Thursday, August 21, 2014

So exactly who are Hungary Property?

Well that is a question we have been asking ourselves and details are somewhat murky.

Fronted by Cara Lomax, you would assume that she is the owner or at least a director however, apparently this is not the case and she has claimed the company is owned by a South African businessman and a woman from Szeged. This is not the case.

So why not just visit their offices and speak with somebody from the company, after all, their Facebook page claims they are open from 8am-8pm at the offices in Kaposvar - right?
Wrong! We tried to visit on several occasions however, there was nobody there and in fact, the neighbour says there has been nobody there for weeks and the last person living there was Hungarian. The property is also for sale and a quick call to the estate agent tells us it hasn't sold recently and is still on the market........

So the office is actually a house which is for sale, the owner isn't really the owner and if you can find where the company is registered then please do let me know!

So why have I written this blog.....

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Funny that....

Since my post this morning, their Helpx post has been edited to say

"We arrived in HU in June 2010 to look around and rented a property for a while as wanted to move from Bulgaria as it didn't seem the best location to bring up our little children. We finished working on a little mud brick house in BG which we completed in 2012 (thanks to all our fab WWOOFers and HELPXers) and we have now invested the sale of this property to start on our new project, and we are so excited about it...." 

That's still not accurate as they were not renting a house in Hungary in 2010 as confirmed by their initial contact letters, later letters from Russell Lomax and their own blog.

Further, instead of the original helpx advert which claims they recently set up a real estate company, it now claims that they are consultants to a real estate company - still nothing going on here?

The negatives we witnessed in Hungary part 2

As expected, the backlash and threats of legal action have begun.  Those who know me will be aware that you either like me or loathe me and I can live with that. Even as a child I fought the underdog’s corner, stood up for what was right and called a spade a spade. I realise not everybody can deal with that but I have never claimed or attempted to be top of the popularity poll but I also know that I have helped many people along the way.
The coincidences with this saga continue! Not only did I receive an email with the title Slander and defamation, a very similar post was made on a forum with the identical WRONG title – its libel not slander – coincidence? The poster claims I know nothing about Cara Lomax, well I know enough to make me wary but people can decide for themselves.

In 2012, the Hungary Property website claimed
 “Buying a Hungarian house through the Country Business Practice policies of Hungary
If you have decided to buy a house in Hungary, then it’s worth ensuring that whoever you use to find to help you search and buy a house MUST have a Real Estate Licence to keep within the government regulations of the Real Estate Policy, it is illegal to sell a house if a Real Estate licence is not held.
It also ensures that you can get checks on land registers, utilities, boundaries and other important house buying procedures checked by a professional as the Real Estate Company has access to these databases. Daily, companies are setting up estate agent business without the licence like they did in Bulgaria and it is diluting the market, many illegal outfits are taking money and running, they are simply not doing there job properly as they have not been through the training of  How to Become a Real Estate Company.  
It is only right that you should use a company with the licence as they spend a lot of time and money obtaining the qualifications and know the Laws about buying a house in Hungary.
Check with your agent/marketer that they hold the licence or you/them could be in serious trouble.

The highlighted text is the most ridiculous nonsense and would be refuted by everybody I know who is involved in Hungarian real estate.
  1. This company had no experience of the market as they had been living and selling property in Bulgaria.
  2.  Daily, companies are setting up estate agent businesses, at that time, there were very few English speaking agents and the only one I knew of who had recently set up was Hungary Property – companies were NOT setting up on a daily basis.
  3. Many illegal outfits are taking money and running, I had never heard of this happening in Hungary, in Palamartsa Bulgaria yes but not Hungary. As such, I would ask where are the “many” people who had this happen to them? Did they report this regular illegal activity to the police? Who were the many illegal outfits as I’m sure they must have had an online presence?

In my opinion, this was nothing more than an exercise in scaremongering and casting doubt on the reputation of many perfectly respectable companies operating in what they deemed to be a market which was being “diluted”. Yet  again, the suggestion of underhanded tactics to try and monopolise.

Within 6 months this had changed to:

Who Are Hungary Property?
The group, which was conceived and started in 2005, has combined the talents, skills and experience of these professionals, enabling them to offer -in our opinion- an unrivalled quality of service; this allows you the opportunity to bring your overseas property dream to reality in safe and trustworthy hands.

The highlighted text is misleading and suggests you are dealing with a company who have been active in Hungary since 2005 – not 2012 as is the reality.

Why use Hungary Property?

We spend a great deal of our time extensively researching the laws and procedures relating to the purchase of Hungarian properties. We also study the results and conclusions of market research, and the findings about buyers requirements identified in focus groups. Together with our accumulated knowledge of Hungarian property this ensures that our information is up to date and you can rely on our advice regarding how to buy, where to buy and where to invest.

Whilst there are many European properties for sale, all offered by a multitude of agents, the standard of the properties and more importantly the service which is received from these agents has much to be desired.
Although there seems to be an overwhelming number of properties being offered by a multitude of agents in Hungary, many of these properties will be found not as advertised. More importantly the poor service offered by many agents and the lack of well informed help from them can result in a waste of the buyers time or the purchase of a property the buyer will soon regret. The Hungary Property team will make sure this does not happen to you.

