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Old Sep 4th 2017, 5:44 pm   #1
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Default RELOCATING TO BULGARIA..ADVICE WANTED!

Hi folks,

I'm after a bit of advice please. My partner and I are looking to relocate from UK to Bulgaria with our 3 kids aged 17, 14 and 6. Reasons for Bulgaria is obviously cost of property living costs. The plan is to buy a run down property with some land, renovate it, have a small orchard and allotment for fruit and veg and have some chickens and goats for eggs and milk. We are looking to live in a village but close to a town for things like schools, entertainment for the older kids etc. We are looking at villages close to targavishte and also veliko tarnovo. This is completely new to us, we don't speak Bulgarian but I'm sure we will learn while over there. I do have a few (alot) of questions that I'm hoping some of you that have made the transition may be able to answer..here goes..
•Over here we have council tax as an added bill to a property..if we buy outright in Bulgaria apart from the usual electric, water bill etc.are there any added property charges?
•what are the car charges over there..obviously we have MOT yearly, car tax and insurance?
• can we buy and drive a car over there on our British license? Would you recommend driving our own cars over or buying there?
• i understand healthcare is charged over there, is it best to take out medical insurance over there?
• what happens to household refuse over there..do they have binmen?
• are the villages hooked up to a sewage system for toilets etc...if not then whats the options for waste?
• does anyone have any knowledge of Targavishte or veliko tornovo...do they have fast food places like Mcds, KFC (kids question), supermarkets where i can do weekly shop with hopefully some brands i may recognise etc?
• are there any English speaking schools in those towns and is education free or will we need to pay for schooling?

Any advice welcomed especially if you have relocated with children in tow.

Thanks for reading xx
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Old Oct 29th 2017, 7:50 pm   #2
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Default Re: RELOCATING TO BULGARIA..ADVICE WANTED!

Hi there,

First of all let me congratulate you on what sounds like an excellent decision - moving to a country with great weather and nature, which will allow you to have a better, healthier quality of life for you and your family!

I am originally from Bulgaria, but have not been living there for the past 10 years, so my information is incomplete or out of date, but maybe some bits of it will be useful to you, so here it is to the best of my knowledge:

Re:
You can find tax information in the National Revenue Agency website:
I can't post links in the forum yet, so please Google for:
nap.bg/en

Re:
Here are some guidelines for car taxes:
I can't post links in the forum yet, so please Google for:
europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/vehicles/registration/taxes/bulgaria/index_en.htm

Re:
I think you should be ok with you UK driving licence in Bulgaria, at least until Brexit I guess. You might want to research if you have to exchange it after a certain period:
I can't post links in the forum yet, so please Google for:
rac.co.uk/drive/travel/country/bulgaria/

Re:
Re health care and health insurance, here is the Bulgarian equivalent of the NHS - NHIF, you can start form there:
I can't post links in the forum yet, so please Google for:
en.nhif.bg/

Re:
Re household refuse:
As far as I know you have to take out your own household to the community bins and then they get collected by bin men. Schedule and community bin location will vary with location and property type. You can probably ask this when viewing properties.

Re:
As far as I know most villages are hooked up to a sewage system, again this will depend on the property and is something you can probably ask this when viewing properties.

Re:
Targovishte and Veliko Turnovo are both beautiful and picturesque cities, especially Veliko Turnovo with it's medieval fortress, with friendly folks and great healthy nature. They will each have some form of super markets but most importantly will have local groceries with fresh fruit, veg, meat & fish. Might not have McD and KFC but will have the Bulgarian equivalent of pub food which in my opinion is more delicious and healthier.

Re:
I am not too familiar with the schools, but education is free. For an English speaking school you might have to look into a private school which will not be free.

Some additional info:
I can't post links in the forum yet, so please Google for:
expatexchange.com/ctryguide/4933/26/Bulgaria/Expats-in-Bulgaria-10-Tips-for-Living-in-Bulgaria

Hope this helps!

Thanks,
mintdeminted
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Old Oct 29th 2017, 9:13 pm   #3
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Default Re: RELOCATING TO BULGARIA..ADVICE WANTED!

