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Any permies in Bulgaria and Hungary?

 
Posts: 18
Location: Denmark/scandinavia
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Hi fellow permies. I´m currently living in Denmark but are eagerly looking at properties in both Hungary and Bulgaria. I now that I have to come visit the areas i´m interested in long term before making the final choice about where to settle. But... I've never been to either countries.
So i´m looking for some advice on land cost and the attitude towards foreigners (hungary in particular).
So what i´m a really looking for and why have I settle on those two countries?
The climate where I´ve looked seams just rigt as I would like to have hot summers and cold winters. Most properties I have looked at, has either running water or a well drilled and the cost of land with a small plot of land seems cheap to me. I´m not looking for alot of land nor do I need a huge home. So I guess somewhere between 2000 m2 and a hectare is enough. I´m looking at properties at max 20 k eur.
Would you recommend bulgaria or hungary?

Looking forward hearing from you- Simon
 
Posts: 5
Location: Bulgaria
home care personal care building
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Hi Simon

I've been living in Bulgaria for 4 onths anf just a week ago bought a property. Very cheap and very easy to buy.  It;s in the South West near Macedonia border. More about my place here Atmanna, Bulgaria

I dont know about Hungary, but a friend who also owns a place nearby says he also just bought a place in Hungary because it's cleaner and prettier.

Namaste
Atma
 
pollinator
Posts: 70
Location: Alekovo near Svishtov, Bulgaria
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  • We bought our first plot in Bulgaria in 2010... our second in 2012.... our third in 2014... they are all adjacent, located on the edge of a village of 500 families and we have one actual neighbour on one side of one of the plots.
  • We started building/renovating our house (the shell was on one of the plots) in 2012 and finished it in 2015
  • We moved here permanently in August 2015.
  • We are 20 minutes by bus from a well-heeled university / ex-port town of Svishtov on the Danube, and one hour from the old capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo.
  • The total cost of the 3 plots, each of which had a 60+ year old structure on them, was about 16,000 leva or 8,000 Euros and totals about 8,500 square meters.
  • We also have almost sole access to 2 hectares of common land that we access from our livestock yard, on which we free graze our birds, sheep, pigs and young horse.

  • A range of our regular "outside" MONTHLY COSTS (roughly):
    - Water: 15 Euros - we also have 3 wells
    - Electricity: 60 Euros
    - Mobile Telephone: 10 Euros
    - Internet: 11 Euros
    - Petrol/LPG for pickup: 40 Euros
    - Public Health Insurance: 30 Euros total for 3 Adults
    - Vehicle/Road Tax: about 15 Euros
    - 3rd Party Vehicle Insurance (any driver): 18 Euros
    - House Rates (municipal residency tax for things like refuse, etc): 15 Euros

    We have survived 3 months at -20C or colder, 6 months of 27C summers, grass fires, crop failures, bird wipeout by pine martens, been completely locked in (unable to leave the property cos of the depth of snow) for 8 days, and most recently been forced to cull our breeding pigs due to African Swine Fever sweeping through Romania and Bulgaria, and I have also lost the use of one foot due to diabetic neuropathy in the past 2 months which has radically changed how we plan for and do work around the place.

    We had no previous livestock or growing experience having lived the preceding 30 years in the Middle East.  We have learned, practiced and gained experience in breeding, raising and selling pigs in our village economy; buying and raising sheep and goats for the freezer; breeding Indian Runner ducks, chickens and geese.  We have had to learn how to slaughter, dress and process all the livestock; plant and grow fodder crops so we now grow 70% of our annual livestock feed stuff; we are 100% self sufficient in meat products and maybe 70% self sufficient in vegetable production. We frequently barter meat for productive labour from village people, and also with other expats for things that we want but can't make or find for ourselves.

    We are not "puritan permies" but we use no chemical additives or enhancements or poisons or fertilizers on our soil and crops; we do not use chemical or pharma on our livestock and birds unless they require antibiotics as a result of an urgent or emergency situation or injury - they are not routinely dosed up like commercially raised critters.  We only use non-chemical home grown/made/mixed worming treatments for all our animals. Our large mammals free-range 100% and our birds free-range from dawn to dusk.

