Is the Pre-War Rental Building Irreplaceable?

July 4, 2016 Rihards Gederts No comments exist

One way to classify the building types in the city of Riga is by when they were built. There is a significant difference between pre-war, post-war and new construction buildings. There are three broad categories that we can use to determine the building types:

  1. Pre-War (before World War 2, 1939)
  2. Post-War (Soviet time occupation period of Latvia, 1945-1991)
  3. The restoration of independence (most of them are the so-called new construction, after 1991).

It is important to note that it does not change the fact of how the lease agreement will look. In most cases, all the rights and obligations of a lease agreement are going to be the same no matter where you choose to live.

Ģertrūdes street, Pre-war architecture in the city of Riga
Ģertrūdes street, Pre-war architecture in the city of Riga

Pre-War buildings: before World War 2 – 1939

The greatest benefit for living in pre-war buildings is their beautiful architecture and the story behind the building. The building construction quality and interior quality was designed to last longer periods. In the neighborhood of center, we can find many beautiful art nouveau buildings where you are able to rent out apartments. All of these gorgeous buildings were built before World War 2. Outside of city center and several other neighborhoods in Riga, it is going to be hard to find these type of buildings.

You may ask what are some main characteristics of Pre-War buildings in Riga? Well we provide the following characteristics: 

  • beautiful foyers and spacious hallways
  • building entrance – large, wood doors
  • decorative staircases
  • the apartments are covered with ornamentation on ceilings and walls
  • hardwood floors
  • most significant architecture type: art-nouveau and wooden architecture
  • relatively modest 3-to-6 stories in height, buildings were decorated using natural materials
  • unique touches and more aesthetic
  • pre-war buildings seem to be built better and more carefully: made for long term living
  • harder to replace installations and finishes
  • if not renovated then no air conditioning and no central air
  • low electrical current coming into the apartment.
  • Higher rental price than in soviet time buildings
  • Utilities can or can not be included – depends on building and landlord.
Lāčplēša Street, the neighborhood of center
Lāčplēša Street, the neighborhood of center

It also depends on individual – are you more into historical values or modernism? Some people say that pre-war buildings have more soul and authenticity. You are able to tell the story of the building.

Post-War: Soviet time occupation period of Latvia – 1945 to 1991

With low-quality building materials and basically no energy efficiency soviet time multi-residential apartment buildings accounts for the majority of housing stock in the city of Riga. These buildings mainly were constructed in previously empty and adjacent territories of Riga. In most of the cases only local residents are living in these buildings. They are not very popular with foreign buyers. Main characteristics of Pre-War buildings in Riga:

  • Rent is cheaper than in pre-war buildings and New Construction
  • Lower level of building management capabilities
  • Car parking system is chaotic
  • No amenities for building residents
  • Located outside of city center
  • Located near to larger shopping malls.

The restoration of independence: new construction – after 1991

Unfortunately, new construction buildings did not have time to develop the story, however, they have different advantages. For example, in new construction buildings, the layout of apartments are more suitable for modern living conditions. Main characteristics of New Construction:

  • Lower energy bills (if not included in rental payment)
  • Bigger windows
  • Various types of amenities included into new construction
  • Need to implement repairs of apartment in relatively short time
  • Only the expensive new construction apartments are in good quality
  • Car parking, in most cases
  • Availability of elevators
  • Air conditioning, in most cases.

Also, unknown problems can appear with time because building owner does not know all the facts about the construction process. However, in the city center of Riga, you will rarely find new construction apartments. The rental price is going to be the highest in the neighborhood of center. At the end, you will need to make the final decision. However, if you want to receive additional information about rental buildings then feel free to write us!

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