We’re buying a house – or at least trying to

We have decided to buy a house.  We have (nearly) enough money to buy what we want, we know exactly what we are looking for and more or less exactly where.

So the rest should be easy – you’d think . . .

We are buying in Slany which is a relatively small town (pop about 15,000).  Even so there must be around 500 houses that meet our basic criteria, maybe more.

In New Zealand we would have gone to a few open homes and then chosen something we liked.

Actually it is not that easy at all, and I’m really noticing the differences between the Czech real estate market and what I’m used to.

The first big difference is that people simply do not tend to sell houses here.  I remember the statistic that in New Zealand people turn over houses every 5 years or thereabouts.  I have no idea what the figure is here, but I’d guess it’s closer to 100 years.  People live in the same house all their lives, and then pass it on to their children.  The idea of selling and moving every few years is simply unimaginable.

There are no open homes here, and no “For Sale” signs anywhere.  Where property does change hands a lot of it happens privately.  Houses are sold to friends, neighbours and relations.

So we have already looked at the only two houses for sale in our price range (neither of which meet our criteria), mainly to get a feel for value for money.

And now we have to wait.

What we’re waiting for, I’m not sure.  Maybe someone has to die childless having left all their money to the cats home.  Perhaps we’re waiting for word of mouth information that someone’s cousins neighbour is thinking about selling.

I’ve got a feeling it could be a long wait.

Interestingly this lack of supply is not driving up prices.  There seems to be a corresponding lack of demand.

We’ll keep you posted.

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