    Our Bulgarian experience has been humbling, mind-blowing, exhausting, hilarious and never are there two days the same.  We are 3, and there are 2 other expats now in the village. We participate in ll the village functions, events, dances (!!!) meals (!!!) community help schemes, winter leaf collection (we take ALL the leaves from the park and cemetery for mulch), putting out fires, we give away all our excess vegetable products, only employ village people for our projects.

    Best of luck on your decision making... only one piece of advice - don't evangelize your "permie" or "eco" ideas.... many of our village friends are 70+ years old and have been manually working the land and raising their own livestock and vegetables for over 60 years.  We simply allow our friends and neighbours to see what we do and how we do it, listen gracefully to the advice that is freely given... and let their experience, humility, humour and hard work soak into our lives - completely to our personal, practical and spiritual benefit.

    Below are some random pictures from the past few years to illustrate our wonderful, challenging, exhausting, exhilarating, extraordinary life!!!
    P1100595.JPG
    [Thumbnail for P1100595.JPG]
    Our house... renovated from a house and storage outbuildings
    P1100620.JPG
    [Thumbnail for P1100620.JPG]
    Stacked corn/maize for winter feed for pigs and sheep and also livestock bedding
    P1100701.JPG
    [Thumbnail for P1100701.JPG]
    The three of us with one of our heavily pregnant 300+kg sows
    P1100693.JPG
    [Thumbnail for P1100693.JPG]
    Visitng friend from the UK checking out the recently renovated barn
    20190731_173016.jpg
    [Thumbnail for 20190731_173016.jpg]
    Wifey with our 400kg boar who just wanted petting
    20180329_110047.jpg
    [Thumbnail for 20180329_110047.jpg]
    Son in law and grandson helping grandma take the sheep for a walk around the village
    20190128_143255.jpg
    [Thumbnail for 20190128_143255.jpg]
    Our son with his first full slaughter... a 354kg breeding sow too big for the boar... en route to freezerland
    20180503_193348.jpg
    [Thumbnail for 20180503_193348.jpg]
    Heavy duty mulching courtesy of a friend who manages a dairy farm... this is spoiled straw from 300kg round bales
    20180504_192756.jpg
    [Thumbnail for 20180504_192756.jpg]
    One of our raised hugel-beds
    20190201_150114.jpg
    [Thumbnail for 20190201_150114.jpg]
    Produce!! processed, weighed, packed, ready for the freezer
    20190422_163116.jpg
    [Thumbnail for 20190422_163116.jpg]
    Our new colt (now gelding) with the Paulownia skeletons ready to break into leaf.
    IMG_7189.jpg
    [Thumbnail for IMG_7189.jpg]
    Our boar Jack, in deep snow.... he slept in his own snow hole without a shelter for 2 months
    IMG-20180116-WA0027.jpg
    [Thumbnail for IMG-20180116-WA0027.jpg]
    Back of the house from our front gate - a mild day in winter
    IMG_3468.jpg
    [Thumbnail for IMG_3468.jpg]
    An approaching storm
    promises_2017_58.jpg
    [Thumbnail for promises_2017_58.jpg]
    promises_2017_54.jpg
    [Thumbnail for promises_2017_54.jpg]
    Just one of my favourite pictures of our house, by our son Toby
    promises_2017_41.jpg
    [Thumbnail for promises_2017_41.jpg]
    promises_2017_72.jpg
    [Thumbnail for promises_2017_72.jpg]
    Our joy has been raising pigs... hopefully next year we can start again after the African Swine Fever plague
     
    Simon Flygare
    Posts: 18
    Location: Denmark/scandinavia
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    Peter Adams wrote:Hi Simon

    I've been living in Bulgaria for 4 onths anf just a week ago bought a property. Very cheap and very easy to buy.  It;s in the South West near Macedonia border. More about my place here Atmanna, Bulgaria

    I dont know about Hungary, but a friend who also owns a place nearby says he also just bought a place in Hungary because it's cleaner and prettier.

