Red Corner: Buying your Vacation Home in Eastern Europe

Looking for a cheap vacation home to buy abroad but France and England are a bit out of your price range? Well, look no further than Eastern Europe, deep Eastern Europe. Real estate in Prague and Budapest are already out of many peoples’ price range, but lesser visited towns in Bulgaria and Romania are not. In fact, experts predict that both of these countries are prime real estate investment opportunities. And, if I might add, beautiful countries in which to have a second home.

According to an article in The Observer, Romanian real estate is expected to offer returns of over 400% in the next ten years-due to a combination of current low values and the anticipation of the country entering the European Union in 2007. Although 50 years of communism has left many buildings in sorry shape, there seems to be plenty of quaint ones to choose from on this British-based real estate site. And why Romania you ask? Well, the mountains of Transylvania, for example, are stunning. There is the Black Sea cost (not as stunning), and the capital, Bucharest-known a century ago as the Paris of the East.

Another article, this one in The Christian Science Monitor, discusses the benefits of buying vacation homes in Bulgaria-site of fine ski resorts and warm summers. After the fall of communism, many Bulgarians moved to the cities to look for work, leaving their country homes empty and awaiting foreign buyers. The article chronicles the adventures of a couple in search of a $20,000 vacation home in the countryside. They eventually find one nestled amongst a fairytale “Lord of the Rings” setting. It has mountain views and fruit trees, but no bathroom or plumbing. I’m curious to hear what the $5,000 houses also on the market have to offer.