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 For those living in rural areas

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Equinus
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PostSubject: For those living in rural areas   Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:49 pm

Hi Everyone living in Bulgaria

Me and the OH are pretty much frazzled after a weekend of Googling :Searching:and thought now is the time to ask a few questions. They will be posted on separate topics to avoid generalisation so please bear with us.

As discussed we want to look into moving out to Bulgaria, pretty much as early retirement and looking into trying to go as self sufficient as possible in a rural area. Understandably a country the size of Bulgaria is very diverse in what it can offer. We want to look at buying in a rural location with a few Brits around, but not in a totally expat community. Part of the reason for considering moving is to obtain a slower and quieter pace of life which Bulgaria seems to offer and being avid naturalists Bulgaria still has many unspoilt areas which we can explore and enjoy.

We are hoping to come out in September and are still checking out areas, but maybe you guys could give us some background upon the area where you live and what made you buy property in that area.

Don't worry we will not be knocking on your door, but what with Bulgaria being over 42,000sq miles in size it is all a little mind boggling.
PM if you prefer.


Many thanks

Equinus

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tonyb60
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PostSubject: Re: For those living in rural areas   Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:29 pm

As stated before by Chris (I think) each area in Bulgaria is different. You have mountain locations beit towards the Ski resorts or maybe towards Montana. VT Stara Zagora, Yambol down to the Black Sea resorts etc. Each is a matter of taste and cost of course. We live near the City of Yambol, in a relatively small village, enjoying what Village life gives. Most houses in the Villages have enormous gardens and most Bulgarians produce enough Fruit and Veg to last from summer through the next winter. By rearing Chickens they also have enough to freeze once dispatched again to last. One or two pigs also come into the equation and again are frozen. If you do not fancy doing the deed there will no doubt be plenty of locals that would help you out.

To truly answer your question the answer will always be the same and that is you must look around and decide for yourself. g

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Chris
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PostSubject: Re: For those living in rural areas   Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:19 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
As stated before by Chris (I think) each area in Bulgaria is different.

It was indeed me Tony! g

However, as it's quite relevant to this topic, I'll post it again here:

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[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:

1) Research areas - you guys advice would be helpful here and totally understand what one person may like is not what another likes.
2) Look at properties on the market
3) Learn basic language
4) Visit Bulgaria and look at a few properties
5) Ask more questions

That's a good starting list!

Without visiting the country, the actual choice of area will be difficult. Bulgaria is a land of vast contrasts and this could decide the region in which you live (rugged coasts, wide open plains, stunning mountains, etc.).

As you intend to live a small-holding and self-sufficient life, I would personally advise you ignore the coast (far too expensive) and anywhere in close proximity to a major city / airport (Sofia, Burgas, Varna ... for same reasons!) and opt for somewhere in one of the 'lusher and fertile' growing regions of Bulgaria.

For instance, around the town of Sliven (head directly inland from Bourgas airport towards Sofia and you'll hit it) the countryside is believed to have the best soil for growing (which could be quite important to you!). Hence this area is the biggest producer in Bulgaria of fruit and vegetables (by the way, if you're ever on the Bourgas to Sofia main road and pass near Sliven, every lay-by will have fresh fruit and vegetable sellers ... the quality of the produce is fabulous).

This region is also far enough inland to offer much better value properties.

However, it's a really difficult (and of course personal) choice, so a visit to as many regions as possible should be undertaken prior to deciding on your final area.

My wife and I lived in the capital Sofia for several years until we decided on our final choice. We chose the mountain town of Kotel as the town and property matched our rather lengthy criteria (enclosed grounds for the dog, historic 'listed' property, walking distance to shops, bars, restaurants market, etc., and surrounded by open countryside and mountains).

Keep adding criteria to your own list and turn down any property that doesn't match (there will be plenty more available).

Good luck with your search and I hope you keep us all posted.
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Equinus
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PostSubject: Re: For those living in rural areas   Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:38 pm

Many thanks TonyB60 &
Chris for your comments.

The thread was not asking for recommendations as such, but was a generalised question wondering why people were drawn to various areas as we will be coming out in the Autumn to have a look round and it would be nice to know what areas have to offer so we can plan our recce.

Many thanks

Equinus

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beautifulangel
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PostSubject: Re: For those living in rural areas   Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:55 pm

hiya, we have a house in the yambol region andpersonally I love the area. Especially round elhovo. However we actually live in trastika which is near razgrad. we moved here for buisness purposes and I would recommend the area. itsa short drive to ruse and the bridge which isalways useful. theres several small cities for shopping. quite a lot of tourist attractions within a short drive and a varied landscape. there is a big brit community in palmista and a few dotted around the villages in the area. we have found most of the locals are very welcoming and helpful and very keen to advise on farming and animal care. hope you enjoy your trip.

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PostSubject: Re: For those living in rural areas   Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:00 pm

You also need to take into account what type of scenery you prefer.....yes villages can be pretty but personally I like to see rolling hills and a wide variety of plant life so the flatter parts of Bulgaria weren't an option for us (we did look though).

Space was also an issue as we wanted more than the average half acre garden to keep animals and be able to provide hay for them and vegetables for us organically without the added hassle of having to try and rent other small parcels of land for grazing etc. So being on the edge of a pretty and still lively village with 20,000 m2 of land is what we went for and we love it.
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BGTRAVELLER
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PostSubject: Re: For those living in rural areas   Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:24 pm

Location is the most important thing when considering a property.
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Equinus
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PostSubject: Re: For those living in rural areas   Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:09 pm

Definitely. There have to be trees about and as Suzee says, not flat. We would also like more than the usual 1000 to 1500 square metres offered, so that we can keep some animals. I know in some European countries it is their way to keep their animals in dusty little pens, but that is one area that we would like to do things our way. Not sure if funds would stretch to enough land to make hay though, unfortunately. We are also keen on wildlife, so somewhere with plenty in the vicinity would be nice.

