Am I paying too much?!

Hi everyone, I've just relocated and before I landed I found online a nice apartment near the Opera House in the 6th.  One bedroom, 60m, furnished (v nice) for 750 euro, which includes all bills, internet, cable, fully equipped, everything.  But now I'm here I'm thinking that its quite expensive, looking around on a few forums and sites I've found.

I've only committed for the first month at the moment so have to decide whether I stay for the full year or find an alternative, so if there is any advice out there, please let me have it!

Thanks V

Wow!! I do not want to upset you, but we are paying less then you for a 3 rooms apartment and we are on the Buda hills in a very nice green, residential area.
Right now, you should pay MAX.300 Euros for one room.

Tell them that you found somewhere else an apartment half the price you're paying and if they do not want to lower the rent you are out at the end of the month.It is too much 750 euros!!!

Hello and Welcome!

Definitely steep for most people, especially the way the exchange rate is headed lately... But most of us are not living near the Opera house either, it must be lovely!
Not having to deal with all the different utilities is also a significant time saver for you, as a foreigner.

Now that you're here you can shop around, seeing what you actually like about your place and what you can give up for a significant reduction in the rate. It's a nice way to get to know different neighborhoods, if you have time for all this.

Let us know if you need help!

Thanks for your thoughts, I admit part of the attraction (as a new foreigner) was to be central and have everything included so no admin to deal with at least initially! But for a years's lease that becomes a bit of a luxury, hence my questions about what is reasonable. I might have to pop out to IKEA and see what I'd be paying to furnish a place!

Holy crap.  Well, I don't live downtown, I'm in the X, but it's close enough, and much quieter!  Anyway, I'm paying EUR 223, all inclusive, furnished.  It's small (not 60m2!) but even so, I'd agree with everyone else, I don't see why you'd have to pay much more than EUR 300 a month for one room.

In my view, there are two good reasons for living in Budapest - the beauty of the city and the moderate housing costs. Why not enjoy both?

I live in V district, 78 sqm, traditionally furnished. Rent including common costs is 98200 Ft/month. But utilities can be a significant extra. My TV/Internet, gas and electric total around 18000/month in summer. I'm expecting winter month gas bills - now heating on - to jump threefold, or more.

Given your rental rate (unless the apartment is particularly special) I'd guess your landlord seeks the one-off tourist trade rather than long-termers. A one month rental is unusual. However, s/he won't say no if you offer to pay tourist rates for a full year!

Basically, your flat certainly sounds 'quite expensive' for its size.

If you want to consider alternatives, then put on your skates and visit estate agents until you find a useful one. It takes time setting up viewings and making decisions. This should be a good time of year (winter) for striking deals.

I'm sure regulars here can offer useful advice on locations if you need it - if, of course, you decided to move.

I'm in the 6th district, which isn't quite as central as you, but is a 10 minute walk from the Opera House. I have a one-bedroom, fully furnished (and I mean "fully" - it has everything from washing machine, dishwasher all the way to new sheets and towels and cutlery) and it's lovely and newly renovated. I pay 100,000 forint per month.

The real estate agent I'm with does a fantastically helpful thing for expats - they get and pay for all of the bills and the apartment common costs, and I pay an extra 30,000 ft per month to cover it.  I was doubtful about this at first, but it's been great over the past year. Any time I want, I can get a running balance from them about how much the bills are versus how much I've paid. If you'd like, I can give you the agent's name - just PM me.

Interesting conversation!
The apartment we have reserved is 110 000 ft. per month. It's 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, in the 5th district - szent istvan kt. 5 is the address. (we arrive in Feb!)

We are yet to have the common costs and utilities quoted, I think they mentioned something like 120 Euros per month which seems similar to your costs, Margle...

Thanks for all your comments. I have now spent 3 weeks with half a dozen agencies, numerous real estate sites, property management companies and chased after every word of mouth.

I've looked at pretty much all the inner suburbs, everything between 300 - 600 Euro (not incl costs) and I've found nothing suitable. I've come to the conclusion that its ME.  My analysis of this "renters'" market is...

- cheap, small student accommodation styled with bottom of the range IKEA
- A great space but full absolutely appalling old junk furniture
- Variation on above; owner uses rental to store various collections of furniture and/or useless crap. Eg, saw a great flat but the owner had no idea why I'd prefer a wardrobe to a dining suite in my bedroom (there were five suites in the flat)
- Nice flat but location sucks; I don't want to be on the first floor facing 6 lanes of traffic, pedestrian/tourist mall, nor opposite a strip club.
- Flat looks perfect but agent/owner more elusive that Scarlet Pimpernel and/or flat was rented months ago but no one can be bothered to update the sites.
- incredibly bland corporate rental with tiny rooms, moderate level IKEA and way overpriced

I could go on, clearly the problem is I am too fussy!

This is an interesting thread. I'm considering buying an apartment in Budapest to rent out. The comments on horrible, old fashioned and inappropriate furniture do not surprise me as this is fairly common in Hungary as a whole. Hungarians don't really think in terms of bedrooms, rooms are rooms and if there is space for a bed there will probably be one!From my point of view I would prefer to offer a flat unfurnished but I will have to find out if the demand is higher for furnished accomodation. 100,000FT/month is the sort of rental income I had in mind but at the moment I don't know how much such a flat would cost to purchase.

fidobsa :

Hungarians don't really think in terms of bedrooms, rooms are rooms and if there is space for a bed there will probably be one!

I'm a Hungarian and I can attest to this :-)
Our house is practically one big "common" space including kitchen, dining room and living room, plus two actual rooms, bedrooms of course, which is separate private space for kids and adults. With beds. And desks. And wardrobe.

To get the big space we had to tear down the walls of 3 small, useless rooms, and while doing it we could see one of those used to be 2 rooms originally but was opened up by the previous owner.

Dear Miss Virginia,

I share the same concerns as you do..I have been looking for a nice flat for the past two weeks and they are either super nice in a tearing down building (which I am even scared to step in) or that furnished with old used furniture. I would not want to live in those condominiums where you feel like you are in a hotel room. All I want is a nicely decorated typical Hungarian apartment (OK may be a little stylish also). I keep looking  but I also start thinking may be it is ME! If you do know a good agent please let me know. That would be much appreciated!

Happy to report I finally found a place a couple of days ago by deciding to forget furniture and prioritise space, atmosphere and the location. I ended up paying 110 000 plus costs for 2 bed 91 m in a nice street in the 6th (inside the Korut). I'll have to spend a bit of time and money buying some furniture and equipping the basics but it will be worth it and I'll get exactly what I want. As far as agencies go, I ended up renting through City Lets but I found it through roommatesbudapest.com - don't worry its not just sharing! Good luck!

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