Finding Housing as an Expat in Romania

1. What are the popular housing options available for expats in Romania?

Popular housing options available for expats in Romania include:

1. Apartments: Many expats in Romania choose to rent apartments in major cities like Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, and Timisoara. These apartments range from modern high-rise buildings to historic properties with character.

2. Houses: Expats who prefer more space often opt for houses or villas, especially in suburban areas or smaller towns. These properties may come with gardens and parking spaces, offering a more spacious and private living environment.

3. Serviced Apartments: For expats looking for a temporary or hassle-free accommodation option, serviced apartments are a popular choice. These come fully furnished and equipped with amenities like housekeeping services, making them convenient for short-term stays.

4. Shared Accommodation: Some expats choose to share accommodation with roommates to reduce costs and socialize with like-minded individuals. This option is common among young professionals and students in Romania.

Overall, the housing market in Romania offers a variety of options to suit different preferences and budgets, making it relatively easy for expats to find suitable accommodation that meets their needs.

2. Is it better to rent or buy property as an expat in Romania?

As an expat in Romania, it is generally better to rent rather than buy property for several reasons:

1. Flexibility: Renting offers expats the flexibility to easily move if their circumstances change, whether it be due to job opportunities, personal preferences, or visa regulations.

2. Cost-Effectiveness: Buying property in Romania can be costly, with additional expenses such as property transfer tax, notary fees, and maintenance costs. Renting can often be a more cost-effective option in the short term.

3. Market Knowledge: As a newcomer to Romania, it may be challenging to fully understand the local property market trends and regulations. Renting allows expats to familiarize themselves with different areas before committing to a long-term investment.

4. Legal Considerations: Buying property abroad comes with legal considerations and potential language barriers that may pose challenges for expats. Renting can be a simpler process with fewer legal complications.

5. Investment Risks: The property market in Romania may fluctuate, and expats may not have a long-term commitment to the country. Renting eliminates the risk of property value depreciation and allows expats to invest their funds elsewhere.

Overall, the decision to rent or buy property in Romania as an expat depends on individual circumstances and long-term plans. However, for many expats, renting offers a more practical and straightforward solution during their time in the country.

3. What are the average rental prices in major cities in Romania?

In major cities in Romania, the average rental prices can vary significantly depending on the location and type of property. Here are some approximate average rental prices per month in some of the main cities:

1. Bucharest: In the capital city, the average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment ranges from around 350 to 600 euros, while a three-bedroom apartment can cost between 600 to 1,200 euros per month.

2. Cluj-Napoca: In this vibrant university city, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is about 300 to 500 euros per month, and for a three-bedroom apartment, it can range from 500 to 900 euros.

3. Timisoara: Another popular city in western Romania, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around 250 to 400 euros per month, with a three-bedroom apartment costing between 450 to 800 euros.

It is worth noting that these prices are approximate and can vary depending on factors such as location, size, condition of the property, and whether it is furnished or unfurnished. It is advisable to research specific listings and consult with a local real estate agent to get the most up-to-date and accurate information on rental prices in Romania’s major cities.

4. How can expats find reliable real estate agents or property listings in Romania?

Expats looking for reliable real estate agents or property listings in Romania have several options at their disposal:

1. Seek recommendations: One of the best ways to find a reliable real estate agent is to ask for recommendations from other expats, colleagues, or friends who have experience in finding housing in Romania. They can provide valuable insights into trustworthy agents or property listings.

2. Online platforms: There are several online platforms that cater to real estate listings in Romania, such as, OLX, or classifieds websites like Publi24. These platforms offer a wide range of options for expats to explore different properties and connect with real estate agents.

3. Expatriate communities: Joining expatriate communities or forums in Romania can also be beneficial, as members often share their experiences and recommendations regarding real estate agents or property listings. Networking within these communities can help expats find reliable resources for their housing needs.

