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Warsaw buyer or sellers market? Houses around the Milanówek area

lonpol 7 | 69
6 Apr 2018 #1
Hello, we are looking at houses just outside of Warsaw, around the Milanówek area. What is the market currently like? We have found a house we like is it reasonable to go in with an offer 10% below the asking price?. I heard sellers in Poland like to price them high.

Richthecat 8 | 69
6 Apr 2018 #2
Hey I do invest in property but not in the warsaw area due to it already being a mature market with fairly high prices. My experience will differ from the warsaw market but I will share it with you just incase it is of help.

In Poland there are some differences interms of pricing and the desirability of property. I found that the interior standard will really move the pricing of a property much more than in other european markets. Also the commuter culture is still in its infancy here so there are oppertunites to buy into what us western europeans would consider commuter towns as the relation of the petrol prices to salaries currently make commuting not as viable as an option. Also all sales are much riskier as surveys are rare and the sale completes very quickly and there is very little comback so be sure the property is structually sound.

Poland in general and especailly Warsaw is seeeing dramatic wage increases and therefore high standard properties are becoming more and more sort after. The likelyhood of getting a deal however I have found very much depends on the sellers personal situation Pole will advertise properties for high prices howwever these can be very negotiable if the seller needs quick money especailly if you are a cash buyer with no need to arrange a mortgage. Try to find out the sellers situation why are they selling does it look like they need a quick sale. If you are a cash buyer you can complete in about 1-3 weeks so you really hold all the cards. They unfortunately will presume as a foriegner you will have deep pockets and will probably push you hard for every penny possible. I would not be afraid to offer low and if you offend them you can blame it on your ignorance sometimes pretending to be dumb works it does for me anyway.

Also if buying off plan or from a developer the situation is very different what kind of property are you thinking of buying ????

Hope this helps
OP lonpol 7 | 69
6 Apr 2018 #3
Richthecat, appreciate your thoughts they are very useful.

From my research I had guessed that commuting had not taken off yet so planned to buy a house on a commuter line with the commute to warsaw faster than my current commute into london your comments back this up.

I am fortunate to be a cash buyer so sounds like I will be in a strong position. The house is not for investment, we plan to move to Poland ( we are both Polish citizens but I have never lived in Poland, long story :( I did notice when we looked at flats last year it seems that if the agents/lawyers/sellers find out im also British all the prices shoot up! I am not too bothered about price increases I just want to have a nice home in Poland.

Thanks for the heads up about the risks. I get the feeling im going to get screwed in some way or another. I plan on getting a good lawyer to double check everything. I might consider a buildings inspector but we plan on making changes to the building anyway, from what I can tell the buildings are cheap its the land that is expensive. I would not be too bothered if we had to correct issues.

The house is pretty and built in the 1950s. It needs some love and attention but im more interested in the location/land
Richthecat 8 | 69
7 Apr 2018 #4
Hey I find that a lawyer is no use. Do you know the house buying process here it is completely different from that in the UK. Generally, you make an offer it's accepted and you go to a notary who completes the paperwork and that's it. No 3 months checking this and that like in the UK, therefore, there is very little to get a lawyer to check.

You are right that land does normally hold more of a value than a house as many simply knock the house down and start again sometimes this is cheaper. I have bought a couple of times and never had any issues but its very nerve racking that its so quick and you feel like you could be getting conned but generally it turns out ok. I would say I have been lucky for the most part but if I would offer any advice it would forget the house look at the sellers be sure you trust them and the sale makes sense. On the whole, most poles are honest trustworthy people but like in any country, there will be some who want to have you over.

I would if you speak Polish just not admit that you lived in England or abroad for so long.

You said that you never lived in Poland but do you have a PESEL if not you will need one before buying ...
7 Apr 2018 #5
I have bought and sold properties in Poland over 11 times.If you are a cash buyer you can close the deal in 3 days.Lawyers are useless and for dumb foreigners only to use.Notary should do it all with a govt fixed price or discounted price.Although I have just bought one residential flat but rest i deal in commercials.Returns in poland are now same as in USA until you get a deal which can be found.Now I have started investing back in USA as you can get stable tenants like mcdonalds,kfc,starbucks etc with 15/20 year net net net leases.Plus on rentals over 100k Pln a year the taxes have gone up to 12.5% from 8.5%,so investing in Poland is not lucarative anymore.Also the leases here are very short term max 10 years with 3/6 months notice to terminate.
OP lonpol 7 | 69
11 Apr 2018 #6
I have a PESEL.

Update : from our initial interactions it seems that its currently a buyers market.
Richthecat 8 | 69
11 Apr 2018 #7
Good luck I hope it turns out well for you. I can see on some other threds you are looking for lawyers I would say you are wasting your money here. I would proceed without one they will charge you a bunch and you still won't get any certainty.

Honestly I think you will waste your money

I know it feels wired compared to the Uk but having gone through it a couple of times i am sure it will be fine
OP lonpol 7 | 69
11 Apr 2018 #8
Yeah thanks. After getting a Polish speaker to get some quotes turns out its not too expensive in percentage terms.

