View Full Version : Month of Dachas

12-05-2012, 18:14
One of the reasons why many expats stay in Russia......Good old dacha season....Here's an informative read about dacha's.

After a long winter of snow, cold and darkness, May always brings budding trees, sunshine and renewed warmth to a welcoming Moscow – occasional pollen clouds notwithstanding.
The holidays early in the month also mark the start of dacha season throughout Russia. Traditional small wooden cottages or more modern elite brick houses lure people out of the smog-filled cities for cleaner air, outdoor sports and shashlyk barbecues, and amateur farmers start tending their gardens.
Even in post-Soviet Russia, dachas remain popular as a summer tradition. According to market research, only 4 percent of Russians say they don’t need a house outside the city, even if some rent their dachas during the high season.
The first dachas were given to loyal clients or vassals by princes and tsars. The word initially meant “a piece of land given by a prince,” and came from the word dat, “to give.” After the revolution, a lack of rules on property meant that city residents occupied unused plots of land and built second houses there, not only to take a break close to nature from their urban communal apartments, but to grow their own fruits and vegetables.
Until the 1990s, most dacha lots were restricted to the same standard 600 square meters of land and one single-story summer house. The concept of the dacha has shifted, however, from a summer refuge from urban pollution and heat to a more all-weather residence, possibly even one occupied year-round.
Not too late to rent

Ordinarily, it would be too late to consider renting a place during the summer, since May has already started. Searches for rentals should ideally begin in February or March, said Irina Moshevaya, general director of RDI Group and Limitless, but this year’s lingering winter meant that owners placed their dachas on the market a month later than usual, and affordable houses may still be available.
Georgy Dzagurov, director of Penny Lane Real Estate, cited two general types of dacha renters: 40 percent are long-term tenants who rent dachas for a whole year or more, and 60 percent are seasonal, and rent a dacha for up to 5 months, usually from May to September.
Trends in demand have not changed much since the fall of the Soviet Union, so consequently the most popular and expensive locations are west of Moscow, far from the eastern peat bogs. Locations along Gorkovskoye, Yegoryevskoye and Yaroslavskoye shosses, east of the city, are the least popular and least expensive due to low demand.
The pickiest tenants are those who seek elite and business-class properties, which are rarely offered for short-term rent. These clients usually look for dachas no further than 20 kilometers from Moscow, often along such popular routes as Rublyovo-Uspenskoye, Dmitrovskoye and Kievskoye shosses. According to real estate news site metrinfo.ru, the typical house such tenants go for is in a development, between 300 and 350 square meters in size, and on 1,000 to 2,000 square meters of land.
Splitting the cost

The number of dachas used as year-round residences has risen sharply since the fall of the Soviet Union, with major highways west of Moscow the most popular locations both for rentals and sales
A new tendency on the market is to rent big houses with a group of friends. Several years ago, shared rents were requested only by families, and were respected by landowners. Dzagurov told The Moscow News that he doubted the owner of a house with a decent interior would allow a bunch of possible party animals to rent. However, there are people who look for such options.
Anton, a 28-year-old lawyer, said splitting the cost had allowed him to rent a large chalet in a prestigious village he refused to name.
“Of course [dacha owners] don’t fancy a crowd of friends,” he said. “I told them I would be renting a house with my wife, but we had big families who would naturally visit. So now here are seven friends of mine, in a huge dacha worth 200,000 rubles a month [$6,600], with a swimming pool, banya, and all necessary facilities. Each has his own room and has to pay only 28,500!”
Westerners welcome

The size of modern properties can range up to 2,000 square meters
Dacha owners are frequently hesitant to rent to people from the former Soviet republics, and advertisements sometimes say that only Russians are welcome. However, this provision does not include Western foreigners. On the contrary, Westerners are some of the most desired and reliable tenants, according to Dzagurov.
“Foreigners are loved here – people trust them and give them the best rental options,” he said. “Unlike our fellow countrymen, they are very responsible toward the rental agreement and tend to go by the book.”
Penny Lane reports that more than 40 percent of high-end rentals go to foreigners working in Moscow.
“For example, the Rosinka housing estate is one of the most international in the Moscow region,” Dzagurov said. “It has more than 360 families from more than 30 different countries. It was initially built in the style of a classic American suburb, with neat discrete houses, alleys, pavements and flower beds.”

Gardening is another benefit
Renting is not the only way to move into a dacha, however, and year-round occupation is becoming more popular. Modern, newly built dachas in housing communities and old wooden ones purchased from private owners have their own advantages and flaws. Modern houses are often built in remote areas and sometimes lack neighborhood amenities, but the communities frequently offer 24-hour security.
Older dachas, on the other hand, have typically been occupied for years, and are ready to be moved into right away. They are often significantly cheaper, and can have friendly neighbors as a bonus.
When purchasing a house from a private owner, however, one has to be thorough about determining that the seller is in fact the legitimate owner. If a house was built up to 70 years ago, it has often had several owners, and relatives of the seller can appear at the house to demand the new occupant move out.
Market analysts say that after the 2008 financial crisis, people began to buy land instead of houses, and build themselves. In the end the investment is similar, but building a house allows more flexibility in payments over the long term, metrinfo.ru reported.
Analysts caution, however, that property buyers need to be aware of what utilities are available. Some have fallen into the trap of purchasing inexpensive land only to pay as much again to connect their houses to electricity and water supplies.
A modern house, with all utility connections and a large property of 1,000 to 1,500 square meters, costs 3 million to 5 million rubles ($101,000 to $169,000). An old and unequipped dacha can be purchased for 1 million rubles ($34,000) or even less.
For example, Moscow police officer Sergei bought 600 square meters of land with a decent wooden house and a developed garden in Kupavna, along the less popular Gorkovskoye Shosse, for only $6,000. The owners, an elderly couple, were eager to get rid of it and move to Ukraine.