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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.

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.

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.

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.

Buildings With Seismic Risk in Bucharest

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Romania has not experienced high level earthquakes in the past few years, with the most devastating one taking place in the 70s, but a recent discovery made by the authorities has shown that almost 400 buildings are under a seismic risk in the city alone. Bucharest is known as one of the capitals with historical buildings everywhere, with a few locations thriving upon this (the Old Town as an example).

Upon an evaluation performed in the last few months, almost 400 buildings need to be consolidated because they are under a seismic risk. For this purpose, the government has decided to send $10 million euros to save at least a part of these buildings. As some may know, because of the latest regulations regarding seismic risk buildings, one of the biggest restaurants in the Old Town has been shut down. According to new regulations, restaurants, clubs and any other commercial businesses cannot function in buildings with a seismic risk, which has prompted many businesses to close shop. The Nottara theater in Bucharest, one of the most widely recognized theaters in the capital has also been affected by the new regulations and starting with November 23rd, the organizers decided to cancel all the shows that were supposed to take place in the original location because of the seismic risk the building was under.

Here are some facts about the buildings with seismic risk in Bucharest:

  1. The Red Stamp

The red stamp is used to signal to the public the buildings that are currently under a seismic risk. Every building in the capital city has been analyzed: from residential buildings, to restaurants and theaters and other buildings that are currently used one way or another by the people. If you see a red stamp anywhere, you should remember that the writing on it states that “This building has been analyzed technically and placed on a First Class list of buildings with a high seismic risk”.

This list of buildings with a high seismic risk contains 349 buildings all over the capital. The first class risk means there is a chance of them collapsing should an earthquake happen in the city.

  1. Bucharest – the most vulnerable capital

According to the statistics, the buildings in Bucharest have been majorly affected by the previous earthquakes that took place in the 1940s, 1977, 1986 and 1990. They have affected their structure and even though they have not collapsed, there is no guarantee that they will not do so during the next earthquake.

Even though Romania is not a country with a high level of seismic risk like Japan for instance, the possibility of an earthquake happening here is not that farfetched. Bucharest is located at about 100-170 km from Vrancea, the area with the most earthquakes in Romania. At the same time, many buildings were built before 1940 using bricks as a base. Because of the weather conditions, the time since they were built and the previous earthquakes, they are in grave danger of collapsing.

  1. The administration’s plan

The plan to modernize the buildings in Bucharest and save those who are currently under a seismic risk involves three steps. 10 million euros have been dedicated to these steps.

The first step involves continuing the building process for 4 buildings that are currently being constructed. The second step is starting the reinforcement process for 29 other buildings. The last step involves analyzing 24 other buildings and developing technical projects regarding 29 other buildings.

Moreover, the same administration approved an extra 735,000 euros for seven buildings for social houses and houses for homeless young people. Three of them are currently located in sector 5, two of them in sector 4, one in sector 2 and one in sector 3. 15 more millions of euros will be spent on projects that involve developing buildings for medical companies (Romania’s medical system is one of the poorest in Europe) and another 21.4 million euros will be spent on multifunctional complexes or buildings that can be used by multiple companies at the same time. These complexes will house schools and other didactic activities and most of them will be built inside or near schools and high schools that already exist in an attempt to boost the educational system as well.

On top of these projects, in 2018 the administration will also focus on:

  • Building five new buildings for kindergartens in Bucharest (in sector 2 mainly);
  • Rehabilitating and modernizing one of the most popular kindergartens in Bucharest (Kindergarten no. 30), a project that will cost an additional 4 million euros;
  • Building 12 gyms, 7 of which will also have a swimming area for students to be able to perform these activities inside their schools and not be forced to go somewhere else. This project will also cost a bit over half a million euros (517,000 euros);

Modernizing and restoring M. Flamaropol, one of the most popular artificial skating rinks in the capital. Once again, the administration will pay an additional 5.4 million euros for this alone;

Buildings With Seismic Risk in Bucharest

Can a Foreigner Own a Property in Romania

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business man and house

If you are a foreigner and you want to buy property in Romania, you need to find out what rights and obligations you have. Although the Romanian Real Estate market is flourishing, it might be tricky to have your own place, depending on your citizenship.

