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Posts by eleanoroconner  

Joined: 8 Nov 2007 / Female ♀
Last Post: 10 Feb 2009
Threads: Total: 4 / In This Archive: 2
Posts: Total: 55 / In This Archive: 51
From: Scotland, Glasgow
Speaks Polish?: A Little
Interests: Money and travelling!

Displayed posts: 53 / page 1 of 2
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10 Feb 2009
Real Estate / People who bought in Katowice Oak teraces phase I and phase II [102]

thought you were running down people who went to do the work themselves

Fair point. But there are two types of "doing it yourself". Homework you can do on the net or by 'phone which takes very little time and tramping around shops trying to find tiles in a foreign country.

My point was many PS says "Buy on this development" and the investors say "alright then". PS say "use rednet as your agent" and the investors say "alright then". Rednet say "use Keen to fit your property out" and the investors say "alright then" without ever doing any of their own homework to see if any of the above is actually a good idea.

I had a look at the PS forum the other day. Lots of people moaning about how they hadn't made any money - now where's the "secret" in that?

what part of we too can install expensive 1500 PLN / m2 fittings do you NOT understand?

Hoorah WB! At last! I don't think we would ever have had this argument if you had looked at Oak Terrace, understood it and proposed a sensible finish at a sensible price.

But 1500 is not expensive. A flat that won't rent or sell is expensive. A fit out which needs rework in the first 24 months is expensive.

how much did you lose composing that

Elenor works for Mandom...

I think you're saying I am obsessing about this. Thank you for the slap in the face. 'nuff said.
29 Jan 2009
Real Estate / People who bought in Katowice Oak teraces phase I and phase II [102]

I found my "back of a fag packet calculations" today from a couple of years back when I was working out how much it would cost me to do the fit out myself. I've done some updating on the costs so stand back for the math!

Got to get there! 300 PLN for an easyjet return flight if you book well in advance. One trip at the beginning and hopefully no others until the end.

300 x 2 = 600 PLN

Accommodation and Meals
I reckoned on 10 days in all, 7 at the beginning and 3 at the end to choose, buy and get materials. A hotel like the Camponile is about 170 PLN a night and you'll need to eat out noon and night which would be about 80 PLN per day.

10 days at 250 PLN per day - 2,500 PLN

Car Hire
As Margaret mentioned there'll be driving involved to find the stuff and you'll need an estate car just incase you need to take it from the shop yourself. Lets take a Ford Focus which will be about 180 per day for 7 days. We'll need petrol - maybe 200 PLN.

180 x 7 = 1260 + 200 = 1460

There will always be other costs - airport parking, a bottle of wine to keep you sane, etc. Rule of thumb would be 10%.
4,560 x 10% = 450 (to keep things straightforward).

So far the tab is 5,000 PLN but now there is an cost for further down the road.
You can't take any of the above expenses off your rental income even though you had to spend them because of the property so you will need to pay about 20% tax on money you haven't really earnt from your rent.

5,000 x 20% = 1,000 PLN

Materials and Labour
No matter what you do you are not going to buy at the same terms as a full time fit out company - they're probably in bed with the manufacturer or the wholesaler. In Margarets case above she pad 1,085 per square meter. I paid 875 per sqm for materials and labour. Difference of 210 but to keep things simple and be conservative we'll say an average punter will pay 200 PLN per sqm more than the pro's and an average apartment is 50 sqm.

50 x 200 = 10,000 PLN

Lost Rent
While your banging your head against a brick wall in a shop a fit out company is already working. We'll assume it takes you two weeks longer than the pro's (and I believe that to be very conservative) and your apartment would rent for 2,000 PLN per month which is low end.

2,000 / 2 (half the month) = 1,000 PLN

So the tab so far is 17,000 PLN for the tangables. You can plug your own figures in - save a bit by bedding down in a hostel with the backpackers or surviving on kebabs or you can pay a bit more staying in a more upmarket hotel and eating Sushi!

For a 50 sqm apartment a project management fee from the likes of Mamdom or Keen (et al.) is going to be about 30,000 PLN. So from Wroclaw Boys point of view I'm being "taken to the cleaners to the tune of 13,000". If you were doing this with, say two others you could divide the costs but then the Mamdom fee would be lower as well so it works out about the same.

Now come the intangables.
Labour - this is hard to find in the UK, let alone in a foreign land so some of what you are paying for is the fit out companies knowledge in this area.

