Living in Hungary
Hungary has a great many delights to offer if you are seeking a new life in the European Union. Sandwiched between seven countries, including Slovakia and Austria, it is a country of friendly locals, low crime rates, attractively low property prices and cost of living, and it boasts one of Europe’s, maybe even the world’s most alluring capital cities – Budapest.
Nicknamed the pearl of the Danube, Budapest offers an expanse of elegant architecture; excellent restaurants and apartment-dominated property market decorate the great river like the jewel it is named as.
Focusing on principal cities Budapest, Gyor and Debrecen, Hungary’s real estate market was damaged by the global financial crisis like so many other countries. However, for home buyers, there are real opportunities to be had here.
Buying property anywhere in the EU as a foreign national can be difficult – most lawyers will advise that you set up a company in Hungary in order to purchase, in which case no permit is needed (a process which can otherwise be difficult).
- Choose a property and negotiate
- A credible lawyer/ solicitor should be employed for the conveyance, and a structural/ architectural survey of the apartment and building are recommended
- When an agreement is reached, the lawyer will begin securing local government approval
- Title search and property valuations are set in motion
- When the title has been declared clear from encumbrances, the purchase agreement is drafted by the lawyer, which validates the transfer of the property
- A meeting is arranged between buyer, seller and lawyer, and the contract is signed
- Because of the permission process, closing usually takes place 60-90 days after initially signing the Purchase Contract. The buyer must notify the seller immediately after receiving the purchase-permission.
In addition to Hungary’s highly praised public school system, most of Hungary’s largest
Cities offer private foreign-language schools at all levels, from primary education to
University. In terms of higher learning, the Budapest campus of the Central European
University offers classes in English, and the capital’s Eötvös Lóránd University (ELTE)
instructs in both English and German.
At the heart of Europe and only a short drive from the Adriatic seacoast, Hungary’s moderate to warm climate offers its residents an active and varied lifestyle. The hills above Budapest provide city dwellers with excellent opportunities for weekend excursions. Lake Balaton in western Hungary — a short distance from the capital — is one of the largest inland lakes in Europe, and the greenery evident in every corner of the country reflects its prime location in the lush Carpathian basin.
Hungary, particularly Budapest is fast developing a reputation for its array of great restaurants. Nearly every ethnic cuisine is available in Hungary — from Indian to Thai to French cooking. Hungary’s native cuisine is hearty and spicy.
Hungary, the country of composers such as Liszt, Kodály, Bartók, and Lehár, offers world-class operas, ballets, musical concerts, folk art, and theatre. Hungarians are famous for their talent as classical and jazz musicians. In addition, Hungarian cities have become common touring destinations of modern jazz and rock and roll acts.
Hungary has a tax-funded universal healthcare system, organized by the state-owned National Healthcare Fund. Citizens or residents of countries which are not part of the European Economic Area may still be exempt from certain Hungary healthcare charges due to a bilateral agreement with their country of residence.
Cost of Living
Although cost of living in Hungary is rising in line with the rest of the European Union, prices of food, alcohol and transport are still comparatively cheap. Hungary’s official currency is the Forint (FT or HUF). The country is meant to join the Euro Zone in around 2020, and despite some larger shops and popular restaurants accepting Euros, it is advisable to pay in cash with Hungarian Forint.
For a more detailed breakdown of living costs in Hungary: