How to move to Albania? An interview with representatives of the EstateAll agency
In recent years, Albania has become an increasingly popular tourist destination. The beautiful beaches of the Ionian and Adriatic seas, their sands with an admixture of clay, the Albanian mountain peaks, the purest water from natural sources and a complete ban on the use of pesticides and GMOs in Albanian products are just a part of what attracts thousands of foreigners here. In Albania, not only the weather conditions are good, but there is also an excellent investment climate.
Many residents of the CIS learned about all this thanks to two representatives of the EstateAll real estate agency — Lola Bond and Elizaveta Murzich.
Elizaveta Murzich is an expert on healthy lifestyles and longevity, author of publications in print and online media, co-author and ideologist of eco-retreat in Albania, and a sales partner of EstateAll agency.
Lola Bond (Olga) is the organizer of the first International Forum of Successful Women Entrepreneurs in Belarus, business coach, psychologist, international lawyer, co-founder of EstateAll agency, hostess of the AlbaniAll travel agency, an expert on Albania in international media, author of charitable projects and programs for youth and children.
The director of the international real estate company REALTING Alena Martynenko talked to both experts live and found out the answers to many questions about how to move to Albania and what kind of real estate it is more profitable to invest in.
EstateAll agency opened its doors in 2016. Most of the clients buying real estate are citizens of Macedonia, Kosovo, Germany, Belgium, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
The agency started working with the Russian-speaking market quite recently. As Olga notes, the citizens of the CIS have some fears and doubts about whether it is profitable to purchase real estate in Albania. The young women assure us: it is profitable! Moreover, Olga advises buying any property before it’s too late.
Housing costs and additional costs
In Albania, real estate prices are affordable: an apartment can be found for as little as 18,000 euros. A studio of 40 m² with a gorgeous view of the mountains will cost 40,000 euros. Large apartments (with a 2+1 layout) with side sea views will cost about 70,000 euros.
There are also suitable options for luxury lovers. EstateAll has properties for 1.5 million or even 4 million dollars. They are now being rented out.
In Albania, land is the most expensive. Previously, foreign citizens could not own land, but a few years ago the situation changed: if they have a land project and a building permit, a foreigner can become the owner of the land.
Elizabeta advises choosing real estate based on your goals:
- Moving and obtaining a residence permit;
- Resale investment;
- Investment for the purpose of generating rental income.
Buying real estate does not imply obtaining a residence permit. However, a foreigner cannot become a resident without owning property or renting housing.
When buying a home for personal use, a foreigner should pay attention to real estate not on the first coastline. In the coastal regions of Albania, sandstorms often occur, after which a lot of dust and dirt gets into the apartments.
If a foreigner buys a property for rent or resale, a good view will help bring in a higher income. Olga bought an apartment on the first line a few years ago, and after 4 years she was able to sell it at a price that was 40% higher than its original cost.
Renting out can earn you from 7 to 20% per annum. Long-term rent brings in 2000-2500 euros per month, daily rent can earn you 35-45 euros per day.
The cost of housing maintenance is relatively low: in winter, about 80 euros per month is spent on electricity (in Albania there is no centralized heating), while in summer the amount is much lower. Water supply will cost 3-6 euros.
Previously, there were no real estate taxes in Albania. However, after the country applied to join the EU, the situation changed slightly: the Belgian authorities helped develop a tax system, which never began to enjoy popularity.
Property buying process
The process of buying real estate in Albania is quite simple. Property can be purchased remotely. Buying a home consists of several stages:
- A request from a client appears;
- The agent enters a contract with the buyer;
- Suitable real estate options are selected;
- The client fills out an application;
- The agent displays the property (online or offline);
- A power of attorney is drawn up (for the purchase of a specific property);
- The deal is concluded;
- The client receives a certificate.
As a rule, this process lasts no more than a month. The Albanian cadastral agency appeared a few years ago, so the laws protect the buyer from all sides. The money that the client transfers initially goes to the account of the notary, and not the agent or owner. The notary is responsible for the transaction.
In order for the transaction to take place, the client needs to provide confirmation of funds. If the buyer does not have enough money, he can apply for a mortgage at a local bank. EstateAll is the first agency in Albania to offer this service to its clients.
The bank employees check the client’s credit history and the absence of debts. If all the conditions are met, the buyer can pay half of the amount on their own, and borrow the second part at 6-7% per annum.
Agency commission is from 1 to 3% (with a minimum of 500 euros). The amount is divided between the buyer and the seller.
Choosing the region
Tirana, the capital of Albania, is developing day by day. The city is growing and becoming more and more modern. It is great for those who come to Albania to study or work.
Sarandi is a small cozy town for the soul. The Ionian Sea, its beautiful white sand beaches and its proximity to Corfu (50 minutes drive) make this city special.
Vlora is the favorite city of the Prime Minister of Albania. The region is constantly developing and building up. Also, in Vlora there are exits to two seas. Families with children like to relax on the Adriatic, and fans of extreme sports and outdoor activities often come to the Ionian.
Duras is located 40 minutes from the capital and the main airport. Many residents of the city speak Italian: Italy can be reached via the strait in just 4.5 hours.
Also, in Albania there are many islands, near which there were shipwrecks. Now these waters attract divers and snorkelers.
The principle of the agency
Lola Bond notes that her mission is to popularize the country and create a good community. Albanians are wonderful people who want to get to know the traditions and cultures of other countries.
The women are involved in many social and charitable projects. They try to unite expats. For example, not so long ago there was a beach cleaning campaign. Events are regularly held that bring together visiting citizens and local residents.
To learn more about all the nuances of selling and buying real estate in Albania, we recommend that you watch the video of the interview.