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audsabz
11-11-2008, 18:04
Hi, I would really appreciate it if someone could help me.
My husband has been asked to relocate to Moscow. To help make a decision, I need some more info. We have a one child who will be 3 in February. I loved the look of the houses of Rosinka however they are not in our budget of $6500 per month. I've been looking at lots of apartments in Leninsky Prospect. What I need to know is:
Is this a nice area? Will I feel safe as my husband will be away lots?
Does the BIS have a bus in this area?
Do these apartments blocks have facilities like gyms, swimming pools?
Is there lots of expats who stay there?
At the moment I am against the move since we can't get accommodation in a gated community but maybe I'm wrong?
A car and driver will be provided for us along with all of our utilites being paid.
Is there any other areas we should consider which are near BIS?
K

TropicalFish
12-11-2008, 10:37
I'm not an expat and I believe they know the situation better and hopefully some can even recommend apartments in case somebody leaves the country, but just a couple of things: pictures of apts you obviously have been finding in the web may not reflect the true situation or these flats were rented out a long time ago or were placed just to attract visitors. There is only one credible online database that I know: ЦИАН / www.cian.ru / - Единая база данных по недвижимости Москвы и Подмосковья (http://www.cian.ru). Some flats are with pics there, but you need to know at least some words in Russian to click the right buttons. I could help you deal with this site from home but currently I'm at work and it's blocked.
In general, rent is decreasing there and almost all prices are negotiable. For $6500 you could find a nice apt in the center (or Leninsky prospect if you wish) with, say, 2 bedrooms and a living-room. (But don't mention the budget if you deal with real estate agent).
I just don't know the situation with "closed" communities which are guarded, have their own gyms etc. Actually, there are many houses in the center (inside the Garden Ring) with fenced territories and concierge in the entrance. About gyms, there must be a lot of them in your area and memberships are discounted in this time of the year (start from approx. 30K per year).
You could also ask at Red Tape - Making Russia Easy - Home Page (http://www.redtape.ru) , it's a more active forum :) and see some ads there. Good luck!

MissAnnElk
12-11-2008, 14:07
Hi, I would really appreciate it if someone could help me.
My husband has been asked to relocate to Moscow. To help make a decision, I need some more info. We have a one child who will be 3 in February. I loved the look of the houses of Rosinka however they are not in our budget of $6500 per month. I've been looking at lots of apartments in Leninsky Prospect. What I need to know is:
Is this a nice area? Will I feel safe as my husband will be away lots?
Does the BIS have a bus in this area?
Do these apartments blocks have facilities like gyms, swimming pools?
Is there lots of expats who stay there?
At the moment I am against the move since we can't get accommodation in a gated community but maybe I'm wrong?
A car and driver will be provided for us along with all of our utilites being paid.
Is there any other areas we should consider which are near BIS?
K

I cannot answer all of your questions, but I can say that I do not feel unsafe in Moscow. I live within the Garden Ring. My husband works late and travels from time to time. Being home alone does not bother me one bit. frankly, I think you are at a greater risk of being hit by a car in Moscow than of being the victim of crime.

I have never heard of gyms/swimming pools in apartment buildings in Moscow. First of all, if you have not visited (and you should make every effort to do so before you commit to a move like this, esp if it is your first expat experience), you need to understand that, generally speaking, in Eastern Europe/Russia/CIS countries, the public areas of most apartment buildings looks, to the American eye, like the worst tenement slums from Law & Order. It means nothing. The individual apartments could have parquet or marble floors and crystal chandeliers. Esp. in Moscow. Some of us have a running joke/contest about "My podyez (foyer) is uglier than yours!"

Next point is, as you have noticed trying to find housing in your budget, real estate in Moscow is over the top. Gym memberships can run as high as 80,000 rubles per year for a SINGLE membership. This is for a variety of reasons, but rent is key. As a result, most buildings cannot afford to devote space to amenities. That doesn't mean there won't be a gym on your block or even on the first floor of your building (along with grocery stores and hairdressers, etc . . .). But it's not included in your rent.

