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Help! I'm confused!

Discussion in 'Bulgaria Property' started by dalesop, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. dalesop

    dalesop New Member

    Hi Guys

    Been reading through loads of posts after having 2 conversations with different people who have totally opposite opinions on living in Bulgaria.

    One guy I was talking to said its great - lovely summers, cold but crisp winters - friendly people, low crime, good education etc etc.

    The other person I was speaking to said the total opposite and said that the crime is really bad and the education is awful, and we'd be better off loking elsewhere.

    We want to be able to buy a property in the countryside, and live mortgage free and operate a horse trekking centre for tourists to come and stay with us for a weekend or a week and go on lovely rides around the countryside.

    While one person is advising me that its an excellent idea and there's definately a market for that type of business, the other is saying that we would only be able to operate for a couple of months a year and our horses would find it hard to cope with the winters.

    We'd most probably look to move to the south east around Elhovo. Again, one person has said its lovely around there and another has said its terrible and the the 'witch' operates there?

    Both the people were really nice, and I believe just trying to advise me as best they can, but I'm utterly confused now!

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

    dalesop x
  2. propertastic

    propertastic New Member

    Normally I am no big fan of Bulgaria (Bankso and the Coast are terribly over-developed), but I think your idea is a great one and 'a little off the beaten track' Bulgaria would be a perfect location.

    In terms of specifics:

    Crime: The UK has one of the worst crime rates in Europe, but it makes a big difference as to whether you're talking the worst part of Merseyside or a little village in Somerset. I'm sure Bulgaria will be the same.

    Education: I probably agree with the doom-monger there. It will be hard to get a good education in the middle of the Bulgarian countryside.

    Climate: I can't find any figures for Elhovo, but you can see the monthly climate for Burgas (which is only 50 miles away) here: - Climate Statistics - Burgas, Bulgaria

    Hardly Arctic tundra, is it?

    The reason that I mention the Arctic is that I have a friend who is shortly to start doing what you are planning to do in the wilds of Latvia, which isn't that far from the fringes of the Arctic Circle. The horses have been through one winter where temperatures dropped to -25C and they're all still alive! You would need stables though.

    Horse riders seem to be a fanatical bunch - I reckon that you'd get a minimum of 6 months of business.

    When my friend told me of the demand for such holidays and the kind of money that could be charged, I was shocked. From memory, I seem to remember he was forecasting bringing in around GBP30,000 per year in revenue with very little in the way of overhead. I am certainly not a horse rider myself - you would have to pay me a lot of money to do it, so I was surprised at what kind of money they are paying for rather basic accommodation and to sit on a ferocious animal all day!

    Everyone knows how popular golf and skiing holidays are. I believe that the market for other types of activity holidays such as horse riding (and angling too) should be on the up-and-up in affordable locations which are easy for people to get to using the budget airlines.

    So I say, do it!

    But, please, please, please do a LOT of homework first. Look at a lot of properties too and invest in top-notch legal advice (my friend ended up buying a property with no right of way to it at all which caused him a lot of problems to fix).
  3. Jain and Chris

    Jain and Chris Senior Member

    Hello Dalesop

    Having been an endurance rider in Britain, I'm a big fan of anyone undertaking horse-riding holidays as a business.

    What breed of horses do you have? Or are you going to buy the horses here in Bulgaria?

    With regards to the Elhovo area; I don't know it really well but it depends upon what type of terrain you are looking for to do the horse-riding holidays. Some parts around there are really rather flat.

    Also, how much land are you looking for? It can be difficult to get hold of large plots here.

    I wouldn't worry about differing opinions, horses for courses if you'll pardon the pun. Our readers live all over the UK and all over Bulgaria, each likes their own area. The best thing to do is visit - have you been over yet? - and get around by yourself to check out where you like best.

    The south east is warmer in the winter than other parts but it still gets cold! My Arabs would have been happy with it but I'm not sure how well thoroughbreds would cope. Stabling is a definite must along with good quality indoor and outdoor rugs.

    Education - what age group are you wanting to find out about?

    Crime - crime rate is very low in Bulgaria. Even when we lived in downtown Sofia I would have happily walked our dog at 2am in the morning with no wories. Crime is generally petty things; you might get your handbag nicked - but you should have no concerns about violence.

    I think propertastic is right, this is a great country to do a venture like this. And I agree too, research, research, research and use an independent lawyer, not one the agent recommends.

    Good luck in your venture - if you need anything else just ask :)

  4. seamus

    seamus New Member

    what your doing is right but i think you need to be close sunnybeach or goldensands for tourist trade season 4 to5 months and horses and land is cheap i go to bulgaria 4 times ayear not a lot to do outside boat trips and beach
  5. propertastic

    propertastic New Member

    Easy access from international airports would be my number one consideration.
  6. dalesop

    dalesop New Member

    Hi guys

    thanks for all the advice

    We're planning on going out in February to do a rekky and look at properties etc and suitable areas to do our business.

    Of course we'll definately be researching thoroughly - this is the rest of our lives and our life savings going into this so we need to make sure its a viable option. The good thing is that we'll still be having a small income coming from Britain which we would be able to live on while we're setting up the business, and then will be able to support us during quieter times in the winter.

    We'll be bringing 2 horses over with us - one's a clydesdale x and the other's a shire x so they're both pretty hardy and don't need to be stabled in the UK (they will have to be in the winter in Bulgaria), and then we'll buy some Bulgarian Warmbloods when we move over.

    Thanks for the link propertastic - very helpful! And yes - we are a fanatical bunch! Personally I much prefer to be riding in cold crisp weather rather than hot & swealtery, but I am a little mad!

    As far as education - our son is nearly 2 and so won't be starting school for a few years. Maybe an international school would be an option? Or boarding school in the UK (I went to boarding school and turned out alright!!).

    I know that land is quite hard to come by, but our plan is to buy a place with about 4000 - 5000 sq metres of land to start with, and build stables, and then possibly buy some agricultural land in the village once we get over there. At the end of the day, if the horses are being ridden virtually every day, we don't need acres and acres of land for them to roam around in.

    Thanks for all your advice, and if anyone out there has any more info about the Elhovo area, please do let me know!!!

    dalesop x
  7. carol

    carol New Member

    hi dalesop,
    about your intentions to move to Elhovo and if you think you may need I can recommend you a good lawyer to advise you during the process (to make the necessary checkings, etc.) and to make sure that everything is in order when buying in Bulgaria.
    А friend of mine already had bad experience with a real estate agency in Elhovo (i won't mention any names here) and this lawyer help him and took care to make everything right. He is really helpful and well communicative. I personally used him for my purchase in Bulgaria and really think that he could save you a lot of headaches.

    If you wish i could forward you their contact details or the details of my friend for feedback.
    You could send me a PM or contact me via my e-mail in yahoo - carol.dough


    @ Mod - hope that it is better now
  8. Jain and Chris

    Jain and Chris Senior Member

    Carol, if there is something you can't say on open board, then it can only be to sell something. Let us know what your secret is
  9. DC

    DC Member

    It is probably all those things, but it is still cheap.
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