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Posts by nierozumiem  

Joined: 18 Jan 2008 / Male ♂
Last Post: 16 Jul 2010
Threads: Total: 9 / In This Archive: 0
Posts: Total: 118 / In This Archive: 0
From: Małopolska
Speaks Polish?: trochę
Interests: Property

Displayed posts: 98 / page 2 of 4
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nierozumiem   
25 Feb 2009
Law / Question regarding major Polish highway (Wieliczka-Balice) [9]

Something no more than a maximum of around 30/ 40 kms away from Krakow.

Ok, so that will take you as far as Bochnia, 36 Kilometers from Krakow. The A4 is already half built between Wieliczka and Bochnia, and I would be very surprised if this section were not completed within the next three years. It is pretty much all small villages and farming communities in this area.

would be interested more in something in the more hectares range

I think you will have trouble finding such a plot. Take a look at the region using Google Satellite, and you will see that the the land is being farmed in very long narrow strips. This is the result of many generations of farmers dividing the land amongst their sons. Some of the plots are of almost comical proportion, for example 15m x 500m, perhaps suitable for farming spaghetti :)

As an example I entered Szarów, Targowisko, and Kłaj into Gratka.com. Almost all of the plots were in the range of 5 - 15 Ar. One of the largest and most interesting was 42 Ar, with the dimensions of 21m x 350m.

dom.gratka.pl/tresc/21-5130775-malopolskie-szarow.html#ceb7b8ee855a8804,1
nierozumiem   
25 Feb 2009
Law / Question regarding major Polish highway (Wieliczka-Balice) [9]

Kielbasa Kid, The current expectation is that the A4 will reach Tarnów by 2011 and Rzeszów by 2012. There is a good amount of working currently taking place on the Kraków to Szarów leg, but it appears to be going quite slow. It is a MASSIVE undertaking, and I don't think anyone believes that it will reach Tarnów prior to 2012/ 2013.

pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autostrada_A4_(Polska]

You may find a lot of current info and photos at skyscrapercity.com

Where are these off-plan apartments located?
nierozumiem   
25 Feb 2009
Real Estate / I want to buy a 2 bedroom apartment in Krakow - suggestions and advice. [20]

There are too many factors that you need to take into account besides the sqm. Is this a new build, communist era build, kamienice? Is it the top floor of the building? Are there new windows? Is the gas for heating and hot water? Is this a modern efficient 2-phase boiler?

I have an apartment of about that size in an old kamienice. Apartments above and below, 4m high ceilings, with new windows. Gas for heating and hot water. In the coldest winter months maybe 250zl, in the summer maybe 50zl (hot water only).
nierozumiem   
19 Feb 2009
Law / Bailing out the Polish Zloty.... [11]

I thought they had accepted this and had decided not to do anything about it,

It seemed that way for some time, but then on Monday Tusk came out and said he would defend the zloty at 5.00 to the Euro. Supposedly the finance ministry went ahead and sold about 1 billion Euro yesterday.

weakening Złoty is good news for exporters

That was the theory, but in working practice it has proven to be terribly wrong. Many Polish companies had taken out huge hedging contracts over the summer when the zloty was at it's peak, hedging against a strenthening zloty. Now these contracts are putting companies out of business. Additionally many Polish companies have issues Euro denominated bonds, or taken Euro loans. Servicing this Euro debt, while generating income in PLN is sucking up all cash flow.

Additionally, most Polish exporters are also importers of parts and materials and currencey fluctuations are hurting them. "The extraordinary pace at which currencies have declined has only aggravated such problems. In Poland, the zloty has fallen in value by 50 percent against the euro. In theory, that should help exporters. But Aleksander Drzewiecki, chairman of the House of Skills, a consulting company, said many export-driven companies depend on imports in the first place. "The turbulence with the exchange rate is horrible," he said. "We have no idea where we stand."
nierozumiem   
18 Feb 2009
Law / Bailing out the Polish Zloty.... [11]

I think it is still way to premature to speculate where the Zloty will bottom out verse the Euro, and as you pointed out stabilization has incorrectly been pointed out for the last 10 weeks.

