Home Sweet Home!
Ukraine is a great place for a home investment - if you have income from outside Ukraine. Prices
are low and living expenses such as taxes, fees and utilities are very low. If you are of retirement
age in the USA, you can likely live on Social Security alone - and live well. If you own a condo in
any medium or large Ukrainian city, your total monthly cost to live in it, incuding all fees, taxes and
utilities will be about $200 a month. No, that is not a typo, $200 a month for heat, electricty (including
air conditioning), condo fees, water, cable TV, monthly cleaning service, high speed internet and a smart cell phone.
In Russian and Ukrainian, there is no distinction between a Condo and an Apartment. The difference is
only whether the owner lives in the particular apartment or not. The builder or the company that
financed the builder owns the common areas and pays for such things as security, garbage and sewer.
This also means that there is no association to tell you who you can rent your apartment to when you go back
to the USA for 3 months or tell you anything else. There are single family homes on the outskirts of
the city. There are many reasons not to consider a single family house unless you are
married to a Ukrainian.
We would like to give you a brief overview of the types of buildings in which you may buy an apartment.
The first is older construction, from the 18th and 19th century, predating the Communist revolution. In
general, these buildings are close to the center of Kiev. Most were very nice, some still are.
In all Ukrainian cities you will see many 5 story apartment buildings commonly called Khrushchyovka's.
None were ever nice by US standards, the apartments are small and lack many of the things Americans consider
essential. These are prefabricated concrete, the buildings themselves are usually solid. You
should consider these only as rental property or if you need only a small 1 bedroom apartment and can't
afford better. Frequently the balconies are falling apart and even if your unit has a rebuilt
balcony, you are going to have to look at your neighbor's balcony and walk up poorly maintained stairs
as the small elevators are frequently broken.
All Ukrainian cities are enjoying a construction boom. The Khrushchyovkas must eventually be replaced by
modern construction, generally 20-25 story concrete. Most of these apartments are sold as shell and core,
essentially bare concrete walls, floor and ceiling with only utility hookups and a basic steel door. Elevators
and common areas are usually complete but sometimes also in progress. Of course there are many 1-5 year old
apartments for sale but if you have several months we recommend that you buy a shell and core and do the interior
yourself to fit American standards. In general the Ukrainians do a great job if finishing these apartments
but extra soundproofing, code wiring and a second bathroom more closely matches American standards. We can refer a
general contractor to you, for converting the bare walls to a beautiful world class apartment.
A fyi, the picture is real and was taken in a kitchen in Kiev.
Visit as a tourist, and see for yourself.