4. Local real estate agencies: Expats can also directly reach out to local real estate agencies in Romania to inquire about available properties and services. It’s important to do thorough research on the reputation and credibility of the agency before engaging their services to ensure a positive experience in finding suitable housing as an expat in Romania.

5. Are there specific neighborhoods or areas in Romania that are preferred by expats?

Yes, there are several neighborhoods and areas in Romania that are preferred by expats for finding housing. Some popular choices include:

1. Bucharest: The capital city offers a diverse range of neighborhoods to choose from, such as the historic Old Town, the upscale area of Primaverii, or the bustling area of Unirii. Bucharest is a popular choice for expats due to its international vibe, vibrant culture, and range of amenities.

2. Cluj-Napoca: This city is known for its high quality of life, youthful atmosphere, and vibrant cultural scene. Neighborhoods such as Andrei Muresanu or Grigorescu are popular among expats looking for a mix of urban convenience and tranquility.

3. Brasov: Located in the heart of Transylvania, Brasov is a picturesque city surrounded by mountains and medieval architecture. Neighborhoods like Schei or the Old Town are favorites among expats for their charm and proximity to nature.

4. Timisoara: Known as the “Little Vienna,” Timisoara is a cosmopolitan city with a rich history and lively arts scene. Expats often choose neighborhoods like Iosefin or Fabric for their central location and character-filled buildings.

5. Sibiu: Another Transylvanian gem, Sibiu is a UNESCO World Heritage site with a well-preserved medieval center. Neighborhoods like Upper Town or Lower Town offer expats a peaceful setting with easy access to amenities and cultural landmarks.

These are just a few examples of preferred neighborhoods for expats in Romania, each offering its own unique charm and appeal based on individual preferences and needs.

6. What are the legal requirements for renting or buying property in Romania as an expat?

As an expat looking to rent or buy property in Romania, there are legal requirements you need to consider:

1. Residency Permit: To buy property in Romania, you will need a valid residency permit. This permit allows you to stay in the country for an extended period, making it possible for you to own property.

2. Tax Identification Number: You will also need to obtain a tax identification number in Romania, known as “Cod de Identificare Fiscala” (CIF). This number is required for various financial transactions, including purchasing property.

3. Legal Representation: It is advisable to have legal representation when buying or renting property in Romania. A local lawyer can help you navigate the legal processes and ensure that all documentation is in order.

4. Deposit and Contracts: When renting a property, you will typically need to provide a security deposit. Make sure to carefully review and understand the terms of the rental contract before signing.

5. Title Deed: When buying property in Romania, you will need to obtain a title deed (Act de Proprietate) to prove your ownership rights. This document is crucial for registering the property in your name.

6. Property Taxes: Keep in mind that as a property owner in Romania, you will be responsible for paying property taxes. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the local tax regulations to avoid any issues.

Overall, it is essential to be well-informed about the legal requirements and procedures involved in renting or buying property as an expat in Romania to ensure a smooth and compliant transaction.

7. Are there any restrictions for expats when it comes to purchasing property in Romania?

As an expat looking to purchase property in Romania, it is important to be aware of some restrictions that may apply:

1. Non-EU citizens: Non-EU citizens generally face some restrictions when it comes to purchasing property in Romania. They are required to obtain approval from the Romanian Ministry of Justice before they can buy land. However, this restriction does not apply to purchasing apartments or commercial properties.

2. Agricultural land: Non-Romanian individuals and legal entities, including expats, are usually restricted from purchasing agricultural land in Romania unless they meet certain conditions specified by the Romanian legislation.

3. Reciprocity principle: Romania applies the reciprocity principle when it comes to property ownership by foreigners. This means that the rights of foreign nationals to own property in Romania depend on whether Romanian citizens enjoy the same rights in the country of the foreigner’s nationality.

It is advisable for expats interested in purchasing property in Romania to seek guidance from a legal expert or real estate agent familiar with local regulations to ensure a smooth and compliant transaction.

