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Expat Exchange - How to Buy a Home in Poland
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Bydgoszcz, Poland


How to Buy a Home in Poland

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Summary: Seasoned expatriates recommend a cautious approach to newcomers eager to settle down—avoid the rush to purchase property upon arrival. Instead, consider the benefits of renting in Poland during your initial months. This strategy allows you the flexibility to explore various neighborhoods and truly decide if the local lifestyle aligns with your long-term expectations. Once you've acclimated and are certain that Poland is your future home, here are tips on how to buy a home in Poland.

Poland is a beautiful country with a rich history and vibrant culture, making it an attractive destination for expats. Whether you're moving for work, retirement, or simply a change of scenery, buying a home in Poland can be a rewarding investment. However, the process can be complex, especially for foreigners. This guide will provide you with essential information on how to navigate the Polish real estate market, from finding a property to understanding the legal requirements and potential pitfalls.

How Do I Find Houses for Sale in Poland?

There are several ways to find houses for sale in Poland. Online property portals are a popular choice, offering a wide range of listings from across the country. Websites like Otodom, Gratka, and Morizon are commonly used. Local newspapers and real estate agencies are also good sources of property listings. It's advisable to engage a real estate agent who speaks both English and Polish to help navigate the process and negotiate the best deal.

Are There Restrictions on Foreigners Owning Property in Poland?

Yes, there are restrictions on foreigners owning property in Poland. Non-EU citizens need a permit from the Ministry of Interior and Administration to buy property. However, this restriction can be bypassed if the foreigner has a permanent residence permit, is married to a Polish citizen, or if the property is inherited. EU citizens do not need a permit, but if the property is agricultural land, they must have lived in Poland for at least five years.

Does Poland Have an MLS Type System?

Poland does not have a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system like in the United States. Instead, each real estate agency maintains its own database of properties. This means you may need to check with multiple agencies to find the property that suits your needs.

Do Brokers Have Licenses and How Do I Know if They are Licensed?

Yes, real estate brokers in Poland are required to have a license. They must pass a state examination and have professional liability insurance. You can verify a broker's license by checking the National Register of Real Estate Brokers and Agents (Krajowy Rejestr Po?redników w Obrocie Nieruchomo?ciami).

What Documents are Required When Buying a Home?

When buying a home in Poland, you will need several documents. These include a valid passport or ID, a preliminary contract (umowa przedwst?pna), a notarized deed of sale (akt notarialny), and proof of payment. If you're taking out a mortgage, you'll also need a credit agreement from the bank. All documents should be translated into Polish by a certified translator.

Do I Need a Lawyer When Buying a Home in Poland?

While it's not mandatory, it's highly recommended to hire a lawyer when buying a home in Poland. A lawyer can help you understand the legal process, review contracts, and ensure that the property is free from any liens or encumbrances. Legal fees can vary, but you should expect to pay around 1-3% of the property's value.

Do People Typically Buy a Property with All Cash or Take Out a Mortgage?

Both options are common in Poland. Some people prefer to buy property outright, while others take out a mortgage. If you're a foreigner, getting a mortgage can be more challenging, and you may need to provide additional documentation or have a higher down payment.

Are There Inspections That Take Place, and If So What is That Process Like?

Yes, property inspections are common in Poland. They are usually conducted by a professional surveyor who will assess the condition of the property and identify any potential issues. The buyer is typically responsible for arranging and paying for the inspection.

What are Some of the Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying Property in Poland?

One of the main pitfalls to avoid is buying a property without thoroughly checking its legal status. Make sure there are no outstanding debts or legal disputes associated with the property. Also, be wary of properties that seem too cheap – they may require significant repairs or be located in undesirable areas. Finally, always negotiate the price. The asking price is often higher than the actual market value, so don't be afraid to haggle.

Expats Talk about Real Estate in Poland

"It depends where are you going to work. If you choose a district with a bad commute you can travel 2 hours to your work-place. I suggest close to the metro stations - Ursynow district is cheap, Zoliborz and Srodmiescie are quite expensive. Zoliborz is one of the locations with most parks in Warsaw," said one expat living in Warsaw.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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Bydgoszcz, Poland

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