I lived in Bulgaria from 1991 to 2008. In Shumen which is quite close to Turgovishte.
have you visited Bulgaria ? Are you aware of the cultural and ethnic mix there ? Turgovishte, Razgrad and Shiumen are in an area that has a strong ethnic Turkish presence. Villages are either Turkish and Muslim or Bulgarian and Christian

happy to answer questions by PM

Most villages do not have sewage systems and you will have either a cesspit or a septic tank.

The tax payable on your property is DANUK KUSHTA ("House Tax"). Payable to local authority and usually a fairly small amount.

Education is compulsory and is Bulgarian-medium. There is to my knowledge one private school in Veliko Turnovo offering some instruction in English. International schools are located in Sofia. Fees are pitched at the families of diplomats etc.

Last edited by scot47; Oct 29th 2017 at 9:50 pm.
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Old Oct 29th 2017, 11:08 pm   #4
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Default Re: RELOCATING TO BULGARIA..ADVICE WANTED!

https://www.yantrahomes.co.uk/en/school-in-vt

Note that education is compulsory until the age of 16. Homeschooling is not encouraged by the authorities. Education is through the Bulgarian language. Your younger children will probably cope with that. Not sure about the 17-year-old.

Veliko Tiurnovo has this place -
http://www.ac-arcus.com/?mod=info&pa...w=tuition_fees

Last edited by scot47; Oct 29th 2017 at 11:18 pm.
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Old Oct 30th 2017, 6:22 am   #5
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Default Re: RELOCATING TO BULGARIA..ADVICE WANTED!

Veliko Turnovo is a university town and has good opportunities for formal courses in Bulgarian. For those who have already learned a foreign language, Bulgarian is not a great challenge. The Cyrillic alphabet is not such a great hurdle. Of all the Slavonic languages, Bulgaria is probably the easiest. Grammar is much simpler than Polish or Russian.The vocabulary has borrowed many words from French and German. In more recent times English has given many loan words.

I would say that acquiring a reasonable level of spoken and written Bulgarian is important for success as a newcomer.

Last edited by scot47; Oct 30th 2017 at 6:57 am.
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 3:18 pm   #6
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Default Re: RELOCATING TO BULGARIA..ADVICE WANTED!

I lived in Sofia for years and Veliko Turnovo was my second favourite city in Bulgaria. I would imagine it is a great place to raise children as city is very calm and full of legal staff a teenager can do

Housing :
I am not sure if you already have a place where you will be staying, but I believe it will not be a problem to find a suitable one - people prefer having foreigners, especially if you find a local who speaks English. As far as I know sewage system is in place in every city and town, but I am sure that this is the case for Veliko Tarnovo, so no concerns there. On your questions for the trash bins - there are public bins that every household uses - the municipality is in charge of managing those. Taxes in the country are low. The tax you pay for your home depends on the house/apartment's price, but not the one the market suggests it should have, but a much lower price that the municipality deems appropriate for the place (I know, it is strange). You should expect less than 200 Bulgarian lev per year for property tax.

Car
You can keep the UK registration, but if you plan to stay longer it is worth making a local registration for it. You have 3 expenses related to owning a car - I owned a Mini Cooper and expenses for it added up to 700 Leva per year for all insurances (mine had Bulgarian registration).

Healthcare
Healthcare is free, but it is worth having health insurance - it covers a lot and let's be honest - if you can be sure of something is that at least one person will get sick while you are there. Hospitals are a little frustrating, so I would suggest go with a Bulgarian speaking friend.

Restaurants and shops
You will love the Bulgarian dishes, so you will quickly forget about KFC, but YES they have them all there as well. There is no Tesco, but there are plenty of big grocery stores that work until 10PM, so you will have no issues with that. As the city is comparatively large it is fill of good restaurants and bars - drink LOTS of wine - it is good.

Education
It is free, as provided already. There are plenty of private schools that teach all subjects in English and a few public who do offer that as well (First English Language School in Sofia is such an example). Still, learning the language will be a great advantage, as Veliko Tarnovo does not provide the opportunities Sofia does for expats - less people speak English and it is mainly the young people that do. Finding work there will be more challenging for sure (that is why I went with Sofia). Good luck - I had a blast in Bulgaria and I hope you like it as well.
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