How to rent a country house

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To rent a summer cottage or a country house with an optimal price-quality ratio, you need to select options now.


Renting a country house is not a problem today. There are tons of real estate agencies, internet bulletin boards and specialized press at the service of potential tenants. Judging by the reviews of those who already have experience in finding a “house for the summer”, finding a suitable option is even easier than renting an apartment in Moscow. The only problem is the price. Finding an object for less than $ 1500 per month will take a lot of effort, and realtors are not helpers here..

Market of contrasts

The suburban rental market is, at first glance, a mysterious segment. A number of realtors claim that the demand for rent far exceeds the supply. And in order to find a suitable option, the search for a summer residence to which you can send children or parents for the summer, and even go for the weekend yourself, you need to do literally from winter. “The volume of supply is not able to satisfy the incoming number of applications,” says Alexey Babkin, head of the suburban real estate department at HomeHunter. – Compared to last year, the demand for rent has grown significantly. If at the beginning of 2007 there was minimal activity on the market, now we see a revival of buyers, many of whom are already intensely looking for properties for the summer. “.

Other realtors shrug their shoulders, they say, there are no problems with renting a house, and there are still more options than willing. “According to our observations, there is a growing number of clients who are thinking about what is more interesting for them – to rent a country house or buy their own country house. So, we can say that, in general, demand is now even less than supply, “says Olga Bashtanova, head of the suburban real estate rental department at Inkom-real estate..

This contradictory picture is caused by two circumstances. The first is the lease terms. “The bulk of country houses and cottages are rented for at least one year. This is logical, since the owner bears great risks. Our company does not even work with shorter-term options, ”explains Viktor Smolensky, project manager at Penny Lane Realty. Thus, finding and renting a house for a year is easier than for a summer. And for the summer it is easier than a month. Mainly those owners who have not managed to rent them out for a longer period of time rent their houses for the season. And demand, especially in the spring, is shifting towards seasonal rentals. “Not many are ready to give up their city apartments in favor of permanent residence outside the city. At the same time, in the summer period, it is often necessary to take a family out of stuffy and dusty Moscow into nature. It is during this hot period that the rush demand for country houses and summer cottages begins, which, of course, cannot be compared with the demand for long-term rent “, – comments on the situation the head of the rental department of MIAN – Real Estate Agency Natalya Sivko. The second factor causing conflicting responses about the market is the uneven distribution of cottages by price category. As usual, the most demanded is the economy class, and most of the supply belongs to the business and elite segment (see graph). Therefore, if you try to find something “economical” for the budget at an acceptable distance from Moscow, you can safely talk about a deficit.

As you might imagine, most tenants would like to live closer to Moscow in order to be able to commute to work every day. “The most popular distance is up to 30–40 km,” says Olga Bashtanova. – Is that on Novorizhskoe highway with its good carrying capacity, many agree to travel further (up to 45-50 km) in order to live near big water or near a real forest “.

Therefore, the difficulty is not finding a home for the summer. Difficulty in choosing the best combination of price and quality. “Houses and dachas in which the ratio of these parameters is optimal, as a rule, do not change their tenants. The same people go there from year to year. As a last resort, new tenants come on the recommendation of the previous ones, “says Evgeny Skomorovsky, Managing Director of Century 21 West..

As we can see, the contradiction in market estimates turns out to be only a superficial impression. Being an unassuming tenant, not counting on a special proximity to Moscow and not caring about the quality of housing, you can rent a house even in the high season. And at the same time, in the Moscow region there are villages where there are really queues for renting houses. “As a rule, they are located not far from Moscow, in prestigious areas, with convenient access and well-developed infrastructure,” comments Maria Zhukova, First Deputy Director of Miel-Rent..

Profitable settlements

The delivery of country houses in the Moscow region has not yet become a full-fledged business. There are very few private investors who initially buy or build houses for later delivery. There are many more of those who bought and built for themselves, but housing turned out to be unclaimed either because of permanent traffic jams that make it impossible to live outside the city, or for another reason. Developers of suburban housing also do not seek to build so-called tenement houses, that is, villages intended for rent. “Selling cottages is more profitable than building and renting out. Therefore, developers prefer to combine the formats: to build cottage settlements in which some of the cottages can be rented out, ”explains Natalia Sivko. For example, in the village of Nikolskaya Sloboda there is a rental section for 13 houses ($ 11 thousand). There are small similar enclaves in the villages of Zhukovka and Barvikha (from $ 10 thousand).