A driver can be useful esp since the big/cheaper grocery stores are way out in the 'burbs. And the metro is not stroller friendly. But the city is very kid friendly, and you see lots of strollers in the parks. Walking and taking public transportation gives you a chance to get to know areas more minutely. When I drove (not here, but in another Eastern European city) parking was a problem and this meant I could pop into the neighborhood outdoor market. Or check out that shoe store. Or look in that CD rental place. I could go where I could park (the mall, etc). Yes, here your driver deals with the parking issue, but it is still an issue. And traffic can be dreadful to the point that walking is faster. Colder? Yeah. But faster. No joke.

Hopefully some other forum members can comment on the areas you mentioned. My feeling is that while those enclaves can be lovely and useful if you are using a school out there. They have stores, etc. But they can be isolating. Chacun a son gout.

TropicalFish
12-11-2008, 15:45
MissAnnElk

> I have never heard of gyms/swimming pools in apartment buildings in Moscow.

I know several, but the gym is not included in the rent, you are right. One building is near Kuntsevskaya metro, the other two or three are on Mosfilmovskaya street (metro Universitet). I also think almost all new business-class communities have their own gyms, beauty salons etc. Maybe somebody could help the OP find info on this type of accommodation in her area (or recommend an agent).

> Gym memberships can run as high as 80,000 rubles per year for a SINGLE membership.
Actually, there are discounts at this time of the year )) Even the expensive Planeta Fitness has a special offer 6+3 (3 months for free). (Disclaimer: it's not an advertisement! :)

MissAnnElk
12-11-2008, 15:50
> Gym memberships can run as high as 80,000 rubles per year for a SINGLE membership.
Actually, there are discounts at this time of the year )) Even the expensive Planeta Fitness has a special offer 6+3 (3 months for free). (Disclaimer: it's not an advertisement! :)

I just saw someone selling a membership through Aug 09 for 50,000 rubles. He paid 80,000. So he says.

Wonder what the sale prices are. I can't seem to find under $2,000US/year.

TropicalFish
12-11-2008, 16:31
I'm going to check a gym between Krasnopresnenskaya and Ulitsa 1905 goda, "Jumpfitness". They currently have a special offer of around 32 K rub for a year membership. But my requirements are mostly pool (they have a 25m one), yoga classes and aikido, I'm not much into exercycles or aerobics.
I can give you more info on special offers if you wish - depends on the area and programs you need. I skipped thru many sites just yesterday and saw at least three which seemed to be attractive.

schmidtskatze
20-11-2008, 23:26
Is this a nice area? Will I feel safe as my husband will be away lots?

I agree with the above - the area is not always to be judged on how the buildings look like as appartments can be extremly nice while the building appears to be a dodgy, 60/70s social housing project. I'd expect rent prices to fall in the coming 6 months - so perhaps what you get quoted today above your budget is in it then. Depends how much time you have to look around.

Does the BIS have a bus in this area?
Sorry - no clue

Do these apartments blocks have facilities like gyms, swimming pools?
I heard from some - but they are not included in the rent as said already.

Is there lots of expats who stay there?
I think so - but they get lost easily amongst the other inhabitants :-)

At the moment I am against the move since we can't get accommodation in a gated community but maybe I'm wrong?
You only need fenced condominiums if you go outside the city (i.e. far away from the garden ring I'd say). Inside, or in the city itself I was never scared / never had concerns for safety. If you are worried regarding your property: My russians are always saying: In Moscow every lock at least has another spare key - so even a guarded area may not help you then. But it is extremly unlikely to get into trouble personally.

A car and driver will be provided for us along with all of our utilites being paid.
Is there any other areas we should consider which are near BIS?
I'd suggest you contact a real estate agent of your choice (evans, pulford, whomever). They will organise a tour for free for you to show you what is available on the day you are in Moscow (i.e. give you driver, car and english speaking agent). This will give you a better picture how it looks like here - and I'd highly recommend that you form your own view on site as taste can be very different. Count for 2-3 days as meetings will be scheduled with landlords just 24 hours before - the property market still is working extremly fast.