Property Guide to Buying a House in Hungary

Hungary Property Guide to The Buying Procedure for English Buyers of Houses in Hungary

Welcome to the Travel Hungary Property Guide to buying a house in Hungary. We hope you will find this an easy to understand and fairly comprehensive explanation of the procedures and process of buying a house in Hungary or other property in Hungary. Please let us know if you feel you need any other information about the Hungarian house buying procedures.

If you are considering purchasing a House in Hungary or searching for a house in Hungary, as a holiday home in Hungary, or for retirement in Hungary, or to work in Hungary, this guide to the buying procedure will take you through the complete process, from viewing your house in Hungary to taking possession of your house in Hungary.

In contrast to Britain, Hungary in common with most of continental Europe has a very well-defined set of procedures for house and property purchase designed to be simple, easy to follow and fool proof.

This Hungarian property purchase guide includes a review of the main issues you need to be aware of during the buying process. You will find further information on Hungarian fees and taxes relating to house purchases and the different forms of property ownership possible in Hungary which may be important for various reasons in other sections of this website.

Normally our clients are in Hungary in person to attend to the necessary documentation signing, but If it is not possible for you to be in Hungary, a local legal representative can be appointed to finalise the legal process with a notarised power of attorney. Our Hungarian lawyer section of this guide provides information on Hungarian lawyers. The power of attorney will enable your lawyer to do the following on your behalf: Sign the Preliminary Agreement, Sign the Final Sale and Purchase contract, Open bank accounts, Represent you at the handover of your property.

As a citizen of an EU country the process of buying a house in Hungary is no different than it would be for a Hungarian national. As explained in another of our guides there are some properties you will not be allowed to buy, but for the vast majority of Hungarian houses you will be dealt with as though you were a Hungarian national.

This guide only applies to British citizens, Swedish citizens and citizens of EU countries.

These are the ten stages of the process of buying a house in Hungary

  1. Viewing properties In Hungary.
  2. Negotiating a fair price for your house.
  3. House reservation payment and signing the pre-contract.
  4. Opening a bank account in Hungary.
  5. Finding a Hungarian Lawyer
  6. Paying the balance of the deposit
  7. Signing the final contract after the payment of the house deposit money.
  8.  Transfer to the lawyer’s trust account of the balance due on your house purchase in Hungary.
  9.  Taking possession of your house in Hungary and the transfer of ownership of the house.
  10. The final step into your house in Hungary.

1.Viewing properties in Hungary

We will act as your English speaking intermediary between the owner’s agents or the owners themselves of the houses in Hungary that you want to see. Allow about a day for viewing up to about five properties. After you have seen some houses we will review with you the houses and your thoughts about their suitability. If as a result of the viewings you have found a house that meets your requirements we will set up a meeting to negotiate the price of your house purchase.

2. Negotiating a fair price for your house.

We will negotiate with the owner of the house or his representative when we feel it is appropriate to do so .Some houses are market priced so in that case there will be little room for negotiation. Others may be overpriced as their owner expects or enjoys negotiating, in which case we will establish if possible a fair price with the owner of the house. On other occasions the owner may need for an urgent sale of his house which may make a good reduction possible in return for a quick decision. In all cases we will do all we can to get the best price for you and advise you if we think you are being asked to pay too much. Sometimes you have to pay a bit extra to get what you really want if it is something special. If you are satisfied with the price we have managed to negotiate we will then make a formal offer to buy the house which will require handing over a reservation payment.

3. House reservation payment and signing the pre-contract

To reserve a house you will have to make a reservation payment towards the deposit. The deposit will usually be around 10% of the agreed house price and the reservation payment of around £1000 will go towards the deposit. Cash will be expected for the reservation payment, so unless you already have the required cash available you will need to use your debit card to obtain the cash from a bank. Banks in Hungary open just five days a week, normally closing at 4pm except on Fridays when they close at 3pm. There will be a daily limits set by your bank on the amount that you are allowed to withdraw unless you make special arrangements..

The pre-contract will be in both English and Hungarian and will detail matters such as when the remaining amounts needs to be paid and the taking possession of the house date.

4. Opening a bank account in Hungary

When you have found the house you want to buy we recommended that you open a Hungarian bank account. We can advise you which banks will suit your requirements.. It is useful to have an account with a bank that has an English speaker, internet access and an international withdrawal card.

5. Finding a Hungarian Lawyer

If you do not already have a Hungarian lawyer, Travel Hungary can introduce you to a choice English speaking Hungarian lawyers that you will competent to deal with all the legal aspects of the purchase of your house in Hungary, including, if necessary, the formation of a company to purchase the property. We can recommend a number of lawyers who are reliable, efficient and charge moderate fees. The services of a good lawyer are essential to a successful and trouble free purchase of a house in Hungary.

6. Paying the balance of the deposit

On the agreed date the deposit balance should be transferred to the lawyer’s trust account. This payment will secure the purchase of the house or property. Once this stage is reached the law in Hungary allows the seller of the property to retain the deposit if the buyer fails to complete. On the other hand the law in Hungary entitles you to double your deposit money back if for any reason the seller fails to complete. If it really was for some reason completely beyond the control of the seller then it would be unreasonable to expect more than just your deposit refunded. This law is intended to stop the English custom of Gazumping. It is important to remember that late payments can be considered to be a failure to complete by the buyer.

7. Signing the final contract after the payment of the house deposit money

A final purchase contract will be signed once the balance of the deposit has reached the lawyer’s trust account. This contract will be deposited at the land registry office and you will get a “side note” on the property. The deposit will be transferred to the seller after the side note is registered.

A side note is probably something you are probably not familiar with. It is an indication that a sale with retention of ownership has taken place in 24 hours from the submission to the Land Registry. This means that some kind of application was submitted with regard to the property but it was not judged by the land registry office yet (not registered, not refused). Simply put it means that the official Land registry has been notified a purchase contract for a property has taken place but the contract has not been completed.

8. Transfer to the lawyer’s trust account of the balance due on your house purchase in Hungary.

Both the precontract and the final contract state the the date of taking possession which is also the deadline for the the payment of the balance due on the house purchase. This date is the receiving date not the sending date, so to be on the safe side allow at least 12 working days if you have not already deposited enough money in a Hungarian bank and are sending money from abroad. As previously mentioned according to Hungarian law, you are at risk of losing the Hungarian house you wanted to buy and your deposit if you fail to complete due to late payment, as the seller will be entitled to withdraw from the contract and withhold your house deposit.

9. Taking possession of your house in Hungary and the transfer of ownership of the house.

You are entitled to take possession of the house once the balance due has been lodged in the trust account of the lawyer. At this time, as well as the balance being paid to the seller and the buyer taking possession of the house, your lawyer will deposit a statement signed by the seller at the land registry office which states that the seller has received all the money due and that he transfers his ownership rights to you the buyer. Also by this time you would have checked and agreed the utility meter readings with the owner.

10 The final step into your house in Hungary.

The last and easiest stage has now been reached. Return to your house, open your front door, step over the threshold and start enjoying your house in Hungary and all that Hungary has to offer. You can start with a glass of fine Hungarian wine to congratulate yourself on the successful completion of the process of buying a house in Hungary.

Purchase Fees of Buying a House in Hungary

Please see our section called Costs of Buying a Property in Hungary

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