Why buy at all?
You may come from a country like Germany or Denmark where property ownership is quite low and it is a common lifestyle choice to rent a property rather than buy it (see Eurostat for more details). If you intend to live in Poland for a longer period of time and you are able to buy property, here is a list of a few reasons in favour of it:
- Prices. Poland's price to income ratio is 9.77, ranking 34th globally. It means that places here are generally quite affordable if you also earn locally. It is a better raio than that of France, Russia, or Hungary, for instance.
- Investment. Instead of keeping your savings in a bank - invest in real estate. Your property in Poland can be rented or leased; you can also do it up, wait for a good opportunity, and sell it with an advantage.
- Stability. This is quite an obvious one, but it should not be underestimated. Owning your own place means it is entirely up to you how you restore or decorate it. On the other hand, it may also be a burden - it does require some attention and care!
Flat or house?
For expats, it is definitely easier to buy an apartment in Poland, rather than a house. In order to become a flat owner, you do not need to obtain any special permits. In fact, you do not even need to live in Poland permanently! If you do, it is acceptable to present simply a visa or a residence permit of whichever type. The regulation is also applicable to buying a garage.
Buying a house is more tricky for foreigners in Poland. You will need to apply to the Polish Ministry of the Interior for a special permit granting you the right to acquire real estate. There are however exceptions to these rules. The most common ones say that you do not need the permit if you have been living in Poland for over five years on the ground of permanent residency or long-term EU residency (it is just two years for individuals in the same position who are additionally married to a Polish national). To read more about them, visit the Ministry of the Interior website.
How to apply?
The application for issuing the permit to acquire real estate in Poland should be filed to the Ministry of the Interior and it should contain:
1) designation of the applicant and its legal status;
2) designation of real estate acquired;
3) designation of the seller;
4) determination of the legal form of the acquisition of real estate;
5) information about the purpose and possibility of the acquisition of real estate.
You should also attach all the documents testifying the aforementioned information, your ties to Poland, marriage certificates, ID copies, bank statements etc. If you are really considering buying property, take a closer look at the regulation, as there are many nuanced details that may apply to your particular circumstances. Bear in mind that the permit is valid for two years since the day it was issued.