Many have a dream of living abroad, escaping the rat race of the UK and starting a new life in another country, bbqs in the evening sun,
days around the pool, days at the beach, snow in the winter, running a smallholding with chickens, sheep and pigs. Some had even already
planned their move and were just waiting on their house in the UK to sell. But now with property sales in the UK at an all time low and
buyers a dying breed, that dream is slipping away.
On the other hand there are people that have followed their dream of living outside the UK or maybe had to go to a different country for
work but would now like to return to the UK. However, they cannot afford to easily get back on the UK housing ladder, there are less buyers
around for properties in places like Bulgaria, France, Spain and the housing market has pretty much stalled everywhere.
This has left many in countries such as Bulgaria, France, Spain, Corfu, Greece and Turkey unable to sell their houses in the sun,
while others are left in the UK, with their property listed with estate agents for months without any viewings or chance of a sale.
One solution to this is a property exchange - one person swaps their terraced UK property for say a renovated house in the Bulgarian
country side complete with 1000sqm of land, outbuildings and fruit trees. Or perhaps, the swap is between a one bed apartment in a northern
UK town for a larger, seaside apartment in Spain or Bulgaria.
Ideally of course values of properties being exchanged should be about equal so there may need to be a cash lump sum given by one party,
or possibly two or three properties in say Bulgaria, swapped for one house in the UK. And any paperwork needs to be properly drawn up
by lawyers in the respective countries or knowledgeable of the law in the countries involved.
There are other people that simply want to move to a different area of the same country, or maybe do not want to return to the UK but
would like to try living in France, not Spain, or Cyprus instead of Bulgaria and the same concept can apply.
For the last 4 years TheTravelBug website has focused on property sales within Bulgaria, helping many British buyers purchase rural village
houses around the Stara Zagora area of Bulgaria, however with the economic crisis making it difficult for people to free up the cash to
purchase abroad Rachel Gawith, the person behind TheTravelBug website has decided to revamp the website to offer a property exchange service.
Rachel has lived in Bulgaria since October 2006 and has built up a portfolio of renovated and unrenovated village houses. A personal
desire to own property in various countries drew her to the idea of a property exchange and researching into the idea.
Rachel is aware that there are a number of people that would like to leave Bulgaria but cannot now afford anything back in the UK, or
maybe they want to move to France or Spain. On the other hand there are people in the UK who would welcome the opportunity to move abroad,
to sunnier climates, live in the countryside etc but as selling property is very difficult at the moment anyway, they can't sell their
house in the UK to release the cash so swapping their house in the UK for a house in Bulgaria might be a good option. And the person owning
the house in Bulgaria gets back on the property market in the UK (or which ever country they choose).
For now TheTravelBug website will focus mainly on 3 areas:
Within Bulgaria: There are many people that bought 2 or 3 (or more) apartments on rural properties within one area, with the idea of maybe
either renovating an older property and selling on, or to sell or rent out one apartment while living in another. Or maybe they have an
apartment on the coast that they hardly ever use, or one in a ski resort that sits empty. The idea is that maybe someone who had 2 apartments
on the coast, might like to swap one for an apartment in a ski resort, or someone that had bought a rural property in one part of the country
might prefer to swap for a house or plot of land in a different area. Or maybe someone just wants to move from the north to the south, or
countryside to town.
Other Countries: Other people have given Bulgaria a fair try but now for one reason or another wish to leave but are unable to sell their
property in Bulgaria so an option would be for them to swap it for a house in another country, be it the UK, France, Spain or anywhere else.
It would be up to the two parties to agree on the exact details of the swap - whether cash was to be given to equal the value etc.
For Vehicles, goods etc: Some people have small rural houses or plots and would like to exchange these for say a car, or a boat or camper