Discussion in 'Living Overseas' started by Judge Judy, Oct 7, 2012.

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  1. Out of my green baggy skin next year and have the opportunity to live in Croatia. I know the country well and like it enough but not entirely sure about actually living there. I can speak the lingo - just - but wondered if there was anyone here who has/had experience of living there. I suspect it'll be a bit easier once they're in the EU but Croats are a funny bunch..
  2. maguire

    maguire LE Book Reviewer

    I have friends who bought a farm out there a couple of years ago. they couldnt be happier. lovely people, lovely way of life they think. winters are a bit bracing, and summer rather hotter than we're used to in the UK, but thats part and parcel of living somewhere else I guess.
  3. Whereabouts? Zagreb, Dubrovnic, Zadar, Split, etc, etc.

    Local economy is struggling at the moment and it is still a very politicized market. It's not what you know but who you know.
  4. Zagreb. Quite like the city although Varazdin appeals as well. I've heard that a lot about who you know so it's going to be a bit of punt in a lot of ways but I'm kind of working on the proviso of life's too short not to try something different, etc but it's a bit of unknown quantity really.
  5. Expect to do a lot of paperwork/paper chases and you will need a stamp on all your papers, but for each stamp you will need a load of other stamped papers which will obviously need paying for.
  6. I lived there for nearly a year in the 90's and loved it. I never bought property though and had heard of issues with land registry that meant that even after legal transfer of a house all sorts of issues were arising from people claiming that the seller did not have the right to sell off the estate of someone who had died. This may well not be a problem now, but I'm just pointing it out as something worth enquiring about.
  7. The land bit is still a pain apparently. We were on Mljet for three weeks in Sep and got talking to the owners of the Apartment we were staying in. They have an ongoing dispute with the old crone who owns the derelict property next door over the balcony/patio that the apartments have. The front of the apartments is about 40 feet long by 15 feets wide and has a grapevine lattice which in the summer is is lovely. However the far end of about ten feet is disputed by the crone but neither party has any evidence to show who owns what. One claims it came with the apartments the other claims she's always owned it. Either way, it's pretty much unresolvable but not uncommon in more rural areas. It shouldn't be too much of an issue for newer builds but buyer beware and all that.

    If you don't mind me asking, whereabouts did you live for a year?
  8. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    I thought I would re-start this thread on the off chance that there may be some more experience out there now...

    I'm hoping to buy a holiday/retirement home with a sea view somewhere and am looking at Croatia amongst other places. In Croatia I'm specifically looking along the coast between Mokarska and Ploce. Here's my reasoning, feel free to pick holes and throw abuse in true arrse fashion...

    1. It's for Summer only, winters elsewhere
    2. I drove the Split - Sarajevo route for 6m and always thought the dawn views with bright open sky were beautiful. Hence the Mokarska-Ploce bit but am open to insights of places outside of Route Parrot (?)
    3. They often speak kraut, I speak something that sounds like kraut.
    4. House prices (competing vs east coast Italy and Costa del Crime which are options b and c)
    5. Must have a sea view, balcony, air-con, no mosquitos.
    6. Figure mainland rather than islands due to communications to hospital rest of Europe

    I have heard a horror story where I guy bought a house, paid, legally etc but the brother of the seller claimed it was not the sellers to sell and so has never gained possession. Is this still a Croat/FRY issue?
  9. Still an issue in most of the Med , especially older properties .A friendly bank manager, or legal bod to talk to is a good idea (someone with local knowledge , but no personal involvement in the deal)
  10. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    The lawyer is $-involved you say, so best avoided?
  11. I'm basing this on Spain, but believe it to be true throughout the area. I had the advice of the local bank manager who knew the property, had seen it being built and knew the owner. A local property lawyer would have the same unbiased knowledge. and will get the conveyancing fee whatever you buy
  12. As you may know I have been in Balkania for around 9 years now (Sarajevo). Croatia is OK but the kuna trends downwards against the Euro. But is you are paid in GBP it is great. Prices are OK though particularly if you plan to eat in a bit during your stays. Properties do have ownership rights attached and it would be wise not to underestimate - but at the same time not overestimate - them. The area between Makarska and Ploce is great and the new motorway make life easy. However it is touristy - half of Sarajevo is in Makarska every weekend during the summer and the locals are not overly chuffed as they bring all of their stuff with them and don't spend anything on the local economy.

    Language is less of a problem that you would imagine, particularly in the area of choice. (What does a Croatian want to be when he grows up - German :)) English is widely spoken.

    Good luck.
  13. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    Thanks RM, its a retirement gig but I'm hoping to lock in housing before it becomes more expensive. Thanks for the confirm of the area and motorway news. The property ownership does seem to be the big issue, is it generally advised to buy new (e.g. no previous owners), old (e.g. obvious history and issues) or land and build would you know/guess?
  14. I've only been there once and that was on holiday in Cavtat. Me and the missus were waltzing around the peninsula and noticed a number of nice properties with smashed windows and overgrown gardens. We asked a local where were the owners and he simply replied 'Muslims'.

    I'd love to buy a property out there but I would be very careful re previous ownership forcibly relinquished.
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  15. Already retired and living near full time in Bulgaria. I believe that some of the Bulgarian property scenario is similar to Croatia. My experience of several property transactions in recent years in Bulgaria is that it's seen as a family asset (unless owned by a company which only usually occurs when a foreigner has bought it pre 2012 and subsequently resells or owned by a property agent).

    So in Bg, even if the Notary deed / title document is in the father's name for instance, upon his death the wife and children automatically retain shared ownership. In the case of husband and wife passing away with no kids then it can end up with a right free for all with extended family members, with 10, 20 or more relatives having equal share / claim.

    This is fine provided all agree to sell and all sign the notary deed for the transfer of sale, but if any individual is not present in front of the Notary (sort of similar a JP for property) or the person with their power of attorney doesn't show to sign the Notary document, it all goes t*ts up. Definitely worthwhile getting a lawyer to check deeds and conduct financial credit checks for motgages etc.

    I've had a long history with Yugoslavia / Croatia mostly visiting to climb or sail since the 80's and I was once fairly familiar with the Dalmatian coast between Spilt and Rijeka, but not recent and never put down roots.