Flat Hunting in Prague

A brief guide to finding an apartment in Prague

Expats.cz

Written by Expats.cz
Published on 28.02.2006 14:17 (updated on 28.02.2006)

If you´re looking to buy, rent, or share an apartment, you´ve got no shortage of options to weigh.  There are hundreds of websites and agencies in the Czech Republic that specialize in real estate; most of them are English-language friendly as well. Choosing a flat is one of the most important decisions you´ll make – where you live, especially in a city like Prague, will greatly affect your lifestyle.  An agency can help but shouldn´t be ultimately relied upon; to find the perfect place, you´ll have to do a lot of your own research.

One great resource is the Expats.cz Czech Real Estate Server (http://realestate.expats.cz/) – one of the largest compilations of real estate for rent/sale you´ll find in English, and it´s easy to navigate and nicely searchable as well (by area, budget, size, etc.).  Most of the listings come from agencies, so you may not encounter the best bargains, but it´s a great tool to get an idea of what´s on the market.

A spinoff of Expats.cz and the Real Estate Server is Landlord.cz (www.landlord.cz) – which is a nice concept, as a place where independent landlords can post no-commission property for rent.  The site is brand new, and hasn´t taken off yet with only a few listings, but if it does it should become a good resource for some property that may not be found elsewhere.

Another option is to go with a real estate agency; if you choose that route, you may not need to read any more of this article (though you will want to find a reputable agency – and good luck with that).  An agency should care of everything you need – for a price, of course, which can end up being more than just monetary.  If you have the time, however, you can also browse through the agency websites – they´ll almost always have a large catalogue of the apartments and other properties they offer.  Find something you like, for example, before approaching the agency.  Here are some of the bigger ones:

Etc., etc., etc. – all have hefty online searchable databases; a huge amount of content combined when you throw in all the other hundreds of real estate agencies across town.  It´s likely impossible to go through them all, but there are some finds to be made.  Just be prepared to pay a percentage more than you might elsewhere.

Annonce (www.annonce.cz), a huge catalogue of classified listings, has one of the largest databases, if not the largest database, of real estate on the Czech market.  They also have a wealth of other items in their classified section: cars, computers, mobile phones, etc.  Unfortunately, it´s entirely in Czech, and not the most user friendly site even if you do speak a bit of the language (though they also put out a handy leaflet full of classifieds which can be picked up all over town).  Still, if you can manage to navigate the site you´ll find plenty of options, often some lower-priced ones as well – many listings are from independent landlords, and are ones that won´t be found on English-language websites.  If you´re going to look through Czech-language resources for a flat, Annonce is the first – and possibly only – place that I´d go with.  Standard warnings about classifieds will apply – some listings aren´t going to be the most trustworthy.  And if you´re looking to share a flat with English-speakers, you´ll likely want to look elsewhere.

On that note, the flatshare section of Expats.cz has to be considered the first option if you´re looking to find a place to share with English-speakers, if only for the amount of content it attracts – hundreds of postings each month. 

Other finds, perhaps, can be found in the classified sections of other English-language resources, they may not be dependable. 

I’ve only skimmed the top of the real estate resources here in Prague – countless others can be found, many of which may prove worthwhile.  A couple points of advice in leaving: do your own research, you may be surprised at what you can find.  And find the right place – don’t underestimate the effect an apartment can have on your life.

Jason Pirodsky can be reached at jason@expats.cz