8. How can expats navigate the rental process in Romania, including contracts and deposits?

To navigate the rental process in Romania as an expat, there are several key steps to follow:

1. Identify Your Needs: Determine your budget, preferred location, and essential amenities to narrow down your search. Consider transportation options, proximity to work or schools, and access to services.

2. Online Search: Utilize online platforms such as, OLX, or local real estate agencies to browse available rental properties. You can filter search results based on your criteria to streamline the process.

3. Property Viewing: Schedule appointments to personally visit the properties you are interested in. Take note of the condition, facilities, and overall suitability to ensure it meets your expectations.

4. Negotiation: Once you’ve found a suitable place, negotiate the terms of the lease agreement including rent amount, duration, and any additional costs such as utilities or maintenance.

5. Lease Agreement: Review the rental contract carefully to understand all terms and conditions. Seek clarification on any unclear points before signing. Ensure that the contract complies with Romanian rental laws.

6. Deposits: Landlords typically require a security deposit, usually equivalent to one or two months’ rent, to cover any damages or unpaid rent. Make sure the deposit amount and conditions for refund are clearly stated in the contract.

7. Legal Assistance: If you’re unsure about any aspect of the rental agreement, consider seeking legal advice or assistance from a Romanian-speaking professional to protect your rights and interests.

8. Payment and Documentation: Pay rent and the security deposit by bank transfer to ensure a clear paper trail. Keep copies of all documents, receipts, and communications related to the rental process for future reference.

Navigating the rental process in Romania as an expat may seem daunting at first, but by following these steps and being thorough in your research and communication, you can secure a suitable and legally sound housing arrangement in the country.

9. What are some common challenges expats face when looking for housing in Romania?

When looking for housing in Romania as an expat, there are several common challenges that you may encounter:

1. Language barrier: One of the main challenges is the language barrier as not everyone in Romania speaks English fluently. This can make communication with landlords, real estate agents, and neighbors difficult.

2. Different rental market norms: The rental market norms in Romania may differ from those in your home country, such as lease lengths, deposit requirements, and rental contracts, which can be confusing or unfamiliar to expats.

3. Finding suitable accommodation: It can be challenging to find housing that meets your expectations in terms of location, size, amenities, and budget, especially in popular cities like Bucharest or Cluj-Napoca where housing demand is high.

4. Discrimination: Some landlords may prefer to rent to locals rather than expats, leading to potential discrimination based on nationality or residency status.

5. Legal regulations: Understanding the legal aspects of renting a property in Romania, including tenant rights and landlord responsibilities, can be daunting for expats unfamiliar with the local laws.

6. Lack of credit history: Expats may face difficulties in securing accommodation if they do not have a Romanian credit history or references from previous landlords in the country.

7. Real estate scams: As in any country, expats need to be cautious about potential scams or fraudulent listings when searching for housing in Romania, especially when using online platforms.

8. Cultural differences: Adapting to the cultural norms and expectations of Romanian landlords and neighbors can also be a challenge for expats, especially when it comes to communication styles and property maintenance.

9. Availability of furnished accommodation: Expats looking for furnished housing may find limited options in Romania, as unfurnished rental properties are more common. This can be a challenge for those seeking temporary or short-term accommodation.

10. Are there any resources or websites that are particularly useful for expats searching for housing in Romania?

Yes, there are several resources and websites that can be particularly useful for expats searching for housing in Romania:

1. This is one of the largest and most popular real estate websites in Romania. Expats can find a wide range of properties for rent or for sale in various cities across the country.

2. Bucharest Expats Facebook group: This is a helpful online community where expats living in Bucharest share tips, advice, and recommendations related to housing, including postings for available rentals or roommates.

3. This platform offers a variety of resources for expats moving to Romania, including forums where users can ask for advice or recommendations on finding housing.

4. Real estate agencies: Working with a reputable real estate agency can also be a good option for expats, as agents can help navigate the local market and provide assistance with finding suitable housing options.