Starting from 2012, citizens from EU and EEA can obtain a place to live in Romania in the same way as any Romanian citizen. They can buy, receive it as a donation, make an exchange or inherit it (but not by legal will). However, regardless of how they got the property and what kind of property it is, it can only serve as a secondary residence. Also, from the beginning of 2014, EU and EEA citizens can obtain, in any way, agricultural lands, forests and forest lands.

In the case when the foreign citizen wants to buy any property in Romania without a Romanian Personal Identification Number, a Fiscal Identification Number is Necessary. The PIN can be obtained easily by the foreigners who have a residence permit in Romania, either for study, business, research or as a family member. Apart from this, there is nothing special required from a foreigner citizen for the transaction; he can buy or sell in the same way as a Romanian citizen, and he will pay the same taxes for the government, seller and notary.

For the citizens who are coming from countries outside the EU or EEA, things are more complicated. In most cases, they can only have the right to own the construction, but not the land itself. There are a few countries that have a special agreement with Romania regarding this issue, but most of them don’t.

For example, a citizen outside the above mentioned areas can not own a land and the house that is built on it. He can obtain the right to use the house and the land, but only as long as the house exists on the land. In the moment the construction is no longer there, his legal rights over the land stop. The same rule applies regardless the type of construction or land that he wants to buy.

The laws stated above only apply to natural persons. For commercial enterprises, the entire process tends to be easier. According to the law, they can obtain easily the right to own, buy, sell or use different types of properties, as long as the properties are necessary for their activity. There are, on the other hand, some risks when it comes to owning a property in Romania in the case when the activity of the enterprise stops, so a lawyer should be consulted.

Citizens of any country who want to buy a property in Romania and obtain a business Residency Permit, need to apply first for a Business Visa and to prove that they are planning to start a commercial activity on the territory of the country. They can submit their documents in their own country, at the Embassy of Romania. Once they obtain the Visa, they can apply for a Residency Permit in Romania at any Immigration Office.

Before starting a transaction with any kind of property in Romania, it is recommended to discuss with a lawyer and understand what are your rights and obligations through the entire process. Also, If you do not have a Residency Permit in Romania, make sure you follow all the legal steps to obtain a Fiscal Identification Number before you attempt to buy a property. Otherwise, any contract you sign is invalid and you can easily get trapped in a legal situation.

Necessary Documents for Buying or Selling Apartment in Romania

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stack of paper documents and files

In the past few decades, Romania has become a hub for foreigners who want to purchase a house or an apartment in the midst of the beautiful Romanian capital. However, many are afraid of the famous bureaucratic system of Romania that they will have to go through in the process of buying or selling an apartment in this country. At the same time, many are afraid of the language barrier that may exist when trying to understand what documents they need to submit in order for the transaction to be legal. In order to help you get an idea of the documents you will need and to save you a lot of time and money, we comprised a list of all the steps you must take and the documents you will need to have when buying or selling an apartment in Romania. Without further ado, here they are:

  1. Deciding on a price for the apartment

If you are selling an apartment, decide on a reasonable price to attract customers, but also make sure you make a profit. In recent years, average price for an apartment increased by 10-20 percent. The key is analyzing the market and understanding the price that others are selling their apartments for.

