Living in RomaniaIyna Bort Caruso
The historical influences of Austria, Hungary, Russia and Ukraine are tangible in different regions of Romania, yet its own traditions are strongly rooted, particularly in the countryside where many well-preserved medieval villages are located.
Romania is a country of variety and geographical diversity. There are the popular ski resorts of the Carpathian Mountains, the beach towns of the Black Sea coastline--a.k.a. “the Riviera of Romania”--and the Danube Delta belt for wildlife enthusiasts. The Delta, home to hundreds of bird species and nearly two dozen ecosystems, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And then there are the singular attractions like an underground glacier, fortified churches, volcanic lakes and painted monasteries of Bucovina in the northeast. The exteriors of the monasteries are covered in frescos depicting bible stories that date back centuries and have been called masterpieces of byzantine art. Romania also has one of the world’s oldest viticulture regions--some 4,000 years old-- ith grape varietals that aren’t found anywhere else.
It is only relatively recently that Romania’s treasures have started to become more widely known. After the 1989 revolution that ended four decades of Communist rule and led to the ouster of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, Romania ushered in a period of privatization and reforms as it transitioned to a free-market economy. Foreign investment increased after the Balkan nation joined the European Union in 2007.
Romania has a high rate of homeownership, in part owing to government incentives that encourage it. The luxury residential sector is small yet strong. In the capital of Bucharest, home to the country’s top real estate market, premium properties swing between pre-war renovated villas and modern new developments. International buyers include many with Romanian roots who are interested in rental investment opportunities. Citizens of the EU can own property in Romania. Non-EU citizens can own the dwelling but must lease the land.