Buying a House
One of the crucial points of living in Slovakia is buying a property. There are no legal restrictions on buying buildings in Slovakia, but you are restricted if you want to buy agricultural or forest land. Note that houses use the number of rooms, not bedrooms, for sale descriptions. Be sure you understand everything before you sign anything — if necessary use the services of a translator. These are the usual steps to follow:
- Choose a property.
- Pay a deposit (10 %). If you change your mind you get the deposit back, minus expenses.
- Both parties sign the pre-purchase agreement.
- Property report by a surveyor.
- Solicitor draws up final contract.
- Contract signed by both parties.
- Ask the seller for a “Kataster” paper, which details the owner, mortgage and any encumbrances.
- Check the date of the Kataster report — it should be within the previous three months.
- You pay the balance.
- Deeds transferred to you after four weeks.
Normally a notary will certify signatures, but you do not need them before registration.
The total transaction costs include all costs of buying and then re-selling a property — lawyers’ fees, notaries’ fees, registration fees, taxes, agents’ fees, etc. and usually comes to between 3 and 7%. It usually costs more than you expect to buy a house, so check your finances carefully. Currency rates will affect you. The following website may save you money: www.smartcurrencyexchange.com
The European Free Movement of Workers agreement means you can live and work in Slovakia without a visa or work permit.
If British nationals come to work in Slovakia, their employer should notify the local Labour Office within 7 working days of starting the employment by sending them an Information Card.
Your ability to find work depends upon your language skills. English is a bonus, but it helps to be fairly fluent in Slovakian. If you are moving for employment, the administrative details may be handled by the employer. It is wise to get a written contract if possible. A verbal contract gives little protection.
It may be hard to find a job as there is 13% unemployment — lower in Bratislava. If you have higher qualifications you have a better chance. The pay is also significantly smaller than in Britain, but so are costs and expenses, so you shouldn’t find it too difficult to make living in Slovakia. There is a database of jobs available on the website of the National Labour Office (www.nup.sk). Another website you might try is www.profesia.sk the biggest online job market in Slovakia, and where you can register your CV if you wish.
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