There is still a lot to unfold with the global "crisis", and as nobody seems capable of forecasting anything beyond a few weeks time, I think it is too early for Tusk to burn through his Euros. It could have some positive effect, and it could have almost no effect. So why take that risk now? Hold on for a few more months.

The Warsaw Voice had an interesting article today where they suggested that the Euros should be better used in a swap for CHF instead, and the CHF used to convert Polish CHF mortgages to zloty, in an effort to avoid a mass of defaults.

I think Tusk and the Central Bank should resign themselves to the fact that the zloty will continue to fall, and there is little they can do to halt it (perhaps some IMF funding could help). They should instead focus on treating the symptoms, not the disease.
nierozumiem   
8 Feb 2009
Law / Internet Banking in Poland [9]

I use both Citibank and Bank Zachodni. I'm not sure what is supposed to happen with Citi's Polish operations now that they have dissintegrated on a global level. I suspect that they will spin-off what they have in Poland and you may end up with an account with a bank you are not comfortable with. Besides, their internet banking is rubbish.

Bank Zachodni has a very good web interface that is pretty simple to use.

You will have to appear at the banks in person, no on-line applications. Also look into regulations regarding transfering money out of Poland. It is simple enough to get the USDs in, but to wire a large sum out of the country you may need permission.

Whatever bank you choose, I suggest opening both a USD and PLN accounts with them. You can just transfer between your 2 accounts without ever leaving the bank. If this is a large amount of money you can actually go and negotiate a fairly competitive exchange rate.
nierozumiem   
8 Feb 2009
Life / Sat TV providers in Poland [18]

I don't get any domestic UK channels, but I just have the base package. I get a few English language news channels like CNN World, BBC World, France24, CNBC, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, EuroNews, Deutche Welle. And also Movies24, and a few odd channels like Eurosport. I think it is also possible to get SkyNews

Somebody was actually bored enough to put together a Wikipedia page in English about the service. It's 40zl a month, it works, I can't complain.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyfra+
nierozumiem   
6 Feb 2009
Life / Sat TV providers in Poland [18]

I'm using CYFRA+ and reasonably happy with the service. I had the same problem for quite some time with the reception going out every time it rained, or the wind blew a bit. I got fed up with it, did some research on the Internet, and determined that I needed was a bigger dish.

Before I got around to it my roofers did me a favor. When they were on the roof one day they decided that the dish would make an ideal place to hang a couple of heavy winter coats. Of course this knocked it out of alignment, so I ended up on the roof myself calling my wife from my mobile mobile as she stood in front of the telly watching the green "signal strength" bar on the configuration menu. I guess I did a better job then the professional installers with their fancy tools, because I have not lost reception one bit over the past few months; rain or snow or wind.

I suggest that you play around with the alignment. I think the pros that installed my dish ended up focusing on the side lobes, a common mistake, which can make the reception look fine during perfect weather, but quickly degrades during rain.
nierozumiem   
4 Feb 2009
Real Estate / Typical flat offer prices in Poland [17]

You are another of these so called experts.

I've never considered or advertised myself as an expert on anything. I've learned a bit about the property market in Poland over the past few years and I have shared my personal insight and opinions with this forum. I'm flattered that you think that highly of me, but you should only take my advice as one opinion among the many required to form your own balanced personal opinion of the market.

I think it is unfortunate that many foreign investors who have purchased off-plan property in Poland over the past 18- 24 months are going to lose / have lost a considerable amount of money. My opinion is that many of these investors only sought (and continue to seek) the advice of market cheerleaders and did not reach a balanced view on market prospects.

For example, there are a number of postings on this forum from anxious investors who purchased property at Katowice Oak Terraces through a company called Property Secrets. Just 18 months ago, PS was telling investors that their initial investments of 5500zl/m2 would appreciate 40% before completion, and then a further 30% within the first year. That is 10,000zl/m2 for a black finish apartment. In Katowice! I don't understand how any investor seeking a serious balanced opinion could possibly buy into this concept. But they did, in scores.

You may want to stick to selling real estate, stop talking crap and giving wrong information.

