Cost of Living in Bucharest

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calea victoriei street in Bucharest center

If you’re thinking about relocating to Bucharest, Romania and don’t know what to expect, here’s a quick guide to the cost of living in this city.

Overall, Bucharest is definitely cheaper than Western European or US cities, but more expensive than living in other parts of the world. It’s somewhere in between, if you want.

One interesting fact about living in the Romanian capital is that while housing is cheaper than in other major European cities, you will find that food and clothing are on par with Western prices, sometimes even higher for luxury goods.

Cost of renting in Bucharest

If you need temporary accommodations in Bucharest, the rent will vary according to location and whether or not the apartment is fully furnished.

A one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around $490 on average and can go down to $330 if you move away from downtown.

If you’re moving with your whole family, a 3-bedroom apartment downtown is about $870, while one further from the city center will cost $470 on average.

Keep in mind there’s a big difference between old buildings, dating from the communist era, that don’t look that great, and modern ones with elegant marble lobbies and private parking.

Cost of buying a house in Bucharest

Once again prices vary widely. If you want to buy a house in downtown Bucharest, the price per square meter is around $2,190, while outside of the city centre it’s around $1,340 per square meter.

You can find modern residential buildings downtown, but however most the smart residential projects are on the outskirts of the city, most of them in the Northern part. A bit inconvenient in terms of a daily commute, but otherwise these projects are often at Western standards.

Cost of Utilities in Bucharest

That depends on where you live. The average cost of utilities for a three-bedroom apartment in normal block of flats is around $100 a month, and that includes water, electricity, heating and garbage. Keep in mind cost are lower over the summer months, but can go over $100 during winter, when you need to pay for central heating.

However, if you choose to live in a residential complex, the cost of utilities can be as high as $400, as there are many extras to pay for like security and parking.

The monthly cost of Internet in the Romanian capital is $9.72, with a 300 Mbps speed and unlimited data.

Cost of Transportation in Bucharest

Public transport in Bucharest is cheap when compared to other European capitals. As of August 2020, the cost of a bus or tube ride is $0.34 cents. The public transport system is not the best in the world. If you want to get around in the central part of the city, it’s OK, but not your best choice if you need to get across town.

A cab ride is $0.48 per kilometer, and you do have both regular taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber.

Most expats living in Bucharest would rather use their own car, in which case you need to know that the price of gasoline is $1.28 per liter.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a new car locally, don’t expect any bargains. A new Volkswagen Golf or something similar will cost you over $20,000, while a Toyota Corolla Sedan is around $22,500. Also, finding parking space in the downtown area can be a bit of a challenge.

Cost of Food in Bucharest

Most food stores in Bucharest carry plenty of local produce, as well as a wide choice of imported foods from Western European countries. How much you spend on food depends on how large is your family and your preferences.

Let’s have a look at some basic items.

A loaf of 500g white bread is $0.76, while 1l of milk is $1.19.

One kilogram (two pounds) of chicken fillets is $5.28, while for one kilogram of beef round you will have to pay $8.20.

As for fruit, 1 kg of apples is $1.10 and 1 kg of oranges is $1.36.

A bottle of middle-range wine is $6. while local beer is $0.84 for a 0.5l bottle.

A 20-cigarette pack is almost $5 as of August 2020.

Keep in mind these are average prices and you will have to pay a lot more when shopping at gourmet stores. Imported liquors cost roughly as much as in Western Europe.

Cost of Eating Out in Bucharest

This also depends on where you’re eating. To give you an idea, let’s take fast-food places. A normal meal at McDonalds is $4.85.

A one person meal in an inexpensive restaurant is $8.40, while the cost for a three-course meal for two people in a mid-range restaurant is roughly $36.

For a night out in the very-animated Old City Centre, a 0.5 liter of local drought beer is $1.94, while a 0.33 liter bottle of imported beer is $2.42.

The price of a regular cappuccino is $2.37

There are however some exclusive places in Bucharest where you can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars in one night.

Cost of Sports and Leisure in Bucharest

As of August 2020, there is not much entertainment in Bucharest because of the pandemic, but in normal times the cost of one cinema ticket is around $7.2.

Membership at a gym is $47 for one adult per month, whereas renting a tennis court for one hour over the weekend is $16.

Cost of Childcare in Bucharest

If you’re planning on bringing your kids to Bucharest, there are many private kindergartens to choose from. The average cost is around $400 per month for a full-day program, but the conditions are in most cases at high standards and many have English-speaking staff.

For older children, there are some private schools where teaching activities are conducted in English. The costs are $9,000 per year and above.

According to Numbeo.com, a four-person family living would need around $1,940 per month to live comfortably in Bucharest, and that’s excluding rent, childcare, or car expenses. A single person can get by on around $550 and even afford a couple of nights out, but not much else.

How to Fireproof Your Home

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A fire can destroy your house in a matter of minutes so you need to take every precaution, especially if you live in an area that is prone to wildfires. Here is what you need to do to keep your home and your loved ones safe.

Create a Barrier Around Your House

If there are wildfires in your region every year or so, this is a no-brainer, but keep in mind that fires can also spread from your neighbor’s property.

  • Establish a security barrier around your house using paved roads and driveways as a break line against a raging fire. You can also create a green barrier of fire-resistant plants and shrubs with high moisture content and very little resin.
  • The best fire-retardant plants are California lilac and fuchsia, French lavender, and ornamental strawberry.
  • The fire barrier should be placed 100 feet from your house.
  • Keep in mind that fire tends to climb uphill very fast so pay special attention to such areas.
  • Regularly clean dead and dry plants from your lawn or backyard. According to FEMA recommendations, you should leave a 30 feet clear space between any sort of plants and the walls of your house.

