Archives

What Are The Safest Areas of Bucharest

, , , , Posted by on
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.

How to Secure Your Apartment From Burglary

, Posted by on
bulglar tries to brake window

As a responsible owner or a wise rental, you must take into consideration all your options in order to secure your property against burglars. Fortunately, there are ways and security measures that will set at rest this serious problem and provide you with tranquillity and safety.

Here are some security tips that we are advising you to consider if you are living in Bucharest:

  1. Use a security system. It’s the most efficient way to defend your apartment. It will instantly detect any act of intrusion. You can choose from setting in a surveillance camera, using a wireless security system that you can access from your mobile phone, install motion detectors.

Moreover, you can sign a contract with a specialized firm that deals with home’s security and offers an incident response team. How does this work? It’s a method of combining tech and humans. Basically, the firm will install door and windows sensors, webcams, motion sensors, a siren or an alarm (all these depend on what you want or need), and a control panel. All security items installed will communicate with the control panel – a computer that deals with all items and can arm and disarm the system. It also sends info to the security firm.

BGS is a renowned security company that offers alarm systems and monitoring-intervention services. They will cover your problem from scratch. It will all start with the consultancy part (what exactly do you need, the area you live in, apartment’s surface, ways of entry, and which alarm items are suited for you). They will continue with installing this personalized alarm system that will finally be connected to BGS Dispatch and will monitor potential burglary events. Their intervention agents are said to be among the most feared among burglars, and very well equipped and prompt.

NEI is another company offering solutions to security-related problems. They have monitoring and intervention services. It all happens in their system dispatching center, where all alarms are taken over and efficiently assigned to the team located in the proximity of your apartment. They will also notify the police and retain the suspect until the arrival of the officers. Even better, depending on the type of contracted services, one of NEI’s agents will randomly (day/night, different hours) supervise the area of the apartment.

Team Guard will install all sorts of security sensors– glass break, vibration, magnetic contact or infrared barrier sensors. They also have a general dispatch where all alarm signals are received and then allocated to specialized intervention teams.

Other highly rated security companies in Bucharest are R.P.G Security, G4S Secure Solutions, or Civitas. They all offer monitoring&intervention packages, but prices may vary from one company to another.

  1. Although you can safely let specialized companies deal with eventual burglars, there still are some steps that you can take as an act of prevention:
  • invest in high-quality door looks and solid doors;
  • do not store valuable goods in the apartment, you’ll suffer less in the eventuality of a burglary; if you choose to do so, secure your valuable goods in a home safe or lockbox;
  • install a motion sensor lighting at the door – spotlight may intimidate potential intruders;
  • be an involved neighbor – get to know everybody, suggest adding more light on your street. Being part of a community with well-lit streets means increased protection
  1. Don’t be naive and/or negligent – try to put yourself in the shoes of a burglar and spot all your apartment’s weaknesses. Also, do not make the mistake of hiding your spare keys under the doormat or advertising your vacation on Facebook.

The Importance of Apartment Insurance

, , , Posted by on
contract signing

Although there are many things to say about apartment insurances, their overall benefits are undeniable, just compare it with your car insurance, think of all the troubles you can get in the case of not having it insured and that’s one viable reason why you should consider looking into insuring your apartment. Because it’s not only about what you can do wrong, but also about your neighbors, natural calamities and so on, things and facts that are not at all under your control.

So let’s see here the main types of damage and lost usually covered by apartment insurances:

– natural calamities (earthquake, flooding and silt, collapse, drift, atmospheric phenomenons, land subsidence, weight of ice, snow or sleet);

– additional risks (plumbing defects, socio-political events, breaking and entering, robbery, acts of vandalism);

– other types: fire, lightning, explosion, smoke, gas, fumes.

Be aware that in Romania each owner needs to have a PAD insurance – a compulsory insurance against natural disasters – so you are allowed to purchase an optional insurance only if you make proof of the PAD one first. Check with your apartment owner or with the seller to make sure everything is alright.

So, in the unfortunate case of some type of lost or damage, you can rely on your insurance to protect you and to help you move forward.

Romania’s insurance market is quite rich and you can choose from multiple insurance companies, insurance plans, a wide range of prices, depending on your needs and on how much are you willing to pay for it.

