Home Sweet Home!
Ukraine is a great place for a home investment - if you have income from outside Ukraine. Prices
are low and living expenses such as taxes, fees and utilities are very low. If you are of retirement
age in the USA, you can likely live on Social Security alone - and live well. If you own a condo in
any medium or large Ukrainian city, your total monthly cost to live in it, including all fees, taxes and
utilities will be about $250 a month. No, that is not a typo, $250 a month for heat, electricity
(including air conditioning), condo fees, water, cable TV, monthly cleaning service, high speed
Internet and a smart cell phone.
In Russian and Ukrainian, there is no distinction between a Condo and an Apartment. The difference is
only whether the owner lives in the particular apartment or not. Like the USA there is an
association fee for maintenance of common areas, garbage pickup, etc. Unlike the USA, this
association is not going to tell you what you can do on your balcony if you have one. Also,
unlike the USA there are no taxes on real estate except when you buy. There are single family
homes on the outskirts of the cities but there are many reasons not to consider a single family
house unless you are married to a Ukrainian.
We would like to give you a brief overview of the types of buildings in which you may buy an
The first is older construction, from the 18th and 19th century, predating the Communist
revolution. In general, these buildings are close to the center of Kiev. Most were
very nice, some still are.
In all Ukrainian cities you will see many 5-8 story apartment buildings commonly called
Khrushchyovka's. None were ever nice by US standards, the apartments are small and lacked
many of the things Americans consider essential. These are prefabricated concrete, the
buildings themselves are usually solid. You should consider these only as rental property
or if you need only a small 1 bedroom apartment and can't afford better. Frequently the
balconies are falling apart and even if your unit has a rebuilt balcony, you are going to have
to look at your neighbor's balcony and walk up poorly maintained stairs as the small elevators
are frequently broken.
All Ukrainian cities are enjoying a construction boom. The Khrushchyovkas must eventually
be replaced by modern construction, generally 20-25 story concrete. Most of these apartments
are sold as shell and core, essentially bare concrete walls, floor and ceiling with only utility
hookups and a basic steel door. Elevators and common areas are usually complete but sometimes
also in progress. Of course there are many 1-5 year old apartments for sale but if you have
several months we recommend that you buy a shell and core and do the interior
yourself to fit American standards. In general the Ukrainians do a great job of
finishing these apartments but if you buy bare walls you can add extra soundproofing, code wiring
and a second bathroom more closely matching American standards. We have general contracting
services for you, to convert the bare concrete walls to a beautiful world class apartment.
A fyi, the picture is real and was taken in a kitchen in Kyiv.
Visit as a tourist, and see for yourself.