The start of On The Rocks

Our first blog of 2024 takes you back to about 11 years ago when we got bitten by the Croatia bug and decided to move over there.

The search for a suitable house was by no means easy; we had a tight budget, and we needed to have enough rooms to start a B&B… 2 things that don’t really go well together, but after viewing about 40 houses, luck was on our side because an old farmhouse in Blizna Donja, 15 km from the coast, turned out to be perfect! But…. even then, we came across some obstacles. We were prepared for this and had a financial buffer to camp in our house for several years.


We arrived in Croatia without knowing the language or anyone here. Still, we were not afraid of a challenge and were brave enough to take the plunge. After signing the agreement, a one-year period began in which we had to solve these things:

– Prove by aerial photographs that the house was built before 1968, making it legal immediately. (Unfortunately, these photos had to come from Sarajevo, and after a long wait, they needed to be more accurate).

– Our future property was divided into about 10 small plots owned by 80 people (or even a bit more); all these people had to give their permission to give up their piece so that the previous owner of the house could sell the whole plot with the house (about 4000m2) to us.

1 year later

Our agreement clearly stated that if the previous two points were not fulfilled, we wouldn’t pay anything further and stuck to our guns. After 1 year, proving that the house was legal turned out to be a problem, and the previous owner didn’t feel like putting any effort into this anymore, so he suggested giving back our deposit, which meant we had to return to Belgium. But Ward and I had already moved all our furniture and closed our chapter in Belgium… but no panic, we knew by now, thanks to our very, very helpful lawyer, that everything could be solved in time, so we went one step further. We bought the house with an extra discount, as it was at the time (i.e. without papers proving it was legal).

2 years later

Almost 2 years after we decided to buy this house, we were finally ready to make it official. After a lot of back-and-forth with the bureaucracy here, we solved the problem of legalisation quite quickly by paying an engineer and ordering him to make a report regarding the building’s age. Everything was (of course) built before 1968. It was a big relief because finally, everything was on paper, and we could begin to turn our house into a B&B.






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