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Young family considering a move to Lake Balaton area - advice very welcome indeed

Young family considering a move to Lake Balaton area - advice very welcome indeed

Old May 11th 2010, 6:55 am
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Default Young family considering a move to Lake Balaton area - advice very welcome indeed

Hi all
my family and I are after some advice please.
We are considering moving to the area for a number of reason and are wondering where to start.
A little bit about us and our reasons may help -
I am Nick (37) and have worked in IT for around 12 years, the last 30 months or so for the University of Birmingham (Medical School), my partner Michelle (37) who has worked in Insurance since leaving school and our bright little girl Amelia (3) who works at everything flat out
Our main reasons for leaving the Uk for pastures new.
1) We have about £25k-30k capital but that doesn't really go anywhere with respect to property in the UK and I want to put down roots in a very old fasioned way for our little girl.
2) Our country is slowly becoming a place that leaves us feeling unsafe on a personal level.
3) Quality of life is something that only happens here after all the work / bill commitments have been met.
4) Education and social infrastructure for our little girl - the Hungarian education in particular appeals.

We are keen to be mortgage free if possible and work either in our current fields or something new.
We have at present no Hungarian although are making a slow start on this seeing this as a requisite not only for integrating into a new culture but also more than 93% of the population speaking it.
We have read up on the health system, education, property and citizenship a little.
We plan to visit in September as a way to get an initial feel for the region (although I realise it is huge with almost 60 towns etc surrounding the Lake) and also hopefully view some properties.
I have read some of the posts on here and am keen to avoid as many pitfalls as possible should we relocate.
For example - it seems an idea to sell our cars in the UK and also buy lefthand drive in the UK (cheaper?) and pay import tax when bringing them in to Hungary?. Also we have wondered whether to spend 10-15k on a property and another 10-15k on renovation or wheterht o buy a ready to live in house?
I've just noticed the length of this post so will stop here - hopefully it wil evolve.
Many thanks
Nick, Michelle and Amelia.

Last edited by npwilkes; May 11th 2010 at 7:04 am.
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Old May 11th 2010, 6:57 pm
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Default Re: Young family considering a move to Lake Balaton area - advice very welcome indeed

I guess what we'd like to know -
what should we expect for our money
which areas should we focus on
what are the employment prospects
how are we likely to be received
what are the pitfals

thanks
nick
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Old May 11th 2010, 8:48 pm
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Default Re: Young family considering a move to Lake Balaton area - advice very welcome indeed

hi

well the area depends on you do you want city life or out in the sticks. or something in between. there is so much choice.
to work you really need hungarian and they say it is the hardest language to learn. if you could learn in the uk that would be better but there are classes over here and a few sites on the internet. yes you can find houses for 25k but might need some renovation it depends which area you choose.
employment is not good at the moment, but most of the young brits we know have started up their own business, and seam to be getting along quite well.
if you want village life make sure the village has aschool as they start early morning and the last thing you want in the winter is driving you child several k to get her to school and home again.
you will be received very well as the hungarians love the brits.
crime in the country is very low except in the major cities.
education as far as we can see is to a high standard.

most towns and even villages now have there own web site so look through as many as you can to narrow you options for houses.
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Old May 11th 2010, 9:25 pm
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Default Re: Young family considering a move to Lake Balaton area - advice very welcome indeed

Hi thanks for the reply, ideally a small town or largish village with a bit of infrastructure really. From what I've read the north and south shores differ quite a bit?
The language should have progressed by the time we visit in September and our aim to move is 2011 although we may buy a property well before then.
I did wonder about setting up a small IT consulting business as it seems to be a skill in demand.
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Old May 11th 2010, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: Young family considering a move to Lake Balaton area - advice very welcome indeed

hi
yas they do as the north side was once volcanic so lots of national parks. but fab countryside and good walks. access to the lake if i am correct is at big towns and strands (bathing beaches). where the south side is more built up with access to the lake can be found at all built up areas. the south side has the M7 which goes from budapest to croata.
IT in the last 5/7 years has come on in leaps and bounds but i cant advise you about anything on that as i am an idiot when it comes to anything like that.

it you read the rest of the hungary topics on learning hungarian i think it was country someone who put an address up for learning hungarian on your pc. well i went into it and i must admit it is very very good i am sure it will help you.
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Old May 12th 2010, 12:11 am
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Default Re: Young family considering a move to Lake Balaton area - advice very welcome indeed

I've now registered on livemocha :-) many thanks for that
I'm gussing that one of the smaller towns on the south side would be what we're aiming for.
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Old May 12th 2010, 5:45 am
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Default Re: Young family considering a move to Lake Balaton area - advice very welcome indeed

Hi npwilkes and welcome to the forum.

