July 7, 2016
About buying an apartment in Durres
To be honest, initially I was going to buy a property in Montenegro. But when it came down to the purchase, the prices in Montenegro increased. Friend advised: "You should go to see Albania!". Together with my daughter we read about this country on the Internet and decided to go there to relax together and explore.
Immediately I realized that all the stereotypes about Albania are just stories. The country is very good, it is nice to be there. I liked it all — the people, the attitude towards foreigners, the sun, the Adriatic sea, and GMO free, delicious and inexpensive food. All prices are very affordable. Thus, even during the holidays, I decided that I want a property there and started to look for realtors.
The choice of apartment
You'll laugh, but I chose the apartment in 1 day. However during this day I looked a lot of objects, there were many good suggestions. However, I needed a medium size studio with a sea view. Once entered my future apartment, I felt - "That's mine!". A decent new building, good entrance, fourth floor, which offers wonderful sea views. It even didn’t require any special repair.
Some of our fellow citizens are often chasing a large area of apartment. However, in my opinion, a large area is not needed, for the same money it is better to take compact apartments with a view. After all, we all want a sea view — so that the eye rejoiced. Besides, in the winter it’s cool in Albania, and spacious apartments are harder to heat. If you do not plan to live here all year round and will come to Albania in the summer, I recommend to consider the real estate on the beach in Vlora, Saranda, Galema (it's all small towns that are a little further from the airport than Durres).
A lot depends on your realtors. I was very lucky — my daughter found Tatiana and Aldora Balliu from Albania Service. They are true professionals, listened to all my needs. Even now we have kept a warm relationship. If there are some everyday moments that I know I can always call them for help.
We started the transaction in the middle of May, and I received the documents in mid-August. In May I made a payment and went back to Russia. The apartment was removed from the market and the phase of preparation for the sale has began. In general, the process of the sale went smoothly so it wasn’t particularly memorable.
I had chosen the apartment with the expectation that I will live here and will issue a residence permit. Here also everything has gone quietly. In the migration service I was treated well, without any suspicion. After obtaining a visa D at the Embassy of Albania in Moscow, we have send all the documents to migration service (police clearance certificate with apostille, extract from a bank account, a certificate for an apartment / photos). I filled out the questionnaire, paid the tax and health insurance. In general, no supernatural things.
A month later, as expected, I received an initial residence permit for a year. Then it will be renewed for 2 years, then for another 2 years. After 5 years you can apply for citizenship.
Already a year I enjoy my stay in Albania. People live here calm and relaxed, wothout a race and stress. Unfortunately, Albania is often touted as a muslim country, and this deters many people. But I can tell you from my experience that this is a completely secular, European country in the full sense of the word. I discovered Albania and have no regrets!