I don't see why you have to be so rude about it. I believe my responses are informative, not "crap", and provide correct information. For the record I have never sold, nor sought to sell real estate. If someone is offered 25% over market value on any investment, house, boat or whatever then my advice is take the money. Is that not the whole basis of an investment?

I am still prepared to eat my shorts when there is a real estate crash in Poland. I am not of the opinion that there has been a real estate crash in Poland. There is certainly a pretty good slump brought on by tightening credit conditions, but the bulk of the housing market is in a relatively healthy state.

Of course there is a tremendous gross over-supply of high-end off-plan "investment" apartments, but this is a very tiny percentage of the total housing units in Poland. It is an unfortunate situation for developers and foreign investors. However the signs of a crash; the number of Poles in negative equity or foreclosure, are just not there.
nierozumiem   
4 Feb 2009
Real Estate / Typical flat offer prices in Poland [17]

Take the money and run. In the current economic situation and with no visibility of what the future holds I would sell, and sell quickly. And he is offering 25% above fair market value? Sell!

Of course you will need to have this done through a good solicitor and notary to ensure that if he "defaults" you will take back the property. And you want to charge interest on the loan at least to keep up with inflation. The only drawback I see is that he is a friend, and a loan between friends and family often becomes a "gift" or an end to a relationship. It would be much better if you didn't know the guy.

Putting it another way - in five years do you think the flat would be worth a lot more than it is now....

Obviously every situation is unique, but you are asking whether you should gamble on a potential future opportunity with many unpredictable variables, or cash-in at a known ROI.

Something I don't understand is why you are not renting the property out, you say that it is a long-term investment, yet the property has no yield? Sell!
nierozumiem   
27 Jan 2009
Life / Experiences Installing a Wireless Home Network in Poland [12]

Thanks for the quick feedback guys, it's a big help. davidpeake, Which Linksys device did you go with? I have 2 triple brick walls to go through to cover all rooms.

My first thought is why get an all in one device?

I'm thinking of an all-in-one device, just to keep things simple, and if need be I will add a WAP to that. Thanks for the pointer on the settings.
nierozumiem   
27 Jan 2009
Life / Experiences Installing a Wireless Home Network in Poland [12]

I’ve got TP broadband at my home in Poland with the standard USB ADSL modem that comes with the package. I’d like to go wireless, and would be interested in feedback from anybody who has done this before with the TP service.

My initial thought is to replace the USB modem with a Wireless ADSL modem/router. Like one of the devices that NetGear makes that acts as an all-in-one Modem, Router, Firewall, 4-port Switch, Wireless Access Point.

Is there anything that I need to be aware of before I shell out the cash? Will the device connect right into my TP phone-line, or is there something unique about the TP service that could cause compatibility issues.

I have several fairly thick internal brick walls in my single story house, so I’m concerned about the signal strength. Will one of the “extended coverage” routers be strong enough to reach all rooms?
nierozumiem   
23 Jan 2009
Work / ESCS in Tarnow, Poland - applied for an ESL job [6]

A Polish friend of mine worked at ESCS a few years ago, not in their Tarnow branch, but one of the 6 or 7 locations that they used to have. (I suppose that it could be of some concern that they are down to only 2 branches now.)

She had mixed feelings about the job. Most of her coworkers were Canadian and American, and she enjoyed working with them. She did have issues with being paid on time, but I think she was eventually paid all that she was owed.

25-30 zloty/hr sounds a bit low to me, but it really important to know if that is gross or net? At best you will take home 2400zl/month (30zl x20hr x 4 weeks). If accomodation is paid for ( I thought that they only paid the first week's accomodation), and you live a pretty modest lifestyle then you should squeek by. If you are ending up with something like 20zl/hr net, then you will have some trouble.

I don't think Tarnow is all that bad, although many Poles seem to detest the place. It is a good size city with all the services that you will need to get by. It is a bit dreary, but that is life in a Polish city (with a few key exceptions). The express train to Krakow is only 60 minutes, and the surrounding area is very nice. It is pretty cheap to live in by Polish standards.

It sounds like it could be a good entry into Poland. Get some teaching experience, life in Poland experience, and enough money to get by, and look for something better in the fall. Good luck
nierozumiem   
17 Dec 2008
Real Estate / People who bought in Katowice Oak teraces phase I and phase II [102]

PS boys - you may be new to the Polish market but Polish tenants...

