How to Buy a House / Land Plot in Russia
If you decided to relocate to Russia, buying a house or a land plot is a good alternative to purchasing an apartment. Below we will explore Russian house and land market, check legal aspects and share other useful tips.
Choosing the right land plot
Russian house and land market boasts thousands of great offers, and it is important to make the right choice. Make sure the land type meets your needs:
- Agricultural lands can be used for farming only. Residential buildings are not allowed. Foreign citizens are not allowed to own agricultural lands, but can rent them for a long term.
- Residential lands allow building private houses and garages as well as growing a garden. Foreign citizens are allowed to purchase residential land plots except those close to the state border.
There are several other things to check: the plot's borders on the map should match with what the seller showed on the ground; if any electricity lines cross the plot, its use may be restricted; if the plot is close to a river or lake, its owner must ensure free public access to the shore, etc.
You can always check the land plot size, status and borders at the Public Cadastral Map searching by the land plot's cadastral number or address.
Russian Homestead Act
Effective 2016 all Russian citizens are eligible to get a free land plot of up to 1 hectare in the Russian Far East. This initiative attracted several thousands of Russian settlers and potential immigrants from abroad. Unfortunately, as of now most immigrants are not eligible for participating in this program except those immigrating as Russian language native speakers. However, the land in Russia is not really expensive, and though most foreigners can't get a free land plot, they can easily and inexpensively buy it.
Choosing the right house
Starting from the 1990s Russia has been experiencing a private housing boom. Millions of brick, wooden and frame country houses in traditional Russian, Finnish, Swiss and German styles have been built. When purchasing a house it is important to pay attention to the following:
- The house must be registered with the local authorities. Otherwise it won't be possible to officially reside there.
- The house must comply with the building standards. For example, a private house must not be higher than 20 m or have more than 3 floors; it can't be built on water and gas pipes, too close to other buildings, etc.
- The house should be officially connected to electricity, water and gas lines. One more useful tip: many modern houses have electric heating system, but it will be quite expensive in winter. Gas heating is the best solution.
Checking the costs
The best website to check the real cost for a house or a land plot in Russia and to find all relevant offers is Avito.ru. You can filter offers by price, land size, location, etc. On average the prices for a standard residential land plot range from $2,000 to 20,000 depending on its location. A modern house together with the plot may cost $40,000 — 200,000.
The land and house purchasing procedure in Russia is similar to buying an apartment. The sales contract should be registered with the Federal Cadastral Service. It can be done at any public services center (called МФЦ in Russian). If the owner is below 18 and in some other cases the contract should be certified by a notary. Also, it is very important to double-check with the state registry the seller's ownership rights.
Purchasing a house or a land plot is always a very important deal with hundreds of details. Our team will be glad to provide you with legal support, analyze offers' advantages and disadvantages and make sure the deal is risk-free.