Overall, utilizing a combination of online resources, social media groups, and local real estate agencies can greatly facilitate the process of finding housing as an expat in Romania.

11. What should expats consider when choosing between urban and rural living options in Romania?

When choosing between urban and rural living options in Romania, expats should consider several factors to ensure they make the right decision for their lifestyle and preferences:

1. Cost of Living: Generally, rural areas in Romania tend to have lower living costs compared to urban areas. Rent, utilities, and daily expenses are often more affordable in the countryside, which can be appealing for expats looking to save money or live on a budget.

2. Quality of Life: Urban areas offer a bustling environment with more amenities, entertainment options, and cultural activities. On the other hand, rural living provides a quieter and more serene lifestyle, ideal for those seeking a peaceful environment away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

3. Accessibility: Consider your transportation needs and accessibility to essential services like healthcare, schools, supermarkets, and public transportation. Urban areas usually have better infrastructure and connectivity, making it easier to access these services compared to remote rural locations.

4. Job Opportunities: Expats should assess the availability of job opportunities in both urban and rural areas. Cities like Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca offer a wider range of employment options across various industries, while rural areas may have limited job prospects, especially in specific fields.

5. Cultural Experience: Living in urban areas exposes expats to a diverse cultural scene with museums, galleries, theaters, and a vibrant nightlife. However, rural living provides a chance to immerse in the traditional Romanian lifestyle, connect with local communities, and enjoy the natural beauty of the countryside.

Ultimately, the decision between urban and rural living in Romania will depend on individual preferences, lifestyle priorities, and personal circumstances. Expats should carefully weigh these factors to choose the option that best suits their needs and enhances their experience living in Romania.

12. Are furnished apartments or unfurnished apartments more common for expats in Romania?

Furnished apartments are more commonly preferred by expats in Romania for several reasons.
1. Convenience: Furnished apartments save expats the hassle of purchasing and transporting furniture, making the relocation process much easier.
2. Temporary Stay: Many expats in Romania are on short-term assignments or projects, making furnished apartments a practical choice as they eliminate the need to commit to buying furniture for a short duration.
3. Cost-Effective: Renting a furnished apartment can often be more cost-effective in the short term compared to purchasing furniture for an unfurnished apartment.
4. Flexibility: Furnished apartments provide expats with the flexibility to move in quickly and settle down without the stress of furnishing an entire living space.
Overall, expats in Romania generally find furnished apartments to be a more convenient and practical housing option during their stay in the country.

13. What are the transportation options like in areas where expats typically live in Romania?

In areas where expats typically live in Romania, transportation options are generally well-developed and diverse. Some common transportation options available in these areas include:

1. Public transportation: Major cities like Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, and Timisoara have efficient public transportation systems including buses, trams, and metro lines. Expats residing in these areas can easily get around using these modes of transport.

2. Ride-sharing services: Popular ride-sharing services like Uber and Bolt are widely available in Romania, offering expats a convenient and cost-effective way to travel within the city.

3. Taxis: Taxis are a common mode of transportation in Romania, especially for short distance trips within the city. Expats can easily hail a taxi or use mobile apps to book a cab.

4. Cycling: Many expats in Romania choose to cycle as a means of transportation, especially in cities with bike-friendly infrastructure. There are dedicated cycling lanes and bike-sharing services available for those who prefer cycling.

5. Walking: In areas where expats typically live, such as the city center or residential neighborhoods, walking is a popular and convenient way to get around. Most amenities and services are within walking distance, making it a viable transportation option.

Overall, expats in Romania have a variety of transportation options at their disposal, making it easy to navigate and explore their new surroundings.

14. Are there any cultural considerations expats should keep in mind when searching for housing in Romania?

When searching for housing in Romania as an expat, there are several cultural considerations to keep in mind.

1. Location Preferences: Consider the location of the property in relation to your workplace, schools, public transportation, and amenities. In Romania, urban areas like Bucharest offer a modern lifestyle, while rural areas may provide a more traditional experience.

