it comes to renovation of your apartment or homes, it requires a great deal of patience to plan the best renovation strategies, work out a good and efficient budget, and your own personal demands in it. Professional renovation companies offer you great work and professional services in just the right budget, as well as in the particular time frame as well.

Considering Self Renovation for Your Home

When you are the boss of the renovation for your home, there are a lot of things you can do entirely your own way. For instance, you can choose the perfect color schemes and wallpapers, or decide the quality of the finish of walls. Other than this, you can also pick the locations of the house yourself and design them according to your aesthetic taste. Self-renovation gives people the flexibility to become more creative with their homes and do things their way and renovate their homes into the perfect homes they want.

Lesser in Cost than Renovated Apartment

When you are searching for homes and apartments, usually, the apartments in need of a renovation are way cheaper than the renovated ones. This is because the latter has the price of renovation and design added to it as well, causing higher prices. If you choose to renovate it yourself, then you might be able to save some money. But this depends on your renovation plan. If you have not thought things through, it is likely that you might end up spending even more money than the renovated apartments.

Add Value by Self Renovating Apartment

When you have bought an apartment cheap because of its need of renovation, you can easily bring up its price by self-renovating it. This will cost you less money to invest and earn you a lot more profit as well. This is because usually the best apartments are the new and highly maintained ones and people are always willing to pay more for the renovated apartments.

Why You Should Opt for Professional Renovation:

 

Possibility to Cross the Budget

When you have opted for professional renovated apartments, these are usually higher in price than the other non-renovated ones. This is because a lot of money has been invested on the apartment or homes to make them pleasing and modern. When you hire professional services, they usually can ask for a higher budget because they will also include the fee for their time and know-how in renovating your apartment. Sometimes, it is a possibility that we are willing to go far in our budget to get the complete furnish, look and design, but it can cost us to cross our budget significantly from the set limit. When you cross your budget, it can cause you a lot of problems because renovation seems small from the inside, but gradually, you understand the number of things needed for it.

No Value Added

If you are investing on a renovated apartment, understand that there will not be any value added unless the property stays for another year or so on. This is because there is no money gap, thus enabling you to earn little profit. When this is the case, try investing in something not to sell forward and gain profit, yet just for your sake to live and enjoy life in a good apartment or home.

Searching for Trusted Renovation Companies

When we are exploring different companies for the renovation project of an apartment or home, we pass through the phase where everyone is offering us the plan and goal for doing the job perfectly well. At this stage, it becomes difficult to decide who should be given this task to. You can decide this by listening to the recommendations of people around you e.g., colleagues. With their recommendation, you can decide the best and most trusted company which will handle your renovation project well and will provide quality services. Sometimes, even the work quality being good, the lack of team coordination and effort can disrupt the results. This is especially risky when it comes to trying out new renovation companies.

Conclusion

When it comes to recommending one of the ways you can gain advantage from renovation of homes, the answer would be to go for the self-renovation apartments and homes. This is because they are offer you added value, and help you save from your budget as well. But if you are looking for renovation projects in your own home, it is recommended to opt for professional services as they do the job with quality results in a given time frame.

Renting Your Apartment to Students

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students renting apartment

Renting your apartments to college students is one of the best ways to earn money as a landlord. This is especially helpful if your property is near to the area of the college campus; so, in case you are looking for tenants and possible candidates, there are some things you need to keep in mind before looking for renters as well as to know what problems you might face later.

Common Qualities of the Student Renters

College students are mostly individuals who are single and have recently enrolled in university. Most of them are undergraduates and new to college life, however they can be post-graduate students as well. So, if we are considering the common population of undergraduates, we can say that the average age of the renters is from around 18 to 19. These undergraduate students along with the master’s students all are enrolled in a full-time job for their college degree and might be working part-time as well to earn a little extra money to compensate their expenses.

Things to Know When Renting to Students

Usually, students are known for being too noisy and wild at night; for which you should include a statement for quiet night hours in the lease agreement for your property. This makes them aware that the fun and party is only limited to time, and they can learn to be respectful of their neighborhood as well. Apart from this, you might also face damage to your property by the students. It is important to keep check before renting it out and to set a security deposit to arrange cost of any damage that occurs to the property. You can set the amount of security deposit in rent contract.

