A Real Family Home
Recently attention has turned from investment and buy-to-let in Bulgaria to the traditional purpose for a property; that of a family home for holidays or permanent living. When you buy a Bulgarian property as a family home it may be the biggest financial investment you have ever made. The future value of the property will play a part in the life of your family for years to come.
The key to finding the right home for your family is knowing inside yourself what you really want.
Most people typically set off with a list of requirements for their Bulgarian property:
What they know they want - must have
What they think they want - should have
What they don't care much either way about - could have
What they know they don't want - won't have
Unfortunately, what most people have on these lists doesn't always match up with what they really want in their hearts!
Sometimes this can be down to the fact that they cannot factually express what they want; being unable to clearly calculate how many flights of stairs they could manage for example. Other times, and more often, it is because they almost dare not say what they are really thinking, as if they worry that people will think less of them for thinking that way.
There are so many criteria which people don't like to say right out but it is critically important when searching for a home for your family that these thoughts are said out loud.
Often on the property list are things such as three bedrooms, detached, garden, etc.. However, people are really much more likely to be thinking, "I want a place where the neighbours respect where we live. If they see litter on the ground, they pick it up because they feel ownership. I want to live in a place where I don't have to be ashamed to say, 'I live here.' I want my neighbours and I to be peers and for them not to look at my car and go, 'Who does he think he is?' I want my wife and kids to feel important. I want to be able to carry on a meaningful educated conversation with the people living around me." Yet, these are things which people never say when they are looking for their family home but they are actually what they really need in their minds and hearts.
Status is a very sensitive subject. People do want to be held in high regard and respected but often fear that by saying they want this, others will think less of them. People can be judged on where they live and if status is important to you, then that should be on your must haves.
For many families, having neighbours who take pride in their property and the surroundings is important. Not many family home-owners are happy with neighbours who leave litter lying around or have drunken fights at night. Who wants to live in a town / village which is languishing or going downhill?
When on your viewing trips, look at the neighbouring houses, see if there is litter all around - does the area look as if it is moving upmarket? For a family home you will also want to be able to relate to the neighbours. Are they of similar age? If you've got kids with a huge home movie system with massive speakers, will you be happy living amongst neighbours who are all retired?
Schools are an important consideration if you have children and are moving permanently to the country. Usually, properties which are in an area with known good schools hold their price well. These locations are usually the last ones to decline and the first to appreciate. If you have children of school age, you could buy in a less expensive area and let the kids commute to the school; you'll get more house for your money.
There are always trade offs which have to be made but why spend your hard-earned money on something you don't need or want. It takes a lot of self reflection to make sure you have your real priorities clear to get the family home you truly want and will be happy with for years to come.