Time - if you can value your time it's quick to work out. I'm self employed and if I'm not here I'm not earning. On this measure alone I would be worse off if I spent my time trying to sort out the fit out. If your rich, don't need to work and don't have anything else to do the value of your time is zero!

Stress - things go wrong in life and with building work. Value peace of mind however you want - its why I pay lettings agents in the UK to give me Property Management.

Design - where is that fine balance between "bland" and "neutral"? I'm not a designer so I don't know. A good fit out company who knows the local market does and so you pay to some extent for this skill and knowledge. If you get it wrong your property will have longer void periods which looses rent - that's a cost for down the road but a very real one

Opportunity Cost - if your flaffing around in a shop your not looking for your next investment. I spend about half my holidays each year sniffing around the edges of Polish cities for non-descript new developments where I can pick up a good buy-to-let deal. The other half is actually my holiday and we all need that so by trying to do a fit out myself I might be loosing out on getting my money into something that will give me a return.

This, I have to say, is very different to Margarets situation. For her these early "losses" are part of a learning experience because she will be doing this over and over again in the future. In her case its an investment and if you, like Margaret and I, are still expanding your Polish property portfolio while everyone alse in running around like startled chickens in a farm yard, and you have the time and resource, it's worth thinking about.

You have to make your own cost calculations to see how it would work out for you but it's important to remember what you are really "saving". Don't be like the muppet who drives to the next town to save 2p per litre on unleaded!!!!
28 Jan 2009
Real Estate / Real Estate hits a new low in Poland [86]

i dislike the greed, the underhandedness, the lies, the deceit, rudeness, arrogance of many polish, the self-distructive, self-centred attitude which ends up being counter-productive so often.

Reminds me of someone I met in Warsaw. He complained the same way.
I said, "Why don't you leave?"
He said, "It's not me who should leave, it's them!"
28 Jan 2009
Real Estate / People who bought in Katowice Oak teraces phase I and phase II [102]

Margaret - you are a clever and canny lass and an investor after my own heart! If you haven't read her posts yet scroll up!! - this is a wise woman talking!

Now I've been doing some digging around in my papers to get some clarity for here so first:

Hey Elean the Mamdom eco line "cheapest option" starts at 590 PLN / m2.

This is the price for a resale fit (as it says on the website) which means no kitchen, fitted cupboards, etc. The eco for rental starts from 850 PLN but obviously the bigger your pad, the lower the price per square meter and generally Mamdom is 1,000 to 2,000 p/sqm for the classic and lux from the quotes I have received which is what you should be looking at for Oak Terraces.

Difference in Resale and Rental fit out is at:

But I've found my quotes and bills for last year to compare with margaret's pricing of:

For a 35m sq apartment the labour costs is £2,800.00 and the material cost is £5,700.00
giving a total of £8,500.00.

Say the exchange rate is 4.5 so Margaret sorted out her own fit out for 38,250 PLN. My bill from Mamdom for a 40 sqm apartment was 35,600 PLN for materials and labour using their classic line and for rental (fitted cupboards and kitchens included) - so around the same as Margaret. Their project management fee (which has been seperately stated on each quote was) 29,000 PLN - total 1,680 PLN/m2- hold that thought.

For my 98 sqm apartment (also classic line) the materials and labour were 68,000 PLN and project management charge of 36,500 PLN - total 1,066 PLN/m2

For my 63 sqm apartment I got together with two other buyers and so we got the Mamdom multi-discount(the more of you there are, the bigger this gets). Materials and labour 43,000 PLN, project management charge 21,000 PLN - total 1,015 PLN/m2

These were all in the ballpark of other quotes but the obvious lesson is to try and get together with others and not too much difficulty there with Oak Terrace.

Now like with anything else in life if you do it yourself it will be cheaper. Margaret has the connections to organise the labour and the time to go to Poland herself and hunt down materials. You could go even cheaper and learn to tile and plumb saving you the labour costs!

I don't so I am happy to pay the likes of Mamdom to do the legwork for me. You can call me a muggins but I also employ an accountant to do my books, a cleaner to cope with the tip I call home, a mechanic to repair my car, and so on and so on. I spend the free time it creates earning doing something I know something about and having a life. From the tone of Margarets posts I suspect she is not new to the developing game so her route is more obvious.

I also pay lettings agents in the UK to manage my properties here. I could do it myself but I have better things to do than flaffing around when a washing machine goes up the swanny in one of my flats. So by paying them I am now a 'home citizen being taken to the cleaners'! Oh the service industry .. how it takes money from all us muppets!

