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Trev62
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PostSubject: Terminology   Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:04 pm

Well, after our recent trip to Bulgaria house hunting I thought I would share a few explanations of some Estate Agents and Private Sellers terminology:

Fully Modernized Kitchen – Half the units fitted, door colours may vary and work surfaces set at different heights, electric sockets placed on wall but oops, no electric in the kitchen yet so none will work!!

Modern Bathroom – Fully tiled yes but shower unit, sink, bath, heated towel rail all optional extras.

Heating to all rooms – All chimneys taken out / blocked off, air conditioners put in, oh dear, installed on inside walls with pipes hidden in cupboards and left hanging over empty paint containers, empty as and when required!

New Extension (needs finishing) with patio doors opening on to garden – Extension parting company with main building causing floor to sink and ceiling to collapse.

Lovely outside BBQ / Summer Kitchen area – the inside corner of two garden walls covered in ivy and brambles, but use your imagination…………………

New septic tank fitted– located higher than the property, sewerage pipes linked to the main sewer that runs through the village, catch is, there is no mains sewer in this particular village!

You live and learn and it all makes you smile, happy house hunting to everyone in 2013!!!
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Equinus
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PostSubject: Re: Terminology   Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:57 pm

Sounds like fun! We are on our way out in a couple of months, and to be honest I am worried we might miss something. We are drawing up a list of checks to make, and more posts like your's would help the likes of us, in case we forget anything.

Did you use an agent or just go out and look for properties while you were there? Is there anything you thing newbies like us might need to know? Mr Eq is at this moment composing a thread on these worries.

Mrs Eq

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starlite
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PostSubject: Re: Terminology   Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:30 pm

im sorry, that is so funny to read. [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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oddball
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PostSubject: Re: Terminology   Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:37 pm

What is it they say!! Oh yes, Welcome to Bulgaria

Sincerely hope you sort it all out - it is a learning curve for you too. Good luck

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cheekychops
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PostSubject: Re: Terminology   Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:43 am

I can't see what the problem is here This is Bulgaria I know its not funny but just couldn't resist
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itchyfeet
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PostSubject: Re: Terminology   Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:00 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Sounds like fun! We are on our way out in a couple of months, and to be honest I am worried we might miss something. We are drawing up a list of checks to make, and more posts like your's would help the likes of us, in case we forget anything.

Did you use an agent or just go out and look for properties while you were there? Is there anything you thing newbies like us might need to know? Mr Eq is at this moment composing a thread on these worries.

Mrs Eq

Living in your newly acquired property in the Winter is an experience not to be forgotten. Our house had not been lived in for a minimum of 6 years and once it rains with any strength water starts to appear from anywhere! The house was like a sieve because of the lack of putty on the windows and any wind outside blew throughout the house from room to room. Putty on the windows also appears to be an optional extra, our house had no more than a few inches of putty on any window, also some panes were made up of three of four pieces of glass. Guttering is also important because there is no mains outlet and so rain water cascades off the roofs in whatever direction the few remaining pieces of guttering send it, usually on me as I walk past underneath!!

Cement around hip tiles also appears to be an optional extra, hip tiles start to slip down the terrain of the ridge and finally get stuck on the pieces of metal at the bottom, these are placed there to prevent the tiles from finally falling on you. However, these also have a habit of also falling off which may present a problem, a ridge tile dent in your head is no fun.

Lead flashing is non existent over here and pieces of tin are placed as a compromise, after so many years the tin gets bent broken and of course goes rusty and can cause problems around chimneys, we had a chimney removed and this proved to be another experience and here is the story:

Taking down a chimney that has been built with the house many years ago would not really present much of a problem to most people.  But this is our house we are talking about and this is Bulgaria and so our newly appointed workman John and his team arrive in readiness for this momentous occasion and guess what . . . the chimney has a bees nest in it!!  Now in an ordinary neighbourhood this would present a huge problem, but no, this is Paskalevets a tiny village nestled in the far outback of Bulgaria and we have a bee keeper that lives near us.  John naturally panics with these things as they start wizzing around his neck whilst he is perched high up on the roof and so do his two workmen who have only come to take the chimney down, after all they didn't expect this when they got out of bed to start the day.  A quick visit to the Bee Keepers house and within minutes he is in the car being taken to our house to bring what would have been a tumultuous day into some form of order.  Once arrived at our house a long gaze is given to the chimney with a few dozen bees buzzing around it and his hands descend into his tool kit to get things going.

First thing out was his hat with a long gauze which he puts on and tucks into his shirt, next thing is his puffer, this is not an ordinary puffer, it has to be lit with something so that it smokes a lot!!  Some paper and a couple of eaten corn on the cobs are produced and put into the wretched thing, within minutes smoke is puffing out all over the place with the bee keeper squeezing the bellows on the back of this intricate looking machine.  Having got the puffer smoking nicely he climbed up two sets of ladders to reach the chimney and the now active bees who were wondering what the hell was going on while they were trying to deliver their goods to the queen bee while Mr Bee Keeper was up there watching them.