Build with Fire-resistant Materials

In some regions, wood is still the preferred building material, although it is easily flammable. The best fire-retardant materials to use are concrete panels with a foam lawyer in the middle.

The same goes for the roof and sidings, where it is recommended to use concrete, bricks, stucco, tiles or metal. Wood is not your best choice, but at least make sure it is treated with fireproofing paint.

Don’t forget about the windows as this is an often-overlooked way for a fire to sneak into your house. Use metallic frames instead of wood and install double-pane windows for extra safety. A single glass window can shatter after just 1-3 minutes of exposure to intense heat.

Wood decks are also a liability. Try to build yours with concrete, stone, bricks, or ceramic tiles.

Clear Your Gutters Regularly

Even if your house is built with fire-resistant materials, make sure to keep your gutters clean. Fallen leaves and wind-blown debris tend to accumulate on your roof and find their way down the gutters. These can easily catch fire if embers traveling through the air from a wildfire land on your roof.

Check Overhead Power Lines

If there are power lines close to your house check to see if they could not be damaged by limbs falling from an old tree. Even if the tree seems strong and healthy to you, always trim the branches that hang over the power lines. You never know what can happen during a storm.

Apply Fire-retardant Chemicals

If you’re particularly worried about wildfires, look for a company providing fire-retardant treatment for your property using eco-friendly chemicals. These will be applied to the most fire-prone elements on your property to create a barrier against fire or at least to trigger a chemical reaction to slow down the flames.

Check Your Electrical System

Many house fires are caused by a faulty electrical system.

Regularly check power cords, plugs, and outlets to see if they’re in good condition.

Don’t run an electric cord under a rug and be very careful with extension cords.

Don’t overload an electric outlet with too many appliances used at the same time.

If you experience frequently blown fuses, that’s a sign there’s something wrong with your electrical system so you should call an electrician.

Replace faulty appliances.

Install a Fire Alarm System

A fire alarm in your kitchen is a must, but it is not nearly enough. To keep your family safe you should have a fire alarm in every bedroom, particularly in your children’s rooms, and on every floor. The fire alarms should be installed on the ceiling as that is where the smoke is going to rise.

Check every fire alarm in the house twice a year to make sure they’re working properly. Replace batteries as needed. According to experts, a good fire alarm system cuts by half the risks of your family dying in a fire or suffocated by smoke.

As an extra precaution, keep a fire ladder made of aluminum in the adults’ bedrooms so you can make it out if the stairs are engulfed in flames.

Beware of Flammable Materials

De-cluttering your home is a good way to minimize fire hazards in your home. Pay special attention to flammable items, such as piles of old magazines or boxes filled with unused clothes. Regularly clear out such things from the basement or the garage.

Make Sure Firetrucks Can Reach Your House

Seems pretty basic, but many people never think about this. If your property is a bit secluded, check to see if a firetruck can pass through the gates to your property and if the driveway is solid enough for such weight. During wildfire season, better leave the gates to your property open so the firemen can reach the house in case of emergency.

Best Tourist Attractions Next to Victoriei Square in Bucharest

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government building at Victoriei square at night

Right in the center of the city you will find the Victoriei Square, a place which hides numerous cultural, historical and very beautiful treasures. The Victoriei Square is connected with other important areas of the city, which makes it a place of interest for the tourists and also for the locals who still want to let themselves be amazed by the buildings’ architecture and history.

The museums next to Victoriei Square are some of the Bucharest’s main attractions. One of the most important museums of Romania, founded in 1834, is “Grigore Antipa” Museum of Natural History. Some of the exhibits you will find there have been donated hundreds of years ago by important people of this country and throughout many centuries have been admired by tourists from all over the world. There are also artificial caves, skeletons and 3D films. The permanent exhibitions consist of natural sceneries from Romania, such as the Danube’s Delta, the alpine bioregion and the forest-steppe, while the temporary exhibitions are diverse, informative and enjoyed by all, including children. The museum also organizes educational programs and events about interesting subjects, such as robotics, the chemistry between art, science and psychology and chess marathons.

Another place you have to visit is the Cantacuzino Palace which is part of the European Heritage since 2007. It hosts paintings and sculptures of great value and the Belle-Epoque atmosphere,which still can be felt by the guests who want to go back in time, remained a defining element of the palace. Behind the main building you will find The National Museum “George Enescu”, a place which is a tribute to the artist but also to the Romanian music and art. The exhibition of the museum holds photographs, manuscripts, furniture, decorative art, personal objects and other valuable pieces of the artist.
The Romanian Peasant Museum is a national museum, dedicated to history and the people who were part of it. It is part of the European family of Museums of Popular Art and Traditions and it presents numerous exhibits which belonged to Romanian ancestors.
Near Victoriei Square you can also find the Filipescu-Cesianu House, which holds an important cultural and historical value. The building hosts the Museum of Ages whose exhibition explores the human evolution from multiple perspectives, their history and relationships. Another memorial house which can be visited is the house of Henri Coandă, the Romanian aviation pioneer, physicist, inventor of the jet engine. The house is a great example of the French neo-Renaissance Romantic Architecture.

At first glance, the Victoriei Square might seem too crowded and not thoughtfully organized from an architectural point of view because the buildings are very different and of various colors and styles, but you can always find interesting places to explore.

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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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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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.

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