No matter how much money you have available to buy a flat, you need to make a compromise, but make a good compromise!
It depends if you buy for your own to live in or you buy to rent. If you buy for yourself to live in, then it is simple, buy something you love. If you buy to rent, then buy wisely.
You can be a clever buyer if you answer a range of questions before you start screening the market. Do you want to have the apartment rented all year or would you like to use it as a holiday home for a few weeks a year? Who do you want to rent it to?
There are a number of factors you need consider like condition of the flat and the building, existence of lift, amount of light and noise, layout of the apartment.
Very important to decide right at the beginning what kind of condition your flat should be. An unrenovated apartment can be a great project and you can realize your dream home what concern its lay-out and style, but keep it mind that there is hardly any skilled workers are available in Budapest. You need months to find the right people and pay 500-800 EUR/sqm for renovation depending on the quality you aim to achieve.
Most of the buildings have lifts, but there are still a lot which do not have. If you buy for your own and you do not mind taking the stairs or you buy to rent to students, then lift is not an issue, but do not buy a luxury property in a building without lift. The same applies to the condition of the building where the apartment is found. We have beautiful classical buildings over 100 year old, but if the inside is falling apart or there are 4 bins right at the entrance door – quite typical unfortunately -, then probably it is not the right place for a high-end rental.
Light and noise. If you buy for tourist rental, then these characteristics are not so much of importance but for living and long-term rental I do not really know anything more relevant then having plenty of light and the less possible noise in an apartment. There are so many apartments for sale on grand boulevards with grand traffic but say no thanks. Usually the buildings here are of great character, the apartments have incredible interior height, super large rooms and a truly classical elegant feel of the 19th century, but buy it only for an office space, for tourists or for yourselves if you love to hear the tram tinkling at 4 am.
The apartments are mainly priced per sqm while the number of bedrooms are not always considered. Except you aim the exclusive rental market, buying an 80 sqm 2 bedroom apartment is much more clever, then buying a 114 sqm one also with 2 bedrooms. There will be not much difference in your rental income if there will be any. Naturally the lay-out is also important and so the size, the shape, the view of the bedrooms.
So many little things which I do help you to pay attention to when making the final decision. They might sound trivial but I keep meeting people who purchased a beautiful apartment on a main road or an apartment with useless lay-out at a great spot and they are struggling to rent it or to resell it.
One thing I learnt during the past many years while selling and buying apartments on behalf of my clients. No matter how much money you have available to buy a flat, you need to make a compromise, but make a good compromise!