So the last thing nomadic people do is buy a dog, right?! Well, not only did we adopt a dog but we bought a house too!
Don’t worry though, this isn’t the end of our travels, far from it, but we decided the time was right (thanks Brexit!) to buy something we could use as a base.
Which countries did we consider?
About three years ago we started considering moving to the Canary Isles and buying a finca but we decided it would be too restrictive and isolating and so a plan to buy something was caste aside.
In the back of our minds when we travelled to a new country was the question ‘Can we live here?‘ and at various points over the last two years we have discussed whether we should buy or just carry on travelling.
Some of the countries we considered were: Portugal, Romania, Guatemala, Mexico, Spain, The Philippines, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Montenegro and Croatia.
Why those countries? Well, they needed to be warm, cheap, have lax planning conditions and possibly have a double taxation agreement with the UK or a very easy tax system to navigate.
The nightmare that is Brexit
I won’t go into too many details about Brexit but I think it’s a really, fucking stupid idea. The EU is in no way perfect but it is definitely in the UK’s best interests to remain part of it.
Now, because of our inept government and their complete inability to negotiate over the last two years, we (as British passport holders) have faced an enormous quandary. Do we risk everything on the hope that Brexit will die a painful death – WOOHOO – or do we have a back-up plan to protect us if the UK leaves the EU with no deal?
Over the last 6 months a no deal Brexit has been a serious possibility and with that in mind we started to really think about our kids’ futures and try and wangle some sort of EU residency permit & plan.
Why are you buying in Bulgaria?
A little while ago our youngest daughter said ‘I don’t want to travel anymore’. It transpired, much to my relief, that she actually LOVES travelling and she ADORES what we’re doing but she hates the flying and not spending long enough in places to make friends!!
So, why Bulgaria? Very simply, bang for buck we can get much more land than any other country and it’s pretty cheap to live there too. Our yearly council tax is roughly £15.
Yes, land! We have plans to grow fruit and veggies, have a fruit tree orchard, install a pool, build a yoga pod and see if we can get back to nature and find some of our roots.
We managed to buy a small two-bedroom house with four barns and outbuildings and roughly 3,000 sq/m of land. This will be the fourth house that we’ve renovated and we could see immediately that it had a huge amount of potential.
The house needs a lot of work. There isn’t anything that doesn’t need doing. Oh except the windows but every room needs total renovation.
We had already booked seven weeks in Croatia when the house purchase went through however we have managed to cancel one week so we can head back to Bulgaria to start renovating the house and pulling it all apart.
So, the big question. How much did it cost?
So far we’ve paid less than £11,000 for the house + land, agent, translator and the notary fees and taxes.
We estimate over time there’ll be about £30,000 worth of renovations.
These renovations include; a total re-wire; a septic tank installation; a wood fired furnace for water and heating; an internal staircase; new bathroom and kitchen; new floors and tiling; radiators… You name it and it probably needs doing.
At some point next year we’ll start renovating the barns into a large living space, a study and home-school room and the fourth barn will probably be a storage area.
A well is somewhere to be found in the garden and will probably need a pump and a house to make it safe. There’s lots of work.
What does a house get us?
A house gets us a European residency card, we remain EU citizens, another bank account (you can never have too many), a proper address and somewhere we can crash and chill in between travels. It will be the base our kids need to play with their toys, ride their bikes and hopefully make some friends.
Want to know how we did it?
Stay tuned for our next post on how we managed to buy this house and what the process is to buy in Bulgaria.
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Other posts on Bulgaria
See some of our other posts on Bulgaria