Benefits of Renting Your Apartment to Students

There are so many benefits to renting your apartment to college students. Some of these are as follows:

  1. High in Demand: The apartments and houses that area near to the college campus and are available for rent are very high in demand. This is because students want to spend less money on living as they have to manage expensive college fee along. Some universities and colleges do not even offer any residence at all which forces students to find their own places. Since the demand of apartments and houses for rent increase, so does the rent.

 

  1. Get Higher Rents: When you are looking for renting your apartment to students, you can always get higher rents. This is because students do not usually live alone because of the expenses, so sharing it with their roommates and splitting the rent makes it easier for everyone to manage thus providing you the opportunity to add a few hundred dollars extra as compared to renting to one family.

 

  1. Payment from Third-Party: Not all students need to pay for rent themselves. For some students, the responsibility of paying rent is taken by their parents, and the other percentage of students living on third-party payment involves financial aid money, scholarship etc. In any of such situations you are always guaranteed to get your payment on time which makes it convenient for you as well. Sometimes, the parents who pay for rent also pay for the semester’s rent for the apartment or house in advance.

 

  1. No Special Demands of Students: Unlike families and couples, the college students are not looking for high-end apartments with luxury finishing. Rather, they are looking just for a safe and reasonable place to live. For this reason, they might complain less as they are busy in their studies and their social lives. This pressure on their mind makes them less focused on noticing every speck around the place. So, they will not complain about the bathroom tile color or the kitchen being too small.

Disadvantages of Renting Apartment to Students

While you may be infatuated by the idea of renting your apartment to students just this instant, it is also important for you to know that there are some cons to this idea as well. You can know that every idea and work have its cons, but to know about them beforehand is important. Some of them are mentioned below.

 

  1. Inexperience of Managing Money and Maintaining Property: College students are usually young and inexperienced about living and most of the time, not even mature yet. They are living on their own for the first time, which can cost your apartment a lot. They might cause a lot of damage, be negligent about the damages in property, as well as they might not be willing to spend money on mending a damage but will spend on a night out with friends.

 

  1. Turnovers: This is common problem of college renters; frequent turnovers. The students involved in this usually sign the leases that are short termed but stay for about a year. Think of managing damages and finding new tenants actively.

 

  1. Vacancy for Summers: Most of the college students go away to their homes in the summers, so it can be difficult to fill in the vacancies for just that short time. For this purpose, you can create a binding contract for the student to sing a lease for one year.

Conclusion

By the above points even with some drawbacks and extra responsibilities, renting your apartment to college students is an excellent idea as it will not only make you earn more, but will also be a busy home all year as well. It is a smart investment especially for people who are interested in investing in properties and renting them, this way, they can earn more money and profit off their apartment.

5 Reasons to Hire a Property Management Company

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hand holding a house

Initially you may consider yourself a handy-person for property repairs or that you have the time to deal with what you might imagine are the possible requirements of a landlord.  Perhaps also, you live close to the investment property and feel you can respond quickly and effectively to any needs of the property, or tenants. However there are five key factors to consider before you take on this new role. If financial savings and time are valuable to you, it might be helpful to contemplate the following benefits of hiring a Property Management Company.

  1. Savings

Rental Rates

No one is better placed than a property manager to know what the right rental price is. Their deep and thorough knowledge of the area and market mean they are best equipped to find that crucial balance. The word is balance, knowing that price that maximizes monthly income, while also ensuring the property remains occupied. Through experience they are also well placed to be able to anticipate any movement in the local rental market. They also have the tools to conduct an accurate market study.

Collection of payment

Perhaps you are in a situation where your number of income properties is limited for now, perhaps you own one, meaning the payment and arrival of rental funds is crucial to your finances. Perhaps the funds are set up and organized to contribute towards mortgage payments, or similar. Managing the property independently can create in your mind moments where you need to check or might consider if the payment will arrive on time. Perhaps historically, or in sensing the quality and behavior of the tenants, you might consider that payment is not a concern. However instead of being on the frontline of this monthly deadline it might be wise to consider that a property management can take the lead here and take away that itch.

Marketing & Advertising

Huge plus value here for hiring a property management company. With today’s quick and simple use of apps and websites, it can appear an attractive option to handle marketing and the placement of any adverts. However, the elements involved, be it photography, or website choice, the use of language, key words, timing, overall presentation, and tone, might all be best placed in the hands of experts who have a deep understanding of what attracts serious prospective tenants. Long vacancies are the nightmare of any landlord. A good idea might be to know that you have put your best foot forward from the very start.