The most common complaint is that the prospective buyer received extremely bad or very poor service, with inadequate, inefficient and lack of informative communication
It has been reported to us that they have found the process, instead of being an exciting and enjoyable it was instead full of stress, unnecessarily complicated and in many cases it ultimately resulted in it being far more costly than at first anticipated.
We know that for many buyers the buying process has been an extremely stressful, unnecessarily complicated and much more costly than originally anticipated. Hungary Property will provide instead, a pleasant, worry free and satisfying experience.
We are proud that we have changed very much for the better the process and experience of buying property in Hungary, and we are confident that we are able to offer you a unrivalled service. We do our best to be the best at what we do

So only months after the launch of their site, they now have in-depth knowledge of a previously unknown market and a “multitude of agents operating in that market”. Again, this is nonsense, there are a couple of agents who charge ridiculously high fees but on the whole, the market is well regulated and whilst the level of service can be variable, it certainly isn’t on the whole, as portrayed above and my opinion is that this is another scaremongering tactic.

We are proud that we have changed very much for the better the process and experience of buying property in Hungary 
Well, what can I say! Within 6 months, this couple who had actually only spent a fraction of this time in Hungary, were experts and not only able to comment on all other agents operating in Hungary but they had also changed the whole process of buying in Hungary!

Somewhat contrary to the view of an agent working with them during this time:

"They introduced themselves as real estate agents who have been working in this industry for years. They claimed that they are professionals in everything but when we actually started to work with them it turned out that they are very amateurish. I helped them get started with a lot of information and in return, we agreed to be their exclusive partner. They promised - because I had helped them a lot - that we would be their only partner in this area but they did not keep this deal. They always found excuses for everything and they often lied to me. There were problems with the money transfers too, on one occasion the customer have already sent the money but somehow Cara and Mark forgot to tell me about this. Then, we could not reach them, they were actually in Bulgaria not Hungary, something went wrong with the bank transfer, or they lost my account number, always an excuse why the money not sent. After these negative experiences I decided to finish our collaboration. I asked them to delete my properties”

more to follow....

The negatives we witnessed in Hungary

This post has been a long time in the making and at one time, I believed the people involved had left the country and hoped that I could lay it to rest. 
However, recent communications make it clear they are continuing to try to cause problems and seem intent on fabricating the truth.
Please note Cara, I only post facts and have confirmed these details to be true so be assured that this time I will contest any libellous letters sent by you in an attempt to have this taken down.  You have already threatened legal action and I look forward to contesting that in a court of law, if it is removed, I will repost elsewhere.
It was my misfortune to encounter Cara Lomax through Cara’s father Russell Lomax.
Initially, I took them at face value and had no reason to disbelieve the story they told however, recent conversations with residents of their previous village in Palamsarta, Bulgaria confirm that what I have experienced is typical of the way these people conduct business.
My first encounter with Cara Lomax was through her father Russell who had contacted me asking about property in Hungary. He told me a story of how he and his daughter were looking to live an eco/green lifestyle away from the rat race and thought Hungary to be the ideal place and, having read my blog, he felt I could help his daughter and her family as we were doing exactly as they intended to do.
It later transpired that this was the same story they used to sell in Palamartsa.

I think it best to start in Palamsarta where they set up an “eco” project that never really saw the light of day – this contradicts later claims made online that they were fast becoming one of the largest European Real Estate agents at the very time they were trying to set up a small eco project!

Coincidently, they have set up a near identical project in Hungary called the Salubrious project – even more coincidental is the fact that they claim to have arrived in Hungary in 2010 to renovate a mud house at the same time they were in Bulgaria setting up their Eco Project and yet they contacted me in 2012 asking for help to find a property in Hungary – something doesn’t quite add up there! Parallel universes, wormholes or just out and out lies but why? You can decide but on face value, I would assume it is designed to fool hard working helpx people into believing these people have a genuine interest and knowledge of Hungary?

Click to enlarge

more to follow....

Monday, August 18, 2014

Having now spoken with several villagers from Cara Lomax and Mark Bennet's previous village, Palamartsa, I have just about put together details of the web of lies this couple weave and how, as one person describes, they conduct business in a deceptive, manipulative way.  
Knowing now that there are several people in the village of Palamartsa who were left out of pocket or with work left unfinished after this couple upped and left the village, I will be posting this blog in a hope that no expats in Hungary experience similar.  Hungary Property, which is apparently registered to a South African or a woman in Szeged or the Lomaxes themselves or is it even registered - who knows, it's just one of many mysteries surrounding this couple. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Where to start?

Well, this is going to be a long one but I want to begin by stating that I was "warned off" writing this post and so stopped writing my blog as I was being attacked from several different quarters at the time for speaking the truth and I didn't feel strong enough to put it all online - knowing the backlash that will follow.
Cara Lomax, a woman who moved from Bulgaria to Hungary claimed that should I post what she and her husband - with some involvement from her father - tried to do to me, that it would be unprofessional. I have mulled this over for longer than I should have and I keep coming back to the same point, this is not a professional blog, this is my private blog where I post about my experiences, "warts and all".
Having somebody lie and try to destroy your business for reasons which will become apparent, is in my opinion, a personal event in my life and one that I should have no hesitation in blogging about.

There is a another story I'll blog about, this time a Brit landlord who scammed several people before running of and leaving a mess for others to clean up.

Needless to say, some things are changing in Hungary and not for the better. It was one of the reasons we chose Hungary over Bulgaria, the fakes and fly by nights were few and far between. Nowadays, they seem to be one too many!
That said, I still love Hungary, more than I ever thought it possible to love another country and it is definitely where I am meant to be and if that means I occasionally have to cope with the backlash from those opposed to honesty and transparency then so be it.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Snakes in the grass....

Where to begin? The previous post has been removed as I really have no axe to grind in this case, it was simply to show that there are always two sides to be heard and that ganging up on somebody, should never be tolerated.

Back to the snakes in the grass....