Anyone have a rough idea how long it takes to buy a house in Romania?

Hi. We're moving out to the Sibiu area later this year - when we've sold our current house. Anyone have an idea how long conveyancing takes in Romania? In Britain it can be between 6 & 12 weeks if you're lucky but I have no idea what time scale to expect over there. Advise would be very welcome. Thanks, Sue & Robin.

Hello,

I'm not an expert on the matter but I bought a flat over here a few years back and so went through a similar process. It actually seems a lot simpler than in the UK, especially as there are generally no chains in play.

The buying process took virtually no time at all. After choosing the property and negotiating the price I sat down with the estate agent and signed a pre-contract with them. This basically guarantees double your deposit (around 5%) back if the vendor pulls out, loss of the deposit if you, the buyer, pulls out, and stipulates the duties and fees of the agent (assuming you're using an agent). It also sets out the period of time within which the sale contract should be signed and payment made.

About a week later we (buyer, seller, agent) met up and went through the contract and related documents. The most important of these is the 'circa financiara' which identifies the legal owner of the property and whether there are any outstanding disputes or debts on it. This document, when requested from the authorities, only has a validity of a few days so it must be up-to-date and in the original.

Once you are happy with these documents you can go together to the notary public, who'll check the contract and the various documents to ensure they are all above board and then sign off on the contract after witnessing the exchange of money. We actually went to the bank with the notary and did it there.

Once you've signed the sale contract the property is yours. In my case, the time from first visiting the contract to moving in was about three weeks.

Costs: The various fees to the notary public came to about 3% and I paid a fee of about 2.5% to the estate agent. Some agents only take their commission off the seller (in that case usually 2.5-6% depending on the value of the property) but it's more common for the commission to be split between the two.

The only additional thing you might want to do when buying a house, rather than an apartment, is to have an independant structural survey done at some point before signing the pre-contract. You'll also have to check there are no outstanding dispute on the land and verify the boundaries.

If you are buying a house, have you looked into the legality of owning land as a non-citizen? There are a few rules in place but they can be quite easily negotiated.

I'm intending to buy a house myself in the near future so please let us know how you got on.

Best of luck!

Good afternoon Sue,

Noticed your message on the site. To buy a house in Romania, from the moment you found it till you actually own it, it take about 4-6weeks maximum.

Have you found a property near Sibiu yet? I live 20kms from Sighisoara but just over the border in Sibiu county. My house is a 90 year old Saxon house and very solidly built! The half metre thick outer walls and 350mm interior walls keep the place nice and cosy using traditional wood fired terracota tiled stoves (sorbas). I can't really help with how long it takes to buy a house as I bought mine from another ex-pat who was happy to wait for me to sell my UK house even though it took many months!
It's a bit of a nuisance that since I moved here in April, Blue Air have ceased their Luton to Sibiu route as it was much more convenient for me than using Wizzair from Cluj or Bucharest! At least I have friends near Cluj who I can stay with before having to go to the airport for 4:30am check-in!
I also have a couple of Romanian friends who live in Sibiu so if you need any information that you can't find on the internet, let me know.
Regarding land ownership, the current situation depends a bit on who you ask! I was originally told that I would need to be either a Romanian resident or registered company. However, I couldn't register my house as the company headquarters (opening as a B&B next year) unless I also owned the land! Stalemate! A visit to Sibiu Police HQ secured a certificate which, while it is not for full Romanian residency, does give me legal entitlement to stay in Romania beyond the 3 month period after which I would otherwise have had to visit the local police and re-register for a further 3 months. I was then put in touch with a "Notar Public" who, on the strength of this certificate, would prepare documents for me to become the legal owner of the land my house stood on. Once that was done my company registration was also completed.
I have found that regulations change frequently and one of these new rules meant that my company registration had to be started again, even though the process was 75% complete. The latest change I have found out about is that Rovinettas for using your car here are now purely electronic and there is no longer a sticker for the windscreen. There are, supposedly, roadside cameras which read your number plate and check the database to see if you have paid your "car tax". The penalty for not having done so is, I believe, very expensive. My Dacia's tax was renewed for 12 months just before the change so I still have a windscreen sticker.
Get in touch if you need any further help/info.

Hello Laurie,

I'm currently looking at a property in that area. Did you use a notar in Sighi or one in Sibiu? I might need one in the future so a recommenation would be welcome.

I used an advocat in Sighisoara who was recommended to me by a contact in the city. (Using and advocat is not essential but was for my own peace of mind). This in turn meant we used a notar public in Sighisoara, also for convenience, as it is only 20kms from my house. Because Sighisoara is in Mures county and my house is just across the border in Sibiu county, the documents had to be sent to Land Registry in Medias (nearest town in Sibiu county) but this didn't cause any problems or undue delays.

