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Bulgaria: Recce visit in March:

Hi Mark my partner and I have been her in the north in a good sized village with a town 7 minutes drive in 1 direction and a larger town 15 minutes in the other. We have an acre, pigs, chickens and grow much of our own produce. We're also renovating a huge pile. I write a blog which might be of interest www.gradishtedream.wordpress.com it'll give you a bit of a birds eye view of living here. July 2016 is probably the first post of when we moved permanently. Best of luck it's a fantastic country and an amazing journey

Bulgaria: Outstanding electric bill:

Your Notary should not be able to put the sale forward if there are any outstanding bills on the property - electric, water and house tax. Unless they show you the paid receipts do not move forward. Many people don't know that you can approach the Mayor and ask for the average price of a property in a village

Bulgaria: Mobile homes:

Hi, no you don't need planning permission unless you are putting down a permanent structure (foundations, brick etc) that is not already a footprint on your skitza (land registry document). However you can add structures that are wood/glass. It is also possible to have the footprint of such structures made footprints after 10 years. For a mobile home I'd suggest Holland. They are prohibitively expensive here

Bulgaria: Mice!:

My immediate thoughts are to check with other local expats living in the area to check on the security issues for part timers, if indeed any.. we are 18 months into a complete renovation. It is a Labour of love, an exercise in patience and evolutionary design. But we have control of integrity, strength and finance of the work. There are micropickets of thunderstorms and torrential downpours in summer that can be tricky to predict and devastating if for example the roof is off. But it has and continues to be a fabulous full time venture. If you are not builders then be very thorough in checking out, with knowledgeable, full time residents builders with a good reputation.get 3 quotes, references from their clients and pictures of work. There are standards in the UK that do not apply here so seeing work is imperative so that both parties are in agreement. If you will not be resident during the build arrange to pay in increments with photos/videos of work completed to date before releasing further funds. I don't think it is unfair to say that newbies are targeted by a few unscrupulous bad apples; ex pat and Bulgarian. Keep a sensible head on whilst enjoying the wonderous country this is

Bulgaria: rescue puppy:

Hi there, contact Ken Taggerty on Facebook. He regularly transports animals back and forth from BG-UK. This is his page link https://www.facebook.com/kenneth.taggerty

Bulgaria: Security / Crime:

Hi there I think security is the best option. We live in our wonderful village full time but we still have security - instant response and in house sensors which we pay for through a security firm. We have also installed a CCTV system which has options to be able to access footage via a smart device. Are we frightened in our village? Do we feel threatened? No! But as you so rightly pointed out ex pats can be seen as wealthy. The cost of the security via a firm cost (in the second year) 464 leva. We have never had to call them and apart from the dog setting off an alarm accidentally they have only attended once- within minutes and in force. We were sheepishly awaiting them. You would need a local contact with keys to your house and the alarm code should a break in happen. The stickers the firm use on gates/windows/doors prove a pretty effective deterrant as does a fake CCTV camera driven by batteries. We opted for the real thing. We don't spend hours poring over the cctv footage either but it is super handy when you're searching for your recalcitrant dogs late at night! Take the same measures you would if you were leaving your home in the UK(?) for an extended period of time and only returning for short breaks.

Bulgaria: Move to bulgaria:

Hi there My partner and I bought her in 2015 and moved in 2016. We choose a shell of a house with 2600m2 and paid £1800 for it. In 18 months we have completely renovated half of the shell and have just finished putting a new roof on the other half. As an earlier respondent stated it does mean that you will need to spend money but part of our dream was making a home to our own specification. And it has been amazing. My partner is extremely talented and has undertaken all of it with some help from some friends. In fact he has been so successful he is now beginning a company that is booked till next year! We bought another 1400m2 with a house for 1400 leva adjoining our property that is being converted to a workshop and space for more animals next year. We have pigs (one of which we have slaughtered and is in the freezer and feeding us nicely), chickens are coming, we have grown probably 80% of what we would have bought from the markets/supermarkets. And yes a lot of land is a lot of work because the weeds grow as quickly as the plants. But if you are prepared to evolve with this new life and take advice from the Bulgarians and the very sensible replies above it is a fantastic lifestyle. I write a blog that started when we bought, through selling in the UK, to moving here and up until now. It might provide you with a birdseye view of our journey which is similar to your own wants www.gradishtedream.wordpress.com

Bulgaria: The process of moving to Bulgraria and becoming a resident:

Hi Daniel The process is relatively easy. You must be resident in BG for 90 days before applying for a Lichna Karta (residency card). There are some differences from region to region in what is required but basically you will need your passport and your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) or private insurance, you will need evidence of your address (your Notary Act if you have bought a house or a rental agreement), a authorised or notarised statement from a Bulgarian bank with a set amount of money (in Pleven region it is 400 leva), and in my region your Bulstad number (an uniques tax identifier number which you should apply for once you have bought a home/company). You must also sign a declaration that you will not apply for state benefits. The EHIC card must be translated officially, all other documents were accepted in their original state. The Immigration office took the photo's required for the Lichna Karta. There was a fee for the Lichna Karta which has to be paid at a specific bank and for which a receipt must be received and handed to the Immigration Office. I can't remember exactly but it was approximately 50 leva or less. The process took a half day and then we were issued with a photo less Lichna Karta. We returned 1 month later and picked up the photo Lichna Karta. Probably the most important thing is that the Lichna Karta will be issued for a period that coincides with the shortest date of either your EHIC or your passport and to a maximum of 5 years. I would strongly recommend that you photocopy your completed application form so that you have the information for the next application. Also make sure that the spellings of your names in Bulgarian is the same on all your documents to avoid problems later on. Here is a link to an English version of what is required. If it doesn't open add yourself to the Facebook Group Living in Bulgaria and you will find the link in the files section to the left of the home page. https://lookaside.fbsbx.com/file/Residency%20Leaflet.pdf?token=AWyh_A31AUtslmNkZuodn6auvZSOJ6e5Ub79uaIyd62lBXPDND-

Bulgaria: beyond the initial 3 month tourist visa:

Hi, again! We were here for over a year before we applied for our Long Term Residency and this appears to be quite a common phenomena. As passports are no longer stamped between EU countries there is no immediate evidence as to when you arrived. We didn't do this purposefully we were A) busy hitting the ground running and B) fannying around worrying about a very easy process. It took a blow by blow account of the process posted by another ex pat applying for Long Term Residency that spurred us into action. If you do eventually decide to apply for long term residency (Lichna Karta) the expiry date of your passport and EHIC will determine the length of the Lichna Karta issued. So if you have, for example 8 years on your passport but 18 months on your EHIC card then the Lichna Karta will be issued for 18 months.

Bulgaria: Living rural as non Bulgarian-speaker:

Hi there, we moved to Bulgaria 18 months ago, to a rural village on the Pleven/Veliko Tarnovo border. I had a handful of Bulgarian words and my partner none. Google translate helped a lot in the beginning as did Google images! My partner especially has been slow to pick up the language but if he is stuck he gets Google images up and hands it over to the building yards etc he frequents to order goods. Our Bulgarian neighbours have been fantastic as have the shop keepers and villagers. Now that I have a better grasp of the language they tell me that they think the Brits in the village are lovely and that they are sad they can't communicate better with us. Of course there are moments when not being able to speak or understand can be super frustrating but they are few and far between. I listen to Bulgarian radio when I can as the repetition of words is quite high so I can pick up new phrases. What I would say is bring your white goods/electronics/sofas/cookware with you. For some reason they simply aren't of the same quality here. If you are a gardener or a renovator bring your tools too. I have yet to find an area that doesn't have ex pats somewhere and Facebook, if you are a user, has a fantastic number of Bulgaria related groups that are just a heaven sent resource and communication tool. Living in Bulgaria, The Pavlikeni Post, Expats in Bulgaria etc etc. All of these pages have links to other useful pages. Car boots are held and even Facebook pages such as BG Bay for the sale of used goods. Do not be put off by your neighbours in the early days popping around and talking Bulgarian at you. They desperately want to help you and it is wise to listen to their advice because believe you me they will make themselves understood. They will bring you gifts from their garden and Rakia endlessly. Accept them graciously. I have found that making a UK style cake as a thank you goes down very well. When we moved here having bought a year earlier we gifted our nearest neighbours (3) with a bottle of whisky and some chocolates. I stood us in good stead. As you settle in to life here your Bulgarian neighbours will stop popping around on such a regular basis once they feel sure you are managing. All in all it has been a fantastic experience thus far and we are looking forward to the rest of our life in this wonderful country

Bulgaria: Moving near Plevin:

Pleven is lovely, not too overrun with ex pats - yet. Good community feel, Lots of lovely villages a good road that runs from Sofia - Pleven - Ruse - Varna. Good hospitals both public and private. The city of Pleven has some great shops and restaurants and loads of DIY/Supermakets/Cafes etc. We've lived in Pleven on the Veliko Tarnovo border for 1 year and absolutely love it

Bulgaria: Newcomer:

Look out for a woman called Chenoa Errat - she lives in the area and is a font of information. You find her on most of the ex pat info Facebook pages

Bulgaria: We are looking to Purchase in either VT, Ruse or Yambol area:

Good morning I'd give Living in Bulgaria a try. Ask specifically for the areas you're interested in. They are a really helpful bunch https://www.facebook.com/groups/LivingInBulgaria/ We're on the VT/Pleven borders and loving every single minute of our new life. We've been her almost 1 year. If you put out a question it would be helpful if you state what type of property and lifestyle you're after - self sufficiency, renovation, better lifestyle for a lesser budget etc. It'll help you get more appropriate responses. Best of luck with it all!