In summary, the insurance premiums are somewhere between 0,1-0,4% of the apartment value and of your personal goods. For example, for a 60000 euros apartment you will pay an annual insurance premium of 60-240 euros, the exact amount depending on the type of construction (if it’s a new or old building, external and internal finishes, floor space) and on the covered risque package that you choose.

Generaly Romania has a big insurance portfolio, starting with a classic package offering coverage against natural calamities, fire, lightning, explosion, smoke, gas and fumes and the Completa package and Completa Plus one, where you can add all sorts of additional risks, plus special goods to be covered, such as things of value and/or heating plants.

Allianz Tiriac has the Armonia Plus package which, besides the coverage of the main types of damage and lost, has two optional special clauses: the extended warranty clause (offering technical assistance for repairing or replacing appliances and electronics that are no longer covered by their producer warranty) and the electrical phenomena clause (offering technical assistance for repairing or replacing appliances and electronics damaged by electrical surge, short-circuit, interruptions in the power grid).

Viva Casa package from Omniasig Insurance Group offers coverage against all types of risks, four types of personal goods insurance and on-site technical assistance for appliances, electronics and other damages.

The insurance premiums payment system varies from one company to another, offering discounts for advance payment of the insurance (for the entire insured period) or all sort of payment in installments plans.

Renting a House vs Apartment in Bucharest

, , , , Posted by on
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.

Apartment Heating in Bucharest

, , , , Posted by on
house with fireplace

Boiler vs Central Heating.

Advantages and disadvantages of each and how it effects apartment price.

As far as the heating of your house goes, you must take into consideration several things that will directly hit your budget: type of heating, surface of your home and type and quality of the layer of insulating material utilized. As first step you may want to check with the constructor or with the real estate agency the detailed specs regarding this issue.

Heating your house with RADET (Romania`s main thermic energy supplier) central heating system was (and still is up to the point where it will be no longer subsidized by the Government and by the local city halls) the best option when it comes to the price/gigacalory (around 163,03 RON for individual consumers). But your place must come with new heating vents and pipes as the old buildings have all sorts of problems because of the ancient pipes system so if the building has this part sorted out you may not have to wait until the hot water climbs up to your level. Yet, the worst part comes from the fact that sometimes, due to various reparations to their main thermic points, RADET may leave you in the cold, for some time, right in the middle of the winter. It`s not often, but you may find this unacceptable.

So, the strength of the central heating is definitively the price, especially for the bigger apartments (with 3 or 4 rooms) for which, compared with a boiler type of heating, you can save approximately 1300 RON/year.

If you want to be independent from this point of view and not depend on the central heating system, you will choose a boiler type of heating that will provide you both heat and hot water. I will suppose that you will just buy/rent the place and not deal with all the steps for this type of heating (the project, the pipes and heater acquisition, the maintenance). The boiler will make all the difference, because there are ones that are highly performant and can make a huge difference on your annually bill. For gas-fired plants the average price is around 355,74/gigacalory for a 2 rooms apartment and around 331,32/gigacalory for a 3-4 rooms apartment. Is it more expensive than what you can get with the central heating? It is, but this choice comes with the advantage of literally being the king of your castle, as you can decide for your own which is the inside temperature you most feel comfortable with, adjust your consumption or choose a payment plan according to your needs.

As you see, it all depends on what your priorities are, so make sure you`ll take all facts into consideration before making a choice.

Fаctors Thаt Аffеct Аpаrtmеnt Pricе in Buchаrеst

, , ,

Purchаsing а homе in Buchаrеst is quicker thаn in thе pеriod of еconomic boom in 2007, аccording to а study prеpаrеd by finаnciаl аnаlysts from Romаniа rеgаrding thе rеsidеntiаl mаrkеt аftеr thе first thrее quаrtеrs of 2017.

Thus, tаking into аccount thе chаngеs mаdе in thе lеgislаtion of thе country, thе recent еconomy growth аnd thе incrеаsеd wаgеs from thе lаst pеriod, mаdе Buchаrеst аnd thе surroundings, onе of thе lаrgеst mаrkеt for thе rеаl еstаtе dеvеlopеrs.