...IMHO
+ Will have a wealth of 1 and 2 bed apartments in Katowice finished to a very high standard to choose from, including scores coming on the market from O.T.

+ Are not in a position to afford to rent these high end apartments.
+ If they are able to afford such apartments they would opt to live in a very nice house in the suburbs, not in the centre of Katowice. Katowice is not Wroclaw, or Gdansk, or Krakow, or Warsaw. It is Katowice.

I think that the standard of Wroclaw Boy's finish is a serious upgrade from the many apartments that I have seen in Poland, and well represents what the typical tenant is able to afford, and would find attractive. But Eleanorconner does have a good point, O.T. is at the highest end of the Katowice market, and the finish should reflect that. I just don't believe that all of these high-end tenants exist.

But this is Oak Terraces. What you will end up with is an even bigger debt

Agreed. So your options are:
1.) A high-end finish, which can compete with other properties on the market, but will never produce a reasonable net yield on the property. The cost of this fit-out you may never recover.

2.) A mid-range finish like Wroclaw Boy's, which prospective tenants will pass over.
3.) Leave the apartment in black finish w/o tenants for a few years and hope that the sales market recovers.

With option 3 you will have a much better chance of selling a shell apartment, you won't dump any more cash into a property that you may never find a tenant for, and you won't have to spend all of the time and energy and resource over the next 5 years worrying about tenants, laws, mgmt agents, estate agents, solicitors, translators, utilities etc in a country that you don't live in or even speak the language.

Do the hard math on this. What is an honest vacancy rate? What are the chances that your tenant stops paying rent? (Do you even know how to evict a Polish tenant?), What will your tenant mgmt fees be? Building mgmt fees? How much will you pay an estate agent to find a tenant?

So maybe you finish the apartment and do make a monthly net yeild of £125, will this make much of a dent on your interest payments?

When you are in a hole, stop digging.

Good Luck
nierozumiem   
12 Dec 2008
Real Estate / People who bought in Katowice Oak teraces phase I and phase II [102]

Here is a link to an interesting read in this week's WBJ about developers renting out unsold apartments: wbj.pl/article-43673-room-to-rent.html?type=lim

I see from the PS forums that there is some sentiment for bailing out on Polish properties and forfeiting deposits. Maybe there is an opportunity to work a deal with the developer on OT II. (i.e. dump the deal, but retain some of your deposit)

Summary: "Banks have tightened their lending policies and the economic slowdown has cut into residential profits, sending Polish developers scrambling for new solutions. One option is built-to-rent apartments. A large number of Polish developers have suspended plans to launch new construction projects. Finding new ways to attract customers for already complete apartments has become an urgent necessity in order for developers to divest themselves of unsold units."
nierozumiem   
10 Dec 2008
Life / Taxpayers subsidise priest's Alfa Romeo in Bielsko Biała [29]

his income - as with all priests - is tax-free and consequently is a subsidy from the Polish government paid for by Christian and non-Christian taxpayers alike.

Scandalous!

he is doing it without contributing to the tax authorises which pay for the roads that his car drives on.

Can I get an Aaaa-men?

Absolutely! I'd like to see how religions survive without the subsidies.

Preaching to the choir sister!

This is trully an outrage! 30,000 Polish priests not paying income tax, effectively subsidized by all of the hardworking taxpayers of Poland.

Now take that number of 30,000 and multiply it by a few hundred. This is the number of farmers in Poland who pay zero income tax, as farming in Poland is completely free from any income tax.

Are you proportionally a few hundred times more angry with farmers than with priests? And what kind of woman would date a farmer? ;)
nierozumiem   
9 Dec 2008
Life / bed sheets in Poland...are them shorter ? [19]

0/ pillowcase
1/ mattress pad - thick cottoney pad to protect the mattress, placed under the fitted sheet
2/ fitted sheet - sheet for covering the mattress,(and mattress pad) typically has elastic corners so as to fit snugly with the mattress
3/ flat sheet - on top of the fitted sheet, does not have elastic corners. You sleep between the fitted sheet and the flat sheet.
4/ duvet - with or without duvet cover.