But back to the Polish property - you don't truly 'save' all the project fee by doing it yourself. A couple of return flights, hotels, car hire, meals, time off work or lost holiday time and your soon eating in to your 'savings'. Then there is a long term cost - these expenses cannot be deducted from your rental or resale income so you will also get a higher tax bill.

Margaret was prepared to go through the strain of driving here and there looking for materials, dealing with the god awful customer service (which I have had a brush with), managing the labour, flaffing around designing a kitchen and figuring out which colour scheme would work best for a rental market you don't know about. If you can do it, you will 'save' something.

Finally to reply to a few quotes:

everyone needs to be careful about is what exactly you are getting for your money

Yes, spot on, and god forbid it's going to be another link to guess who but this is general useful info (no really!):

But Eleanoroconner is not saying that Wroclaw Boy's prices are bad

Absolutely. They are not for Oak Terraces and the like

your suggesting the mamdom fitters are on the Mamdom payroll

That's right, Mamdom fitters are on the Mamdom payroll, not contracted out companies. Same was true of Keen Properties a year ago, not checked recently.

Eleanoroconner and Wroclaw Boy are making this an interesting thread, they battle it out and the People who bought in Katowice Oak teraces are watching as the price goes down, class.

I thought they had left the building weeks ago!!!

SeanBM: But Eleanoroconner is not saying that Wroclaw Boy's prices are bad

Absolutely. They are not for Oak Terraces and the like

But, but, but - forgot to mention this:

I would be very happy with Wroclaw Boys finish on a 1970s build or bottom end student type property. However there is one other thing to add to Margaret's comment. She said it's important to know what you are getting.

It is also important to know who you are dealing with. The outbursts from WB in this thread would make me think twice. I want to deal with a professional company, not someone who goes off the deep end at criticism.

Can you imagine the snagging? ...
"This doesn't look right"
"Your just saying that because you hate me! You don't know what your talking about! Don't ridicule my company"

Sorry WB but if this thread is anything to go by I wouldn't risk it...

It's no offence to you, and I know you are about to come back with a knife between your teeth, but if this forum is anything to go by you do what might be good work a great disservice. Ultimately where I might have used you in the future I hesitate because of your defensive, rather than constructive nature. Seen it in Poland too many times.

But as you have said in previous posts you don't want my business so no lost sleep for you there!
20 Dec 2008
Real Estate / People who bought in Katowice Oak teraces phase I and phase II [102]


I think we have hijacked the thread and everyone else left long ago - like two old gits in the corner of the bar bickering long after closing time while only the landlady (Mrs Bandwidth) wishes we would leave.

They are a middle man bridging the gap between foreign investor and fit out company

This is actually a serious point and one I looked into over a year ago. Mamdom, Keen Property and JM Interiors all employ their own fitters. They don't contract out and simply skim a margin so I think, Wrocław Boy, you made that bit up!

BUT you do pay them a margin - to find good labour, materials and project manage things for you.

I would imagine their cut is around the 30% mark

As an FA if I had a client running this type of business I would be advising them to make a minimum of 30% margin to run a viable business which covers overheads, turns in a sensible profit and allows for investment in the future. Ideally 40%.

I think the bottom line is this:
Keen Property - c. 2,000 zl/m2+ but includes lots of bells and whistles. Cheaper if done as part of a PS deal.
Mamdom, JM, Flats Poland, etc - 1,000 to 2,000 zl/m2 depending on the level of fit
JW Construction (the developers) - c. 1,000 zl/m2+ when you include a kitchen, lights and blinds and book the fit when you reserve the flat.

Wrocław Boy - 500 zl/m2

Now this is not just cheaper, it is suspiciously cheap. It must mean:
a) You are the only honest lad in the industry and everyone else, developers included, are minting it.
b) You are using mindboggingly cheap materials and labour so there is a quality issue and the property ends up looking kak - ref the photo's that started all this.

c) You are not very good at running a business and you are not making a proper margin. So people should use you quickly before you go bust!

I also know that you are a mamdom faithful

Now you are a journalist as well(!) with selected quoting. But if you find something good and it works - shout about it. I've had a long relationship with Mamdom now and they are a professional outfit in a sea of incompetence BUT with each fit out I continue to get several quotes. Never get lazy and assume everything will remain cosy. Sometimes they are a little more expensive, sometimes a little cheaper, but so far always in the ballpark so not worth taking the risk in changing.

Im sorry you paid over the top prices for your fit outs.

