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Bulgaria - Hot Property on Wheels!

Like many who are tempted by Bulgaria’s hot property market, there is plenty to tempt you even after you have made your purchase.  Despite a poor European economy – particularly in the UK – there is still the every possibility of you embarking upon your Bulgarian property dream with plenty of surplus cash!

 

Hey Big Spender!

It might sound like a clichéd sales pitch, but most people who relocate find that their surplus cash from the equity in their UK home will afford some of those luxuries that most can only dream of in their home country. Naturally your luxury purchase will depend on the location of your home or second home.  This is where the highly lucrative and buoyant leisure market is prospering.  Whether you love the mountains or the lure of the ocean, there are many ways to cash in on your hard work and start to spend on some serious leisure.  

Motor homes, speed boats, jet skis and hot tubs are big business in emerging European countries, where ex pats have high disposable income and plenty of leisure time.  Bulgaria is a case in point; its mixed landscape of coastal regions, craggy mountain ranges and popular holiday destinations in neighbouring countries.

Escaping the Rat Race

Andre Klaus and his British wife Pauline left a three-bedroom semi on the outskirts of England’s second city, Birmingham at the right time in spring 2007.  The property’s location had grown in to its own as Edgbaston had evolved into a café society type area for those who wanted close city links, but with rural access on their doorstep.  Andre was tired of life in the city and sold their home for a staggering GBP 435,000.  “We had both chosen Bulgaria as our dream destination, I was approaching retirement, but Andre, who is 10 years younger, was heading for executive burnout,” says Pauline.  “We had friends in Sofia and we had also been regular visitors to Bulgaria’s Black Sea resorts”.

Life in the Sun

With only a fraction of their budget spent on an off-plan purchase in the centre of  Sofia, Andre and Pauline  had plenty to splurge on their Black Sea Villa near Bourgas.  Andre says, “We had made the acquaintance of a real estate agent in Bourgas and he had told us of the great savings we can make by buying at this end of the coast.  This meant that we could achieve a large house, much bigger than anything we had planned to buy in, say, Varna”.  They were introduced to a British builder, via their agent, who had restored a 6 bedroom, three bathroom villa in Kiten.  The builder was close to completing this home when funds ran out.  “We made a deal there and then and had a lot of input into how we wanted our dream home to take shape”, says Pauline.  With their dream home completed – and on budget thanks to their savvy agent’s negotiations - Andre and Pauline were living the high life.  “We loved being near the coast and Andre discovered a hidden talent for speed boating and sea fishing, I loved to top up my tan after years in the dreary Midlands” says Pauline.  

Andre and Pauline settled in remarkably quickly, Andre had an outdoors upbringing in Holzkirchen, Southern Germany and relished the free time he was denied in Britain.  “I was worried too much about all the small, expensive things that my colleagues and neighbours were buying.  Pauline was used to this culture, but I had simple tastes.  We bought our home in Edgbaston for GBP48,000 in 1983 and we were fortunate enough to inherit the money to ease our financial commitments,” says Andre. He continues, “I had grown up with summer camping holidays with my family on the Chiemsee lake and my parents would often take us away for weekends and holidays.”

City Cravings

With so much spare time and a personal involvement in completing their dream home, Andre and Pauline found that their Balkan bolt hole in Sofia was completed and sitting empty.  Their friends were on hand to find tenants to take a long-term lease leaving Andre and his wife a generous 700 Euros additional rental income on top of Pauline’s pension.  “We still missed Sofia, even though we’d never even slept in our apartment,” says Pauline. She longed for city breaks and without the apartment restricting them, they were able to look for other solutions to their newfound wanderlust.  “It was Pieter, a friend of ours in Bourgas who sold us the idea of a motor home.  We had spent many hours discussing where and what to buy, that a motor home seemed a brilliant compromise”, say Pauline.  She continues, “Andre had grown up with this lifestyle and needed no persuading, but I didn’t fancy the confined spaces and compromising my own little luxuries, like my en-suite and Jacuzzi”.

New Wheels

With the help of Pieter, who was quick to welcome new converts to motor home life, they borrowed his motor home (and six-berth Hymer) and headed from Germany to secure their own piece of home on the road.  Andre says: Germany has always been known for the best prices when it comes to well cared for motor homes, even in Bulgaria this is a fact.  Being native German, I was able to agree a good price and complete all paperwork.  Upon return we headed straight to Sofia and spent time with our friends in the Vitosha Mountains, which meant that Pauline could enjoy the city life she had grown up with”.

The couple could now venture off on a road trip at a moments notice.  Pauline took to motor caravanning instantly and racked up high miles in a very short time. “Andre is the navigator and I just love looking at the scenery.  We’ve made loads of friends and we often take them at their word if they’ve been somewhere nice,” she says. “We invariably run into them at some other spot and we share our experiences.  The motor home has given the couple a new lease of life and given them the opportunity to get to know Bulgaria in great detail; Pauline has the last word, “Would I believe we would be doing this five years ago when I was teaching? Never” she says with a laugh!