Simple steps to making your own sauna

Saunas are small interior spaces that are heated and fed with water to create a hot, steamy environment where people can relax and ease muscle pain. Building personal saunas is relatively simple if a good location is selected and the adequate materials are purchased. Although styles and sizes of saunas vary, the basic principles of sauna construction are the same, and these steps will give you a general outline of how to build a home sauna. Continue reading

How Bucharest looked in 1990 after Communism

În 1990, japonezul Norihiro Haruta venea la București să vadă cum arată capitala unei țări proaspăt ieșită din lagărul socialist. Japonezul nu a prins în clișeele sale evenimentul major al anului 1990: Mineriada din 13-15 iunie. Atunci, forțele de ordine, susținute de mineri (la chemarea președintelui Consiliului Frontului Salvării Naționale, CFSN, Ion Iliescu, fost membru al Partidului Comunist Român, PCR), au intervenit în forță împotriva protestatarilor din Piața Universității și a populației civile. Turistul nu a imortalizat nici atmosfera din jurul “duminicii orbului”, adică ziua de 20 mai 1990, mai devreme în an, când au avut loc în România primele alegeri libere de după al Doilea Război Mondial. Televiziunea Română (televiziunea de stat) era controlată de putere – CFSN – și a ajutat masiv cu propagandă. Astfel, puterea instalată după 22 decembrie 1989 a fost validată oficial când FSN a câștigat alegerile. Continue reading

Embassies, bicycles, police, church & champagne – a day in the life of a broker

property searchI don’t often write about the daily life of a WM broker, usually because life is too hectic to capture the events, but last Sunday was such an interesting day, it is worth sharing.

We have been invited to try to find new premises for an Embassy in Bucharest looking to relocated. Lets just say their nation’s language is English & leave the rest to the imagination.  Continue reading


Located in the heart of Romania, a city with medieval architecture makes you feel like you’re inside a took from. Brasov, Romania.

In the nearby wonderful green forests of Carpathian Mountain range, a small settlement was founded by peoples from the Neolithic age (circa 9500-9300 BC). Situated in a highly strategic point, the king of Hungary invited Germans to colonise in order to develop mines, villages, towns and agriculture in the area around of Brasov. Continue reading

ANAF cleans up on tax evasion

Nimeni nu scapa ! ANAF i-a luat la ochi pe romanii din strainatate. Vrea sa le puna POPRIRE pe conturi

According to the “Voice of Transylvania” ANAF is one step from tidying up the bank accounts of Romanian citizens working legally in the country or abroad. The exchange of confidential data between ANAF and banks around the world could be dictated by the Fiscal Procedure Code, whereby the deputy of Cluj’s Aurelia Cristea proposal will be adopted.

Deputy Aurelia Cristea, a member of the Committee on Budget, Finance and Banking, said that the amendments proposed by the project according to Articles 61-62 of the Code of Fiscal Procedure, would lead to a collaboration with over 52 banks worldwide, to prevent tax evasion and also to facilitate recovery under the umbrella of the law, flows of people who have evaded payment of taxes stipulated by the existing legal framework in Romania.

ANAF policies are gradually reaching into every aspect of Romanian life in an attempt to clean up the losses of taxes. In the future it is predictable that 100% of all financial transactions, be they buying a hot dog from a street seller or giving a cash wedding gift, will pass through the ANAF filter in some way.

Dutchie Management, keys and Locksmiths

I would not normally put characters to screen in this way, but it seems that Alexandra Maria Varga & her crowd from DMS, or Dutchie Management have a growing group of ex clients who all claim to have totally deserted and their money, documents and keys effectively stolen.

In the past 2 years, around 14 clients of theirs have come to us, in total despair, with claims of missing rent (for up to one year).

Today alone, a group of 3 owners of Greenfield Residence apartments came to us stating they cannot reach Alexandra Varga since September, they have no keys, no rental contact details and of course you guessed it, no money. Last anyone heard was that Alexandra had fled to Spain.  If you know anything about her whereabouts, please get in touch with Ilfov Police department as we understand there is a growing list of criminal complaints mounting up against her and her ex team.  It is not bad enough that many of her clients were apparently cheated by her life partner, an MRI manager, with a criminal conviction who did prison time for financial irregularities with his clients.  See MRI-SG support group website for more details on that.

The biggest problem, ignoring untold thousands in lost rent each month, is the fact that owners have no keys and having changed many ex DMS managed apartments, I can say that there is no cheap solution. If the door has been locked with a key, you need a new door (circa 600e). If it has just been slam closed, you can break in using a locksmith, open the door & change the lock (circa 400e!).