In this scenario the flat sheet is always tucked into the end of the bed so it needs to be quite bit longer than the length of the mattress. As long as the flat sheet is long enough, it will stay tucked in and your feet will never stick out of the bed. If it is too warm, you just sleep between the sheets. Maybe this is just a Hotel / North America arrangement?


  • bed with fitted sheet, flat sheet and duvet

  • bed with fitted sheet, flat sheet and duvet
nierozumiem   
9 Dec 2008
Life / bed sheets in Poland...are them shorter ? [19]

They overlap as you overlap leading to a kind of romantic mountain duvet.

Hmmmm, well I kinda look at it as a form of Polish birth control, this large "mountain duvet" between you and your significant other is not exactly conducive to intimacy.

What do people do in other countries? Lie on one sheet and cover themselves with another?

Bingo! Yes, that's how beds work everywhere I've been.

Come on, make up your mind, are sheets used in Poland or not?

Yes they are, but only to cover the mattress, never between the occupant and the duvet.

And one more thing I love about Polish beds, is this idea of refering to any bed large enough for 2 people as a "marital bed"
nierozumiem   
9 Dec 2008
Life / bed sheets in Poland...are them shorter ? [19]

Polish people, or the ones that I know, do not sleep under sheets, under any circumstance. They only use one sheet to cover the mattress, and then sleep directly under the duvet/comforter, no matter the season or room temperature.

Another related custom that I find quite strange is that two people sharing a bed always have their own duvet.

So if you were to check into a Polish run hotel outside of a major city your are most likely to end up in a queen size bed, with no sheet, and 2 small duvets.
nierozumiem   
7 Dec 2008
UK, Ireland / What is the cheapest way to move house contents from Dublin to Warsaw? [6]

Flano,

Not exact Dublin, but I moved all of the contents of a 2bed apartment in London to Krakow area on the cheap 2 years ago. This was door-to-door service for everything from the sofa to the kids clothes for about £400.

I found the company through a local Polish mechanic. He had a few Polish couriers that shipped cars and heavy goods back and forth between Poland and UK and often went back empty to Poland. We used these guys: bluefenix.co.uk

You may want to see if they have any contacts in Dublin. Otherwise, I suggest just trying a local Polish travel agency in Dublin, as they will typically have arrangements for shipping parcels back "home".
nierozumiem   
7 Dec 2008
Life / MRI scanning machine in Krakow ? [5]

My wife just recently had an MRI done in Tarnów, about 1 hr east of Kraków by train. She called up both Kraków and Tarnów and was told that they would not accept any more ZUS patients in 2008 as they are fully booked. They told her to call back in January as they would not taking any bookings for 2009, until they renewed their contracts with ZUS. So it could well be February / March before she could get an appointment in either site.

But, the Tarnów hospital takes private bookings at just a few days notice. It costs about 500 - 600zl. I was impressed with the overall service and the quality of the hospital. It looks like it has just undergone a complete renovation. Only downside was waiting about 3 hrs past her appointment as people with more urgent needs were brought in right off the ambulances, bumping those with booked appointments.

I would certainly recomend it. In her case, she had the results in just 1/2 hr, but some people had to wait several hours, so if you are coming from Kraków book a morning appointment, so that you don't have to come back a second time to pick up the results.

Regarding Nowy Sącz - a friend had an MRI booked for there just 4 days ago for a back issue. She travelled all the way there in a great deal of pain to arrive and be told that the machine was broken.
nierozumiem   
4 Dec 2008
Real Estate / People who bought in Katowice Oak teraces phase I and phase II [102]

Direct quote from Property Secrets - "But there is still a very healthy margin to be made again at Phase Two of Oak Terraces as we estimate a 40% increase in capital growth before completion. And with a further 30% predicted the following year – Katowice is THE place to invest in Poland right now."

I also believe that there are people out there that would want some good deals also!!!!.

Well you bought at 5600/m2? Just throw that number into the PS winning formula, and you should be looking for about 10,000/m2 any day now.

Are there others looking at having to default on their deposits??

Take a poke around Gratka or KRN for Dębowe Tarasy, you have some competition on your sale.

