How long have you been living in Bulgaria and do you speak Bulgarian?
I’ve lived here for nine years now… I’m ashamed to say that my Bulgarian could be better… I can understand a lot and can communicate ok with the basics … but it takes a few rakia’s to improve my fluency :0))
Why did you move to Bulgaria?
I came here to set up the Sofia office of Sigmar Recruitment, one of Ireland’s largest recruitment companies who were expanding into this region at the time. I initially came for 1 year but fell in love with Sofia and decided to stay on here.
What do you do here?
I’m Sales Manager at First Estates, we’re an Irish/French owned boutique real estate agency focused on mid to high level sales and rentals here in Sofia. I work mainly with our foreign and ex patriot clients… We have a lot of foriegn clients who’ve rented for a few years here and then decide it makes more sense to invest in a property which they can live in while they’re here and then rent out once they leave Bulgaria. I also work with foriegn clients relocating to work/live here. They appreciate the fact that I’m a foreigner and can better understand their requirements.
What questions do you get asked the most by people you meet who are moving to Sofia?
In my job I work with a lot of families moving here so they are always interested in my opinion about the international schools. They also want to know about nice places to visit in Bulgaria, where are the best restaurants in town etc…
What do you love the most about life in Sofia?
Well..where do I start.. there’s the nice people, the beautiful food, the weather (once May comes around you know there will be 4 months of warm sunny weather!!), the amazing places you can visit within a few hour’s drive of Sofia – whether I want the beach one weekend or mountain the next … it’s all very accessible. I also love the pace of life here, it’s not such a rat race like we have in Dublin or London… people take time to enjoy life here … hopefully that never changes.
And is there anything you don’t like?
Obviously there are social issues here such as poverty, corruption, underfunded health and education systems etc… which I don’t like, but as for living here – the quality of life, the people, the experiences, the places I’ve visited, it’s difficult for me to find any negative points…
What advice would you give to someone who is moving to Sofia and searching for a property, either to rent or buy?
If you’re coming here to live then be sure to explore all options, some people come here and are certain that they want to live in a house in the mountain, but once they arrive and see how much is going on closer to town they change their mind… And vice versa… Some imagine living in the city but once they see places on Vitosha with the amazing air and views they want to live closer to the nature. If you are thinking of buying here then make sure you have a reliable agent like First Estates of course!