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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.

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!

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.

The Importance of Apartment Insurance

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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

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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.

Apartment Heating in Bucharest

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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.

Bucharest Real Estate Market in 2017

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The real estate market has been shaken after the 2009 recession and Romania’s capital was one of the locations that suffered a lot from it. However, in time, thanks to the speedy recovery of Romania’s economy, the real estate market grew and grew to the point where it achieved the highest increase in the past 5-7 years. The many sectors of the market, from office buildings to the industry have developed and continue to do so, making it a haven for new and old investors.

  1. Shopping centers

One of the first indicators of a healthy real estate market is how many buildings were built and are now being used for commercial purposes in a city. The shopping centers in Bucharest occupy more than three million square meters in 2017, which is a huge increase from the past. In 2016, two new shopping centers were opened in the Romanian capital, Parklake Plaza and Veranda. Parklake Plaza covers a total surface of 70,000 square meters, whereas Veranda covers about 30,000 square meters. The country as a whole has 129 schemes, with 31 existing in the capital city alone.

Parklake Plaza has one low ground floor, a ground floor and a first floor. It is the largest shopping center opened in Bucharest in the past five years and it has spaces dedicated to leisure activities, fashion and a cinema area that boasts 14 screens. It is important to note because the opening of this particular place shows how healthy the real estate market is in Bucharest.

  1. Offices

Another indicator of the health of the Bucharest real estate market is the number of offices that were built in the capital. An entire area, the Barbu Vacarescu area, is now a host to 371,000 square meters in office space, most of which was built after 2009. Before 2009, Barbu Vacarescu was a regular location in Bucharest, but after 2009 it became the area with the most office spaces in the entire capital. At the same time, an addition 265,000 square meters in office space was built and is now in use in the capital city, which it a record in the past 7 years. The Northern part of the capital hosts the most buildings with office spaces, followed by the south and then the western part.

Another record was noted in terms of places that were leased or whose contracts were renewed. Bucharest noted a 37% increase in the demand for new office spaces and a 33% increase in the new leases that were signed all over the city. Another 30% increase was noted in the renewals category, as well as an 11% increase in expansions. All of these pointed to another record in the development of the real estate market.

Renault-Dacia, the famed vehicle developer and BCR, the Romanian Commercial Bank, were the two corporations that leased the most office space in Bucharest.

  1. The Industrial Sector

The industrial sector in Bucharest has been doing well for quite some time so it is no surprise that in 2017, it is still going strong. In Bucharest, 190,000 square meters were built for industrial purposes in 2016-2017, which is much higher than the entire volume that was built during the 2009-2015 period of time. Granted, the real estate crisis that began in 2009 has shaken the real estate market in the entire world, but this increase in 2017 shows that it has healed quite well.

In 2016, the amount of space built for the industrial sector was higher by 7% than that in the previous years. In total, the capital has registered 55% of the total space built in the entire country.

  1. The residential sector

The residential sector did experience 10% price increase, and other factors that affect it have changed so it may raise even more in the future. The salaries have increased, the demand is higher than in the previous years and the interest rates have decreased so there is hope that the number of residential houses that will be built in the future will increase. However, this does not mean that the residential sector has stagnated in 2017. On the contrary, over 10,000 new units were built.

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