This is an article that I wanted to write for a looong time, but never got the chance. Today is finally the big day and I’m going to share with you some details about living in a Romanian village and our hands on experience on this matter.
At the middle of 2012, we have purchased a Romanian village house in a small village just 35 kilometers (22 miles) away from our city. I was surfing the internet and stumbled upon this add from a person selling this house and a lot of land for just 5,000 Euros (about 6,200 USD). It seemed too good to be true, so we hurried to get it, it was a sweet deal. Funny enough, when we bought the house we didn’t even own a car, so it was pretty much impossible for us to get there, but we were in no hurry. We just had to take advantage of the great deal and wait for the right time.
Now, looking back, it wasn’t exactly a super hot deal. The house and its yard are on just 900 square meters (about 9,700 sq. feet) which is not an awful lot by village houses standards. We also got 5,000 square meters (1.2 acres) of land – but it’s far away from home, on some hills, so we will probably never put that to good use. Even more, I kept checking the market and every now and then a 5,000 Euros village house pops up, while many others, most of them in a better conditions, can be had on anything between 5 to 10 thousand Euros. So yes, if you want a village house in Romania, it can be that cheap!
What should you expect? For 5,000 Euros, you won’t get a villa, that’s for sure! The house that we got was in a pretty poor condition, but in reality it isn’t as bad as it seems and the good thing is that we can take our time on it. Here’s how our 5,000 Euros house looks like:
Doesn’t really look like a dream house, right? Well, we are always able to see the potential, as we did when we bought a horrible apartment and managed to turn it into our dream home here in Romania. Here’s how things stand:
– It has two small rooms and a small hallway. We don’t plan to live there, so it should be enough.
– Extremely important is the fact that it has a bathroom and a kitchen and running water. Most villages in Romania don’t have running water, and toilets are at the back of the yard, basically a huge hole dug in the ground – truly horrible!
– The electrical wires were all changed and updated, again something that you rarely get from a village house
– It has a small basement and a huge attic.
– It has an open barn and two more tiny rooms at the back. In extreme circumstances, they could be turned into bedrooms, but we plan to use them as storage rooms.
– The yard is not too big and unfortunately divided in two: a small area in front of the house where Wife Romanian has plans for a lot of flowers; and the back area where I plan to soon plant some veggies and start learning how to produce my own food.
Since purchasing our Romanian village house, we’ve had little time for it: when we got it, Wife Romanian was pregnant, then Baby Romanian came, then we got our apartment so we always delayed starting the work on our house. My plan is to take it slowly as indeed there’s no hurry here, but I ultimately believe or at least hope that we will be able to turn it into a decent property where I will move over the summer – or part of it – and work from there.
There are so many beautiful things about village life, things that I don’t get here in the city: the air is incredibly clean (the house is on the hills), the silence is amazing and you have nature all around you. Birds chirping and the sound of leaves offer an amazingly relaxing background noise, everything is extremely slow paced there, nobody is in a hurry, and it’s generally silent. Plus it gives one a chance to grow their own vegetables and fruit and work for their healthy harvest at the end of the summer – something I so much want to do and I will do sometime – hopefully starting next year.
However, despite of all the positives and despite the insanely reduced cost of living or the nice people there (every time we get there, our neighbors gift us things, like fresh chicken eggs and vegetables), Romanian village life might not be the perfect fit for everybody.
I am not completely sure I can do it, but I so much want to give it a try and hopefully 2015 will be the year when no unexpected things will appear and we can start working on this and especially start growing our own food. That would be really amazing!