Buying Property in Poland
The Definitive Guide to
Buying Polish Property

Property Types

This is a preview to the chapter Property Types from the book Buying Property in Poland by Tim Hill.
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Residential Properties

Obviously residential properties provide one of the most flexible real estate options when it comes to buying. They can be used as a holiday or permanent home, rented out to a variety of tenants or converted for business use — permanently or temporarily. In major cities and larger towns agencies exist that can manage the apartment or house and there is little in the way of maintenance.

When checking the rental yield however, make sure to include service charges and, if possible, ask to see the utility bills for the last 12 months so you have a good hold on running costs. Poorly insulated houses and top floor apartments have high heating costs and although these may be borne by the tenant it will result in your property being unpopular and a continuous need to re-market it.

Ultimately because of the acute housing shortage in Poland (see Part Two: Why Poland) it is hard to go wrong with residential property when it comes to capital gain but the level of gain will depend on buying the right property in the right place.

Off Plan Properties

A large volume of sales to foreign buyers already occurs on new developments because they are easy to understand, visualizations and floor plans are normally available and completion dates can be in the far future.

If you are buying specifically for capital gain it is important to read Part Four: How to Buy, which helps you to avoid being sold an off-plan unit on a development aimed solely at foreign buyers and priced up accordingly.

Apartment Shells

While there are a number of Polish investors who have bought off-plan and want to sell before completion there is a more unusual type of shell. This is an apartment that has not been fitted out but is perhaps four or five years old. These occur because most Poles buy property for cash and often treat it as a simple investment in much the same way that any person might purchase land.

There is no rush or urgency to fit the property out as there is no mortgage to service and so the owner just sits on it as an asset. After a few years they may feel it is time to cash it in but rather than fit it out they offer it as a shell so the new owner can decorate to their own tastes. As such, when you see shells advertised do not always assume this is someone turning a contract or that the development is brand new, it can be on a complex that has matured and in a neighbourhood where the infrastructure has come into place, which may make it an easier option to rent out.

Recreational Land and Housing

This is an ideal way to get a foothold in Polish property if you don't have a large budget. Both land and houses can be picked up for a few thousand euros and they can double as a holiday home for yourself. Furthermore it could allow you to own a plot and when you can, build a small property for summer use.
Caution should be drawn to the fact that not all recreational land has permission to build so your solicitor should check the restrictions carefully if this is your intention. Even if there is a house on the land it may not be legal and the local government could enforce an order for its demolition at any point in time.

If you are thinking about renting, yields are limited as the weather is only suitable for these properties half of the year and they are really only at their most popular during the three month school vacations. Also related to this is the lack of agencies who handle such lettings, especially in the rural areas where they are often located. Generally you will need to find someone local who can organise the regular check ins and check outs, advertise the property and take the rent payments.

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What else is in the chapter 'Property Types'?

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"An easy to follow guide to buying property in Poland, full of invaluable practical tips, offering prudent advice for the..."

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