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wtorek, marca 08, 2005

Real Estate: History in Reverse

Real Estate: History in Reverse

Newsweek International reports:
It's our dream house," says Tomasz Pawlik, clicking through the slides on his laptop. In a few days, the 33-year-old restaurant owner in Szczecin, Poland, expects to sign the contract that will make him the owner of a handsome two-story country house, built in 1917 for a Lutheran parson. What's unusual about this homeowner's bliss is that the house is in a different country. He and his girlfriend, a painter, will soon commute to Szczecin from the German village of Wetzenow, a 25-kilometer hop across what used to be a tightly guarded border.
.... For the Poles, that makes Germany a house hunter's heaven. Real-estate agent Magdalena Pysz, who just opened her office in Szczecin last November, says she has 600 clients looking to buy on the German side. She's found apartments for Szczecin University students, who (as long as they're willing to commute) can rent freshly renovated apartments for less than they'd pay for a run-down flat in town. Pawlik is paying only 15,000 euro for his parsonage, a fixer-upper that he expects to take a year of work. "On the Polish side a house like that would cost 75,000 euro," Pawlik says. "And I would have to look at least 50 kilometers outside Szczecin to find it."

This may be a case of geography winning out over history - writes Newsweek. But it is something more. This is the case of breaking walls and stereotypes between two formerly hostile nations. Just like it happened at German-French border about half a century ago. I am not risking much when I say that pretty soon we will se similar situation at Poland's eastern border with Ukraine. Are we and they prepared for this?

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

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