Charges

Property management companies normally set up their charge as a percentage of the monthly rental rate of your property. Typically fees run anywhere from 10-12%. Normally a contract with a property company might last 12-24 months, with opportunity to extend.

It is important to establish from the outset what services are included. It may be that some maintenance costs are included in the monthly charge, allowing for individual billing of other charges.

  1. Tenants

Finding the right tenants

Instincts are a wonderful tool and there is something to be said for the feeling that leads to a decision of selecting tenants when managing a property independently. However emotions and the like can get the better of our own judgment. A property management company can offer the same initial process as you might, but then through their handling of the screening process that can sift for the best possible tenants. Normally any screening would encompass a criminal record check, security screening, and credit checks. This method allows for the element of surprise to be limited to a much lower percentage.

Managing tenants

Once the tenants are inside the property the more savings and the value of using a property management company are discovered. Property damage, faults, accidents, repairs and all managed at this first point of contact. Management companies are also experienced and prepared to handle any conflicts that arise, as well as having a clear and sound knowledge of the law, and how it might direct any response to matters.

  1. Time

Vendor relationships

Here is another big value area for hiring a management firm. It is practically impossible to compete with a property company in this area where they have an up to date portfolio of trusted maintenance specialists, tradespersons, contractors, vendors and suppliers. Crucially many of these contractors will also prioritise their availability to property companies for obvious relationship building. Property management companies have the added ability to oversee, manage and follow up on your behalf any works. They should also keep on top of which companies can offer the highest quality and cost value in a changing market.

  1. Compliance

Owning numerous or even one investment property will mean you will require a number of calendar or reminder updates throughout the year. To stay compliant with any legal or regulation deadlines, or expiry dates, might be very taxing. Avoid lawsuits, headaches, and have peace in knowing the technical structure of a property management company enables your properties to stay fully complaint with the law.

  1. Geography

Managing your own property might restrict the geography choices you have as a property investor. Using a property management company can allow you to spread your net further. There may be the possibility of an excellent investment opportunity further afield, but the distance from your own location means you chose not to invest. Using a property management company here allows geographic freedom.

Hassles and headaches are inevitable, but using a property management company provides an excellent buffer. No property management company can take away, or eliminate the ultimate responsibility you, the landlord holds, but they can definitely lighten the weight on your shoulders and provide true value.

Apartment Walk-through Checklist

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hand holding pen over paper with checklist

Location, tick. Price, tick. Sign, where? Wait, press pause.

The giddy high of finally finding what looks to be the perfect apartment in Bucharest. Though right now, it is

time to slow down and take a careful look. Let’s stay positive, but it is important to make sure

any issues are known, and dealt with now, so that there is less chance for headaches down the

road.

There are some factors that are out of your control, but this moment of going through our

checklist is very much time to take control.

Appliances

Remember now, new does not always mean better, most important is to ensure each appliance

is working. Now is not the time to be shy, do ask to see that all appliances are operating.

  • Make sure the oven works.
  • Ensure each element on the stove is operating correctly.
  • Ensure the oven is connected to the gas supply.
  • Is there an extractor fan above the stove? Is it functional?
  • Is the light in the oven working?
  • Does the fridge light work?
  • Does the washing machine work?
  • If there is a clothes dryer, does it work? If there is not one, allow a moment to consider

where you might dry clothes.

  • You could take note of any energy ratings of the appliances.

Sockets/plugs/electrical outlets

  • Do take along with you your phone charger and try each socket to ensure it is working.
  • Are there enough sockets? Especially on the kitchen worktop for your small appliances.
  • In the bedroom, is there a socket bedside?
  • Is there an outlet where you will have the TV? Which also is time to check the TV

connection is close by.

  • Is there a socket where you want to have the wifi router?

Bathroom

Perhaps one of the first places to check is the bathroom, and specifically the water pressure.

Again, do not be shy, let your eyes do the listening.

  • Run the bath tap, run the shower, make sure the water pressure is sufficient. Seeing is

believing.

  • Do look behind toilets and sinks for any leaks or drips.
  • Look for any gaps in tile grout or around pipes that enter the room.
  • Is there an external window or extractor fan for shower steam?
  • Do check the ceiling, especially in apartment blocks for any water stains. This could

signal that the tenants above have plumbing issues.

  • Does the bath have a bathtub blocker?

Heating/Cooling

The heating system is an important issue in Romania.

  • Does the apartment have its own boiler? Or is the heating system controlled by the

building’s administrator or local council?

