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Buying Property

Hungary - Buying Property

It is possible for expats to acquire property in Hungary. There are few barriers to entry and plenty of freehold property zones in the major cities. This review gives all the information you need for buying property in Hungary.

Since Hungary joined the EU, their real estate market has opened up for other EU members. However, non-EU members will also find it easy to acquire property either for residential or commercial purposes. Most privately owned properties are clustered within major cities such as Budapest and Balaton. Only Hungarian citizens can invest in property located on the outskirts of the country.

If you an EU member, you do not require a permit to enter Hungary or purchase land there. However, those who wish to extend their stay for more than 90 days will be required to apply for residence permit. You can apply for the visa after entering Hungary, but you must do so within the first 30 days. Your residence permit will also allow you to buy any property you wish while in the country.

Non-EU members will need a residence permit before entering Hungary. This process is smooth, and can be done at any Hungarian Embassy or consulate in your home country. Another option for expats is to apply for a Hungarian work permit. This can be transferred to a residence permit, which has property buying privileges. It can take up to three months for your permit request to be processed, but it will be approved eventually!

After acquiring a residence permit, you will need to acquire a land buying permit to purchase any land. This is issued by the district council of the town you are in, and costs around €200. It will take at most six weeks for this second permit to be approved.

There are two ways to buy Hungarian property: as an individual, or through a company. Some expats have previously found it more favorable to buy land as a collective via a company. This meant the process should happen faster, and increased your ability to acquire several properties at once. Over time, the Hungarian government relaxed regulations on property buying for international buyers. Today, it is more favorable to buy Hungarian property as an individual, as there are fewer accounting fees or overhead costs to contend with.

Property on the outskirts of towns is restricted to Hungarian citizens. Nevertheless, there are plenty of land buying opportunities in the big cities if you know where to look. Firstly, decide what type of property you want and what are your needs for the property; are you buying property to live in, rent out, or for a commercial business? As an expat, you will discover that buying property in big cities such as Balaton or Budapest comes with a host of advantages.

How To Find Hungarian Properties

The first place to search for property is via property listing websites. There are plenty of such websites like Ingatlan, which provide information in Hungarian, German and English. Hungarian property websites have a large database of houses, condominiums, flats and commercial buildings up for sale. International investors will be able to narrow down their search to major cities and even different real estate zones within those cities. Some property websites go the extra mile of providing additional services like links to English-speaking real estate lawyers in Hungary.

Another option to search for real estate in Hungary is through real estate agencies. Property agencies rarely charge a client consultation fee. Most agencies get their commission from the property owner when they connect them with potential clients. However, ensure you ask the real estate agent if there will be any charges involved in the property search.

Specialist real estate companies work like property agencies but on a more advanced level. It is advisable to go with a real estate specialist when searching for property. They have the best knowledge of the area when it comes to real estate and will have connections with credible property agencies.

A real estate specialist will highlight the best areas to invest, and can give advice on what to avoid when buying property. They also have an in-depth known of the market, and can walk you through on how the real estate system in Hungary works. An example of a specialist real estate company is www.expatcenter.hu.

Mortgages In Hungary

Hungarian banks and financial institutions are willing to lend migrants money for mortgages. The maximum amount one can borrow is between 50 and 70 percent of the purchase price. However, although Hungarian banks are willing to lend to migrants, many expats prefer borrowing from financial institutions abroad. The belief is that borrowing from outside the country has better interest rates, lower charges and reduced real estate commissions levied on the investor.

If you prefer to borrow locally, there are plenty of Hungarian banks and financial institutions that cater to expats. One such money-lending institution is the CIB bank, which offers special borrowing packages tailored for expats. Mortgage loans are usually offered for buying residential or commercial property, refurbishing an old house, large-scale investment of commercial property, or property re-mortgaging.

Property Buying Procedure

Buying property in Hungary begins with a conversation between the expat buyer and local property owner. A real estate agency is usually involved to help with negotiations, and to act as a translator where needed. A lot of property in the big cities is privately owned, so you are more likely to deal with an individual.

If the property owner agrees to the terms discussed, a sale and purchase agreement is drafted by a lawyer. Before signing any contract, find out if the property owner is willing to negotiate the price down or offer a discount. It is possible to get a price discount of 10 to 15 percent of the property price. Purchase contracts are signed by all parties in the presence of a notary. The lawyer will then help process your property registration certificate via the land registry office in Hungary.

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