If you are a victim of Dutchie Management Greenfield and want to be put in touch with other owners, please get in touch.



ex-DMS managed apartment (1) ex-DMS managed apartment (2) ex-DMS managed apartment (3) ex-DMS managed apartment (4) ex-DMS managed apartment (5) ex-DMS managed apartment (7) ex-DMS managed apartment (8) ex-DMS managed apartment (9) ex-DMS managed apartment (10) ex-DMS managed apartment (11) ex-DMS managed apartment (12) ex-DMS managed apartment (13) ex-DMS managed apartment (14)

The Romanians are coming….thank god!

Like many educated people with experience of Romania, I cringed when I saw the carefully selected rubbish that the UK’s Channel4 produced about the Romanians in the UK.

But what do I know? Well….

In the past month alone I have in equal measure spent time in my native London & Surrey, been in cancer hospitals, all sorts of social interactions in the UK, been in Bucharest’s mayhem working till 10pm daily, in the Carpathian mountains, in Brasov’s quite bars and clubs and even in Sicily for Valentine’s break And spent an evening with a senior member of the Irish embassy.  Quite a life style for just 4 weeks.  But this is normal for me. I keep myself busy. I do things, see things.

I have lived among Romanians for 7 years straight, I employ 11 of them and interact with a great many more.  Sure, they have their vices.  Passion for earning money is one. But so does every nation have its unique characteristics That others criticize.

But I do know this. The Romanians I know are a God fearing, respectable, gentle people who care about family, personal presentation, manners and dignity, gifted with a quick mind and slow temper. They can learn a lot from the UK, such as being charitable, or keeping their word in a deal. But the UK can learn much more from the Romanians as many of the qualities I mention above are a lost art in the UK. Think I am wrong? Could your mother walk home at 11pm in the UK? In Romania , generally speaking, there is no hour at which this would be unsafe in any town centre or city centre in Romania, excluding unlit country roads etc for risk of a bad driver or wild bear!  The concept of street rape, mugging or street beatings are as alien as free diamond samples in supermarkets.

So, to the hard working, striving Romanians who have been working hard and contributing to British society for over a decade, I apologize for this tabloid-like misrepresentation by Channel4 tv. Those who know you, know this is not the real picture of the Romanian people.FB_IMG_1424725060056 FB_IMG_1424725057897 FB_IMG_1424725055941 FB_IMG_1424725053866 FB_IMG_1424725051726 FB_IMG_1424725049550 FB_IMG_1424725047430 FB_IMG_1424725045001 FB_IMG_1424725042798 FB_IMG_1424725040249 FB_IMG_1424725037206 FB_IMG_1424725035030 FB_IMG_1424725032924 FB_IMG_1424725030480 FB_IMG_1424725027971 FB_IMG_1424725022031 FB_IMG_1424725019572 FB_IMG_1424725017247 FB_IMG_1424725014664 FB_IMG_1424725011761 FB_IMG_1424725008527 FB_IMG_1424725005823 FB_IMG_1424725003496 FB_IMG_1424725001105 FB_IMG_1424724998460 FB_IMG_1424724995768 FB_IMG_1424724992174

Trust me. I’m a real estate broker!

As we enter another growth year, I thought it worth taking the time to reflect on how we can help buyers, investors and existing owners of Romanian real estate.

Now in our 8th year in Brasov and Bucharest, we have a significant amount of experience in most aspects of investment property, and good contacts for where we dont have the internal expertise, such as mortgages, legal help and company administration.  Many of our clients have come to us in desperation from other service providers. You don’t move property managers easily. Moving you bank is easier & how often in a lifetime does that happen?

So if someone moves from their Property Manager, there must be Continue reading

Interesting legal challenge on Romanian vehicle Pollution (a.k.a import) tax

Source: European Union Press Release database

The pollution tax introduced by Romanian legislation, levied on vehicles on first registration in Romania, is contrary to EU law

That legislation has the effect of discouraging the import and placing in circulation of second-hand vehicles purchased in other Member States

Romanian legislation introduced with effect from 1 July 2008 a pollution tax payable on first registration of a motor vehicle in Romania. The legislation does not distinguish between vehicles manufactured in that Member State and those manufactured abroad. Similarly, it does not distinguish between new and second-hand vehicles. Continue reading