Many thanks. But if "overpaid" means short void periods, good yields and properties agents say will sell well I look forward to "overpaying" some more!

BTW - Thank you for your PM:
"Do you honestly think I gain any business from the Forum, im mostly here to argue with snotty cows like you. let me guess: divorced - bitter, middle aged woman."

But be a man and post it on the Forum, not in my mail box. For the record - single, bitter or Guiness (don't mind), mid thirties.

Anyhows it's the party season so I doubt I will be back on line before the bells. Have a great Christmas Wrocław Boy and anyone else left lingering on this thread. I look forward to more banter in 2009. Last one out switch off the lights..........
18 Dec 2008
Real Estate / People who bought in Katowice Oak teraces phase I and phase II [102]

investment property for the rental market.

Argument coming!!! Yes it is an investment which means something you can rent out. Yes, you can upgrade and get more but not for 500 PLN/m2

Judging by your comments and superior choice of furniture and fittings it will be a damn site cheaper than yours.

Yes your fit outs are cheaper than the ones I have had done, and it shows. I'm not saying your flats don't rent out but the point is "investment". Here are my maths:

Buy a 40 sqm apartment and have a cheapy fit out for 500 PLN per sqm. You should save 16,000-20,000 PLN. But you loose in three places:

1) Longer initial void period - as mentioned above "prospective tenants pass it over". Say it takes 4 months to rent - loss of rent 4x3,000 = 12,000 PLN

2) Lower rent - you will rent but not for as much as your neighbours. Say 500 PLN per month less. Over two years - 24x500 = 12,000 PLN.

3) Lower resale - any modern Pole looking to buy in Oak Terraces is going to take one look at a cheap fit out and know they need to rip it all out. Loss - who knows?

If you can really help help without calling out your old "one stop shop" friend Mamdom

I actually said they should bite their lip and use the PS fitters. Read, then blurt!

If not STFU.

If you start loosing an argument, start swearing. That will prove you are right.

More than enough for even the fussiest tenant

The other one has bells on it! Seriously

Even if you did the type of cooker in an apartment is the last thing tenants consider as a deal braker

When there is little choice around I agree. But there will be loads of apartments on the market at Oak Terraces. If brand were not important why do Polish agents bang on about Bosch this and Kolo that in their descriptions?

This is just a hate mail aimed at me personally.

Now it's getting sad. I don't even know you!! OK I was wrong to say noone will rent it. The fit out photo's you show will rent to someone - there is a tenant for anything but the monthly price won't be the same.

Have you visited many grandparents houses/flats in Poland? I think not.

Actually yes because I bought two ex-commy flats this year and visited about 40 in the process. Most with retired people living there and most with the kind of bathroom you have. Ideal for renting out to students - which I have done.

Next time you decide to ridicule my company please refrain from doing so.

Nope! If you come on a Forum to advertise your company be prepared for someone else to give you critical feedback on it and advise others who are less experienced.

But it's not ridicule Wroclaw Boy. The fit out you showed is for students or the like. This thread is about investment apartments in a development aimed at young professionals.

You have never been a customer (thank god)

If you have a business why not keep polite and professional? Who knows I might want such a fit out one day (just not in Oak Terrace), I could have been your customer and you could have earnt something out of it. But this kind of childish emotional outburst tells us all more about you and your business than I could have ever done. Perhaps that is the one positive side to it.

A voice of reason.

He actually said:

A mid-range finish like Wroclaw Boy's, which prospective tenants will pass over.

17 Dec 2008
Real Estate / People who bought in Katowice Oak teraces phase I and phase II [102]

Also Wroclaw boy there may be some interest in your services.

Are you boys Mad? (no offence Wroclaw Boy - I like reading your posts, don't always agree with your comments but your fit outs ..... ?)

PS boys - you may be new to the Polish market but Polish tenants are much more sofisticated than most people think. The pics on this thread show exactly what you can get for 500 PLN/sqm:

- cheap kitchen with a tiny sink, no lighting 'cept for that miserable B&Q bargain basement thing on the ceiling
- bathroom with tiles and fittings that really belong in a communist era flat. Not even tiled up to the top of the shower head!, now that is cheap.

If you want to refurb a 1970s apartment to rent out to students this might be the way to go. But this is Oak Terraces. What you will end up with is an even bigger debt and a flat that noone will want to rent because it reminds them of their grandparents place!!!

You'd be better to bite your lip and go with the Property Secrets service. At least you will get well known brands and a modern finish so you'll stand half a chance of finding decent tenants quickly.