Bulgaria: BULGARIA: COST OF LIVING (2016-2017):

Hi there I'm wondering why you have chosen to use Euros for this cost analysis when Euros are not used in Bulgaria? Also some of your costs seem abnormally high. We get superfast fibre optic broadband for 200 leva a year. Bulgarian healthcare 18 leva per person per month. And as a note shopping in Lidl is considered a luxury shop in comparison with using local produce from the local fresh food markets and supermarkets. It is important, for balance to post to post the various differences. For example in my locality it is possible to rent a large family village house for 200 leva a month. What I would say is that electricity in Bulgaria is expensive.

Bulgaria: thinking of moving to bulgaria:

Hi there we moved to Bulgaria 10 months ago and haven't regretted a moment. We bought a very cheap renovation project for £1,800 (yes that's right!) in the North Central plains in a good sized village. We now have pigs and are about to get chickens. We are growing most of our fruit and veg this year and have assimilated into the Bulgarian community. I did a little Bulgarian before I arrived via an online resource http://www.surfacelanguages.com/language/Bulgarian.html - terrible interface but really helpful. learning to read the alphabet is really helpful as Bulgarian is pronounced as it is spelled. and generally with emphasis on the first part of the word. To be absolutely honest I have managed fairly well but my partner hasn't. This hasn't stopped him from renovating the house or buying material. Google translate and images on his phone have been useful. I'm starting group Bulgarian lessons tomorrow 90 leva for 9 weeks of hour long lessons. I have also written a blog from the moment we bought (1 year before moving here) right through to now. It is a bit of a birds eye view. If you're interested it's at www.gradishtedream.wordpress.com If you are a Facebooker try the following pages https://www.facebook.com/groups/LivingInBulgaria/ or The Pavlikeni Post https://www.facebook.com/groups/254133881327908/ although this is a local group you'll find lots of useful links to other sites too. If you haven't already try RightMove Bulgaria all agents in all areas advertise properties on here with lots of useful information. Identify your needs and wants before you get here, whether you are the getting away from it all self sufficient type or living a better lifestyle for a smaller budget. There are places suitable for just about anything you want. If I can offer any other advice it would be "do it" it really is wonderful

Bulgaria: We are looking to Purchase:

Hi flying into Sofia will probably be cheaper. It's about a 3 hour drive/train journey to the borders of VT and a bit longer to the city. There is a healthy Brit presence in many villages - some more than others. There are a number of Facebook pages that ex pats use to network info, sell, swap etc. These pages area goldmine of information also a great platform to ask specific questions about specific areas. A few you might find useful are https://www.facebook.com/groups/LivingInBulgaria/ Living in Bulgaria https://www.facebook.com/groups/254133881327908/ The Pavlikeni Post https://www.facebook.com/groups/whatsoninbulgaria/ What Where When Bulgaria https://www.facebook.com/groups/221511321361412/ Veliko Tarnovo Expats group Within these groups you will find links to many other relevant sites. I write a bog about living here as do many ex pats - it might hold a more birds eye view of village life - www.gradishtedream.wordpress.com Good luck. We've been here almost 1 year and absolutely love it!

Bulgaria: Pleven:

Hi we live on the Pleven/Veliko Tarnovo border. About 40 mms drive to centre of Pleven from the Ruse direction

Bulgaria: Dodgy Transport Company:

There has been a sad conman doing the same UK-Bulgaria. I contacted Action Fraud, my local constabulary and Gloucester Constabulary, the area in which the remover held goods. I would be interested to know if this is the same man. Action Fraud took details of the case (we lost £7000 by the time we'd paid again ourselves to retrieve our goods) and gave me a reference number. I had hoped that other victims would also report but because the con man kept stringing them along with plausible excuses they were frightened if they reported they might lose their goods. Both constabularies originally declined to even give a crime ref number. I did some research and reported that the remover had fraudulently accepted money for a job he knew he was not going to carry out. In other words attempting to get your goods by deceit. I 1 person contacts action fraud and gets a reference number then if all 15 of you make a report linked to the original they might act. Btw this happened last year and a week ago I finally received a crime reference number from Gloucester Constabulary - seems now they've decided to investigate! I also stressed that the money transactions occurred out of UK bank accounts and in UK. PM me if I can help

