A Touch of the Hamptons North of Bucharest
$1.7 MILLION (1.5 MILLION EUROS)
This three-bedroom villa is on the southern shore of Lake Snagov, a well-liked weekend retreat about 20 miles north of Bucharest, the capital and business middle of Romania.
The property is three quarters of an acre and features a two-bedroom, 860-square-foot loft above the storage; a free-standing, 250-square-foot studio unit; and a protracted picket dock, boat storage and pontoon for enjoyable on the lake.
The three,500-square-foot principal home, accomplished in 2009, was constructed with strengthened concrete and brick, with an orange ceramic roof and a white facade. The entrance door opens to a lobby, with a small bed room instantly to the left. Straight forward is a bigger inside corridor with a winding staircase, built-in bookcases and a double-height ceiling. Continuing by way of that second corridor, a broad doorway results in the lounge, which has a whimsically designed hearth with firewood storage constructed into the wall.
Inspiration for the house’s inside décor got here from the sellers’ time in dwelling in the United States, mentioned Dana Barbu, an agent with the Bucharest-based actual property firm Regatta, which has the itemizing.
“They are quite cosmopolitan, and they’ve lived in several countries,” Ms. Barbu mentioned. “Now they live in France. They were inspired by the Hamptons, Long Island and British beach cottages.”
A examine with built-in bookshelves adjoins the lounge. The mixed eating space and kitchen is on the proper facet of the home. The kitchen has high-end home equipment, a butcher-block island and a subway-tile backsplash.
In the rear of the home is a big sunroom with vaulted ceilings and glass doorways that open to a two-level wooden terrace overlooking the yard and Lake Snagov.
Up an oak staircase are two massive en suite bedrooms with vaulted, beamed ceilings, wide-plank flooring and balconies. The master suite is about 430 sq. ft, awash in cool grays and whites, with stained pine flooring, a chandelier and a fireplace seating space. The grasp lavatory has a soaking tub, stand-alone glass bathe and a glass door resulting in a balcony. The second bed room, break up into two sections, serves as a sleeping and play space for youngsters.
Snagov, which has a inhabitants of round 7,00zero, is a leisure vacation spot for tourists and Bucharest residents alike. It sits between Bucharest and the ski and mountain destinations farther north, making it a convenient base for ventures in both directions, Ms. Barbu said. It is popular with water-sports enthusiasts, thanks to the lake, which is not wide but stretches about seven miles in length. Snagov Club, a four-minute drive from the property, has a hotel, several restaurants, kayak and bike rentals, and a pool and spa. Henri Coanda International Airport, just north of Bucharest, is about 20 minutes away.
“There is a cult of property in Romania, and most people want to own a house,” said Eduard Uzunov, the owner of the Regatta agency, in an email. Home prices in Bucharest have grown between 5 and 10 percent a year for the last two years, he said, thanks to high demand largely driven by affordable credit.
Prices are growing at a similar rate across Romania, but after a period of steady gains — an increase of about 12 percent in 2016, followed by a 10 percent increase in 2017 — the market slowed in 2018, with prices growing by only 6 percent, according to a fourth-quarter report from Analize Imobiliare, a real estate market analyst, and Imobiliare.ro, Romania’s primary online real estate advertising portal. Dorel Nita, the head of data and research for Imobiliare.ro and the report’s author, concluded that the slowing rate of growth is a sign that the market is stabilizing, after the rapidly rising prices of previous years resulted in a cool-down in demand.
Damian Galvin, the founder of Bucharest-based White Mountain Property, said his agency has seen the volume of sales decline across Romania over the past year for several reasons, including emigration by potential buyers and “uncertainty” in Romanian politics. But in Bucharest, he said, demand has remained steady because the return on rental properties makes investment attractive.
In Bucharest, apartment prices in the fourth quarter of 2018 averaged around 1,300 euros a square meter (about $137 a square foot), according to the report. (Property transactions are often done in euros, rather than the Romanian leu, although Romania hasn’t officially adopted the euro yet; the country joined the European Union in 2007 and is expected to adopt the euro in about 2024.)
Mr. Galvin pointed to a “steady trend” of wealthier Romanian expatriates “buying investment rental property in most major cities due to the unusually high return on investment,” which he said is around 6 to 7 percent annually.
Bucharest’s priciest homes are in the city center, the city’s northern neighborhoods and the northern suburbs, agents said, with apartments in the affluent Herastrau section averaging about 2,560 euros a square meter ($269 a square foot).
Prices of luxury properties in and around the city range from 150,000 euros ($170,00) for a one-bedroom to more than 2 million euros ($2.3 million) for a penthouse or villa, said Alexandru Ispir, owner of the Bucharest agency Otho Estate. Mr. Uzunov put the range for luxury apartments at 200,000 euros ($226,000) to 3 million euros ($3.4 million), adding that luxury houses can fetch up to 15 million euros ($17 million). But for 900,000 euros ($1.02 million), you can buy a four-bedroom penthouse with a shared pool in Bucharest’s most sought-after northern neighborhoods, Mr. Galvin said.
Bucharest offers value compared to other Eastern European capitals, agents said, with prices per square meter approximately half those in Budapest and Belgrade, Serbia.
Who Buys in Bucharest
The area near the historic city center is popular with foreign investors, who often buy older buildings and convert them into hotels and rentals, Mr. Ispir said. In 2018, 15 to 20 percent of his agency’s buyers were foreign — mostly from France, Spain and Sweden — and fewer than 5 percent of them were buying for personal use, he said.
Mr. Uzunov said his agency’s foreign buyers in 2018 primarily came from France, Holland, Greece and Israel.
Citizens of countries outside the European Union are usually permitted to buy buildings in Romania, but not land. However, they may lease the land for free, as long as the structure exists, said Radu Catalin Pavel, the managing partner of the law firm Pavel, Margarit and Associates, in Bucharest. An individual may also form a limited liability corporation in Romania and buy the land through the company.
Hiring a qualified lawyer to perform due diligence is essential, Mr. Pavel said, as “there are still tens of thousands of properties that have been nationalized by the Romanian state and have not yet been returned to the owners.”
Buyers should consult a Romanian real estate lawyer about whether there are unresolved claims by the owners or their descendants, he said.
Languages and Currency
Romanian; leu (1 leu = $0.24) and euro (1 euro = $1.13)
Taxes and Fees
The property taxes on this home are about 880 euros ($1,000) a year, Ms. Barbu said.
Dana Barbu, Regatta, 011-40-21-232-90-12; regatta.ro
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