e martë, shtator 25, 2007

Buying property in Albania

Recently the centre pages of the Sunday Times in the UK, carried a property page advertising new apartments in Albania.

At the same time, I heard Rick Stein in a cookery programme on the BBC claiming that within 10 years " we will all be buying property in Albania".

It is true, house prices are rising daily. In some cases they have increased 3 times in price within a year!

I would just like to offer some advice as one who has bought land, and an apartment in Albania.

1) Be very careful as to who the owner of the land is. Many houses and apartments have been built without permission. You may end up buying land/property from someone that has paperwork, but does not own the land!

2) Take great care even when the owner is known. Sometimes the whole family(i.e. everyone over the age of 16 years) needs to sign the papers, or else they are not valid.

3) Even if you are buying a new apartment be very careful.
Are all the documents correct?
We bought a new apartment but the owner reduced the floor space making numerous changes to the original plans.
We paid for the apartment and ended up in a dispute over water asnd electricity. The owner had not made a contract with the electricity firm and it left us 2 months without electricity!

4) Someone needs to overlook the Albanian workmen. Usually they get quality work on the outside, and pay cheap labour to do all the work on the inside. This needs to be checked daily!

5) Never pay until you have ALL the documents. I sold an apartment here, went to the bank, arranged with the manager that we return and get the money transferred to my account. I then completed all documentation at the notary office. When we finished at the notary office the buyer told me that the money in the bank was not his, it was his employers and that he could not pay me!

6) Get a good lawyer! (Albanian one)

6 komente:

DAI tha...

Good advice, all the way around, Kolin!

No. 6 is too short, however! Finding a good lawyer in Albania (or anywhere else for that matter) is an awesome experience.....

Best wishes to you in Shkodra, one of my favorite places in Albania.

Kolin tha...

Thanks dai...

You will note that I didn't say an "honest" lawyer. Having worked 13 years in a judicial department of the Scottish courts I would have to say that an "honest lawyer" would be a contradiction in terms!

Albanian Blogger tha...

Great advice. Thanks.

Anonim tha...

Advise for forigners about to buy property in Albania: D O N O T. You will regret that day you made that decission to buy something.

Albanian Blogger tha...

Dear Anonymous,
It may be difficult at times but not impossible. Things will not be like this forever, and if you advise people not to buy, then please give us some reasons why.

Kolin tha...

I agree...
reasons need to be given rather than a simple DO NOT BUY.

Are things difficult? - yes
Are they complicated? - yes
But is it impossible to buy - no!!

Anyone looking for a holiday apartment in Albania could easily find a bargain at the moment, and something that could prove very valuable in 5-10years time.

The risks must be considered( and ARE very real!) but the opportunity is there and I would not( and have not) put anyone off making enquiries and interest in to buying in Albania!