  1. The paperwork needed

Here comes the ”fun” part. There are many documents you will need to have with you or obtain from various Romanian institutions. Here they are, listed:

  • Your ID card, both a copy, as well as the original;
  • The marriage certificate or the divorce sentencing, both a copy as well as the original;
  • The documents that show that you own the apartment. Here we can count a contract of sale, an order from the court, a donation contract and so on;
  • The cadastral plan and the real estate registration in the real estate registry (Cadastru);
  • Real estate register excerpt that shows how many properties you have in your name, including the apartment you are currently trying to sell. This excerpt is given to you by the notary which will validate your sales contract from the Cadastral Office and it is valid for 5 days after the notary applied to receive it;
  • A fiscal certificate which is released by the Office of Local Taxes from the county or sector where your apartment is located. This certificate is valid for 30 days after it was released;
  • If your apartment is located in a block of flats, then you will also need a certificate from the association of all those living in the block of flats. This certificate essentially confirms the fact that you paid all your bills on time and that the new owner will not be forced to pay some of your previous bills;
  • The last document you will need is a document that attests the energetic performance of the building where your apartment is located. In order to do this, you must talk to an expert in this field who will then analyze the apartment and issue a document that will attest the energetic performance of the building and where he or she will also recommend various ways of improving this performance and of saving money on the bills;
  1. Settling on a price and signing the pre-contract

After you gathered all the documents listed above and after finding a buyer, you must settle on a price and sign the pre-contract. The pre-contract is basically a document signed by both parties where they agree on:

  • The money sum that will later be paid by the buyer to the seller;
  • The manner in which the money sum will be transferred from one party to the other;
  • The date when the official contract will be signed;
  • The date when the seller will leave the apartment and the buyer can move on;
  • The advance sum that the buyer must pay for the apartment;

Make sure you sign the pre-contract in the presence of a public notary and do not hand over the original papers to the buyer! Never trust a person with your original documents on the apartment. They are very hard to gather them all after that, not to mention very time consuming and expensive.

So there you have it, these are the main documents that you need to have with you if you plan to sell your apartment. Likewise, if you want to buy an apartment, makes sure you ask the seller to provide you will all of these because each document has its own purpose and you don’t want to wake up with surprises down the road.

The Most Expensive Apartment in Bucharest

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contemporary design of penthouse main room

Although most investors perceive Bucharest as cheap, the city does have its luxury properties. The current most expensive apartment in Bucharest costs a whopping $3,800,000 and can make even the most exuberant buyer blink.

The apartment is located on the 4th floor of a 5-floor building and includes 7 rooms and 5 bathrooms. A total living area of 450 m2 is more than generous given the fact that typical block apartments rarely manage to go past 100 m2. The penthouse is fully furnished with the best materials, and the price reflects that no compromises were made here. The offer also includes 3 parking spaces. Because it was built in 2011, the structure is in line with more recent building codes and offers a guarantee of safety and reliability.

There is no surprise that the most expensive real estate intended for a single family is located in the Primăverii Neighborhood, in the northern part of the city. The area managed to build quite a reputation for itself and accounts for an important percentage of the total price. Primăverii was established as a retreat for the wealthy and privileged since Communist times. Even now, the elite of the Romanian society can be found here. Entrepreneurs, specialists or even showbiz personalities appreciate the advantages offered by the neighborhood. A quick stroll through Primăverii makes most think of prime residential areas from cities like Berlin or Vienna.

Located on a small peninsula that protrudes in Floreasca Lake, the property offers a magnificent view of Bordei Park and is minutes away from Bucharest’s biggest park, Herăstrău. However, a quick tour of the horizon can confuse the ones not familiar with the cityscape. Because all of the adjacent properties have generous green spaces, the building appears to be a “relic” of urban development surrounded by green. Primăverii is an oasis of tranquility that has nothing to do with the noise, pollution, and overall commotion that is characteristic to the vast majority of other areas. The low density of constructions, as well as the small height regime highlights that quality reigned over quantity here.

The apartment is clearly not for those that like to depend on the public transportation system. The 12-minute walk separating it from the nearest metro station and the absence of nearby bus stations come as advantages. The street is closed to non-residents. However, the location offers a quick gateway from the city because of its north position.

Selling the most expensive apartment in Bucharest was a job left at the hands of Coldwell Bankers. As of February 2017, the property is still available for sale, and given the growing demand felt on the market, the price will most likely see a steady rise in the future.

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