We are starting to get an idea of some of the areas, you tube is very handy. And this site too. We would like to decide which general area we would like to explore before coming out in May, don't want to waste time looking in the wrong area for us. This move is something we have wanted to do for years, just hadn't settled on which country. I just wish we had got ourselves in gear before the housing market over here got so bad. We have been getting reassuraces for three years from Government and estate agents that things will pick up very soon, but every year that goes by we shave more off what we are asking for our house. Getting to the stage now where we will drastically reduce it just so we can move on before we get too old and move into rented accommodation where we can save more to make up the short fall to pay for actually moving.

Such a lot to think about.

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PostSubject: Re: For those living in rural areas   Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:05 am

We live near Sandanski in a village. Although we didn't plan on living in this area of Bulgaria in the beginning. We chose this area as it warmer here.We have been here 5 years this year and we have never been snowed in with everything frozen. We are 2 hours from Sofia, 40 minutes from Blagoevgrad, and about 30 mins from Kulata the Greek Border crossing. I don't think Sandanski is one of the cheapest places for property etc. as the Greeks and Russians are buying property here. The Greeks come over for the weekend or for the day as things are cheaper here,We are at the bottom of the Pirin mountains,and not that far from Bansko if you like sking.
People in Bulgaria are very hospitable, and we have found this wherever we have been in the country. We went with what felt right for us. It was like finding a house we liked a few but chose ours because it felt right. We hope you find what you are looking for.
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PostSubject: Re: For those living in rural areas   Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:19 pm

If you like mountain views our area just south of VT in central Bulgaria takes some beating. Our property has the usual 1,500 land plot but there is the same again adjacent to us with a ruin on it which is for sale very cheap. The views are unbeatable in my opinion and you can guess - we are selling for personal reasons and in no rush. Besides our village, the villages beyond on the way to VT (only 23kms away on good roads) are all worth a visit. For more information on this region and what it offers PM me if you are interested.
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PostSubject: Re: For those living in rural areas   Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:09 pm

Plovdiv is an area which most people seem to overlook or ignore and I don't know why this is. I've been here six years now and find it totally to my taste. It sits at the base of the Rhodope mountains and is surrounded by villages and small towns, most of which are really charming. One could choose to live in the foothills, in the city or further out on the rolling plains. I have the best of both worlds because I have two large apartments in town [Plovdiv] because of the children at school, and I have around 2500 acres of land with a very nice house, about 35 kms away just at the base of the mountains [very big hills really], where the soil is very fertile. We live on the country property during school breaks [like now] and only move back into town when the kids are in school. From here we can go fishing, walking, mountain biking or just biking normally. Plovdiv is just about half way to everything in Bulgaria..the coast, Sofia, Greek border, Romanian border and all points in between are just a couple of hours drive away. We have an international airport, the national rail system runs through here and it is also the centre of the hub for local rail networks. The city has at least seven universities, including the biggest agricultural research uni in the country, and many schools and high schools. There are many hospitals, ranging from the typical 'I wouldn't take my dog there' type, up to a couple of excellent and modern 'western style' facilities.

On an historical note, the city is also one of the oldest in all of Europe [older than Troy] and has had three names or maybe more. The 'old' part of the city is very, very interesting and a great place to lose yourself for a day.

Hope you found this interesting.
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Equinus
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PostSubject: Re: For those living in rural areas   Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:14 pm

Thanks Oldun, we will certainly be looking in the areas surrounding VT, and also further north, and will be asking more pointed questions as soon as we have some interest in the house (or we come out in spring). It's hard not to get too involved with plans, as without a house sale we cannot make the move. Having already packed up ready to move twice, we have learned not to make plans too early.

bgbazz, we have also touched on Plovdiv, and would be looking for rural so will probably pick your brains too.

Meanwhile, we will digest and store all the valuable information so kindly offered on this site. And no doubt ask many more questions. We are starting to get to know who is who now, and who lives where.

Mrs Eq...trying to be patient!

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PostSubject: Re: For those living in rural areas   Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:28 pm

Your questions and those of your good lady, are welcome at any time. I'm here, smelling the fresh air, hearing the chickens cackle and generally enjoying the good life...just like you will be, one day soon.

g
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Equinus
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PostSubject: Re: For those living in rural areas   Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:23 pm

bgbazz wrote:
Your questions and those of your good lady, are welcome at any time. I'm here, smelling the fresh air, hearing the chickens cackle and generally enjoying the good life...just like you will be, one day soon.

g


Well, we already have some hens, bless them. We got them when our house sale was thwarted, and couldn't wait any longer for an allotment. Must say I didn't realise what charming creatures they are to have around.....despite constantly having to pick up the poo so loved by our two dogs, it's a fight to see who can get to it first. It will be nice to have enough space for the chooks to have a good sized run instead of our whole garden (except the veggie plot) We have someone who will home them for us if/when we make the move.
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The dogs are great with them.
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PostSubject: Re: For those living in rural areas   Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:57 pm

We are on the Yambol /Burgas regions border. We love the country side here - and love being just an hour away from Burgas with it's malls, shops, huge range of recreational facilities, the airport and of course all the great resorts and beaches on the Black sea coast. We enjoy being able to travel to the coast and back in one day if we want to. Also the weather is a bit more gentle than the mountainous regions. In summer it does not get as hot as (just an example) the VT region - In winter we get less snow (although still loads at times!!!) and probably around 5 degree higher temperatures.

There is quite a large expat community in this area - some villages have more ex-pats than others, depends what your preference is - ours has no other full-time Brits.

Best of luck with discovering Bulgaria!
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