“Welcome to Fundulea, you will become rich here”
(to read part 1, click here)
A Greek and a Romanian: 2 serious gentlemen
Having left from Calugareni at about 12.00, we had to be fast, in order to arrive on time to our next meeting, at Pantelimon area. God was generous with us and we managed to use the ring road of Bucharest without to be blocked by traffic. Grigoris felt a great relief, watching us entering at DN3 road few meters before the major trucks were already stopped…
At about 12.30 we reached the parking of a warehouse, where two gentlemen were waiting for us. We parked and stepped out. I introduced my brother to them, a Greek and a Romanian. The first one was quite short, with white hair and sophisticated glasses, around 60 years old. The Romanian was taller and younger, having a more athletic body. They offered us a great smile and proposed to travel by their car only. “Finally, 2 serious gentlemen” Grigoris said…
We asked my colleague to relax in the car, parked there. “After all the crap we saw, finally we are at good hands” Grigoris added…
“Lands just next to the highway”
At that moment, I had to agree with him. I knew the Greek for 2 years already, he was friend of a friend. Having heard me complaining that “I don’t find many good properties for my investors”, he volunteered to provide me with “very attractive opportunities”.
– “What kind of opportunities are we talking about?
– “Lands just next to the highway”
– “And the prices?”
– “You will not believe me… less than 10 Euro per sq.m.”
– “Sounds promising, let us visit them, before I bring any client there. What is your status in the deal?”
– “I am just helping a friend, you. I will meet you there together with my business partner”
The Greek gentleman was driving and his Romanian partner was next to him. We sat in the back of their car, listening to their expertise: They knew the area better than their pockets. Soon we entered in Soseaua Cernica. They did not turn to the ring road immediately, but they continued straight ahead. We saw some “opportunities” around the monastery, but I was not interested.
– “The price is less than 300 Euro / sq.m.” I was informed.
– “Wow, so we really steal them if we buy properties here…”
We returned back, entered in the ring road and reached the highway to Constanta, “Autostrada Soarelui”, Sun’s highway. All the way to our destination, we received a precious lesson about values, opportunities and secrets for good investments. We ended up talking about Fundulea, the “unique, amazing location” in the East of Bucharest…
– “It is a wonderful village…”
– “Not just the village, the whole area is amazing”
– “Not just the location, even the air is different there…”
– “And this forest…”
– “Yes, this forest… it is like paradise there”
– “So we go to the paradise city” (Grigoris interrupted the gentlemen in the front seats and continued by whispering to me, winking) “where the grass is green and the girls are pretty”
"Next to the highway does not mean exactly next to it, but in the area around”
The big SUV car reached the first exit of the highway. The sign was clear: “Fundulea”. I dared to ask a question, but it proved to be a stupid one:
– “So where exactly are the lands? You told us that they are next to the highway”
– “Next to the highway does not mean exactly next to it, but in the area around”, my Greek friend corrected me.
(Grigoris turned his head towards me, his surprise was not hidden…)
We followed the exit and drove having the highway in our back. One kilometre, two kilometres, three, four… The asphalt ended, so we continued on mud road, always straight ahead. But not for too much. At a rare moment of driving reflex, my Greek friend turned right and entered in the small streets between the wheat crops…
“Welcome to Fundulea, you will become rich here”
After having manoeuvred around the crops, we finally arrived in a plateau, next to a forest. I had marked the number of kilometres once we exited the highway. Now we had 14 more. We stepped down, receiving a mixed feeling of sweat and dust… The sun was too hot, burning us.
As we were walking around, my friend and his partner volunteered to inform us about the area’s potential, following a “ping pong of words”…
– “Welcome to Fundulea, you will become rich here!”
– “Yes, this is an extraordinary place, with lots of potential”.
My Greek friend pointed to our right:
– “Look at there. I know …, a Turkish company. They bought 600 hectare and now they are compacting them. They will develop a major residential project very soon…”
– “And I know a Spanish company, …, they bought some hundreds of hectare too. They are planning to develop a residential project too, plus a golf course of 18 holes”.