A system out of your control can mean the heating coming on only when it is deemed cold

enough by others, the council for example. Then at end of the cool season, the heating may go

off before the warm weather has truly arrived leaving for chilly nights and mornings at home.

  • If you are viewing the property in the summer, think ahead for the winter.
  • Do the radiators/heaters have adjustable temperature controls, do they work?
  • Romania’s hot summers mean most apartments will have air conditioning in at least one

room. Ensure this works.

Romanian Apartment Life

Romania’s climate can be a factor to consider in apartment selection. Though each apartment

block is different despite looking the same, some local knowledge cannot hurt.

  • An apartment on the top floor can be cooler in the winter, the roof may not be insulated.

It can also be very warm in summer.

  • Any ground floor apartment could have cold floors during winter, but has the advantage

of being cooler in summer.

  • The ground floor and perhaps also the 1st floor may have less available natural light

than apartments above.

  • If you do not enjoy lifts, or perhaps you have a young family, the lower floors may

provide easier access.

Windows & Doors

  • Do the windows have insect screens? This is a must for summer when bugs love nothing

more than your bright lights. These screens are often removed in winter, cleaned and

then brought back during spring.

  • Do check all windows and any balcony doors for drafts.
  • Do all windows open and close correctly?
  • Do all doors open and shut smoothly? Are door handles in place and fixed?

Safety

There is a large gap between the safety standards of each residential property in Romania, but

this is an area that is slowly improving.

  • Check for smoke alarms, they are not always found in older apartments.
  • Gas alarm, an area that has improved, new regulations now require this.
  • Fire safety exists, another area that is improving. It is with a sigh of relief to see that the

new apartment blocks being built finally have fire stairs externally. This may be another

factor to consider if you are looking at older block buildings.

  • Do find out what is the fire evacuation plan for any emergency?

Damages

  • This is where photographs can play a key role. You may agree mutually through the

agent or directly with the proprietor that taking photos is the best option. Go through the

property slowly looking for any damages, cracks, marks on the wall, anything broken.

Ensure you keep a copy of any photos before presenting them.

  • Create an inventory or make note of any items left, if any, by the proprietor for tenants

use.

  • This process is likely to be done by the owner or agent when you move out, so cover

yourself now to avoid any future dispute over the deposit/bond.

Parking

Apartment planning of the past did not envision that today there would be so many cars on the

streets of Romania’s cities. From evening until late morning, parking spots are the hottest ticket

in town and can be difficult to find.

  • If you are moving into an apartment block and have a vehicle, do make sure you have a

designated parking space. This will save you numerous rides around your

neighbourhood searching for a space to park your vehicle overnight.

Bills & Contracts

Depending on the apartment block there may be an appointed administrator who manages and

collects the bills from each apartment. This is common in the older style apartment blocks.

  • The fee for the rubbish system is a set amount. It depends on your location as to how

much and how often this needs to be paid. The proprietor may ask you to pay this

directly, or they may organise this and then charge you.

  • Heating and water bills will vary according to the season and how much you use

naturally, but you might be able to ask kindly for an approximate figure.

  • Many lease and rental contracts and arrangements are agreed in the currency of Euros,

rather than the local RON currency. The only factor to consider here is that any currency

value changes could very the amount you might be expected to pay each month.

  • Most apartments have wifi internet installed. If not it is not a difficult process, nor is it

expensive. Do arrange this beforehand though.

Details

‘We think in generalities, but we live in detail’. Alfred North Whitehead.

  • Keep a close eye on any drains, to ensure that water runs quickly, so no sign of blocks

or clogs.

  • Pictures, frames, the touches that can make an empty apartment or house feel like

home. Feel, touch, knock, ask about the walls. Which ones will allow you to mount those

picture frames, and where in the home are they?

  • Is there enough areas for your clothes, is there sufficient wardrobe space?
  • Do you have a bicycle? Is there room on a balcony, or secured safely in a communal

area?

  • Curtains. You might be surprised at how many people miss this. Not so much if there are

any curtains, but do they work? Do they allow privacy in the evening from neighbours

across the way when your lights are on?

  • Do not ignore any musty or damp smells. Check all walls and ceilings for water marks.

Ideally the proprietor will be present for this process, do request this, if possible. Ensure that

after finding any faults, that repairs are made before signing, or moving in.

The rush of the excitement, but the reward for slowing down, in this moment could prevent long

lasting headaches down the line.