See this page on Gratka to get an idea of who you are up against on the rental market:,katowice.html
.. and how you actually need to finish your apartments.
5 Dec 2008
Real Estate / People who bought in Katowice Oak teraces phase I and phase II [102]

I was wondering when the froth was going to explode on PS!

Still you all sound like decent people who may have been taken for a bit of a ride. Oak Terraces was punted by PS, Ober-Haus and a whole bunch of other property companies, and punted to foreign buyers. Result - development full of shells to be flipped or, in a few months - flats to be rented.

BUT I do believe Katowice is a great location and bought a 1970s place there which rents out very well and the local economy is developing well. Over the long term the capital gains will be excellent in my opinion - but no get rich quick stuff.

Here is my advice:
- I reckon there must be hundreds of units in foreign hands. Post on every forum you can find. The more of you there are, the bigger your bargaining power with the developer and fit out companies.

- If you can hold on to the property and all will come right over a few years
- Get lots of fit out quotes as a group - I had one flat in Warsaw and met three other buyers when I was reserving. We stayed in touch and when fit out time came we each got a discount off the Mamdom fit out fee. I started a thread on this but it hasn't come to much! Maybe you guys can add your thoughts after you have been through the mill:
- If you have to sell consider getting a part fit out on the property if you can afford it. This is when you get the bathroom in, floor down and walls painted. It's money well spent to set your place apart from all the shells.

I have in the past dealt with PS clients within this sector at a fraction of the time and costs of Rednet

Agreed Wroclaw Boy - there are plenty of agents and fit out companies that do the same but cheaper. PS/RedNet/Keen Property have been doing well and fair cop to them because investors have been lazy.

Went to the PS site today .... what a lot of very unhappy people. I also never understood where PS get their 'under market' values from. This said I suspect many of them were too lazy to do their own homework in the boom times and believed whatever PS fed to them.

Should have come to this forum earlier!
27 Oct 2008
Real Estate / Current state of the property market in Krakow [135]

asking someone to put a value on something that they are going to sell AND also get a comission on is plainly LUDICROUS !!.....

But that's how they work in Britain....?

Independent valuations is the only system that could possibly save Poland

Independent valuers look at a property and then call estate agents to ask what similar properties have sold in the area. So the 'root' is actually the same. When I remortgage I give the surveyor comparables that I have already got from estate agents - works like a dream and they love not having to do so much work - but nothing independent about it.

but the prices in Krakow city center are quite unreasonnable for the average Pole or even the average European.

But prices in Kensington (London) are quite unreasonable for the average Brit or European - luckily the average Brit doesn't buy in Kensington, the rich ones do!
27 Oct 2008
Real Estate / Current state of the property market in Krakow [135]

lets compare it to Philadelphia.

Stop, stop, stop! Just stop comparing the Polish market to anywhere. Its bananas and pointless. You can't even compare Krakow prices to Gdansk and say "oooooh, you can get so much more in Gdansk so Krakow is too expensive". They are different markets.

Why does a 50 sqm flat in Krakow cost 200,000?
- Big student population and young professionals so easy to rent
- Close to bars, shops, nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, culture, etc, etc.
- Poles migrating into the city for well paid jobs increasing demand while supply of housing is limited.
- Plenty of low cost airlines flying in millions of tourists
- On the main transit route from Germany/West Europe to Ukraine, Russia and other Eastern markets so plenty of business in logistics
- beautiful old town, castle and river within walking distance or tram trip of most suburbs
- Easy to reach and travel to the rest of Europe
- Close to mountains, forests, lakes

Why does a huge 200 sqm house with garden in Philadelphia cost the same?
- it doesn't have most of the above.

If its all about where you want to live and you prefer American suburbia then go live there and potter around in your garden. Personally I love big city lights so do the majority of people (demand) so I have to pay more because the number of properties in a city centre (supply) is limited. And that's also why I invest in or near cities.
26 Oct 2008
Real Estate / Current state of the property market in Krakow [135]

I've got to say the doomsayers on this thread have very little to back up their arguments. Krakow, and indeed all of Poland, is a very stable market compared to anywhere else at the moment.

"Real estate costs 7000 pln a square meter for a flat in Krakow. The average in the EU is 3000 pln a square meter."

Even if this EU figure was true (and noone knows where it came from...) prices in all cities are higher than the average whatever country you live in. More people want to live in cities.

