Buying Property in Poland
The Definitive Guide to
Buying Polish Property

Terminology and Phraseology

This is a preview to the chapter Terminology and Phraseology from the book Buying Property in Poland by Tim Hill.
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The most commonly cited confusion for those who learn a little Polish is the use of 'Mieszkania' and 'Dom' which in most dictionaries are translated 'Apartment' and 'House' respectively. However 'Dom' can also refer to 'Home' while 'Mieszkania' can also be used to explain where you live. In both cases this is regardless of whether your home or where you live is an apartment or a house. In most listings however the dictionary translation will tell you what you are looking at:

Primary Market — Relates to new build and off-plan where the property is brand new and has never had a previous owner.

Secondary Market — Relates to any property where there is a current owner and the real estate is being offered for resale.

Cellar Storage Cupboard — Most apartment blocks have a basement floor that is split into storage cupboards, one or more for each flat. These are useful places to keep bicycles, sledges, tools, etc. Anything you don't want cluttering up the flat. For this reason even an apartment on the 10th storey may often have a cellar storage cupboard listed in the description .

Fireplace Heating — You will often see on property details a phrase such as “central heating is via a gas boiler or the main fireplace”. This is especially common in houses where the fireplace in the reception room is connected to a system of warm air ducts that carry the heat throughout the property. So when a Polish person says their fireplace heats the whole of a seven-roomed house, he is probably not boasting, it's true.

Mains / Town / Estate hot water and heating — Many apartments, and even some houses, have their hot water and central heating piped in from a central boiler via underground piping. This is still popular as it means each flat or house does not have to have its own boiler with the associated safety and maintenance issues. Hot water is metered and radiators are usually fitted with heat sensitive monitors from which usage is billed.

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