Romanian Culture and Lifestyle

The Romanian culture is rich in complexity culture and traditions. The distinctive culture of Romania is a result of its historical evolution. The culture has been imbibed from the Dacians, who had occupied the area in the past. One way in which the people of Romania showcase their brightly coloured ornaments and costumes is during the traditional dance during the major festivals. Beautiful traditional woven carpets, wood hand carvings, pottery and clothing are just some of the elements of traditional Romanian culture. Intricately decorated Easter eggs, painted glass and Icons painted on wood substrates art are among the special folk arts of Romania. These items can also be found in many shops, street markets and vendors near tourist attractions throughout the country. Continue reading

Mysterious places to visit in Romania – part 1

Gugu Peak 

Gugu Peak is located in the Godeanu Mountains, close to Retezat Mountain national park, (altitude of 2291 meters, 25 km from Poiana Mărului).   Tourists come every year to visit the area, which is one of the strangest in Romania.   It is said that at certain times of day, the parts of mountain disappear and in addition, unusual phenomena happens.

Legends say that this on mountain once resided Zamolxe and therefore, the mountain was a holy place.  Here it also believed that Decebal hid part of his treasure, believing that the spirit of the High Priest will hold back the plague of time. Inhabitants of the mountain are called Gugulani and are known for their longevity of life.  They put everything to the fact that the area is full of energy. Many tourists say they have also seen the mountain tip disappearing and even explosions of light shooting out of the mountain. Continue reading

Expat Accommodation costs in Bucharest – by area

The capital city Bucharest is rich in its history with beautiful Art-Deco, Art-Nouveau, Baroque, Byzantine and Bauhaus structures lining the cobble streets. If you want to live in Bucharest then this article will point you in the right direction.

Accommodation in Bucharest comes in a variety of forms and will suit all types of Expat. Certain neighborhoods appeal more than others for Expats and are characterised by price, population density, proximity to nature, shopping, transport or nightlife. The old city in the centre is the most famous place for party nights. The more upmarket northern area is perhaps better suited to the more outdoorsy type with many parks nearby. The Northern Suburbs have several new housing constructions and being further out from the city, is ideal for those who enjoy quieter neighborhoods. The central area is perhaps the most popular by volume of requests and offers good value for money, while the central east is more working class but still desirable. The central west is far less preferred. Continue reading

Press Release: White Mountain Property reaches its 7th Birthday.

white-mountain-property-2014-logo.jpgWhite Mountain Property – Renowned and Reliable Real Estate Agency for Property Management, Sales, Rentals and Renovation – Bucharest, Aug 11th 2014.

“The management of Romanian property has never been so easy before White Mountain Property started its operation 7 years ago in Brasov and now it has opened a new office in Bucharest to celebrate its 7th Inauguration Day in August. White Mountain Property is apparently the only real estate company in Romania that manage property from as far as Brasov, Bran, Bucharest, Sibiu to Constanta and offer real estate rental, sales, renovation work and now even landscape gardening of personal and commercial properties.”

Continue reading

The real cost of using a real estate agent to find a rental property

Real Estate Agents in Bucharest – a helping hand or a source of frustration?

I read on many so called help sites that all agents, or the majority should be avoided or simply cheat client’s, or provide no added value. They go on to advise people to go direct to the advertising sites such as OLX. Imobiliare etc and to deal with owners directly.

I speak as an expat myself, a professional landlord with a personal property portfolio, a property manager for over 6m euros of other people’s property and in addition, as a manger of agents in this domain.

Yes, some agents and in particular, in Bucharest do indeed deserve to be avoided. But so do some landlords and so do tome tenants.

Let us speak about landlords. When a property owner advertises directly, they may be doing so without any advice on how much to charge for his offering, nor what quality level to provide, not what should be included in the contract. Continue reading

European Fair of Castles to premiere in Romania

Romanian Real EstateThe first European fair of castles to be held in Romania will take place next year at Corvinilor Castle in Hunedoara between May 1 and May 13, 2015, Agerpres reports. The event, hosted by the Hunedoara Town Hall, is aimed at promoting the touristic potential of the old continent’s historical monuments.
Organizers of ‘The European Fair of Castles’ have already launched the first invitations to museums, castles, palaces, and fortresses throughout Europe. At the fair, exhibitors will present their offers and advertise the major points of touristic and historic attraction for the visitors.“Corvinilor Castle, the host of this event, is one of the most important Gothic architecture monuments in Romania and one of the first fairy-tale castles in Europe, which bestows certain prestige upon this event. This prestige will be strengthened in time as more and more exhibitors and visitors join our efforts and increase the event’s popularity,” Costin Tinca, director of Corvinilor Castle Museum, stated. Continue reading

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