I've started this business, mainly advertising properties for sale in Voditsa, Bulgaria which is a great place to live!
I can't put it any better that Kathy, from www.stjamespark.biz, an excellent camp site in Voditsa. She says...
"we care about this village and are keen to encourage people to come and live here. So when you come and look at property, you can stay in a house in the village. We’ll sit down with you in my lovely garden, with a bottle of rakia and some delicious Bulgarian food and we’ll tell you what life is like here. We’ll show you the shops, including the secret shop (or maybe we’ll let you find that on your own), we’ll introduce you to the neighbours, we’ll show you nice places to walk and we’ll talk about the opportunities and potential in Voditsa."
"We also care about not cheating you. The way many agencies work is that they agree a price that the owner will receive, for example, 10,000leva, and then the property is is advterised and sold for 10,000euros. The buyer is actually paying half of the price to the agency as well as paying agency fees. The person selling the house has no idea what is happening and doesn’t have many other options to sell their property. The buyer, of course doesn’t speak Bulgarian and thinks that 10,000euros is cheap anyway."
"We are short of people but we’re not short of houses, opportunity or quality of life. Around 25 years ago, the population of this village was over 3000, now its about 600 and falling. But that doesn’t mean that this is an empty or dead village - far from it. There’s lots going on here but rural depopulation is a sad fact in most developing countries as young people move to the cities or other countries for employment. Its difficult for them to see the opportunities that are here, for example:..."
There is an outdoor swimming pool fed by mineral springs that is just waiting for someone to turn it into a great little business.
There’s an endless amount of beautiful wood - oak, pear, mulberry, walnut, acacia and more, waiting for someone to produce plates, bowls and furniture.
Hemp grows wild here - there is a huge worldwide market for organic hemp.
There is a growing demand for organic meat - especially beef.
The whole alternative therapy scene is just taking off.
There is a huge gap in the market when it comes to cheese-feta is lovely but something else as a change would be nice!
There are 2 empty school buildings in Voditsa and a threat that the school could close completely in a few years if the population drops more - an opportunity to open a new school - an international school? a Steiner school? no idea what the legal situation is about funding a school but…….
and so on……
"This is a lovely place to live and a great place for children - no polution, no traffic, wonderful countryside and of course, Bulgaria is an Objective 1 area as a new EU member. In the last 3 years, 8 people have bought houses here with the intention of living in the village. We’re all interested in living in a more sustainable way and the combination of local knowledge and traditional skills plus knowledge of alternative technology and new ideas, has so much potential."
Plenty opportunity and plenty of houses, We need more people. Back to the houses and the agency.
Generally speaking, there are two types of houses here - those older ones built of natural materials and those built in the last 30 years - usually of brick with cob mortar. Dont be put of by the work ‘cob’ - yes, its soil and grass, but looked after, it can last hundreds of years - consider the old Tudor houses in England. And what Bulgarians call the garden, is what other people would usually refer to as a field!
Houses mostly face south; they usually have a compound around the house and often wonderful barns and outhouses + they usually have between 1 and 3 decre of land - a decre is 1000 square metres.