Personally, we preferred buying a cheap property and renovating so that we could ensure the quality of the renovation. We know of several renovated properties which have sold for £30-40,000 but been of a poor quality with dampness and cracks reappearing soon after purchase.
Regards North and South, we love the North but couldn't afford to buy there. The South is flatter and we found some of the villages to be quite sprawling and uninspiring. As a compromise, we bought in the West, which is less expensive but very scenic. Some villages around Marcali are attractive and still reasonable or near us where we are 10 minutes from Flybalaton (yes, we still live in hope folks) 15 from Zalakaros, 20 from Nagykanisza and 25 minutes from Keszthely. We enjoy the rural olde worlde lifestyle but are in driving distance of "civilisation".
In our area, villages that don't have schools, have a bus service for both the primary school and nursery.

From the little knowledge I have on the job market, most IT jobs are in Budapest and some don't require Hungarian. However, if you are set on the Balaton area, I think freelancing would be the most likely option. Have you looked at Elance? Prices are competitive due to many providers residing in Asia but being mortgage free, living simply and the lower cost of living, it is possible to compete with them.
Wherever you do decide to buy, ensure that you can obtain a reliable internet service!

The best place to start would be an extended visit and spend some time driving around different areas, get yourself a translator and visit local "non English speaking" estate agent
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Old May 12th 2010, 7:11 am
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Default Re: Young family considering a move to Lake Balaton area - advice very welcome indeed

Hi rural hungary, that is very helpful thank you.
The initial plan is to spend from now until September having a bash at learning the lamguage and then having a week split bewtween holidaying and looking at properties.
I shall have a look at elance.
Many thanks
Nick
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Old May 12th 2010, 7:15 am
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Default Re: Young family considering a move to Lake Balaton area - advice very welcome indeed

It's nice and a huge relief to have some advice and a degree of helpful support - out friends and family are split between thinking it's a joke / we're mad or simply not understanding the huge undertaking that it is.
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Old May 12th 2010, 7:47 am
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Default Re: Young family considering a move to Lake Balaton area - advice very welcome indeed

We were the same 9 years ago when we sold up and went on a 12 month jaunt around Europe & Morocco - with four children in tow! Some friends were envious but the majority thought we were off our heads. Regardless, we went and it was the best experience ever, after that, moving to Hungary was a doddle.

Have you looked at: http://realestatehungary.hu/belepes_en.php
You have to search in increments of £3-4,000, can't remember off the top of my head but it will give you an idea of the prices in different areas.

Don't get me wrong, it is difficult at times but the weather is better, day to day living is easier and children can enjoy a more carefree childhood.
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Old May 12th 2010, 7:39 pm
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Default Re: Young family considering a move to Lake Balaton area - advice very welcome indeed

Thanks,not found that site yet. I suppose in a nutshell that's what we're looking for, the simpler life of an era long gone grom the uk. I undestand the developing nature of Hungary and it's language bring it's own issues
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Old May 12th 2010, 9:18 pm
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Default Re: Young family considering a move to Lake Balaton area - advice very welcome indeed

sorry rural hungary i could not remember your name to pass on the hungarian language course, so sorry.

we moved here 5 years ago and my brother-in-law said " dont think we will ever see you again if you are mad enough to move to a third world country"

some people have no idea.
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Old May 12th 2010, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: Young family considering a move to Lake Balaton area - advice very welcome indeed

Nick,
It is a very useful forum which I too have found most valuable for lots of different information. We are also moving to Balaton hopefully as soon as our property sells I speak Hungarian and am hoping that I might be able to do a bit of transalating over there if there is a call for it or maybe a bit of freelancing in communciations. Anyway wish you all the luck in your new venture and house hunting, it is encouraging to see more Brits going over.
I´m sure you will love it.it is a lovely country and people are very friendly.

Klarika
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Old May 13th 2010, 2:19 am
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Default Re: Young family considering a move to Lake Balaton area - advice very welcome indeed

Originally Posted by hotpot
sorry rural hungary i could not remember your name to pass on the hungarian language course, so sorry.

we moved here 5 years ago and my brother-in-law said " dont think we will ever see you again if you are mad enough to move to a third world country"

some people have no idea.
Not a problem Hotpot, I am so pleased that you find it useful

I must admit, before visiting, I believed Hungary to be similar to Bulgaria, Romania etc Having spent three months in Bulgaria before arriving in Hungary, we were really surprised at how developed it was, absolutely not third world and definitely more developed than Bulgaria. Okay, its not as advanced as neighbouring Austria but property and the cost of living are a fraction of the price.
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Old May 15th 2010, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: Young family considering a move to Lake Balaton area - advice very welcome indeed

Hotpot - the language site is really good - I can see how my lunch breaks are going to be spent now.

Klarika - thanks for the necouragement , good luck to you also.

Rural Hungary - any place that have tescos must be reasonably developed?
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