    Namaste
    Atma



    Hi Peter thanks for the response. Since I wrote the post I´ve visited Hungary, but it was Budapest so unfortunately I haven't seen the hungarian countryside. But Hungary is cheap by scandinavian standards, and people seems to be overall very open and friendly to foreigners, but it could very well be because it was the capital?

    Hungary seems nice and cheap but for what I can tell there's not many larger forested areas although there's a small part of the carpathians in the northern part close to border with Slovakia. I´m a keen mushroom forager  so more wooded areas would be a plus but not what i'm making my final decision on. I'm planning on a revisit to Hungary in the summer and a first time visit to Bulgaria hopefully having the time to go through both the northern and southern parts of the country. How dry are the summers usually in the area where you are?

    Thanks in advance - Simon    

     
     
    Simon Flygare
    Posts: 18
    Location: Denmark/scandinavia
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    Nick Truscott wrote:

  • We bought our first plot in Bulgaria in 2010... our second in 2012.... our third in 2014... they are all adjacent, located on the edge of a village of 500 families and we have one actual neighbour on one side of one of the plots.
  • We started building/renovating our house (the shell was on one of the plots) in 2012 and finished it in 2015
  • We moved here permanently in August 2015.
  • We are 20 minutes by bus from a well-heeled university / ex-port town of Svishtov on the Danube, and one hour from the old capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo.
  • The total cost of the 3 plots, each of which had a 60+ year old structure on them, was about 16,000 leva or 8,000 Euros and totals about 8,500 square meters.
  • We also have almost sole access to 2 hectares of common land that we access from our livestock yard, on which we free graze our birds, sheep, pigs and young horse.

  • A range of our regular "outside" MONTHLY COSTS (roughly):
    - Water: 15 Euros - we also have 3 wells
    - Electricity: 60 Euros
    - Mobile Telephone: 10 Euros
    - Internet: 11 Euros
    - Petrol/LPG for pickup: 40 Euros
    - Public Health Insurance: 30 Euros total for 3 Adults
    - Vehicle/Road Tax: about 15 Euros
    - 3rd Party Vehicle Insurance (any driver): 18 Euros
    - House Rates (municipal residency tax for things like refuse, etc): 15 Euros

    We have survived 3 months at -20C or colder, 6 months of 27C summers, grass fires, crop failures, bird wipeout by pine martens, been completely locked in (unable to leave the property cos of the depth of snow) for 8 days, and most recently been forced to cull our breeding pigs due to African Swine Fever sweeping through Romania and Bulgaria, and I have also lost the use of one foot due to diabetic neuropathy in the past 2 months which has radically changed how we plan for and do work around the place.

    We had no previous livestock or growing experience having lived the preceding 30 years in the Middle East.  We have learned, practiced and gained experience in breeding, raising and selling pigs in our village economy; buying and raising sheep and goats for the freezer; breeding Indian Runner ducks, chickens and geese.  We have had to learn how to slaughter, dress and process all the livestock; plant and grow fodder crops so we now grow 70% of our annual livestock feed stuff; we are 100% self sufficient in meat products and maybe 70% self sufficient in vegetable production. We frequently barter meat for productive labour from village people, and also with other expats for things that we want but can't make or find for ourselves.

    We are not "puritan permies" but we use no chemical additives or enhancements or poisons or fertilizers on our soil and crops; we do not use chemical or pharma on our livestock and birds unless they require antibiotics as a result of an urgent or emergency situation or injury - they are not routinely dosed up like commercially raised critters.  We only use non-chemical home grown/made/mixed worming treatments for all our animals. Our large mammals free-range 100% and our birds free-range from dawn to dusk.

    Our Bulgarian experience has been humbling, mind-blowing, exhausting, hilarious and never are there two days the same.  We are 3, and there are 2 other expats now in the village. We participate in ll the village functions, events, dances (!!!) meals (!!!) community help schemes, winter leaf collection (we take ALL the leaves from the park and cemetery for mulch), putting out fires, we give away all our excess vegetable products, only employ village people for our projects.