2. Neighborhood Dynamics: Romania is a country with a strong sense of community, so understanding the dynamics of the neighborhood you are considering is important. Some areas may be more family-oriented, while others can be lively with nightlife and entertainment options.

3. Language: While many Romanians speak English, especially in urban areas and tourist destinations, it is beneficial to learn some basic Romanian phrases to communicate with landlords, neighbors, and local businesses.

4. Property Types: Traditional Romanian homes may differ in style and layout compared to what you are used to in your home country. Be open-minded about the architecture and features of potential properties.

5. Decor and Furnishings: Romanians have a unique sense of style when it comes to interior design. Be prepared for vibrant colors, intricate patterns, and eclectic decor choices in some properties.

6. Negotiation Style: In Romania, negotiations are common when renting or buying property. It is essential to be respectful but assertive in discussing terms and conditions with landlords or real estate agents.

7. Legalities: Familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations regarding renting or buying property in Romania to ensure a smooth transaction. Consider seeking legal advice if necessary.

8. Social Etiquette: Building positive relationships with neighbors and landlords is important in Romanian culture. Showing respect, being courteous, and participating in community events can help you integrate smoothly into your new neighborhood.

By being mindful of these cultural considerations, expats can navigate the housing market in Romania effectively and ensure a comfortable living experience in their new environment.

15. How does the cost of living in Romania impact the housing choices for expats?

The cost of living in Romania plays a significant role in determining the housing choices for expats. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Affordability: The relatively low cost of living in Romania compared to many Western European countries can make housing more affordable for expats. This can open up a wider range of options in terms of location, size, and amenities.

2. Budget Allocation: Expats may choose to allocate a larger portion of their budget towards housing due to the lower overall cost of living, allowing them to rent or purchase a more spacious or higher quality property.

3. Location Preferences: The cost of living varies between regions in Romania, with Bucharest generally being more expensive than other cities or rural areas. Expats may choose to prioritize certain locations based on their cost of living as it directly impacts their housing choices.

4. Housing Standards: The cost of living can also impact the standard of housing available to expats in Romania. While some may opt for more luxurious or modern accommodations, others may prioritize affordability and opt for simpler or smaller properties.

Overall, the cost of living in Romania can significantly influence the housing choices of expats, shaping their preferences and considerations when selecting a place to live in the country.

16. What are the typical amenities included in rental properties in Romania?

Amenities included in rental properties in Romania can vary depending on the location, type of property, and rental price. However, some typical amenities that you can expect to find in rental properties in Romania include:

1. Furnishings: Many rental properties in Romania come fully or partially furnished, including essential items such as beds, sofas, dining tables, and appliances like refrigerators and stoves.

2. Heating and air conditioning: Most rental properties in Romania come equipped with heating systems, especially important during the cold winters, and some also have air conditioning for the hot summers.

3. Internet and cable TV: Many rental properties come with pre-installed internet connections and cable TV services, saving you the time and hassle of setting these up yourself.

4. Security features: Some rental properties may have security features such as intercom systems, security cameras, or gated access for added peace of mind.

5. Parking: Depending on the property, you may have access to dedicated parking spaces or garages for your vehicle.

6. Balconies or outdoor spaces: Some rental properties in Romania may include balconies or outdoor spaces where you can relax or entertain guests.

7. Maintenance services: Some rental properties may include maintenance services for tasks such as regular cleaning, gardening, or repairs.

8. Utility connections: In some cases, rental properties may include utilities such as water, electricity, and gas in the rental price, while in others, you may be responsible for setting up and paying for these separately.

These amenities can make your transition to living in Romania as an expat more comfortable and convenient. It’s important to clarify with the landlord or rental agent which amenities are included in the rental property before signing a lease agreement.

17. Are there any specific safety concerns expats should be aware of when choosing a residential area in Romania?

When choosing a residential area in Romania, expats should be aware of certain safety concerns to ensure a secure living environment. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Crime Rate: Research the crime rate in the neighborhood you are considering. Some areas may have higher levels of petty crime or theft, so it is important to choose a safe area.

