What an expat must know when moving to Budapest

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A growing number of people move to Budapest, a historic city equipped with all the comforts of modern life that its Western-European counterparts possess. However, finding a home on their own can be a challenge for new residents.
Expat: "First I Rented, Then I Bought My Downtown Property."

Cheap rent and low prices are one of the biggest competitive advantages. This year, Time ranked Hungary as being the 38th among the 50 cheapest countries in the world. The Daily Mail examined where British buyers can still snap up a cheap home and Hungary was tipped as being a property hotspot. The CEO of InterNations, Malte Zeeck’s research showed that 80% of expats were satisfied with the cost of housing there.

"Whether expats want to rent a house or an apartment or plan to buy one, there are plenty of beautiful properties here. You can come across many houses with all amenities and expected modern luxuries. Many expat tenants became an owner after renting in Budapest. They fell in love with the city after renting for a couple of years in Budapest" , explains Martin Szikora, Director of Tower International. The Global Property Guide choosing Budapest as a top property investment place in Europe confirms Szikora’s statement.

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Popular Areas in Budapest

Daniel Holcsik, Head of Luxury Rentals at Eurocenter Properties reveals that many expats have families, hence finding a flat near to international schools is a priority. There are international schools in districts 2 and 12, making them the most popular expat locations; in addition, they are just about 20 minutes by car from downtown Pest.

Thousands of foreign students also come to study at one of Hungary's prestigious universities, which offer a broad array of degrees in English - which are recognized in the EU and beyond. The experts recommendation for those without families - who would like to live in the center - should choose the Pest side, more specifically districts 5, 6 or 7.

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Rental Market is on the Limit

Finding a home has never been an easy process, but it'll be harder now as the rental market is experiencing an extremely busy period. The good news is that property agencies can speed up the process and save time by sifting through available properties and setting viewings.

Tenants do not need to pay anything for finding a property: "Potential tenants and buyers as they do not pay for the flat-finding service themselves. Property owners are generally happy to provide accommodation for expats as they are considered to be trustworthy tenants, often with previous references available" - confirms Réka Bálint, Key Account Manager at Catherine Dickens Properties. The company, which has great experience with foreign tenants, provides property management services in Budapest.

Holcsik explained why many expats opt to find an agent to help them in their property search: "Although nowadays there is a lot of information on the Internet, agents certainly do have the added benefit of being able to offer a personal service. They have vast experience; therefore they know not only which property can suit a client but also which landlord. Agents can also offer protection from fraud. The speed of this service is also clear when arranging for repairs and maintenance - agents will want their clients to feel themselves at home".

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