Have you tried pushing back on the developer? Maybe there are some concessions to be made. They could be quite nervous at this point, I doubt that they are rubbing their hands in glee at the thought of keeping your 20% deposit. They will still be stuck with an apartment to offload in a market without buyers. PS were pushing a large number of properties at this site, there must be a more like you in the same situation. Band together.

Some would say count yourself lucky on this. You haven't reached the point where you've dumped further cash in on the fit-out and are saddled with a mortgage for the remaining 80%. The net yields on these properties are abysmal, and you won't see any capital appreciation for years to come.
nierozumiem   
26 Nov 2008
Real Estate / what is the price to rent or buy a bar or pub in "Rzeszow" [10]

A couple of examples below. There is a sticky thread in this section that will show you other websites to search. I agree with the other postings, this could be a tough business to run in Rzeszów. You may well be better off speaking to existing businesses in the city centre. Maybe some owners are looking to bail-out or would want to partner with someone who would inject some capital to upgrade to a sports pub. Look into how well "protection services" are thriving in the area, a sports pub could be a magnet for that sort of thing.

Pub for sale in Rzeszów, 140m2 basement, 490,000zl
dom.gratka.pl/tresc/7-978775-podkarpackie-rzeszow-ospiastow.html

To rent, 329m2, 141m2 basement , 7125zl/month + media:
dom.gratka.pl/tresc/11-1599696-podkarpackie-rzeszow-srodmiescie.html
nierozumiem   
19 Nov 2008
Real Estate / Selling a land in Poland. Taxes and capital gain question. [2]

If you are a US taxpayer (either a US Citizen, or US Green Card Holder) you will be taxed on your worldwide income. This will include tax on any capital gains from the sale of property in Poland. Any tax owed to the US would be offset by taxes paid to Poland.

I do not know if the 0% after 5 years of ownership applies to land, it may be the case. It does apply to houses and apartments, and in a situation like yours, there would be 0% Polish tax due starting in January 2009.
nierozumiem   
17 Nov 2008
Life / Holiday's in Poland! Not allowed thanksgiving off. [30]

Give the man a break! He made a simple faux pas. How did his question about asking for a day off become a demand for a day off?

Yes, it would be completely normal in the USA to ask to take off from work on a day of particular cultural, religious, or ethnic importance to you. And it would be completely normal for your boss to evaluate the request, and if there was no just cause (for example a disruption to the company, or lack of staff coverage) to deny the request, give the day off.

Most progressive companies in the US offer employees 2 or 3 floating holidays allowing them to choose at the beginning of the year if they want to take off a holiday that is relevant to them, but not their coworkers. For example: Good Friday, Rosh Hashanah, Chinese New Year, MLK Day, St. Pat's, Yom Kippur, Eid, Cinco de Maya...

How about Poles in US demanding a day off on Polish national holidays? Ridiculous, wouldn`t it?

No, it would be completely reasonable to request the day off, or November 1st off.

Can an Irish man have his Holiday from work in the USA?

Completly normal to request off Good Friday, or St. Pat's

you're in poland not america now.. deal with it.

Why does Poland have to be such a bitter pill to swallow? Some people actually enjoy it here.

Anyone have any thoughts about his reaction?

You can see from the responses to your question that your boss is not the only angry person in this world. Enjoy your time in Poland, make the best of it, and understand that there is a lot that you will never understand.

Happy Thanksgiving
nierozumiem   
14 Nov 2008
Real Estate / Anyone who knows how to find accommodation in Cracow? [7]

theblueenigma: How much would are you considering letting it out for ?

I have some renovation work to do, so not certain at this point. Likely to be in the region of 1200zl month + utilities.

joarius: I'm wondering which heating option is the cheapest in Poland? Because I heard that electricity is expensive, is that right?

In general electric heating will be your most expensive option, but if you are disciplined about using 2nd tariff electricity, with a storage heater for example, you can keep the cost fairly competitive with gas. I wrote someting on this a few weeks back:

polishforums.com/tips_on_renting_apartment_poland-45_27993_0.html
nierozumiem   
12 Nov 2008
Real Estate / Anyone who knows how to find accommodation in Cracow? [7]

Is that a 1 bedroom in the centre of Krakow for 1300zl? Could be a bargain. Let me know how you get on. I may have a studio apartment in centre of Krakow available for rent in January.

