House Hunting in Lithuania: Wood, Glass and a Private Lake Near Vilnius

A Modern Four-Bedroom House in Lithuania

$2.1 MILLION (1.eight MILLION EUROS)

Built on a hillside on the northwestern outskirts of Vilnius, Lithuania, this four,844-square-foot home was designed in 2010 by the Lithuanian architect Tomas Lape for an govt, his journalist spouse, and their two sons.

After the youngsters grew up and moved out, the couple “decided to sell the house and travel the world,” mentioned Giedre Simanoniene of Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty, the itemizing agent. “They love the house, but they’re just two people.”

Set on 2.four acres in Buivydiskes, a rising suburb simply outdoors Vilnius’s metropolis limits, the angular dwelling was conceived “to feel as if there’s no border between the inside and outside,” Ms. Simanoniene mentioned. Its 23-foot ceilings and partitions of home windows complement pure supplies like wooden, stone and granite. “It’s a highly conceptual design, living with nature in a very modern house,” she mentioned.

Behind the house, the landscaped grounds embrace a lake and a man-made pond. “The lake is fed by a stream, so it’s always fresh,” Ms. Simanoniene mentioned. Next to the pond, the sellers added a separate constructing with a spa and sauna.

The four,844-square-foot home, designed in 2010, is ready on 2.four acres that embrace landscaped grounds, a lake and a man-made pond.Credit…Courtesy of Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty

Since the house sits on the finish of a cul-de-sac, “there are no neighbors, and you have total privacy,” she mentioned. The gated driveway results in a boxy storage clad in wooden and aluminum. A hallway connects the storage to the kitchen, whose minimalist design contrasts modern white fixtures with black Miele home equipment. “The kitchen was designed so that all of the storage is hidden,” she mentioned.

In the loftlike lounge, three lengthy sofas encompass a handmade wooden desk beneath an amoeba-shaped gentle fixture. A broad bookcase conceals a small workplace at one finish of the lounge. A room-length fire sandwiches a hearth pit between a shiny white bar prime and polished-stone base.

Glass panels with plant-inspired etchings open from the kitchen to the high-ceilinged eating room. Just off the eating room, an oak staircase ascends to the second flooring. The similar wooden enrobes a part of the house’s exterior. “You have many of these details from outside coming inside,” Ms. Simanoniene mentioned. A windowless wine room on the primary stage, adorned with hand-painted silk murals in grape motifs, maintains a pure chill from the house’s hillside place.

On the second flooring, the oak-floored most important bed room consists of a giant dressing room and en suite rest room. Two extra bedrooms share a rest room, and every has its personal walkout to the grounds. The sellers transformed a fourth bed room to a gymnasium.

Buivydiskes, about seven miles northwest of central Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital and largest metropolis, has roots in a 12th-century manor constructed by Lithuanian nobles, Ms. Simanoniene mentioned. Land was comparatively cheap till 2016, when the nationwide authorities and European companions accomplished a part of the Western Bypass, a superhighway designed to alleviate site visitors and higher hyperlink Vilnius to different Baltic capitals. The freeway opened the door to improvement as effectively, together with a plan for 180 residences close by.

Buivydiskes “is little-known, but very convenient for the city,” mentioned Sandra Jakule, an agent at Asmeninis NT, in Vilnius. “It’s not very popular now, but land will become very expensive,” she mentioned. “The largest shopping center in the Baltics is under construction right next to this place.”

In the lounge, three sofas encompass a handmade wooden desk beneath an amoeba-shaped gentle fixture.Credit…Courtesy of Baltic Sotheby’s International RealtyBehind the sofas, a broad bookcase conceals a small workplace at one finish of the lounge.Credit…Courtesy of Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty

The house is an outlier in the world, in response to Arnoldas Antanavicius, director of RealInformation, a Vilnius actual property consulting agency. The area “is popular among economy and middle-class buyers, but it is quite rare to see a luxury object there,” he mentioned.

But Linas Lekamavicius, dealer/proprietor on the ReBaltic agency in Vilnius, referred to as this part of Buivydiskes “a prestigious luxury area, with large land lots and a lot of privacy. It’s in a pine forest, outside the city center but not outside the city, and perfect if you want to live in nature.”

The metropolis of Vilnius has about 700,000 residents and sits in the southeast nook of Lithuania, near the border with Belarus. Its medieval Old Town, with a mixture of gothic, renaissance, baroque and neoclassical structure, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

This property is about seven miles from the Old Town, and about 10 miles from Vilnius International Airport.

Market Overview

Apartments make up a lot of the stock in Vilnius’s metropolis heart, with some historic townhomes and a few indifferent homes, Ms. Jakule mentioned. At the outset of the pandemic, condominium costs “took off like a train,” she mentioned. “Demand is high and supply is low.”

Lithuania’s financial outlook has been extra of a issue than Covid-19 in town’s housing market, she mentioned: “People are afraid of high inflation. They want their money to keep its value. So they’re investing in real estate, and developers can’t build fast enough.”