Erasmus Student Accommodation in Bucharest

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three students in a room with big windows

If you decide to spend some time in another country (meet new people, discover another culture) while continuing your studies, it’s good to know that there are over 30 countries where you can go. Romania’s capital, Bucharest, is a great choice to consider. Just contact your university Erasmus bureau and you shall get all necessary info, including application and admission.

You will not be wrong if you consider Bucharest as your Erasmus city, and you must know that the most important universities from Bucharest are enrolled in the European’s Union Erasmus program. At a national level, this exchange program is managed by National Agencies, and by EACEA at the European level.

All universities that are part of the Erasmus program have special bureaus – the Erasmus bureau – that handles and coordinates all Erasmus projects (for students and teachers ) and also counsel all beneficiaries on all issues related to the Erasmus program.

Here are a few options to choose from:

Four rooms apartment for rent next to Victoriei Square

Four rooms apartment for rent next to Romana Square

Three rooms apartment for rent next to Romana Square

Accommodation for Erasmus Students in Bucharest

In terms of accommodation, it’s more convenient to choose a place next to the university where you are going to study. Mornings are tough, especially after a wild weekend, so better save some precious time in the morning, without needing to spend more than a half-hour to get to classes.

You have two options: either you find a place only for you – if that’s the case, be ready to spend 300 €, depending on the area or, more conveniently and fun, rent a 3-4 rooms apartment and share it with other Erasmus students. After all, that’s the Erasmus spirit! For a 4 rooms apartment, fully and modern furnished, you’ll pay around 1000 €, so 250 €/person and get to live in a central location, enjoying all the best things this city has to offer.

Assuming that you are not into cooking, do not worry, there are plenty of delivery or take over places covering all international cuisine and fast food also.

So, let’s see exactly why Bucharest represents a great Erasmus choice, trust us, you’ll not be disappointed.

It’s the largest city of Romania (around 2 millions inhabitants) and its cultural center. It’s divided into six districts, each with its own attractions and charm.
If you’re a nature lover, Bucharest has beautiful parks, King Michael I Park (former Herastrau) being the biggest one (north side of the city). You can jog, join the sports club, have gulf lessons, enjoy the open-air theatre or rent a boat on the Herastrau Lake. You can visit here the Village Museum and the Elisabeta Palace, the current residence of the Romanian Royal family.

From a cultural point of view, the city that beard the name of Little Paris, mainly between the Wars, is waiting to be discovered: elegant architecture, beautiful palaces (Ghica Palace, Catacuzino Palace, Justice Palace), great museums (Antipa, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, George Enescu Museum), cosy bookstores and plenty of art galleries to choose from.

Nightlife, well, it can be a very long discussion, as Bucharest is renowned for its bars, pubs, and clubs, with people partying till morning hours. You’ll find here establishments for all taste and pockets. The most famous area from this point of view is Bucharest’s Old Center, packed with clubs, bars and places to eat, with people teeming all around. There are lots of places to choose from, some with cheap drinks, other more expensive, but don’t worry, we are sure you’ll quickly find your favorite joint.

Another area you should check out is the student campus Regie, with nice coffee shops and big, loud clubs with music for each taste.

Public transportation works well, you can rely on the metro till 23 (it connects quite well the districts) and rely on a taxi or Uber after this hour.

So, after all, why choosing to be part of the Erasmus program? There are plenty of reasons, but we’ll name here the most important ones:

  • Studying abroad enhances your chances to achieve a higher degree compared to other students;
  • Erasmus alumni have better chances to perform in managerial positions;
  • You’ll get the chance to work on your self-confidence, to perfect your inter-personal skills, to learn a new language, to get in touch with a new culture.

Our advice? Check with your university Erasmus bureau and ask about Romania. You will have a great experience, we’re sure about it!

Best Fitness Clubs in Bucharest

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worldclass fitness club interior

When it comes to amenities, Bucharest successfully rises to the level of any European capital, and sports and fitness clubs do not disappoint either. From small borough centers to huge arenas, you name it, there are places for all taste. Of course, prices range depending on various factors such as location, other facilities (like swimming pools, saunas, massage) and fitness trainers fame.

World Class

is a sports club with no less than 27 locations in Bucharest, quite convenient, as you can choose one next to your home or work and, therefore, save up precious time.

They offer various sports programs, one of them exclusively created by Les Mills and World Class experts, and their fitness facilities are top notch. One of the best things they have to offer is their personal trainer package: fit package – for people who did not trained for a long period of time/beginners, the perform package – for the ones who started to love fitness and want to take their training to the next level and the transform package – for experienced people that have a performance goal. Your trainer will personalize all your sessions and they do have high-qualified trainers that know their business.