Speculators are pulling out of the Polish real estate market for greener pastures, ie rising price real estate markets, for example Bulgaria and other new land rushes

No. Speculators are pulling out of Bulgaria because the only people they can sell to are other foreigners and they are all too cash strapped to buy!

We are still dealing with banks who will loan up to 90% LTV, and that is to Poles and foreingers.

This is true but what andy b didn't say is it has always been difficult to get this money. You have to jump through so many hoops its unbelievable but for that reason there are very few high risk borrowers in Poland.

It will fall 50% based on supply and demand and a credit freezes.

If you want to use supply and demand for your argument then the outcome is as follows. Poland has about 320 dwellings per 1,000 people. Britian has 420 and Bulgaria has 470. In fact Poland is at the bottom of the table which means supply is very low. The economy is growing and wages are rising so there is your demand. There is no credit freeze. Getting money from Polish banks has always been like getting blood out of a stone. Finally Poles are migrating to the cities so even more demand.

Conclusion. Based on supply and demand prices will rise.

my folks live in Florida and you can buy very cheap houses with land for the price of a 50 meter flat

These comparisons - and everybody seems to be using them - are absolute rubbish. There is a whole farm with land for sale in Scotland for 30,000 GBP - if you want to live on the Orkney Islands!!! Saying "Krakow is overvalued because a studio flat costs the same as a farm in Scotland so Krakow prices must come down" or comparing Florida or whatever is just utter rubbish.

Not enough people want to live in Florida so prices are coming down. More and more people want to live in Krakow to prices are going up. Maybe someone else can find the world's cheapest property/mud hut and use that to conclude Krakow prices are OTT.

I think it would help if people are to give their analysis they should be accountable and explain where they are and what is there occupation and their vested interest in what they say.

Fair enough Sean. I am a financial advisor (not for Poland) and I am steadily building up a Polish portfolio for myself. The current financial crises makes me believe even more I'm doing the right thing. I was in Krakow and Wroclaw about two weeks ago looking at new builds already completed and have to say the sites were swarming with Polish buyers - keeps me confident!
24 Oct 2008
Real Estate / Where to find shell fit out services in Poland [4]

I think, like me, many people on this forum have had or have got apartments which will be ready soon but as a shell so this thread is to pull together the various companies out there who can help!

Mamdom - (obviously!). These are the guys I use. Very straightforward, quick and average prices. Polish company with English speaking staff - covers all of Poland. The big bonus for me is they just get on with it - I don't want to choose colours and design kitchens - I want a flat that will rent quickly and they sort it all out. There is an interior design service as well - never used it. Good feedback on various forums.

Keen Properties - part of the whole Property Secrets, Red Net set up. They are more expensive than most but you do get more for your money. Suspended ceilings, flashy radiators, etc. If you want to rent an average apartment they are probably OTT as it will take years to payback but for yourself or a penthouse/top notch development well worth a look. Can't find any feedback on any forums either way.

JM (Joshua Mills) - Krakow based but say they cover all of Poland. Started by a group of investors who have already fitted out some of their own places so they should know what they are doing! Never used them personally but there is some positive feedback on this forum.

Flats Poland - when I first found this website they offered fit outs at "cost+10%". Since that is a business model that doesn't make sense I assumed their fit outs wouldn't either! They have since dropped the 10% so maybe they are more experienced now. Based in Warsaw and also selling off plan units. Found one positive feedback on this forum but from a member who is now suspended?

It would be great to get feedback from others on the above companies or any others I have missed.

I know there will also be a bunch of posts saying "I live in X and can do it for you - PM me!" but I believe companies are the most useful. I have never used an individual, even one recommended by an agent because:

- they can walk out half way through a job to take better work elsewhere (and I have met a few buyers who have had that joy)

- they can't always provide a proper invoice for the job and as you can deduct the cost of the fit out from the rental income that's crucial.

- they might be very skilled but some have no sense of design (I saw one in Warsaw last year with bright green tiles in the hallway and kitchen, the tiler said he bought them because they were cheap - thank god it wasn't my place!!)
24 Oct 2008
Real Estate / Building new house what are the prices like in Poland? [8]

I seriously recommend giving this job to a professional, you will save a lot of money in the long run.

I think Sean is spot on. Find an architect to project manage it for you. It will cost you less in time, money and stress in the long run and you should end up with a house that is suitable for Poland!

Architects also have better contacts for materials so buy at reduced prices. What you loose on the architects fee can be made up, to some extent, in these savings.