Hi Laurie,

Were you happy with the lawyer, his services and his prices? I assume he did the due dilliegence on the property, too, right?

You mentioned about flights earlier. Another option from Sighisoara is to take the Wizz flight to Budapest from Targu Mures. Then continue on to Luton from there. The flights are well alligned (I'm pretty sure the same plane just continues on to Luton after stopping at Budapest). For example, the flight leaves Targu Mures at 17.10 and arrives at Luton at 20.00. Flight back leaves Luton at 08.20 and gets into Targu Mures at 16.20. So it's basically a 5-hour trip, but broken up into two legs with an hour-and-a-half break at Budapest airport. Total return trip costs about 80 Euro.

Ok, it's a bit of a pain having a stop-over, but at least the timings are good so there's no need to stay over at someone's house for an early flight and not such a long drive to the airport. You could probably even get a decent cash price from a cabbie to drop you there to save you the cost/worry of leaving your motor at the airport while you're away.

Hi Maykal

Yes, the lawyer (actually a lady who is in partnership with her husband) did a good job, kept me well informed by email to the UK and also processed my RO company registration for me which ran into a few problems but was eventually completed last month. Although the fees were based on a higher percentage of the house value than a UK solicitor charges, the net result of course is cheaper because the value of my Romanian house was less than a quarter of what I sold my UK house for.

I was aware of the Budapest/Targu Mures option and have incorporated it into a "Fact sheet" which I will be sending to anyone who enquires about booking accommodation at my B&B when it opens early next year. I'm going to the UK for Christmas/New Year but on this occasion I will be driving there and back for two reasons (1) it means I can take loads of presents with no excess baggage fees, not to mention lots of Romanian beer and wine at much lower prices than the UK :) and (2) with a car that does 65mpg it will be cheaper overall than flying there and hiring a car in the UK for the two weeks I'll be staying there. Of course, all I need now is for all the snow to disappear in the next two weeks......

Hi Laurie. Thanks for all the helpful & interesting information. We're still waiting to sell our house here as we need the money to buy in Romania. Hopefully things will pick up in spring. Do you know of any online estate agents where i can view traditional property - the sort of house you have brought. The ones i've found are either out of date or mainly off plan. Thanks Sue

Hi Robin and Sue

Yes, you are right about many Romanian property websites being hopelessly out of date. My house was one of about 15 listed on a website which was better than most with only a few already sold!

Somewhere among my piles of paperwork I have a print-out of the original advert which has the web address on it but having only just got back from spending Christmas/New Year with my family in the UK, you'll have to bear with me for a couple of days while I get back to normal.

However, in my experience most property, especially older houses, are advertised for sale simply by putting a handwritten sign in the window or on a piece of card nailed to the gate! There is one such just a few doors away from me and I know of at least a dozen in Sighisoara and nearby villages. I have a couple of Romanian friends who live in Sibiu and I'm sure if I speak to them they could either suggest an agent in Sibiu or perhaps keep a look out for houses with a "De Vanzare" sign on them.


Laurie

Hi,

This site seems reasonably uptodate:

imobilgest.ro/imobiliare_all/vanzari_case_all.html

It's in Romanian, but you can probably work it out.

Or to avoid frequent reference to Romanian-English dictionary, try Google Translate which can be set to automatically translate web pages. Provides reasonably accurate word for word translation although sometimes the results can be grammatically amusing!

[Moderated: Offtopic - post on classifieds]

Hi Robin and Sue. Did you find a place in Romania, Sibiu yet? I did look on the forum and I found this whitemountain.ro They look genuine and I did look on their website too. Is not Sibiu but just have a look. I think it might be worth getting in touch with them. Their Testimonials it might say something to you, especially because there are from few British/Irish. Good luck

[Moderate: Please post in classifieds]

Hi! Just closed a sell for an apartment in Bucharest last week and it took me 4 months to make the papers. If you buy with down payment is easier and takes less time but pay attention on the papers and make sure you have everything in order, otherwise it will be hard later on when if you want to re-sell.

Check the cadaster and if there were any works on the walls (removals or new walls built) make sure the seller have the right authorisations to do the work, otherwise you risk a fine later on.

God luck!
Adina

Hi

We live near Sibiu and it didn't take us too long but we did have some good local help!   Try and find an English speaking nota and you should be OK but read up on what you have to pay and what the seller has to pay otherwise you may get ripped off (speaking from experience!)

I eventually bought a house here. The whole process took just under a week.

Hello .
It is true that the properties posted on the internet many times are not avalable but also many of them are overpriced. So the best way of finding a property is to have local person that is reliable and willing to  help you find what you nead. Transylvania is a beautifull place but it's real beauty lies in places that are not easy to reach on internet. :)

if you want an mortgage most probably 1-2 months until you gather all papers required by bank and being owner.
Otherwise  if cash 1-2 weeks.

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