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Choosing Where to Live

Moving to Bulgaria

Mountains, sea or cities, Bulgaria has a lot of variety to offer. . . But where to choose? This forum can help!

Moving to Bulgaria

Postby Ria123 » Mon 21 Nov 2011 20:20 GMT

Hi! I'm Ria and my husband's John. We've been looking - over the internet - at houses in Bulgaria for quite some time now and are really keen to leave the UK and buy a home in Bulgaria. We currently live on a (rented) smallholding with chickens, ducks and geese and would like to have a go at "the good life" full time, rather than fit it in round our jobs. We haven't been out there yet and are trying to find a location that would suit us. Wondered if anyone had any advice? We'd be living on a small farm so out in the sticks, but would like a few shops not too far away and a nice town say 30 miles away - to get away from the chores occasionally :lol: . We've had a look, on the net, at Veliko Tarnovo which looks like a lovely town. I'm 47 and John's 61 so we wouldn't be looking for clubs and raves! Any suggestions of any towns that we could look at so that we could then focus on one area of Bulgaria in our house search? Somewhere with historical buildings and pretty houses etc etc?? Any advice would be really helpful. We're hoping to have both given up our jobs by July(?) and be ready to move...........xross fingers!! xx
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Postby Trev » Tue 22 Nov 2011 08:32 GMT

Ria & John,

Welcome to the forum.

'The Good Life' .... well it is possible to be self sufficient here, most pensioners in the countryside are to some extent. Old age pension here not a very large amount, about 120 lev a month if I remember correctly.

Can I suggest your best bet is to visit here, hire a car and drive around the different areas before you make any decision on where to live.

In the process of doing that you may also find your dream home without having to pay exorbitant prices through a real estate agent.

One other thing, if you do buy through an agent DO NOT use their legal services, ALWAYS use your own independent lawyer. That way you can be fairly certain that whatever you buy is legal and the sellers property. And, please, do not buy a pig in a poke, you need to personally inspect any property you intend to buy.
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Postby Ria123 » Tue 22 Nov 2011 13:37 GMT

Hi Trev - thanks for your reply. We are definitely going to visit - but can't get away until about February - so we're stuck on trying to find a nice town on the internet and then going further afield from there on the map. For now I guess it's just a case of reading up on every town there is and trying to find 3 or 4 that we think 'looks' nice. Pardon me for a stupid question - if we didn't buy through a real estate agent how would we go about buying a house then? Are there people who sell them privately do you mean? Sorry for being stupid but I've only ever bought through an estate agent in Wales. How difficult do you think it would be to find an independent lawyer? Are they advertised in whatever town we happen to be in? Again, sorry for the dumb questions but there is so much to get in hand before July. I bet I've asked this in the wrong part of this forum............please let me know if I have and I'll go to another one and try again!!!
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Postby Trev » Tue 22 Nov 2011 19:14 GMT

Ria123 wrote: Pardon me for a stupid question - if we didn't buy through a real estate agent how would we go about buying a house then?


For starters no question is stupid, after all if you don't ask you won't find out.

I can guarantee that within hours of arriving in a small town you will have sellers popping out of the woodwork with their exclusive property for sale. Your taxi driver, waitress, etc., etc., will know of a property for sale.

Read the real estate adverts by all means just to get an idea of the market, however I would take a fairly accurate guess that properties similiar to one you see on their web sites will be available for considerably less money through contacts you will meet.

Ria123 wrote:How difficult do you think it would be to find an independent lawyer?


Not difficult at all.
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Postby Ria123 » Wed 23 Nov 2011 08:21 GMT

Thanks for that Trev - it's all helpful stuff. So, if someone tells us they have a house for sale, would we just go and see it and then get a (English speaking) lawyer and ask him to deal with it if it was the right one? Is that how it works? Having read a zillion real estate blurbs on how they can sort everything out for you it's very tempting - that's why forums like this are so useful when someone who knows tells you not to use their legal people etc. I'm just trying to get a clear idea of what to expect and how to react when we get over there. I just don't want to be duped at the first hurdle! Do you know how we go about finding a lawyer?
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Postby alexandjon » Wed 23 Nov 2011 11:49 GMT

Hi Ria 123,

You can buy a house without the use of an estate agent. In this case you have to organise the process of registering your own company, find a solicitor to do the paperwork, then find a sworn translator to translate for you in front of the notary and also you have to get in touch with an accountant to deal with your company tax returns and other issues.
For some people it all sounds difficult that is why they choose to deal with an estate agent who can organise everything for them.
Hope this helps and good luck.
Regards,
Alex
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Postby Trev » Wed 23 Nov 2011 12:24 GMT

alexandjon wrote:Hi Ria 123,

In this case you have to organise the process of registering your own company


Have to disagree with you Alex, your own independent lawyer will do all the organising.