How to waste Money: I did this two years ago - hired a translator and organised a meeting with local government office to discuss changing land use on a plot. Flew to Poland, took translator, went to office - woman off sick, noone else could help. Took translator back to office, flew home!!!!!!
31 Aug 2008
Life / Lodz - Fitout - Need to buy kitchen and bathroom units and appliances. [8]

A word of caution against IKEA kitchens. They use Whirlpool which is fine but the Polish have a very poor opinion of the brand - so if you plan to rent to Polish you should probably buy the appliances elsewhere.

Seems alot of hassle though - why not use Mamdom? They've fitted out three of my apartments and I don't have to source a thing. Who are you arranging your fit out with and why can't they get the materials?
23 Jun 2008
Real Estate / Buying farmland and keeping it as farmland in Poland [16]

Only Polish citizens should be allowed to buy land in Poland

Tomek - this argument has been had over many times on this forum and the general agreement is that Poland is now part of Europe. Your suggestions is like saying only people from Scotland should be allowed to buy Scottish land and only people from England, English Land.

Poles buy land in Croatia, Bulgaria, Spain and Britain. It is no big deal. Try and drag yourself into the modern world - it's a great place when you stop being scared!
20 Jun 2008
Real Estate / Advice on best interior fit-out company in Krakow: mamdom or JoshuaMills? [32]

Right - I have put my foot in it!

The Keen Properties - Red Net - Property Secrets bit is true. However I misread the 'About Us' page on the JM Interiors site. It says "Joshua Mills Interiors was created by keen property developers" - that's in small letters so obviously not Keen Property Partners in Warsaw.

Thanks for putting that right JM Interiors - and sorry for any confusion caused.

Maybe change the wording on your website?
20 Jun 2008
Real Estate / Advice on best interior fit-out company in Krakow: mamdom or JoshuaMills? [32]

I've used Mamdom three times over the past 14 months - very happy with what they did. I don't know Joshua Mills but they are an off spin of Keen Properties who are in bed with rednet who are in bed with Property Secrets!

Nothing bad about that but when I looked at Keens offer it was almost twice as expensive as Mamdom because they do things like suspended ceilings, etc which I thought were OTT for a straightforward rental apartment.


I think I made the right decision because all my flats rented within 3 weeks. I have another apartment coming up for fit out in October in Lodz and I will use Mamdom for that - if it works, why change?

My first fit out was over a year ago and I liked Mamdom for two reasons:
1) They guarantee the price and deadline - and they have been true to their word on my three projects.
2) They do the design - I am a design muppet and I don't know what is best for the Polish market so asking me what colour paint I want and which kitchen cabinets would be a headache adn I would probably arse it up. The Mamdom project managers have just gone to my flats, created a scheme and 'done it'.

But if your pad is some penthouse you will probably need an interior designer more than a fit out company and I see both Joshua Mills and Mamdom offer that service as well - never used it though.

Hope that's of some help....
8 May 2008
Real Estate / Current price of Homes in Poland [41]

mamdom is a British company that targets westerners,

Actually Mamdom is a Polish company

Don't listen to Mandom it is just full of lies.


Seriously, I get flak on this forum alot because I have used them three times for various flat purchases and been very happy - much happier than the flaffing around I tried with other companies or dealing direct with agencies .....


That does not mean I am not ready to listen - if you have had a bad experience put it here. Maybe I have just been lucky? My properties have been very profitable and I am buying a 4th this year and ... I never thought I would say this .. but I am considering moving there permenantly - maybe something they put in the Vodka!
8 May 2008
Real Estate / Market Report - RICS 2008 Poland Housing Review [25]

As RICS stated, the quality and quantity of data that they have to work from is poor.

Its a good point. Surveys are still fairly rare and those which use RICS members even fewer so the sample size is small. There is a good chance that this could be why their analysis goes against everyone elses. But in the UK they are very good.

That said I am buying again this year. People always point at the dips in historical prices and say "Wouldn't it have been great if we bought then when the market went down". Well here it is folks - dive in! - it won't last forever!

As soon as people stop flapping and the banks start moving we are going to see alot of pent up demand - buyers who were on the market haven't gone away, they have just got scared. To me it simply means profit time.
5 May 2008
Real Estate / Real estate agency in Poland (that does not target foreigners) [14]

Oh here she goes with her mamdom again

Yes here I go!! Right on, Mamdom is a portal. What does a portal do? It lists offers from agents. What type of agents? Polish ones, not the ones targeting foreign buyers. Better still - agents who actually offer some level of customer service!

