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An Expat Talks about Moving to Budapest, Hungary

Jan 25, 2018

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Budapest, Hungary

An expat in Budapest talks about the cost of apartments, best neighborhoods for expats, what to bring when you move to Hungary and what to leave behind.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Budapest

Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

Most of the items you will need here in Budapest are available. Things that you will want if you are American are certainly related to food. Mexican Chili is very hard to find. Candy, like Payday, Butterfinger etc. are not here at all. You can find Milkyways, Snickers and Castlebury chocolates but that's about it. You will have to choose from local and European candies. Bring Candy. I wish I had brought my specialty tools. They are hard to find here - like - Dremel bits, cobalt drills, special hammers, drivers and bits. For fishing you have lots to choose from. Dont' worry unless you have a special lure bring plenty because carp fishing is king here. Predator fishing is just starting. Cooking - bring everything you want to cook with if you are a chef. Utinsels are hard to find. Basics are here but specialty items are expensive. Knives - bring good sharpening equipment like Lansky. None here but are available on Ebay UK and expensive. Don't bring anything that is 110 Power unless it is dual power. The systems for converting usually cause a huge draw on the power systems. Normal amp breakers are 25 amps. The wiring is old. and will not draw above that even if you change the breakers. Clothes - better choice of clothes here and not very expensive not much use in bringing a bunch of clothing unless you just love Levis. they are expensive. Bring your important papers or at least a scanned copy. Car - leave it at home and buy a local car. The inspection system is hard to get through and if it is a US car maybe the parts and service will be hard to find.

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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?

Stay away from the party districts unless you want to party. Those would be in the center of the Pest side of the city. Traffic is bad and loud as are the tourist. A good area is District 1 right under the castle. Consider using the public transportation when you choose your place. It's only about 35 usds per month and you can use anything; bus, tram, metro, and short train routes. Parking will be expensive if you can get a permit and a garage is hard to find as is an apartment with parking.

What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?

We live in an apartment and is quite common for expats. But, expect them to be small at the lower prices. Better deals can be found outside the city like a house for example but the drive into the city can be terrible at times.

How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?

We looked online and found it on a Ingatlan (Realtor) Hungarian/English site. Wasn't very hard to look through the pictures. You can also use sites like xpatloop.com to help locate the Realtors. Housing in Budapest is expensive right now for anything above 900 sq ft. and hard to find.

Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

I would say outside the city lower but inside the city normal for most US cities and lower for cities like NYC and DC. The average cost for a 1200 square ft. apartment is around the same price usds. If you get a good deal that would include utilities. We pay 720. usds on the average for a 1 bedroom apartment including utilities. We were lucky.

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