Home Looking in Poland: A 19th-Century Cottage for $523,000

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House Hunting in Poland: A 19th-Century Cottage for $523,000

This two bedroom, two bathroom house is located in the village of Kwiatonowice in the mountainous southeastern Malopolska province of Poland, about 70 miles east of the provincial capital, Krakow.

The 4,500 square meter house is reminiscent of a fairytale house with a shingle roof made of spruce, a wooden veranda and a cozy garden. The building was built from brick and wood on 1.7 hectares in the mid-19th century and has been gradually renovated over the past 20 years. One wing has yet to be worked on, said Dominika Dabrowska, an agent at RE / MAX Duo V who has the listing.

A curved stone path leads to a box-shaped wooden veranda and a glazed foyer with double doors. Behind the foyer is an entrance hall with stairs. On the left is the kitchen with original fir wood floor and wooden beam ceiling. A bathroom with light green walls is nearby.

To the right of the entrance is a series of rooms enfilade and connected by an adjoining corridor. The dining room with oak parquet is located near the entrance. The tile stove and dining table with embossed leather armchairs are antiques. The living room has herringbone wood floors, a tile stove and doors to a terrace. Behind the living room is a spacious den and library.

The landing on the second floor serves as an office. Two bedrooms are hidden under the eaves on opposite sides. One has its own bathroom and the other has purple walls and a small balcony.

The brickwork, floors, roof trusses, spruce shingles and windows have been updated to create historically authentic designs, Ms. Dabrowska said. The east wing was not renovated and plans were made for several bedrooms and bathrooms. The house is furnished with antiques, some of which may be included in the purchase price. The notable objects include an original furniture set for young Poles from the early 20th century, an Art Nouveau furniture set with modern reproduction upholstery from Austria and a chestnut-brown plush set of chairs from 1908 in Munich Art Nouveau.

"The owners are big fans of antiques," said Ms. Dabrowska. “They were looking for special things that fit this house. Every piece of furniture inside is really something very special. You are not there by accident. "

The property also includes an earth cellar, a former blacksmith's forge that has been converted into a garage, and an inner courtyard with an Art Nouveau sculpture by Polish artist Karol Homolacs.

The village of Kwiatonowice, with fewer than 1,000 inhabitants, is about ten kilometers from the small town of Gorlice and about 90 minutes from the center of Krakow, Poland's second largest city and home to Krakow John Paul II International Airport. The hilly Malopolska The region has "beautiful nature", with lakes, valleys and traditional old villages, said Ms. Dabrowska.

Thanks to a stable economy and supply shortages, property prices in Poland have risen steadily since the global recession. According to the Polish central bank Narodowy Bank Polski (NBP), the average price for existing apartments in the seven largest cities in the country (Warsaw, Gdansk, Gdansk, Krakow, Lodz, Poznan and Wroclaw) rose by 7.8 percent in 2019 to an average of 7 .8 percent of 7,664 Polish zlotys per square meter (USD 190 per square foot).

Prices in Krakow, once the capital of Poland and now an economic and cultural center – the city center was included in the first group of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1978 – followed suit as investors bought apartments and used them as rental apartments for students, workers and tourists, said Mrs. Dabrowska. According to NBP, prices in Krakow rose 8.25 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to the previous year.

Ms. Dabrowska estimated that new homes in the city start at around 9,000 zlotys per square meter ($ 225 per square foot). Single-family homes up to 19 km from the city center can range from 800,000 to 950,000 zlotys ($ 215,000 to $ 255,000), and luxury villas start at around 1.5 million zlotys ($ 405,000). In Malopolska (also known as Lesser Poland), the province east of Krakow, prices vary, with rural outposts overlooking the mountains increasing in number.

During the lockdown of the pandemic, real estate transactions in the Krakow market have temporarily slowed, but activities have resumed, Ms. Dabrowska said. The longer-term effects on the market are unclear.

"Those who spent the lockdown in apartments that were too small with children are looking for larger or houses to have more space and their own garden," she wrote in an email. "The coming months will show whether the situation will remain stable or whether property prices will fall."

(By August 21, according to the New York Times coronavirus map, Poland had reported 62,310 cases of Covid-19 and 1,960 deaths – much lower per capita rates than most Western European countries.)

Krzysztof Joachimczak, CEO of Lepidus Property Poland, a Warsaw-based luxury agency, said the Polish high-end market is stable because prices "are not subject to short-term fluctuations in the economic climate like other properties." However, he added that luxury property sales have taken longer since the pandemic began.

Mr Joachimczak said the main luxury housing centers are in the Polish capital, Warsaw, and the nearby spa town of Konstancin, as well as in the tri-city coastal region of Sopot, Gdansk and Gdynia on the Baltic Sea. Krakow (in the south), Wroclaw (in the west), and Zakopane, which he referred to as Poland's Aspen, have smaller markets.

The most prestigious districts of Krakow are Krowodrza, Zwierzyniec and the Old Town, where prices are the highest, said Joachimczak.

"There is little space for new buildings in the Kraków district," he said. “The land prices are horrendous and that's why developers are building small but exclusive houses there.” He cited the renovated inter-war houses near the market square and Wawel Castle, which attract wealthy foreigners. Krowodrza in the west of the city, where several universities are concentrated, sees a new building, he added. People are attracted to the green spaces.

The new market for condominiums has developed rapidly in the last few years in the larger cities of Poland with rising prices and transactions. It was "very hot" in 2019, said Robert Chojnacki, CEO of RedNet Property, which specializes in new condominiums. Low unemployment, more disposable income and rising wages have contributed to the number of Polish first-time buyers entering the market over the past three years.

New condominium prices in Warsaw hit 10,367 zlotys per square meter ($ 260 per square foot) in the second quarter of this year, up from 8,000 zlotys per square meter ($ 200 per square foot) in the first quarter of 2018, according to RedNet's property report on July 27 released. More recent developments have had higher construction costs, higher asking prices and higher demand.

Sales across Poland recovered from the effects of the Covid-19 restrictions in July, Chojnacki said. Low savings rates with banks have made property ownership attractive, while state aid to small and medium-sized businesses has helped keep the workforce, he said.

Buyers want homes with more rooms, but not necessarily more space – to create home offices without spending more money on square meters, he said. They are also buying high quality condos in remote, uncrowded coastal areas that were less in demand before the pandemic.

Ms. Dabrowska estimates that around 25 percent of her buyers are foreigners who live and work in Krakow. "Mostly they are couples, one of whom is a Pole and the other a foreigner (mostly from France, Italy, Ukraine or other European countries)," she wrote in an email.

In Krakow, as in the rest of Poland, buyers of new condominiums are almost exclusively Polish, said Chojnacki.

Foreign buyers from outside the European Union are required to obtain a permit issued by the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration to buy property in Poland, said Michal Dudkowiak, partner at Dudkowiak Kopec Putyra, a law firm with offices in several Polish cities. including Krakow. The approval process usually takes about three months and comes with a fee of 1,570 zloty (USD 420).

“In general, buying an apartment in Poland would normally be exempt from the requirement to obtain a permit. A permit is usually required to buy a home or property, ”he said.

Polish: Poland Zloty (1 Zloty = 0.27 USD)

This property is exempt from property tax, said Ms. Dabrowska.

Dominika Dabrowska, RE / MAX Duo V, 011-48-510-146-918; remax-polska.pl

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