If you do it all yourself you may save a bit, and a lawyer will cost, but, certainly not as much as if you allow the real estate company to do all the work, and, most lawyers I know will also organise all the future paperwork for your company.

Having your own lawyer is money well spent as far as I am concerned.
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Postby Trev » Wed 23 Nov 2011 12:32 GMT

Ria123 wrote: Do you know how we go about finding a lawyer?


Ask someone you meet in Bulgaria to recommend one. Don't ask me though, I don't recommend anything, except of course guaranteed ways NOT TO BE ripped off when here. :)
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Postby Ria123 » Wed 23 Nov 2011 20:26 GMT

Hi alexand jon and Trev. So many different ways to do it all! I would be tempted to go with the estate agent as it sounds much much easier but I've read some horror stories about people being ripped off by them! Of course, I don't suppose you would hear so much about the brilliant ones who have helped many I'm sure. Think we'll look for a lawyer once we're out there and have at least decided on which area we like. Really don't fancy having to find translators etc myself. Not sure my brain could cope with that. It's good to hear everyone's opinion though and I really appreciate your replies. I have soooooooooo many questions so I'm going to find my way round this forum and put them where they should be. Don't suppose anyone's ever seen an idiot's guide for moving to Bulgaria - all in one book?!! I've read things about what you need to do but not really how you go about it!!! Many thanks. Ria x
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Postby nat2012 » Mon 12 Mar 2012 15:32 GMT

HI, Ria. I am Natasha. We are living in British Columbia. My husband is canadian, I am bulgarian and we plan on moving to Bulgaria later this year. I am from the city of Ruse in Northern Bulgaria and if you would like to ask me any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. My husband cannot speak bulgarian and we are looking forward to find him some english speaking friends.
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hello Ria

Postby eddy234 » Sun 12 Aug 2012 10:32 GMT

Hi Ria,

I live not far from you in North Wales I've been to Bulgaria now for over a decade and lived in Sofia for 4 years before I had to move back home. I intend to move back there soon to teach in the black sea area of Burgas or Varna.

I see your looking for a home to live in, I knew someone who is English and lives now in France who has a website with a house for sale in the middle of Bulgaria around Veliko Turnovo, called the [link removed by Site Admin]
check it out :)
Edd
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Postby clairegiles » Sat 15 Sep 2012 12:45 GMT

Ria123 hi, i was just wondering if any new updates since this was posted some time ago, did u ever move to Bulgaria, did u visit? did u manage to find a property?
Myself and Family with 5 children have so many questions like yourself. And just getting our head around it all, we are quite a young family but dont want the hassle of clubs etc, we just want the "Good Life" growing our own, chicken, lots of land etc. We are arranging a visit too, so long way to go yet before we decide what to do!!! thanks
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Postby christine91 » Mon 9 Sep 2013 12:04 GMT

Hi everyone My wife and I live in Turkey we have a 5 year lease, 2 years left on the lease. We would be interested in a long term rental lease in bulgaria but havent set our sites on a specific area. does anyone see a problem with leasing long term in Bulgaria. have been looking at areas that have been sugested on the forum and will continue to monitor. Info on long term lease would be helpfull. Thak you.
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Living Around VT.

Postby ukinbg » Wed 23 Oct 2013 10:23 GMT

Hi Ria and John,

Congratulations on contemplating your move to BG. I live south of VT and can say it's a beautiful part of the country to live with many pretty villages. Most of the older retired Bulgarian folks out in the villages live a somewhat self-sufficient lifestyle so that way of life is quite common here and there is no problem trading off goods and services in the small villages.

One word of caution though when selecting a property and that is to make sure you take a good drive around the area before purchasing so you can access the road conditions and accessibility for winter. Also check out the infrastructure - condition of the electrical supply lines as many villages have power outages due to old, outdated delivery equipment. Check out the water quality as well, especially if you have well water. It's a good idea too to make sure you are not to far from a large city as those long trips down country, potholed, roads can get very old after a while and very hard on anything other than a strong suspension jeep style vehicle.

Rural living is great here but the lack of amenities can be a problem and also the decaying infrastructure if the village is not thriving or growing.

Village living here is great though and I am sure you will find a great deal of pleasure by living the partly self-sufficient life style.

I wish you all the best of luck.

If you need any other advise please feel free to contact me.

Regards,

Ray (ukinbg@abv.bg)
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