Property Case Study
Coming back to a dream home
A growing trend among Poles living abroad is to buy a property back home, so they can either rent it out, or repay the mortgage using the higher wages they are earning in their new country. One such buyer is 57-year-old Anna Bannon, who was born near Warsaw.
Anna and her husband, an actuary from Belfast, met in Poland but moved to London 32 years ago. She works part time in a local college and they have two daughters. Just before Poland joined the EU in 2004, Anna decided to buy some land near Gdansk and build a house.
Her brother lives in the area and helped with the buying process, but Anna says she found it very easy and it took only about a day to finalise the deal. This was not just because she is Polish, she says, as some of her British friends have followed her example by buying in the area, and found it to be just as straightforward. In fact a British couple once rented out her house and they liked it so much they bought land nearby and built their own.
The house she settled on is what she calls a “Hansel and Gretel” Scandinavian-style wooden house. She bought it flatpack and had it assembled. Anna likes to use the house as a retreat from the noise and fast pace of London and visits about six or seven times a year. To make some money she rents it out for six or seven weeks a year and finds that most visitors are German, Scottish, Irish or British. Many visitors from the UK work with Poles and are interested to see what the country is like.
The land and house cost €55,000 but Anna recently had it valued and it is now worth about €300,000. “I didn’t buy it as an investment I bought it because I loved the house,” says Anna. “But I didn’t know it would go up by that much.” She reports that a lot of her friends have now also bought land and built houses, and a number of British people are doing the same as a pension or nest egg for when they retire.
Anna and her brother have since purchased a rundown farm, and with a grant from the EU turned it into a working agri-tourism farm with stables and horses. Her brother lives on the farm and manages the rental accommodation. Amber Farm is located in forests 15km from the coastal resort of Leba and about 70km from Gdansk.