Friday, June 29, 2012

House Hunting in Pristina

This past week has been extremely frustrating as we searched for a new house in Pristina.  Being a family in Kosovo, we had special considerations (extra bedroom for the kiddies, bathtub for bathtime, no neighbors uptairs/downstairs to bother if the kiddies are noisy) that proved to be rather difficult to fulfill in our price range according to the three different rental agencies we tried to work with this week. 

First the websites proved to be the old bait-and-switch tactic where houses were advertised that had already been rented many moons ago or the price changed due to ridiculous reason (well, the price listed is if you live upstairs in the three bedrooms and the landlord lives downstairs in the kitchen, living room, and bathroom.  Huh?!)

Then when outlining our requirements for the number of rooms, bathtub, and maximum price, basically everything was ignored.  One rental agency showed us houses that were double to quadruple our price range but assured us that we should just go look at the houses and they were sure the landlords would negotiate down because the houses had been listed for a long time (some for more than two years empty!)  Basically that didn't happen.  The one house we viewed that was double our price, the guy was happy to negotiate down but certainly not to half his asking price (even if the house has been empty for 1.5 years). 

And lastly, in searching on our own and through the rental agencies, we found that almost none of the houses we looked at had "House for Rent" signs.  It was almost impossible to know that the houses were available for rent.  The exception to this is the Dragodan neighborhood where nearly every second or third house has a sign.

Some people swear by using a rental agency because it saves them time and effort.  We found that we wasted days of our time by using the agencies.  However, if you are searching for a house and would like to use an agency, here are a couple that I would suggest (if not only to get an idea of what's on the market).  We finally ended up finding a house through "a friend who knew someone who had a friend that was looking to rent" and found exactly what we were looking for :)

Rental Agencies in Pristina
  • Capital Ring (
  • Omega Real Estate (