However, the first “profitable villages” in the Moscow region have already appeared, although so far there are very few of them. According to Vesco Realty, today they account for about 10% of the total suburban rental market. The vast majority of them are located within 30 km from Moscow along Rublevo-Uspenskoe, Kaluzhskoe and Novorizhskoe highways. As an example, we can cite such settlements as Pavlovy Rodniki, Rosinka, Foresvill, Angelovo, Nakhabino Country Club, Setun. The term of renting a cottage in them is usually from six months; the houses are fully equipped with furniture and household appliances. In terms of their parameters, “profitable villages” are still mainly business class and “elite”. “The villages have their own infrastructure, and maid services can be provided to residents. The cost of renting a house in such a village can range from $ 6,000 to $ 15,000, ”says Maria Zhukova. Some of them have schools where teaching is in English. Despite the high rates, “profitable villages” are steadily popular with tenants, especially foreign ones. Therefore, you will not get to the “profitable village” on the move: you have to get on the “waiting lists”.

In general, according to realtors, today you can rent a house in almost any cottage village. In their preferences, tenants of suburban real estate are not much more original than buyers. The most popular directions, of course, remain Rublevskoye, Novorizhskoye and Kaluzhskoye highways, Dmitrovskoye and Ostashkovskoye highways are in great demand.

It is not surprising that the bulk of the supply is concentrated precisely on these areas: along Rublevo-Uspenskoe highway – in a 25-30 km zone from Moscow, along Novorizhskoe highway – within 40 km, along Kaluga highway – at a distance of up to 30 km from the city, along Kievsky highway – in the region of 40 km, as well as along the Ostashkovsky direction – 20-25 km from the Moscow Ring Road. The rental price will depend on the quality and size of the “summer house”, the availability of infrastructure and additional benefits of civilization (see “Choose your home”).

There is no fundamental difference between houses rented by private individuals and cottages from developers. The only thing that can be different for the landlord is the service issues. If a house is rented out by a private owner, then often the tenant himself has to look for someone who will take care of the technical well-being of his temporary home. While in “profitable villages” and settlements, where at least some of the cottages are rented, the service is centralized. As a rule, the cost of such services is already included in the rental price. True, according to Irina Polunina, head of the rental department of IntermarkSavills, many private individuals who rent out houses in the elite segment provide the tenant with a caretaker who is in charge of all household chores: repairs, clears paths, mows lawns. These services are also initially included in the rental payments..

Old and dear

As realtors assure, not only modern buildings with developed infrastructure are in demand, but also the so-called old-fashioned settlements. Erected at the beginning to the middle of the last century in the near Moscow region (up to 35 km from the Moscow Ring Road), the settlements (there are about 80 in total) were intended for recreation of the scientific or creative elite. “Writers ‘dachas” – in Peredelkino, “scientists’ dachas” – in Zhukovka, the village of Serebryany Bor (houses of representatives of the Soviet nomenklatura were located here), the village of Vatutinki (plots in it were distributed only among writers) and other places of recreation for the Soviet intelligentsia are in no less demand today, than 30-40 years ago.

If we make a rating of the popularity of old-fashioned settlements, then the leaders will be Zhukovka, Barvikha, Nikolina Gora, Petrovo-Dalnee, Gorki II, Vatutinki and Arkhangelskoye. They are followed by all the others: Aprelevka, Frunzevets, Zhavoronki, Nov, Dubki, Trudovaya, Firsanovka, Saburovo, Valentinovka, Zagoryanka, Bolshevo, Opalikha, Snegiri, Malakhovka, etc..

In addition to the previously mentioned proximity to Moscow and a rich history, old dachas have other advantages. Such villages are almost always equipped with the necessary communications and good access roads. Summer cottages were built, as a rule, on the territory of a pine forest or in close proximity to a reservoir. The prestige of old-fashioned settlements is traditionally high, which affects the prices of proposals. Renting a house in such a place will cost from $ 3-4 to $ 15 and more, depending on the location and condition of the house. You can save on the services of a realtor. It is best to go to the village yourself and find out who rents the house or part of it. And there is no better source of information than the commandants, the tenants assure, who have repeatedly looked for a summer cottage in this way. “They know who is renting out and at what price, they can give their recommendations and provide assistance for a certain fee in finding the owners of the rented houses,” advises Yevgeny Skomorovsky.