Bulgaria: An international TV show looking for expats:

Hi there my partner and I upped and moved to Bulgaria 7 months ago. We've swapped Academia and the construction industry for a massive renovation, pigs, self sufficiency and the sheer joyous feeling of doing exactly what we have always wanted to do! I've been writing a blog since we made the decision to move over here. www.gradishtedream.wordpress.com Kind regards Corinne and Terry

Bulgaria: where to buy ?:

Oh that was a bit of a tease - you need to give us some parameters. What are you looking for - to disappear on the permaculture landscape - to get more for your buck - mountains, countryside, sea side. You can buy a house for as little as 2K leva as as much as 1000K Leva. Happy to help if you're looking at the cheaper end of the market and if you are up for renovating

Bulgaria: garvan silistra bulgaria:

Try this link for a photographic walk through of the village. Sorry don't know anyone there. Try a Facebook site such as bgbay buy sell swap in bulgaria - they have a discussion option that allows you to pose this kind of question. Pretty sure someone will reply in the area

Bulgaria: Teaching English:

Hi there there is an American College in Veliko Tarnovo that teaches in English. And there also language schools. There is also a healthy online demand for TOEFL

Bulgaria: Thoughts on moving to Vidin area:

Go for your dream! Vidin is near the Romanian border so it an easy drive in. There is some breathtaking countryside too. We are 6 months here and going off grid. Things I would consider. We're on the Pleven/Veliko Tarnovo border so in the Danubian Plains. We have not been able to drive on national roads for 2 days (government led) let alone our own village roads. It was minus 15 this morning and friends of ours have been 17 hours without electric and water as have many villages. If you guys are get up and go and ready for an adventure go for it. We haven't regretted it one single bit. It is a fantastic way to go off grid or self sufficient and the Bulgarians are so kind and helpful even if they love to stare! Rightmove Bulgaria has properties all over Bulgaria from many agents. Why not start there and then work in to local agents in areas you like? If you are Facebookers join the local Facebook page and get a feel for what other ex pats are saying about the area. Love them or hate them they are living here. Maybe Friends of Vratsa https://www.facebook.com/groups/1457094967909345/ Good luck!

Bulgaria: Building Materials Feedback:

Hi David We are 6 months in to a renovation of a part cob part stone/brick combo of older house and new barn extension. We listened to both locals and ex pat experiences. We are doing 90% of the work ourselves. What I will say is that what may be considered suitable in BG is not always what we understand it to mean. I would visit a similar home and check for yourself how successful the clay cavity blocks are for insulation. It is minus 15 as we speak. Will your builders be using insulation and how much? We have used EPS 10mm, breathable membrane and then rock wool under the plasterboard. We chose to recycle our existing roof tiles. We have been assured that the older clay tiles, in good condition are of a superior quality. We have yet to insulate and render the external shell of the building. We will use mesh netting, EPS polystyrene boards and specific holding screws. This will then be rendered, 2 coats. Our decisions were driven by cost effectiveness but overall never wanting to live in a cold house as we did in the UK. With the addition of double glazing we are satisfactorily heating half of an almost 280m2 house with 1 cast iron pechka (wood burner) no radiators or central heating. Insulation is king.

Bulgaria: best villages around the VT area:

Hi Kev The issue of gypsy villages keep rearing it's ugly head. There will be gypsies in every village. What you are looking for is a village in which there is equanimity between the Bulgarian, Gypsy and Turkish communities. There are villages that can be described as predominantly gypsy villages. Novo Varbovka springs to mind, Obedinene is another. However there are ex pats living in those villages very happily. We live next to the town of Levski, known to be home to the gypsy kings. Our village of Gradishte has about 6 couples who are permanent residents and another 3 who aren't. But we are a big village and yes there is a gypsy population. We have often left our Land Rover locked overnight, The front door to the house is always open and although our only dealings with the Bulgarian gypsies is if they stop by when selling something. Join The Pavlikeni Post on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/groups/254133881327908/ It is ex pat news for the villages around VT. You can ask if anyone is living in a village and get a first hand viewpoint. I've written a blog covering the finding, buying, selling in UK and moving here. It might be worth a read www.gradishtedream.wordpress.com It is a wonderful life


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