Before moving to Budapest – Part 3
We have already discussed the very first steps to follow once you know you’ll be living in Budapest for a few months or so. And we also gave you some insights into some of Budapest’s districts. Now it’s time to take some steps forward, and start thinking about the city as your new home. Check out our tips about setting up your life in the city of lights!
How to look for a flat/room
By now, you’ve probably chosen a sympathetic district to live in, so it’s high time we took a look at the process of finding a room or a flat, which is not always smooth sailing. To make things easier on you, we’ve collected a couple of websites that might help you out:
- Facebook has several groups consisting of students and expats who are offering empty rooms or are looking for flatmates.
- RoomMates Budapest is a social network centered on finding flatmates and empty rooms, so taking a look at it will surely pay its dividends.
- Couchsurfing: we’re pretty sure most of you already know what this website is about, so we won’t go into tiring details. Writing a post on Couchsurfing will work wonders, and will help you get in touch with expats, locals, and fellow soon-to-be-Budapest residents.
- Craiglist is a worldwide network serving those who would like to find or advertise empty rooms or flats, where you can also contact potential flatmates.
- WG-Gesucht is yet another website offering rooms and flats for rent. It’s available in English and German, and detailed searches are of great help if your expectations are already set in stone.
Photo: Mervai Márk
Moreover, there are plenty of real estate agents eager to assist you in digging up the flat of your dreams, and the best thing is that you don’t have to spend a Forint on their services; it is the owner of the flat who is obliged to pay the costs.
A couple of things you should keep in mind when renting a flat: first of all, you have the right to ask for a bilingual contract. The lease is usually made for a year, though it can be a semester or an academic year, you need to discuss these details with the owner. Because of a Hungarian law, it’s mandatory to pay a two-month deposit as a security fee right after signing the contract. In case some sort of damage is done, or you fail to fulfill the obligations written in the contract – such as leaving the flat before the leasing period ends – the deposit will land in the owner’s pocket.
Lastly, the rent fee in Budapest does not contain either utility costs or common costs (services related to the building), unless the owner tells you otherwise, so always ask, don’t be shy about standing up for yourself, or you might get fooled.
How much money you need to start your life in Budapest
A fresh start in Budapest might cost more than a few nickles and dimes, mainly because Budapest is not nearly as cheap as you think, prices are well on their way to reach Western-European levels. To guarantee that you arrive financially well prepared, check out the most possible expenses of your first few weeks in Budapest.
- Transportation to Budapest: depends on the chosen means of transport where you’re coming from. If you’re setting off from another European country, it’s probably around 100€.
- Hostel while searching for a flat: before moving in to the flat you fancy, you’ll need a place to stay at, and what could be better than a hostel for around 10 € per night?
- As for the rent, you must have enough cash to pay for the two-month deposit mentioned above plus the rent of the first month, which should be paid in advance. Rents range from 150 to 300€ without utility costs and common costs.
- Creating a homely vibe will also have its expenses, and you might need to buy bedclothes, kitchen accessories, posters etc. for around 100€. You can find cheap things in second hand shops all around the city, and there’s also a group on Facebook called Used stuff for sale in Budapest.
- Last not least, you’ll start meeting people. This means you’ll go out, throw in some beers, dine out, and have crazy all-night fun. We won’t estimate the amount you need, depends on how big a party animal you are.
It might be a bit of a mess in the beginning, but starting all over is never easy. Regardless, knowing all these things will save you not only a lot of time, but also some headaches. Now that you are aware of the basic survival steps to follow before moving to Hungary’s capital, all that’s left to do is falling in love with Budapest.