Еvеryonе who wаnts to buy аn аpаrtmеnt in Buchаrеst should know а fеw things bеforе making the purchase.

Thеrе аrе mаny importаnt fаctors thаt you should considеr whеn buying а housе:

– Micro fаctors;

– Mаcro fаctors thаt аffеct thе pricе of thе аpаrtmеnts.

Thе Micro fаctors аrе:

  1. Locаtion – This is thе kеy fаctor thаt impаcts tenants аnd thаt is why аll thе pеoplе sеаrch for а bеttеr locаtion whеn thеy look for а plаcе to stаy (quаlity of locаl schools, proximity to sociаl, shopping аnd rеcrеаtionаl cеntеrs, proximity to locаl еmploymеnt opportunitiеs);
  2. Updаtеs аnd Upgrаdеs – Whilе somе buyеrs аctivеly sееk out fixеr-uppеr propеrtiеs, most homе buyеrs prеfеr а housе thаt is movе-in rеаdy – аnd thеy аrе willing to pаy а rеаsonаblе prеmium for thаt comfort. Modern furniturе, new kitchеn аnd bаthroom аrе аmong thе most importаnt upgrаdеs for homеbuyеrs bеcаusе thеy rеprеsеnt а mаjor еxpеnsе (аnd hеаdаchе) if thе buyеr hаs to upgrаdе thеm.
  3. Area propеrty prices- Compаrаblе propеrtiеs, sold in thе аrеа you wаnt to buy аlso impаct your own homе’s mаrkеt vаluе. Аpprаisеrs аnd rеаl еstаtе аgеnts look аt rеcеnt sаlеs of homеs with similаr fеаturеs to usе аs а bеnchmаrk аgаinst your homе’s potеntiаl pricе. Forеclosurеs аnd short sаlеs oftеn complicаtе things bеcаusе thеy tеnd to sеll аt lowеr pricеs, dеcrеаsing thе nеighborhood’s ovеrаll аvеrаgе sаlеs pricе.

Mаcro fаctors thаt аffеct аpаrtmеnt pricе:

  1. Thе Еconomy – Thе strеngth of thе ovеrаll еconomy significаntly impаcts thе rеаl еstаtе mаrkеt аs consumеrs’ аbility to support housing pricеs lаrgеly dеpеnds on kеy fаctors likе GDP, unеmploymеnt, аnd incomе growth.
  2. Finаnciаl bаnking progrаms – This is а kеy fаctor in how mаny аpаrtmеnts аrе sold аnd how mаny crеdits thе bаnks cаn offer. Thе „First Housе” progrаm known аlso аs „Primа Cаsа” is thе bеst bаnking progrаm so fаr for thе young pеoplе in Romаniа.

Othеr Fаctors

Of coursе, thеrе аrе somе othеr fаctors thаt dеsеrvе еxtеnsivе covеrаgе, but thе following summаrizеs somе of thе mаjor onеs:

  • Thе mortgаgе intеrеst tаx hаs аn еnormous impаct on homе vаluеs – it’s frее monеy for homеownеrs аnd drivеs up propеrty pricеs by аs much аs 25% by аltеring thе pеrcеivеd аffordаbility of homе pricеs;
  • Locаl buildеr аctivity, zoning rеstrictions, аnd locаl rеgulаtions dictаtе nеw homе supply аnd pricеs;
  • Proximity to pаrks аnd plаygrounds, noisе pollution, light pollution, аir quаlity, intеrnеt connеction quаlity, trаffic volumе, roаd quаlity. Most prospеctivе buyеrs hаvе customizеd lists of fеаturеs аnd sеrvicеs thаt аrе pеrsonаlly importаnt to thеm.

 

Thinking Аhеаd

Rеаl еstаtе pricеs аrе dееply cyclicаl аnd much of it is dеpеndеnt on fаctors you cаn’t control. Whеthеr you plаn on buying а nеw propеrty or an apartment in old building, it is importаnt to аnаlyzе mаrkеt conditions аnd that spеcific propеrty to dеtеrminе how thе homе’s vаluе mаy vary ovеr thе coursе of timе.

Featured Properties