Residential and Commercial Real Estate in Hungary
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Flats - Which floor?

floors.gifIn our property descriptions for flats we show both the number of the floor the property is on and also the number of storeys in the building, in this case the number of the top floor. We also show whether the flat faces the street or a courtyard (depending on style of building); it is also possible that the flat looks out on both sides.

These facts can help you make up a shortlist of properties to view. Here are some examples:

If you have young children or are looking at spending a lot of time into your retirement living in your flat then you won't find a 4th floor flat of a 4 floor building with no lift to be very convenient. You would probably look for a building with a lift or somewhere on the ground or 1st floor.

Ground floor (Hungarian - 'földszint,' 'FSZ,' 'FSZT,' or 'F' on a lift button).
Advantages of being on the ground floor are that your flat is easy to access, however that doesn't just mean for yourself, the owner. You will want to employ extra security measures, having shutters down when you are out or fitting security grating over the windows and entrance door. These are usually already in place or you may wish to upgrade them.

If the flat you are interested in is on the ground floor facing the courtyard you would be wise to check how many floors the building has. If the block has 7 floors for example then you will not receive much natural light at all, whereas in a 2 or 3 floor block the situation could be fine depending on which direction the flat faces. Try to visit during the middle of the daytime and ask which way the sun comes up and goes down. Either way the flat would probably stay comfortably cool in the summer.

A ground floor flat facing the street might not suffer so much from lack of light though you may want to pick your street carefully as you may have a lot of people walking past your living room or bedroom window. If you are in an area of bars and restaurants you may suffer from noise especially. This goes for lower, street-facing flats too. If you really do want to live on the ground floor facing the street then in some buildings the ground floor is up some steps, normally as the basement below has windows coming up above pavement level. This raised ground floor is called a Magasföldszint ('MFSZ,' translates as 'high ground floor') and your windows will be high enough to afford some privacy, too high for passers by to look directly in. Some blocks may have a mezzanine floor called a Félemelet ('half floor'), between the ground and 1st.

Going back to the upper floors, anything situated on the top couple of floors should get a good amount or a lot of light. Again, remember to ask which way the sun moves through the day. The bedroom/living room side of my flat gets the sun at dawn and the opposite side gets a lot of sun all afternoon. Great for waking up in the morning and I still have a cool living room in the afternoon to escape to if it gets too hot on the South-West-facing side. Also street-side flats on the 4th floor upwards will likely be a bit quieter than lower ones unless you are on a busy main road.

Finally there is a lot of activity going on adding an extra floor or converting roof space into new flats. So rather than buying in a new development you can get something new in a building with old style character. When this takes place the developer normally has to refurbish maybe the front of the building and some of the common areas so everyone in the block benefits from a bit of a face lift.