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Village Homes Bulgaria - Part 2

After part one of our article Village Homes Bulgaria - all about buying a property and living in a Bulgarian village, with all the idyllic advantages for doing so, part two is time to take a look at the disadvantages. Is living the life in village homes Bulgaria heaven or not? 

Probably the first disadvantage of living in village homes Bulgaria is the lack of work opportunities, if you need to work for a living. This would mean travelling to the nearest large town for a job. However, most foreigners settling in a village will most likely have a source of income to support themselves, so this may not be a worry.

The blissful image of the family sat in front of the log fire could simply be because the rest of the house was freezing. Central heating is pretty much unknown in Bulgaria outside the capital, Sofia and major cities and unless you have a huge log burner which will feed some radiators, you are likely to want to shut off parts of your house during the winter months. Muddy trips to the log store to bring in more logs can easily become a bit too much!

The sometimes frequent power failures can also get on your nerves. There is little worse than having a roast in the oven (electric) when the power goes off. Candles can only do so much.

But possibly the worst is the lack of numbers. There is not a lot of people to socialize with and you see the same old faces time and time again. How often can you talk to the same person about the price of bread or eggs? Or listen to other expats in your village complaining how dreadful Bulgarian bureaucracy is? In a village you can often be stuck with the same people and you may not get on with them really well, having nothing that much in common. In the main, you'll likely find yourself just being polite - and this you definitely have to do. With so few people about, gossip can be rife. Not many places to go and not much to do, you don't need to make any enemies. Upsetting a neighbour is not a smart move as you'll always be running into them - so, take your pick, don't do it, or failing that you'll have to choose between burying the hatchet or looking right through them every time your paths cross. Of course, those in the village you choose to have friends will soon mark whose camp you are in. So, even if you have never personally done anything against anyone, there will be people who are for you and those who are against, just because of who you mix with.

If you are in a tourist town, be prepared. Spring is so welcome after winter, but summer? Suddenly your village can be packed with tourists, coaches and cars. All the restaurants which you so enjoyed in winter are full and not a spare table to be seen. Queues in the shops abound.

In some of the smaller villages there is relative poverty. The population live hand to mouth and much is based around small agriculture. This may seem a beautifully simple way of life but it is significantly harder. If you turn up in such a village with an overseas pension, you'll probably be the wealthiest person in your village. Don't be surprised then that the locals will see this instantly and you'll be hounded by them knocking at your door for work or for doing odd jobs around the garden or house. As a 'rich' westerner you have a euro sign on your head!

Part One Village Homes Bulgaria