The kitchen has a minimalist design, contrasting modern white fixtures with black Miele home equipment.Credit…Courtesy of Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty

Lithuanians are additionally borrowing bigger quantities to purchase property, mentioned Mr. Lekamavicius of ReBaltic. “The younger generation is living a bit higher than its means, and taking the maximum loans they can get from banks, so prices have escalated,” he mentioned. “We’re in the middle of a bubble, I think.”

The pandemic has, nevertheless, performed its half in the dearth of stock, delaying building on initiatives that had been marketed to potential patrons, mentioned Audrius Sapoka, managing director of Ober-Haus, a Vilnius brokerage and consulting agency. “Postponement of new construction created a gap between demand and supply,” he mentioned.

For residences, the typical value per sq. meter in new “economy-class” buildings is about 1,550 euros ($170 a sq. foot), Mr. Sapoka mentioned. “Middle range” items go as much as about 2,500 euros a sq. meter ($275 a sq. foot), and “prestige” houses can vary from three,500 to greater than 6,000 euros a sq. meter ($385 to $660 a sq. foot), he mentioned.

At the pandemic’s outset, many Vilnius residents selected to purchase second houses fairly than hand over their metropolis residences, Mr. Lekamavicius mentioned, so provide grew lower than in cities whose residents fled for greener pastures.

Mr. Antanavicius, of RealInformation, shared information from Lithuania’s State Enterprise Centre of Registers displaying that the variety of residences offered in Vilnius rose 12 months over 12 months from 756 in June 2020 to 1,161 in June of 2021. Likewise, the variety of indifferent houses offered in town rose from 78 to 112 throughout the identical interval.

Prices in the resale market rose 7.2 p.c in the primary quarter of 2021 over the earlier quarter, and 15.2 p.c over the primary quarter of 2020, in response to information shared by Mr. Lekamavicius from the identical authorities company. Among the Baltic capitals, he mentioned, Vilnius is “more expensive than Riga, but less expensive than Tallinn. And while we’re rising every year, we’re much cheaper than Amsterdam or Brussels.”

Just off the eating room, an oak staircase ascends to the second flooring.Credit…Courtesy of Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty

Who Buys in Vilnius

The property market in Vilnius is “mostly local,” mentioned Mr. Sapoka of Ober-Haus. “Buyers come from within the city or from other regions of Lithuania.” Buyers from outdoors Lithuania are “usually immigrants who left and are repatriating or making investments,” he mentioned, noting that particular person patrons, fairly than institutional traders, “dominate the market.”

Ms. Simanoniene, who specializes in luxurious properties, mentioned she has seen a few latest patrons from Germany, France, Switzerland, and the United States. “Lithuania’s become attractive because of our economic situation, intellectual potential, quite good tax environment, and well-educated young people,” she mentioned. “And we have four clearly expressed seasons, with beautiful nature.”

Pandemic-related journey restrictions, nevertheless, “totally stopped” the market’s few international patrons, Mr. Lekamavicius mentioned. On July 1, Lithuania resumed a state of nationwide emergency, tightening these restrictions.

Buying Basics

Foreigners can freely purchase houses in Lithuania. “Buying property is quite simple, without many obstacles or formalities,” mentioned Eivydas Sadauskas, affiliate associate on the Vilnius legislation agency Glimstedt. “But a foreigner should retain a lawyer in case technical issues arise.” Through energy of legal professional, many international patrons additionally authorize a lawyer to characterize them in transactions, he mentioned.

Notaries draw up sale and buy agreements, mentioned Dainius Palaima, a notary in Vilnius. While down funds exist, “they are not very popular in practice,” Mr. Palaima mentioned. “It’s more common is to hold the transfer of property until the moment of full payment, when a transfer-acceptance act is signed by the parties, in addition to the main contract.” The notary then submits all paperwork to a public registry. Buyers pay registration charges, that are set by the federal government.

On the second flooring, the oak-floored most important bed room consists of a giant dressing room and en suite rest room. Credit…Courtesy of Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty

Websites

City of Vilnius: govilnius.lt

Lithuania Tourism: lithuania.journey

Invest Lithuania: investlithuania.com

Languages and Currency

Lithuanian; euro (1 euro = $1.19)

Taxes and Fees

International patrons pay a 15 p.c withholding tax on gross rental receipts for earnings properties, and face withholding taxes after they promote a property, mentioned Linas Liktorius, director of the tax follow at KPMG Lithuania. As another, he mentioned, “it’s quite usual for a foreign buyer to establish a local entity, like a limited corporation, to own the real estate.”

Real property commissions in Lithuania common three p.c, with a 21 p.c value-added tax, Ms. Simanoniene mentioned. Notary charges, set by the federal government, common zero.33 to zero.41 p.c of the property worth.

While Ms. Simanoniene declined to reveal property taxes on this dwelling, Mr. Liktorius of KPMG mentioned that such taxes are levied as much as three p.c available on the market worth of a dwelling and as much as four p.c on its land yearly.

An further value-added tax of 21 p.c applies to purchases of “a new condo, a new building, or a structure that’s had serious reconstruction done” inside two years of buy, Mr. Liktorius mentioned.

Contact

Giedre Simanoniene, Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty, 011-370-616-08636, lt.balticsothebysrealty.com

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