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Renting a House vs Apartment in Bucharest

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modern house vs modern apartment building

There are several factors you need to take under considerations when renting in Bucharest beside your own desires and expectations to live in a house or an apartment. Both choices come with their specific benefits and drawbacks and we will try to offer you some guiding lines to help you made up your mind.

Let’s take, for example, Bucharest District 1 (Herastrau, Aviatorilor, Primaverii, Dorobanti), an expensive area with a poor offer in terms of houses renting, too much demand and not enough supply because many people prefer being in the center of things, where you can benefit from all facilities of the big city. Depending on the surface, houses renting prices go from 1400 euros and up. You’ll have a terrace, a courtyard and a parking space, it can be furnished or not, depending on what you want.

You will fully enjoy the yard, have plenty of space for the family and friends gatherings and have no problems regarding your privacy. The downside comes with rental and maintenance costs as houses surfaces suppose bigger expenses for heating, electricity, lawn nurturing. And if the house does not come with an alarm system, you need to consider buying one, because most robberies tend to happen in houses, as they are more isolated and also more appealing to thieves than apartments are.

In the same District 1, you can choose renting a 3 or 4 rooms spacious apartment (130-170 sq m). Some have quite big terraces and garages and, with prices starting from 1400 up to 2500 euros, you’ll get a lot of comfort without the need to worry about the outside maintenance that a house involves. You can meet people more easilly, take the pulse of the inhabitants and also feel more secure. Of course, there is the risk of annoying and noisy neighbors and you may feel a little cramped, even dream of a barbecue sometimes, but you can get over it going out and exploring your surroundings.

There’s also the choice of avoiding the crowd of the central area by migrating to the outskirts of the city. The north side has become one of the favorite for people who enjoy a more quite area and want to be a little close to nature. Here, the developers offer bigger surfaces and lots of green spaces, within buildings that are new or recently built. With prices starting from 600 euros for a 3 rooms apartment with 2 terraces,  you will have your own parking lot, a full time security guard, kids playgrounds and the vicinity of the forest, where you can take long walks and enjoy fresh air. Most apartments are part of residential districts so be prepared to face your many neighbors each day, play by the rules and share the facilities with the other co-residents, facts that will hurt your need for privacy.

Choosing a house or a villa instead can offer lots of space (on the inside and outside also), a pool, the advantages of a secluded household. In this part of the city you can rent spacious villas with prices starting from 900 euros for a 4 rooms one and feel like you’re living in a vacation house

But being a little far from the city center will definitively have a saying on this because you need to consider all the precious time you’ll be spending in the horrific traffic, count the gas money, think of all the times when you’ll be inclined to say no to an invitation or an event in the heart of the city simply because, well, it’s to far away.

In the end, all that matters is to know how to balance your needs with your wallet and expectations.

Tips for Relocating to Bucharest

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So, if you`re about to move to Bucharest, here are some useful facts that you should know and that can help you start your new life in Romania.

First of all, consider arranging as much as you possibly can before you actually relocate to Bucharest, as it will be easier for you to just deal with your new house/apartment and getting around in the city.

So, first move: find yourself a real estate agency that shall take care of finding the right place for you.

Second of all, depending on your needs and purpose of your stay in Romania, you need to know the formalities about establishing of your domicile (temporary or not) in Bucharest.

The General Inspectorate for Immigration deals with such matters, being the competent authority. Depending on your stay and on your plans, you may need a long stay visa for employment purposes or a visa for deployment (necessary documents for obtaining this type of visa: a copy of the work permit issued by the General Inspectorate for Immigration, a proof of financial means for the entire period of the visa, criminal record certificate and a medical insurance valid through your visa duration; for deployment-copy of the posting permit, a proof of financial means for the entire period of the visa, criminal record certificate and a medical insurance valid through your visa duration). You must pay a 120 EUR visa fee in the country where you make the request and is granted for 90 days (one or more trips).

But if you want to establish a long-term residence in Romania and receive a 10-year residence permit, you must follow these steps: make a long-term residence request at the General Inspectorate for Immigration Bucharest and wait for their answer. If it`s positive you may then submit the following documents: application form, ID documents, proof of social health insurance, proof of financial means of support, criminal record certificate and civil status document. The main condition for obtaining this visa is that you must have had a continuous stay in Romania during the last 5 years.

Obtaining the work permit is your employer task so you don`t need to worry about it.

If you`re relocating for business purposes, apart from the documents mentioned for the long stay visa for employment purposes, you initially need to obtain approval of the Ministry of Energy and Medium Enterprises and Business Environment and then register with ANAF service from your specific District (Public Finance Administration) to obtain a fiscal code and pay your revenue taxes,

After obtaining a visa, you must now submit several documents (maximum 30 days before your visa expiration date) and obtain a residence permit and, good news, this step can be done online at: https://portaligi.mai.gov.ro/portaligi/  . All residence permits can be extended. With your residence permit comes your PIN, that will identify you an all Romania`s territory.

Once you have your permit you can benefit from free Romanian language courses and accommodation sessions (for details visit  http://igi.mai.gov.ro/ro/content/programul-de-integrare).

To benefit from Romania`s national health care system, you need to submit a request and start paying the contributions to the Casa Judeteana de Asigurari de Sanatate Municipiul Bucuresti (National Health Insurance Fund).

If you need to get a Romanian driving license you need to have a residence permit and then apply to Directia Regim Permise de Conducere si Inmatriculare a Vehiculelor Bucuresti (Driving License and Vehicle Registration Service Bucharest) and take a written exam and a driving test or, if your origin country has a special agreement with Romania, just change your driving license with a Romanian one. You can find the list of the Viena agreement here: Romanian Driving Licence Permit Exchange Countries List

You also can get a full price monthly metro pass with unlimited trips, or a bus, tram, and trolleybus Activ Card, use the taxi or the Uber.

Romania`s educational system accepts foreigners and, in order to register a child for school, you first need to submit an equivalency request at Inspectoratul Scolar Bucuresti (Bucharest School Inspectorate) and then register your kid at a school from your District. Keep in mind that Bucharest has several International Schools, so you may find useful information about the scholar system right there.

Maybe you`ll love Romania and wish to obtain Romanian citizenship… if that`s the case, the law stipulates that you need to have been living in Romania for at least 8 years (or be married with a Romanian for at least 5 years),  prove a decent living, own a spotless criminal record certificate, speak a basic Romanian language and have knowledge about Romania`s history, geography, constitution and national anthem. If you`re good to go, the Commission for citizenship will reward you.

Welcome to Romania!

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