Next step is a second viewing and trying to get the agents fee down
Richthecat 8 | 69
12 Apr 2018 #9
Good luck, the agents fee will be very hard to negotiate I find the best I have ever done is a couple hundred pln but good luck.
OP lonpol 7 | 69
12 Apr 2018 #10
Already got them to agree to negotiate so lets see should be interesting.
polishinvestor 1 | 361
13 Apr 2018 #11
compared to the uk, its always a buyers market in poland particularly when it comes to houses. higher priced stuff shifts less often and its not unknown and in fact quite usual for some houses to be on the market for years due to a mixture of lack of liquidity at that price range and of course unrealistic pricing. if you are a cash buyer, you hold all the cards. check the online ads to find out how long they have been selling and dont be afraid to lowball, as sellers are often selling for a long time and the smell of money (as opposed to bank loans) and the opportunity to close quickly is often enough.

agents fees are around 2% above a million or 3-3.5% below, thats an average, but you can negotiate. if the agent believes you want to buy, they wont stand too firm if it comes down to the fee as they know if you walk away they get nothing. and you can always go back after 12 months anyway (usually the lock-out period for agencies but you need to check your paperwork with them).

you can use this site to look at prices
while some of the free portals pick up ads from the big ones and time stamp then so you can go back years to see the first listings.
Dougpol1 31 | 2,640
13 Apr 2018 #12
agents fees are around 2% above a million or 3-3.5% below, thats an average

Excuse my ignorance, but why wouldn't the seller be the payer of the lions share of agents fees?
terri 1 | 1,663
14 Apr 2018 #13
The buyer also pays agent's fees unless it is a direct sale. I remember that when I bought a property I paid 4% to the agent.
Dougpol1 31 | 2,640
14 Apr 2018 #14
Blimey. That is not good news. Looking to downgrade from Dougpol Towers and I think I will make an offer for my friends' run-down flat instead. Handing 30,000 zlotys or so to an agent would make me physically sick:)
OP lonpol 7 | 69
23 Jul 2018 #15
Quick update on this, not gone through yet although its close. Got a 6% discount ( it had already come down in price before i came on the scene )

The agent was expecting me to turn up the next day and sign. I think they must be annoyed I got a Lawyer to check everything out and look for issues but I dont care, its my money at stake. Turns out part of the house is missing planning permission which apparently is common but the Lawyer got us some more discount and safeguards so it will not be too expensive to correct.

Question - ive been asked to pay the notary fee + sales tax to the notary in physical cash, is that normal? Also how is the money for the house transacted? Does it get sent to a third party or will i be sending straight to the seller ( risky? )
terri 1 | 1,663
23 Jul 2018 #16
I can only go on my experience of buying a flat.
Yes, it is normal to pay in cash to the notary when you pay the notary fee & sales tax. If you paid by bank transfer (przelew) you would need to do it a few days before so that on the day of signing the notary would have the cash in their bank account. If you did that and something went wrong, they would have your cash and you would have nothing. Similarly, you cannot become an owner before you pay for something and NO notary will let you pay for a house/flat a few days after the actual signing as they would not be sure that you would pay, but you would be the owner and they would have to go through the Courts to get any money out of you. The document you get from the notary states details of the house, the buyer and seller and their details and that the money has been paid or will be paid and when.

The money for the house is usually transferred through the bank via a 'przelew' to the buyers account, unless you want to hand the whole amount in cash in front of the notary. You can always ask the notary.

In my case, the seller came with me to the bank when I transferred the whole amount to his bank account and then we went straight to the notary. However, we had all agreed (in front of the notary) that this would take place and the notary waited for us whilst the money got transferred.
OP lonpol 7 | 69
23 Aug 2018 #17
So I paid the notary fees and sales tax in hard cash ( can be difficult to get more than 20.000pln out of the bank unless you call up the day before ).

We signed all the documents at the notary office with my lawyer present. I paid the money to the sellers account over the next 2 weeks which was agreed to in the contract. I collect the house in a month.

Question - which companies should I be using to insure the property ?
polishinvestor 1 | 361
24 Aug 2018 #18
You can pay into the notarys account for a small fee, this eliminates any risk on both the side of the buyer and seller - the money being transferred to the seller byt the notary once the akt is signed.

PZU is the biggest and is often used given they tend to pay their dues in the event of claims, but of course they arent the cheapest. Dont skimp here though, as in the event of a claim of any sort, you could be left out of pocket.
OP lonpol 7 | 69
26 Aug 2018 #19
Thanks, will check PZU out
OP lonpol 7 | 69
19 Oct 2018 #20
Thought I would provide an update. Thanks for all your help it was really useful!

We finally got the house after much waiting. There were no real issues, everything went through quite smoothly. We will not be living there full time for at least 2 years but will be working to make improvements before we move in as it needs quite a bit of work. We met a few of the neighbours and they are all really nice. We intend to visit once a month and are lucky to have a local friend who is working on the house too.

The area we decided on is fantastic, very peaceful and relaxing in the forest but just a short journey on the WKD to Warszawa.

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