What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
Wish I'd brought:
-Fall clothing (raincoats, light jackets, closed toed shoes) as summer and fall can be quite chilly
-Skype Phone (hand-held device that works with Skype on your computer)
-ipad/kindle or other portable electronic reader & internet device
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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?
-Finding English-language real estate agents can be difficult but they do exist (I work for one) and it is worth it to find one. Mix ups I've experienced in the past include agents who confuse numbers (40 and 60, for example) and some debate over whether or not my landlady would offer a couch.
Businesses that seek expat clients (relocation companies, some real estate agencies and also exercise studios, beauty salons) can have very useful information posted on their website.
Choosing a neighborhood: Families seeking residential settings should look for houses on the Buda (West) side of the city, in districts 1, 2, 2A (a bit far from the city center but home to the American School) and 12. Residential parks exist with detached homes and lots of yard space.
Those looking to live in the center and close to embassies/businesses should live on the Pest (East) side in district 5, 6 or 7. For urban but residential surroundings look at districts 9, 13 and 14.
I saved a map of international schools in Budapest which will help those interested in living close to one:
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
I live in an old apartment with a typical, Budapest courtyard that I love. It is a typical young-person's and there are many foreign students, but it's not a typical expat neighborhood.
Expat neigbhorhoods are 5th and 6th district (around the embassies and businesses downtown) or residential Buda side districts like 1, 2, 2A and 12.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
I already knew the neighborhood from spending a summer here working as an intern. Found my apartment by asking friends & looking for apartments with roommates.
Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
Housing costs are lower than the US for both buyers and renters