Waterfront Property – Belgrade Style


Summer Cottages, originally uploaded by bill kralovec.

Having been involved in the real estate market in Michigan several years ago, I became aware of the idea of “waterfront” property. In Michigan, homes on a body of water like a lake or river, are much more expensive than homes not on the water.

Here in Belgrade, real estate in the city is very expensive. Apartments in the city go for 3,000 euros per square meter. Real estate in my neighborhod is even more expensive, as Senjak and Dedinje are “leafy” suburbs away and it looks like I live in a forest here, but only minutes from downtown. I don’t understand how Belgraders with such low average salaries, can afford apartments. I know many people who live with their parents. Also, many buy property or apartments in the outer suburbs which is much more reasonable. Country property is even cheaper, and I’ve been thinking of getting a piece of land in the country side.

Well, this weekend I snapped a photo across the Sava at these cottages. They are located on an island in the Sava River called “Ada Međica.” The funny đ has the sound of a j in Serbian. Ada Međica is a forested, 1 kilometer long, 200 meter wide island. There is no electricity and access is by boat only. The cottages either float or are built on stilts as the Sava in spring rises greatly. They are mostly owned by Belgraders who use them in the summer and on weekends. These cottages are found on the larger Ada Ciganlija and scattered on the banks of the Danube, although it is mostly forested.

My friend, whose wife’s business partner owns one of these, said they go for $7,000 – $15,000. On this particular island, the lone year-round resident, lets out the ropes on the cottages so they can float higher as the waters rise in the spring.

I think it would be great to have access to one. It would be fun to have a little motor boat and kayak and tool around the rivers. The Sava and Danube both intersect Belgrade and meet at the fortress. Lots of people have boats in Belgrade, most of them very modest, little boats. I can see in the future as Belgrade becomes more affluent and European, that will change to luxury yachts, but I hope not.


Our View from the Restaurant - The end of Ada Međica
Our View from the Restaurant - The end of Ada Međica

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