Pescariu Sports&Spa

(District 3, Glodeni St.) started as a tennis club and has now become one of the most appreciated fitness clubs in the capital. They have Technogym equipment, a couple of fitness areas and a wide range of fitness and aerobic classes. Experienced fitness coaches will propose complex fitness sessions and lifestyle changes (nutrition plan, etc.) in order to achieve the best results. They have special areas and sports activities for kids. In addition, you can swim there, dine or have a relaxing massage.

Arena Sports

(District 6, Rusetu St.) also has a Technogym equipment, personal trainers that you can hire for as long as you want and family subscription packages that include fitness sessions for yourself and all sorts of activities for the kids + free sauna. Moreover, they offer kinetotherapy sessions, very helpful in case of several medical issues.

With 5 locations all around Bucharest (Vitan, Pantelimon, Tei, Cocor and Titulescu neighbourhoods) you can check out Stay Fit Gym. They have H.I.T.T, metabolic training, circuit sessions, and pump training. Also, a team of professionals can personalize your fitness sessions. They have a great subscription offer these days as for each 3 months subscription you’ll get one month free.

Fitness Zone

is located in Bucurestii Noi and has 2 fitness and bodybuilding areas, with last generation fitness and cardio equipment. It has a more intimate and cozy feeling, with long-term clients and dedicated employees.

Of course, besides the fitness clubs mentioned above, there are others to discover and try in Bucharest, it all depends on what’s your idea of a perfect fitness club and on how much time and money are you willing to spend on it.

What Are The Safest Areas of Bucharest

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bucharest sectors map

Living in Bucharest can be quite rewarding, as you benefit from all the amenities of a modern capital, but you also need to be prepared to see all the rocks ahead, as, like most big cities, Bucharest has a bright side and a darker one.

But do rest assured that some research can spare you of seeing much of Bucharest’s downside and will help you enjoy a safe stay, no matter if it’ a short or a long one.

So, if you decide to buy or rent a place in the capital, you may want to analyze some important info about the safest areas of the city.

There are plenty of studies and statistics regarding crime rates, offering an objective assessment of crime incidence. And they all reveal some bad areas and some safe ones.

According to these studies, the Northern part of Bucharest is the safer one. We are talking about Primăverii, Floreasca, Herăstrău, Aviaţiei, Băneasa, with an extension in the northwest, to 1 Mai and Cotroceni. Aviaţiei and Cotroceni are also valued as the most tranquil areas of the city, so they are to be considered especially if you’re moving in with your family.

The most common risk when living in one of these areas is thieves, attracted to break in the houses of what seems to be known as the wealthiest areas of Bucharest. But there are a lot of precaution measures taken by most house developers meant to improve safety and discourage thieves (alarm systems, security agents, and video surveillance). Aside from that, these are the areas where you can walk at nighttime with no worries. Of course, like almost everywhere on Earth, you need to be reasonable and realize that there is still a possibility for bad things to happen. Not being naive is a must for every big city inhabitant.

Besides a lower rate of major crimes, these are also probably the most recommended areas to live in due to their vicinity to parks, metro lines, shopping areas, international schools, and all sorts of recreational facilities that Bucharest has to offer. Also, the real estate offer is so rich and diversified that it is practically impossible to not find something to your taste and wallet size.

Let’s see now which are those Bucharest areas that are better to be avoided, so you can make the best moving decision if you’re not yet convinced or have a liking for the Northern side of the city (although these are, for good reasons, the best-seller areas for Romanians and ex-pats equally). And this is one of those instances when it is better to bet on most people opinion.

So, the worst places to live in Bucharest due to major crimes rate are in District 5 – Rahova and Ferentari neighborhoods. Famous for their skilled pickpockets, car robberies, and organized crime clans, these two do not excel from an architectural point of view neither. An eclectic style, unfortunately with a negative connotation, has gained momentum and seems unstoppable. It is not very clean either and there are beggars at every turn.

Pantelimon and Giuleşti are also notorious each in its own way: Pantelimon for the gangs and Giuleşti for the stray dogs and lame streets condition (plenty of potholes, unaccommodating sidewalks, and trash in plain sight).

These are pretty much the good and bad areas of Bucharest. But the overall good news is that, statistically, Bucharest is one of Europe’s safest capital.

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