Job done!
5 May 2008
Real Estate / Current price of Homes in Poland [41]

Truth is some prices are down and some are up - depends what and where. This might be useful:

Normally the seller pays the agent 3% and so does the buyer so this seems steep commission. However foreign owned agents sometimes promise sellers a better price because they hope to sell the property to poorly informed foreigners, not the domestic market.

In my opinion prices will go up in the long term but the whole Credit Crunch is causing prices in some areas of Poland to drop at the moment. So get in while the going is good!

The agent you are dealing with sounds very dodgy. You pay him a back hander and he will get you a good price? No thanks! Go deal with an agent who sells to Polish buyers and get some normality!
2 May 2008
Real Estate / Real estate agency in Poland (that does not target foreigners) [14]

The sites which don't target foreigners definitely show definitely more reasonnably priced properties and are for everyone.

That's very true. is OK but it only shows new builds in Krakow. If you are more interested in the secondary market try and read the sticky at the start of this forum
28 Apr 2008
Real Estate / Why are homes in Poland more expensive than in the USA? [27]

One of my American friends went back home with a mountainous bag full of brand-new tailored clothes

Totally agree with Magdalena. Friend of mine got a wedding dress made in Poland. Even with two flights and hotel she still paid about half the cost it would have been in the UK.

But if you buy imported goods it'll always be more expensive
14 Apr 2008
Real Estate / Global Housing Collapse Spreads East [8]

I have been telling forum members for the last 2years that the Polish Real Estate

Maybe you have but since then property prices have increased over 100%. If they drop 20% now it really doesn't matter.

Lets make no mistake those who have speculated on Polish Real Estate must now be heading straight to the cupboard for another stiff drink.

Not really. I'm glad my money is in Polish property, not stocks and shares, pension funds that evaporate or any other of the alternatives.

the smart ones have cashed in and moved on to greener pastures

Actually the smart one buy now in markets which are nervous. I'm not interested in a 5,000 Euro Albanian farm that goes up 100%. I'd prefer a 350,000 Euro Polish apartment that goes up 10% - makes 7x more cash.

nervous West Europeans stop buying investment properties in Warsaw

Bad reporting - only a fraction of the real estate sold in Warsaw goes to foreign buyers - can't bundle Poland in with Estonia, Bulgaria, etc.
4 Apr 2008
Real Estate / What is normal expectation for furniture from Polish renters? [10]

the social laws protecting the tenants can make it very difficult to evict them if they default on payment

Its true so I use agents and instruct them only to accept tenants with verifiable full time jobs. It's just as risky in the UK as in Poland - I have a friend who rented a house near Ipswich. It took six months to get the tenant out by which time he had trashed the place.

BTL has its risks
11 Feb 2008
Real Estate / Buying a Polish Property .... and losing it! [2]

The following thread started well and lost it (just like the property owner)!

Lets be clear - you can buy a property and have the sale annulled if you do not adhere to the permit rules in Poland. I know people who have bought more properties than they are allowed and are "risking it". If you do so there is always a chance the government will uncover the error and reverse the sale but don't go crying about it. 99% of the time it was the buyer who:

a) was being greedy and bought more than they were allowed
b) tried to go cheap and hired a solicitor who did not do the job right

The permit system stops Poland being swamped with foreign buyers who cause speculative bubbles and keeps property in the country in reach of the population. If you ignore it, do it at your own peril - the law is pretty clear.... not corrupt

These two are good links I have found: - is a simplified version - is the full monty

Don't cry foul because you don't do your homework or skimped on the legals
17 Jan 2008
Real Estate / Can I buy a small farm in Poland? [49]

you do seem to manage slipping mamdom into most of your posts...

Can't help it - I'm a bit of a fan! Pretty much everything I have done in Poland has been through them or because of them and a hell of a lot easier than other routes I tried. Seriously though you will find my posts have links to only useful stuff (in my opinion) including PMR publications, etc.

they really know how to charge the client

My time is more valuable than what they charge me. Nothing in this world is for free Wroclaw Boy. It'll either cost you pounds or time. If you have the latter don't pay the former. Personally I prefer to put my feet up and enjoy a bottle of wine than learn what the specialists do. That's also why I hire a solicitor to check legal documents rather than try and learn law.
15 Jan 2008
Real Estate / Can I buy a small farm in Poland? [49]

Not really - where is the moderator - this is just an advertisement for (your?) land. Regognise the text though - staight off Mamdom? - Do they know?