Economy rent

If renting from $ 1000 seems too expensive for you, then the search for a “house is not summer” is better to immediately focus on ordinary villages or garden partnerships. Renting a summer cottage will cost you about 30-40% less than renting an economy class cottage. But, naturally, you shouldn’t count on city improvement, convenient parking, infrastructure and security here. “Renting a house can cost from $ 300-400 per month, moreover, you can often rent just one or several rooms in the house,” says Evgeny Skomorovsky.

There are offers of summer cottages and country houses in real estate bases, but they are few. “Most of these houses are rented out according to advertisements, and their offer is insignificant in the databases of agencies. Large real estate agencies do not like to work with such options because of the high labor costs, ”explains Maria Zhukova. However, the point is not only labor costs, but also cheapness. Moscow realtors, as a rule, do not contact inexpensive rental houses. According to one of them, this year the lower price limit, from which the capital agencies undertake to provide assistance, is in the region of $ 1,500 per month for renting a house. And in the rental department of AN MIAN, where I called, a girl-agent said that they had no options cheaper than $ 2500 in the database at all.

Finding a cheap home will have to rely on yourself. For example, you can contact the agencies of regional centers, which have their own base of low-budget options. But, perhaps, the most effective way to search for leads is through acquaintances or directly in the villages. “If you have an approximate idea of ​​where you would like to spend the summer, just go to the village in advance and ask the locals who rents out their houses,” advises Yevgeny Skomorovsky. Another good way to search is newspapers of private advertisements (for example, “Iz Ruk v Ruki”), this option is actively used by the realtors themselves. In this sense, the story of the search for a summer residence of one of my acquaintances, Dmitry M. is indicative. Last year he started looking for a country house that could be rented for one summer month. There was no point in filming for a longer period because of work. He took care of the search rather late – at the beginning of the summer. As a busy person, Dmitry initially tried to contact real estate agencies, but very quickly refused their services. “By comparing offers from agents with prices from newspaper ads, I was convinced that the markups are simply monstrous,” he says. “As a lazy person, I went the simplest way: I myself put up an advertisement in the newspaper about the desire to rent a house.” Despite the fact that by all realtor standards it was done late, Dmitry and his wife were immediately offered several options, of which they chose the most suitable. For 12 thousand rubles. they rented a two-story wooden dacha at the fortieth kilometer along the Simferopol highway, near Chekhov. “I got the impression that the volume of supply here is much larger than on the apartment market,” says Dmitry. – To shoot for a month, of course, is more difficult than for the summer. But even in such a situation, we had a choice. ” Although the requirements of the couple were unpretentious (the main thing is that there is a house with a stove and a water supply, and the rest is trifles), Dmitry was not entirely satisfied with the rest. The lack of landscaping for a month turned out to be a more difficult test than he had expected. “This year I will certainly look for a more comfortable option,” he assures.

Best Impromptu – Prepared

If you are going to rent a house by the summer, then it is better not to delay the search. The optimal time to start looking at options, as most realtors say, is two to three months before the arrival date. If the time is less than two months, you risk being left with a limited choice. If the term is longer, then, oddly enough, you can expect the same problem. “You have to look for a house in February if you want to move there in April-March. And for those who are going to leave the city in June, it is better to start searching in late March – early May. Because now, for example, many owners will not agree to a three-month lease, as there are chances to rent out their homes for six months. And the owners of low-budget houses, which can be rented out only for the summer months, will only in March clear paths, clean up the site and bring the houses into a marketable condition, ”says Olga Bashtanova.

When choosing a house for rent, you should pay attention not only to the price and legal purity of the transaction, but also to the usual everyday moments – those that at first glance may seem like trifles, but subsequently risk ruining your whole vacation. “For example, a cottage is being built in the immediate vicinity of the house you like. Think about it, will this construction site interfere with you or your child? Find out from the owner or neighbors how long it will last, whether there are any repair hours, at what stage the construction is, ”warns Natalya Sivko. For houses not located in organized settlements, it is very important to have at least a primitive infrastructure, such as a grocery store or pharmacy in the immediate vicinity. If the house is rented for a long time, it makes sense to clarify in advance whether there is a year-round access to it, how often the roads are cleared, whether there are power outages in winter and other details that can complicate or facilitate your living outside the city.

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