Bucharest is an old city which developed from its center towards the margins. Some of the border neighborhoods in Bucharest were previously villages which were “swallowed” by the enlarging city.
Since the first acknowledgement of Bucharest dates since the 17th century, most of the downtown buildings are also very old.
What is particular about these buildings is that they overcame at least 2 big earthquakes – the one from 1941 and the one in 1977. This is why some of them are quite shabby and have a shallow resistance.
In order to expose this matter and make it easy for people to make fast verifications, Bucharest City Hall has a list of buildings which are classified according to the risk they have to fall down in case of earthquake and they are split into four categories:
The most sensitive ones are marked with a red dot (risk one to earthquake)– this means that it is very likely to fall in case an earthquake with the intensity for which they were designed occurs.
Risk two to earthquake (or orange dot) means that in case of a strong earthquake the structure of the building can be affected but it is unlikely to fall down;
Risk three to earthquake means that in case of string earthquake, some damages will occur but they will not affect the resistance structure, nor will there be a risk to fall down;
Risk four to earthquake (applicable to the newest buildings) – the effects of an earthquake on such buildings will be the ones planned in the resistance structure project according to which they were built.
The trick about the red dot building is that most of them are located in the center of the city and they have very accessible prices.
Nowadays, Bucharest City Hall is supposed to receive European funds for the consolidation of such red dot buildings, meaning that their structure will be renewed from the foundation till the last floor.
Real estate experts affirm that a potential investor can buy flat in such a red dot building, then benefit from the consolidation, and, in the end, he has the possibility to re-sell the apartment as new.
Also, such apartments can be easily used for short term accommodation such as Booking or AIRBNB since they are located in the top areas of Bucharest.
Nevertheless, it would be advisable that before purchasing such an apartment to make a technical verification with an authorized architect or engineer to find out the real physical stage of the building because sometimes, even if the block is labeled with a red dot, its physical stage is quite strong.
Last but not least – the legal due diligence performed by a law specialist is of vital importance, as it is with any real estate transaction.