The Bee Keeper settled himself behind the chimney and proceeded to remove each brick by hand which was easy because they were all loose. To our horror he wasn't wearing gloves or socks and his skin was exposed for the nasties to have a sting if they so required, but he was enjoying himself with a big smile on his face and proceeded to remove the bricks until he got near the bottom.  At this point two or three hundred bees appeared and were buzzing around his head quite peturbed at what was going on and at this point the two workers who were catching the bricks he was throwing to him put out an urgent appeal for gloves and some coats to wear although it was 25C in the shade!!  The Bee Keeper had now really got to the bottom of the chimney and was always looking for the queen bee, who, incidentally was worth money to him and in one slow but careful movement removed the queen and put here in a bucket together with 3 or 4 hundred bees that were keen to protect her.   A few more bricks were removed together with some honeycomb and that was the job done. he climbed down the ladders and proceeded to show us the spoils of the few hours work, there in this bucket was hundreds of the stingey things, but they were happy thankfully to stay there and leave us alone.

John and his team returned to the roof and replaced the chimney with tiles and all was well with a nice roof now covered completely with tiles and no nasty chimney that had been leaking water when it rained.  In all. it was an interesting day for all of us, especially as we kept our feet firmly on the ground for a quick getaway into the house if the bees showed any nastiness.  I am sure we could have written another episode for the Darling Buds of May with all this happening, my own Catherine Zeeta was plying everyone with Coke and Coffee while the chimney was being removed and everybody had a good day.


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oldun
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PostSubject: Re: Terminology   Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:17 pm

Brilliant topic Trev. Yes you know what I was talking about in another topic called 'headache' I think. This is what I meant by downright lies which is really funny when you have bought and survived everything but I can appreciate it must sound horrendous to our friend who's still looking.
Actually, our house has no guttering but is surrounded by deep cement troughs where the rain/snow falls or drips so there is no problem. The garden too has slopes to help divert water that would otherwise run under the house. We live in an 1800s property and have left it largely alone except for having the downstairs dug out and modernised. The loft keeps the warmth or cold in depending on the season. We still have an original chimney although a local man has cemented them and made them secure without demolishing entirely and the lovely traditional chimney would still work but it is in our 'museum'!' We only need the large downstairs space with the woodburning and very efficient stove.
The same local man secured some of the original tiles instead of replacing the whole roof which would destroy the look of the property. In fact, I doubt there are many properties old or new that won't have a few leaks and drips in the winter but these are easily coped with. Remember buckets and bowls and of course, a good old piece of plastic. Much cheaper options.
To be honest, I'm not sure that an original Bulgarian house (not a ruin maybe) would be a better buy than a not very good renovation as mentioned by Trev.
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justbazz1
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PostSubject: Re: Terminology   Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:27 pm

This all makes very interesting reading as some of it is quite amusing, some sad and some quite bizarre. I agree with the property description/speak, but I know of some agents in the UK who could match them..most of it can be taken with a grain of salt! Leaking roof tiles are part and parcel of a Bulgarian house, given the quality of the tiles themselves..it's really hard to find two that look alike or even share the same dimensions and the clay used to make them was often of a very dubious quality. When I reroofed my rather large country house, I had to buy an extra 1000 or so, just to give me a reasonable chance of getting it right..I still have a pile of 'reject' tiles stacked in one of the barns, to be used in an emergency. Pointing, or cementing the ridgecap tiles and hip tiles is a must, but is so easy to do, my kids helped do it. One of the best products I've used is called 'Isomat'..it comes in various grades, usually prefixed with the letter AK, followed by a number ie 27 or so. It's usually used as floor tile adhesive, but is very, very strong in the sticking department and if you get the grade which is recommended for sub-zero, icy conditions, you will not have any problems..no more bumps on the head!! g My capping and pointing has withstood minus 25 degrees and wind speeds above 60mph for over four years without a problem thus far.

Proper guttering is a must, particularly if your house is built on a flat area which allows no rapid run off. Guttering, downpipes and flashing is reasonably cheap and easy to install..I primed and painted all of mine before I fitted it, then gave it all it's final dress coat of paint a couple of days later and it still looks good. Don't be tempted to use lead flashing as certain members of the community can smell that stuff from 5 miles away and will feel that it's their duty to remove it. (to save you the trouble of taking it to the scrap yard of course).

Windows are another thing..my place had the afore mentioned, multi pane, sans putty, wooden framed windows from hell, so I bit the bullet and fitted double glazed PVC windows and frames..a dozen in all, supplied and fitted by a very cheerful bunch of blokes..25 yr warranty, claimed on twice with no bother.

My post is getting too long, so will pause here, but ready to answer any questions that may arise.

Cheers
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oldun
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PostSubject: Re: Terminology   Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:53 pm

More good advice. Those wooden windows though can be restored, repainted and replaced and be very useful for heat/cold conservation. As for agent speak - our village varies from 18 to 25 kms from VT. Easier and more honest to mention that Mindya is a 20minute drive (Englishstyle - faster if Bulgarian) using the direct route via the main road and 3/4 of an hour by village bus going through the villages en route. I think we are 23kms from VT but who is counting.
Our village school closed a couple of years ago and we no longer have an orphanage so some agents are well out of date and obviously use a non-updated search engine! How lazy can they get?
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justbazz1
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PostSubject: Re: Terminology   Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:59 pm

Just a very small thing..if you want to have wooden framed, efficient windows, these are available in single, double or triple glaze versions. I recycled my old wooden frames and formed shelf supports and braces out of them.
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