Look at this sticky thread: polishforums.com/look_on_internet_polish_real-20_18451_0.html

And try this website: studentcenter.pl/index.php?lang=en
nierozumiem   
11 Nov 2008
Life / A trip to a Polish supermarket [136]

gtd:
I looked in the rack for the shopping baskets by the door but as usual it is empty and all 700 baskets in the store are piled up under the kasas where you cant get to them

Great thread!

The local chain of supermarkets where I live has just recently instituted a new policy. They have removed all shopping baskets from the store (You should see the confused looks of customers as they walk in the door). You are now required to use a shopping trolley to enter. So now when I bring my 1 year old shopping with me I have to push his pram with one hand (taking a pram into any Polish establishment is a thread unto itself), and the trolley with the other. As always the trolley refuses to go in a straight line and I have to pull the pram in reverse as it fishtails all over the place.

And of course in the middle of every isle is a short squat babka in a beret and overcoat with shoulder pads, whose purpose in life is to act oblivious to the world around her and shift to whichever side of the isle I am attempting to pass her on. A bit like playing Frogger.

The first time I experienced the new no-baskets policy I was with my wife and we attempted to just go straight on in sans trolley. The security guy came running over in a panic. He was certainly intimidating, all 75 years of him, with his sweater tucked into his trousers and bright orange badge. So I was more than a bit embarrassed when he begged us to take a trolley, or he would "lose his job".
nierozumiem   
9 Nov 2008
Real Estate / BUYING A HOUSE IN POLAND.. and having the seller strip it bare.. [12]

I bought an apartment in Krakow a few years ago that included a lot of the original details, like chandeliers, stained glass, lamps, old door fixtures/knobs. I was a bit wary of the seller and coming from the US I have heard stories of sellers stripping the house of everything, nailed down or not.

There was some tough negotiating on the selling price, and I made sure that the sale was to include all of those items. We agreed to a price and set a date with the notary. I arrived at the notary with a dozen photographs of the lamps, etc and asked that the photos & descriptions be placed in the pre-contract. The seller, his lawyer, the notary all had a good laugh at my expense. Then everyone stopped laughing when the seller confessed that he did indeed plan to strip the apartment of these items and “donate them to the church” (not sure which church in Krakow is in need of door handles). There was some arguing and more haggling and eventually the notary put the photos into the pre-contract, much to her own amazement.

When we met for the final contract the seller was desperately trying to get out of the pre-contract as prices in Krakow were rising so quickly. He kept stepping out of the room to take calls from potential buyers who would hopefully offer enough to offset the penalty he would face for breaking the pre-contract. In the end he signed the contract. The estate agent on the deal told me that he bumped into the seller a few months later and he tried to start a fist fight right there on the street.

I had the opposite problem buying a house. The previous owner was an elderly gentleman who had passed away leaving decades of “stuff”. His family did not have the means to clean the place out and at casual glance there were some nice looking pieces of furniture, that would offset the cost of removing the rubbish. I agreed to take the house, stuff and all. Some of the furniture turned out to be so rotten that is collapsed. And the wonderful looking antique bed was only 180cm long, which might have been practical 80 years ago.
nierozumiem   
5 Nov 2008
Real Estate / Selling a property after 5 years - tax question on Polish property [2]

Property purchased prior to 2007 and held for a full 5 calendar years is not subject to any Polish capital gains tax. Property held for less than 5 full calendar years is subject to a 10% flat tax on the net proceeds of the sale. This is not a true CGT, it is 10% of the proceeds, regardless of profit.

There are ways to avoid the tax by re-investing the proceeds in Poland. Consult a lawyer before selling.

Property purchased from January 1, 2007 is subject to a 19% CGT on profit. This can be avoided if the property is used as your registered primary residence for 1 year (bought in 2007) or 2 years (bought Jan 1, 2008 forward)

UK Resident - I believe you are correct. If you are tax resident in the UK, you are taxed on your global income. Any taxes paid to Poland should offset the UK tax.