When Bulgaria shook off the shackles of communism by 1990 the country suffered somewhat from the bumpy start that it had economically speaking, and many Bulgarians left the nation and others moved to the main towns and cities to find work. This all had a dramatic impact on rural life in Bulgaria that still remains to this day. Namely, Bulgarians still see it as a requirement to head to the main towns to make any money and so living in rural Bulgaria and making a life is that which only a few manage.
As foreigners coming into the country you will most likely find the prices for properties in rural areas of Bulgaria unbelievably low, costing less than GBP 10,000 in some cases for fine property. But is it actually possible to buy a home in rural Bulgaria and make a life for yourself? We think so, and in this article we explore the possibilities.
Bulgaria is a beautiful nation – it has to be seen to be appreciated. You have such vast contrasts of natural landscape across the nation as well. You have the majestic mountains where you can ski, the stunning coastline where you can relax and you have the banks of the beautiful Danube, the hilly and forested interior lands and many, many pretty and ancient towns and villages across the whole nation.
As stated, once communism was ‘defeated’ in Bulgaria and the nation had to work very hard to become a player on the international scene economically and politically speaking, the people of the nation either flocked to the main towns and cities to find employment or they left in search of their fortunes elsewhere. Today this has left large parts of Bulgaria’s rural interior very under-populated. Those who do remain work on the land or have to face difficulties because of unemployment. Unlike in the UK where many of us love the thought of living in towns and villages and rural communities in the countryside and only commuting to the bigger cities to work, in Bulgaria the opposite is true. Most live in the cities and only occasionally visit the country and rural areas.
If you want to see the best of Bulgaria, meet the nicest people and find the most beautiful sights and areas, leave the tourism resorts and the likes of Sofia behind and drive along the surprisingly good roads and get lost in the nation’s heartlands. You will find properties for sale for less than the price of a car, you will find people who will go out of their way to make you feel at home and help you. And what’s more, with a bit of imagination you can find ways to make a life for yourself too.
You can consider living in Bulgaria and being self-sufficient and living off the land, you can consider buying property and renovating it and renting it out to those in search of lovely isolated holiday homes, you can set up an eco tourism business, a business based on water sports on the Danube. You could create a writers’ or painters’ retreat, a base for those who want to do outdoor activities such as mountain climbing and canoeing, you could set up a small hotel for people who want to see the real Bulgaria.
The options and possibilities for those with a little determination, ambition and imagination are limitless. The only words of advice that we will share with you before you rush off and explore rural Bulgaria is that you will need to learn to speak Bulgarian and you will not find sophisticated schooling options in the rural interior if you have children. Otherwise, you may just find a perfect home in this underexplored nation in Eastern Europe.