We wanted to create a blog to answer the one big question each one of you must be asking as you begin your journey here :
Why choose us?
What sets us apart from anyone else?
How can you trust us?
We created Alternative Living Bulgaria to invite like minded people to this beautiful part of the world we now call home.
After hearing so many horror stories, looking through so many lies on selling sites and learning the hard way ourselves how difficult it can be to relocate in a new country, we realised a way to help.
There are always a few people in this world looking to fool another. We have heard stories of people buying a beautiful house online, only to arrive and it already be occupied by a family, or that view you fell in love with is actually facing a dump. The village may be very run down with a lot of social problems facing it, and they may not be open or they may be suspicious of why you have moved in. With no knowledge of the legal system, no understanding of the language and no idea where to start, it's no wonder people will give up on their dream and return home.
Another common problem can be buying a cheap house and believing that this is the end of your journey. We get many people contacting us with a particular budget, and expecting, after looking online at other areas, to match a similar house in our area that is ready to move into. There's a lot of information out there, telling you that the house you are buying is a great deal and that you can move right in, that the village is good and friendly. However, these may be sold by estate agents or people who have no prior knowledge of the village, or may not have seen the house or village in several years. There is a big difference between the areas of Bulgaria, it is a large country and the prices of houses reflect those areas. it is so important to know exactly what you want before committing.
So how do we avoid these problems?
Our main strength is that we sell what we know.
Each house we put up on our books has been visited by us, walked round, photographed, and video taken, for us to look back on later. We have visited the village, the mayor, and spent time in the shops and bars getting a feel for the village. We have met the owners of the house, we have seen the legal paperwork for the house, and we always give these to our solicitor as soon as someone registers interest in the house for her to legally check. Everything is open and transparent between us, you, the house owners and the village. We do not set the price with the house owners, they do. We will advise if we feel they are not giving the right price, but the decision lies with them. If we do not feel it is a fair price, we do not sell their house for them. Our fee is always included in the house price offered to you, and we are open with what that fee includes, and why it is there. We do the same with our solicitor, to the best of our ability, and if anything is to change and be more or less expensive than quoted, you will be aware before anything is signed. Some villages can be more expensive to live in than others, due to many factors, such as wealth, population and amenities/nearness to town. We believe in being fair to the house owners, to our solicitor, and to you, creating a relaxed and trusted atmosphere between all parties.
It is so important to know the village. You may prefer a sleepy village with a local shop and a bar, you may prefer a more vibrant village with a school and many shops. You may want somewhere near town, you may want other expats/foreigners living in the village already. We can find the right village for you, not just the right house.
One of the more obvious reasons to trust us is because we sell around the area we live in. We like to maintain a relationship if mutually wanted after the sale, as we truly believe in creating a strong community of like minded people to join. We would not want to have people who feel they have been taken for a ride, or fooled. After all, this is our dream life too!
We always try to meet you before showing you the houses. We like to have a relaxed few hours, over a drink or dinner, somewhere local where we can get to know each other a bit and get a feel for who the other is and the area. We also know by meeting you, whether or not our houses will be suited for you, and we would never lie, knowing you were going to be unhappy if we were worried we didn't have what was requested. We believe it's important for you to meet us, to know a little about our life and our vision, and for us to know about you and your vision.
Our own experience:
We were lucky to already know some people out here before we came. It gave us the opportunity to look round and select our village and house with a bit of local knowledge on our side. But it was still a gamble, and fortunately, it paid off for us as far as our village and house were concerned. We had quite a struggle and have had some bad experiences with finding local tradesmen to do work, this has happened more than once - we struggled with the legalities and the know how at first as we struggled with the language.
After getting to grips with the language, befriending an amazing solicitor, speaking to local mayors, understanding this countries legal system and learning the most trustworthy tradesmen, we knew we could offer an unbeatable service to those seeking the same goals as us.
The main thing that sets us apart from other estate agents ( we almost cringe at the title ) is this :
We do not only sell houses! We care, we’re always honest and we handle everything from start to finish creating a relaxed atmosphere you can feel comfortable in when buying your dream home and life.
This website was set up in the hope that you would have gained enough knowledge about us and the service we offer before committing to your flights, through photos, prices, FAQs and blogs. However, we are still very open to video chats and many conversations through whichever form you prefer before you even make the leap to come across to Bulgaria. We are here for you :)