    Best of luck on your decision making... only one piece of advice - don't evangelize your "permie" or "eco" ideas.... many of our village friends are 70+ years old and have been manually working the land and raising their own livestock and vegetables for over 60 years.  We simply allow our friends and neighbours to see what we do and how we do it, listen gracefully to the advice that is freely given... and let their experience, humility, humour and hard work soak into our lives - completely to our personal, practical and spiritual benefit.

    Below are some random pictures from the past few years to illustrate our wonderful, challenging, exhausting, exhilarating, extraordinary life!!!



    Hi Nick sorry for my late response to your post, but thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge with me. I found the breakdown of costs you did really enlightening and helpful to gain an insight of how much it takes to sustain that type of lifestyle in Bulgaria. It sounds like there exist a great community around your village and I enjoyed reading how tasks are done together as a village and how project employment is kept to the people of the village.
    Thanks for the advice on not evangelizing my permie ideas, I definitely know what you mean and I keep that i mind.

    Looking online it seems a bit like real estate in the north are cheaper, not much but still a bit. Do you know if that's true? But it also looks like there's more listings online from the north so it might be because of that

    Thanks again - Simon      
     
    Nick Truscott
    pollinator
    Posts: 70
    Location: Alekovo near Svishtov, Bulgaria
    34
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    I don't follow the housing markets at all - we have what we want and need!!  I imagine the Northern Central region has cheaper properties as it is poorer economically.  The Black Sea coast is popular for some immigrant foreigners, but it is definitely more expensive over there, more touristy - but if that floats your boat then good.

    We both wish you the very very best of luck on your journey!!
     
    Peter Adams
    Posts: 5
    Location: Bulgaria
    home care personal care building
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    Simon Flygare wrote:

    Peter Adams wrote:Hi Simon

    I've been living in Bulgaria for 4 onths anf just a week ago bought a property. Very cheap and very easy to buy.  It;s in the South West near Macedonia border. More about my place here Atmanna, Bulgaria

    I dont know about Hungary, but a friend who also owns a place nearby says he also just bought a place in Hungary because it's cleaner and prettier.

    Namaste
    Atma



    Hi Peter thanks for the response. Since I wrote the post I´ve visited Hungary, but it was Budapest so unfortunately I haven't seen the hungarian countryside. But Hungary is cheap by scandinavian standards, and people seems to be overall very open and friendly to foreigners, but it could very well be because it was the capital?

    Hungary seems nice and cheap but for what I can tell there's not many larger forested areas although there's a small part of the carpathians in the northern part close to border with Slovakia. I´m a keen mushroom forager  so more wooded areas would be a plus but not what i'm making my final decision on. I'm planning on a revisit to Hungary in the summer and a first time visit to Bulgaria hopefully having the time to go through both the northern and southern parts of the country. How dry are the summers usually in the area where you are?

    Thanks in advance - Simon    

     



    Hi Simon. Sorry for the very late reply. I guess I don't get notifications for replies. I will look into that.

    I'm near Kyustendil, very close to Macedonia border, with wooded areas all around. Summers are quite dry but still some rain sometimes, like for the last couple if days in early August! But also some sun, I squeezed a bike ride in this afternoon for a couple of hours and the rain held off.

    If it's not too late and you're still around you can come visit. There are several abandoned properties nearby!
     
    Simon Flygare
    Posts: 18
    Location: Denmark/scandinavia
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    Hi peter. Sounds like a great place you have found. I never made the trip down to Bulgaria unfortunately. It was my plan all along to visit the country but then covid-19 popped up, and I couldn't travel and now I dont have the time at the moment . But thanks for your very kind offer Peter. Do you know if it usually is hard to track down the owners of abandoned properties where you are?
     
    Peter Adams
    Posts: 5
    Location: Bulgaria
    home care personal care building
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    Well, i'm not sure. Hopefully the mayor can give details of the owners so it should be easy enough. These things do tend to take time though.
     
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