2. Lighting and Security: Check for adequate street lighting and security measures in the residential area. Well-lit streets and security cameras can help deter criminal activities.

3. Proximity to Public Transport: Living close to public transportation hubs can enhance safety, especially if you need to travel at night. Easy access to buses or trains can provide a safer commute.

4. Local Reputation: Seek local insights or expat communities to learn about the reputation of the area regarding safety. Personal experiences from residents can offer valuable perspectives.

5. Emergency Services: Ensure that the residential area is in close proximity to fire stations, police stations, and hospitals. Quick access to emergency services is crucial in case of any untoward incidents.

By considering these factors and conducting thorough research, expats can make informed decisions to choose a safe residential area in Romania.

18. How can expats handle language barriers when communicating with landlords or real estate agents in Romania?

Expat handling language barriers when communicating with landlords or real estate agents in Romania can employ the following strategies:

1. Learn Basic Romanian: While not mandatory, picking up some basic Romanian phrases can go a long way in establishing rapport and showing effort in bridging the language gap.
2. Use Language Apps or Translators: Utilize language translation apps to facilitate smoother communication during discussions or negotiations.
3. Bring a Translator: If feasible, consider having a Romanian-speaking friend or professional translator accompany you during meetings to ensure all parties understand each other clearly.
4. Seek English-Speaking Agents: Look for real estate agents or landlords who are fluent in English to simplify the communication process.
5. Written Communication: Use written communication via email or messages to ensure clarity and precision in discussing terms and conditions.
6. Be Patient and Understanding: Recognize that language barriers can be challenging but staying patient and understanding can help navigate through the hurdles effectively.

19. Are there any specific tips for negotiating rental prices or terms as an expat in Romania?

When negotiating rental prices or terms as an expat in Romania, there are several tips to keep in mind to ensure a successful outcome:

1. Conduct thorough research on the local rental market to have a clear understanding of the typical price range for similar properties in the same area.
2. Try to negotiate directly with the landlord or the rental agency to have more flexibility in discussing terms.
3. Be prepared to discuss any potential long-term commitment to the property, as landlords may be more willing to reduce the rent for a more extended lease agreement.
4. Consider offering to pay several months’ worth of rent upfront as a sign of goodwill and commitment.
5. Point out any necessary repairs or maintenance work that may be required in the property as leverage for negotiating a lower price or having those issues fixed before moving in.
6. Be respectful and courteous during the negotiation process to establish a positive relationship with the landlord or rental agency.

By incorporating these tips into your negotiation strategy, you can increase your chances of securing favorable rental prices or terms as an expat in Romania.

20. What are some important factors to consider when selecting a property for long-term stay as an expat in Romania?

When selecting a property for long-term stay as an expat in Romania, several important factors should be considered to ensure a comfortable and suitable living arrangement:

1. Location: Consider the proximity to amenities such as supermarkets, public transportation, healthcare facilities, schools, and recreational areas. Also, factor in the distance to your workplace or any other frequently visited areas.

2. Safety and Security: Ensure the neighborhood is safe and secure, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. Research the crime rates and speak with locals about the area’s reputation for safety.

3. Budget: Evaluate your budget and consider not only the monthly rent but also additional expenses such as utilities, maintenance fees, and the cost of living in that area.

4. Lease Terms: Review the terms of the lease agreement carefully, including the duration, rental price increases, deposit requirements, and any other conditions that may affect your stay.

5. Property Condition: Inspect the property thoroughly to ensure it meets your standards in terms of cleanliness, maintenance, and overall condition. Consider any necessary repairs or renovations before committing to a long-term lease.

6. Cultural Factors: Consider the local culture and customs when selecting a property to ensure that it aligns with your lifestyle and preferences as an expat living in Romania.

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can make an informed decision when selecting a property for long-term stay as an expat in Romania.