Buying a house in Poland

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Real Estate in Poland

As you travel through Poland, you will come across a good selection of unfinished as well as established properties for sale.

Builders develop properties to sell on, others sometimes run out of money and give up. The Poles frequently build their own house by hiring skilled builders to complete each section. It is rare for people to move or sell their family homes, especially when time, money and effort has gone into the process. There are numerous empty homes in certain areas because owners went abroad years ago and yet they cannot bear to part with them.

Established buildings

The advantage of purchasing a property that is several years old is that you can see for yourself whether it has any structural defects. Problems associated with new builds like ill-fitting doors have usually been solved. On the other hand, the property may show a certain amount of wear and tear.

New Builds

A new build offers the advantage of customising the property to your own taste and budget. You may have to deal with local government in ensuring that it all complies with Polish building regulations, also erect fencing or walls to enclose gardens, or lay driveways at your own cost.

We recently engaged a local building firm for a loft conversion. They were a reasonably sized firm with a selection of builders. Carpentry for the stairs, electricasl and plumbing work was bought in by the builders from companies that they have trade associations with. One conclusion we drew was that work progressed well and to our specification whilst we were on the premises. Things didn't go quite to plan when we weren't there and they didn't phone to ask our opinion in the UK. If we build in Poland from scratch in the future, we appreciate that we would have to be actively involved in the planning and management of the build.

Some of the arrangements were a little unorthodox. The Poles have their own way of deaing with councils and planning - they effectivey bypass them. We came across an incidence of bribes being paid to certain people to bypass permits and stamped documents.

We also discovered a handful of nails in the outlet flow of a shower a couple of months after the project was completed that our unscrupulous plumber must have put there to create work for himself when the pipes blocked in the next few months as hair and other shower detritus became entangled. He's obviously never coming back to work for us again. In future, I plan to personally supervise every detail of any job.

Real estate as an investment

Now that property markets have peaked in the USA and certain European countries, investors are looking further afield for properties to capitalise on. Poland appeared promising a few years ago but expectations have not been met. In 2012 Poland was the 2nd worst performing country for property in Europe despite good economic prospects. The EU crisis has taken its toll and left investors feeling insecure.

Large numbers of young people continue to leave Poland in search of work. The employment market Europe wide is shrinking which especially affects young people aged 18-25.

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