“This is the next Pipera!” “And is this an advantage?”
The “lesson” continued, while Grigoris started getting upset with what he was listening…
– “Do you see this forest? It will be exploited also. They have obtained European Grants, in order to invest in it, transforming it into paradise…”
– “Imagine… golf, forest, an airport in the South…”
– “What about utilities, guys?” I interrupted them.
– “They will bring them very soon, they have signed contracts…”
– “Actually we should buy now, before the peasants know this, because afterwards it will be too late”…
– “Yes, as the prices keep on rising…”
– “But we are in the middle of an agricultural land. What kind of rise to have an agricultural land?” Grigoris asked…
– “Are you crazy? I offered 1,80 Euro / sq.m. and the guy asked me for 5. I think that by the end of the year the price here will be around 20!”
– “But agricultural land costs 10 times less” Grigoris insisted…
– “What are you talking about? This is the next Pipera!”
– “And is this good? (It was my turn to interrupt…)
The main boulevard…
– “Of course it is. You saw what happened there. The prices have reached 1.700 Euro / sq.m., even 2.000”.
– “Look, look over there. Do you see this street? In the approved PUZ says that it will be transformed into the main boulevard of the new city…”
– “Where exactly do you mean? Between the crops there?”
– “No, look at the forest and then you see at its right. There is a path and it will be the new boulevard”.
– “Clear enough” (Grigoris was already mad…)
– “Look, look, there is the car of our local connection here. He knows everyone” the Romanian gentleman said and they started walking to him, as his car was approaching us, through a cloud of dust.
“Look, if you can not avoid a rape, at least try to enjoy it”…
When the gentlemen went to speak with the newcomer, Grigoris turned around and looked at me. His shoes were white, like mine. His clothes were full of dust, mine too. Our faces were dirty. He raised his hands up to the level of his shoulders…
– “I am desperate. What is this? A circus? Do they consider us THAT stupid?”
– “Looks like they do”
– “But how is it possible? We have common sense, how can they tell us all these ridiculous lies?”
– “My dear brother, you kept on telling me that my job is easy. Welcome to my world, the world of Real Estate agents and consultants in Romania”.
Grigoris was very upset and continued our short dialogue…
– “I will tell them… how can they dare doing this to us?”
– “Ah, don’t bother. For them it is just “business as usual”, actually they might believe that they do us a favour too”.
– “You must be joking… I feel that they are raping my mind, I will explode!”
– “Take it easy”.
– “I can not. They are raping my mind…”
– “Look, if you can not avoid a rape, at least try to enjoy it”…
“Did you decide to buy something now? The guy is here”
We saw the gentlemen returning to us after two minutes. I looked at Grigoris and asked him to be patient. The Greek gentleman had a brilliant question to ask me:
– “So, what happened? Did you decide to buy something now? The guy is here and he can tell you what is for sale and its cost. Of course he will give you only the owner’s price”
– “I am sure” I affirmed. “Would you mind if we think a bit about this, before to reply?”
They did not like my answer. So they asked the “local expert” to explain to us everything once more, adding in the presentation available plots, surfaces and prices. From time to time, my Greek friend was adding “Yes, I will buy here myself too”. After another 15 minutes of discussion, the theatrical play was about to end…
We did our best in order to tell our friends that we would have to think about the offer, before we present it to our clients. I heard the “local expert” cursing in Romanian language, something about losing his time for “people like us”… There was no discussion on the way back. We were quite silent, exhausted too. We shook hands once we reached at the parking place and we walked fast to our car, asking Liviu to leave immediately…
Such an easy profession…
- This was the last time that my brother mentioned that my profession is easy.
- My Greek friend stopped being my friend. He did not like my refusal to buy something. “He lost his time with me”, as he stated.
- As far as I know, there is no development in these agricultural fields.
- The price today is the one for agricultural lands… 0,2 – 0,3 Euro per sq.m (if you compact large surfaces, lower for just couple of hectare).
PS. After having checked more than 100 lands, I decided to propose to my clients not to buy any of them at that time.