23.10
2018

Food lovers, your next destination is Istria Gourmet Festival!

If you are familiar with Istria, you are familiar with the variety of incredible and fresh ingredients, such as olives, olive oil, truffles, wine, prosciutto and seafood. And, if you are not familiar then you are really missing out on one of the top gourmet destinations in Europe.

Because Croatian ingredients and products are not really mass produced, it is quite rare to find exported goods from Croatia available in the supermarkets and shops of other countries. For that,  you should definitely spend some time in Croatia, and during this visit, you better be hungry.

 

Food lovers will love Istria!

 

Istria is famous for having great and high class cuisine, with the fresh and tasty seafood of the coast, together with the hearty meat-based fare of Central Europe.

Depending on the time of the year you decide to visit Istria, you can get served a fresh Scampi Buzara dish, some prosciutto (pršut), or asparagus risotto, even some traditional Istrian pasta fuži or pljukanci with black or white truffle, fish or shrimps with white truffle, steak with grated truffle, truffle ice-cream, chocolate cake with olive oil and truffles…and this delicious list goes on.

 

 

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18.10
2018

Real estate Croatia: big loan for a big improvement

A huge loan designated to real estate Croatia is ahead, and coming from The World Bank Group. For the ones who don’t know The World Bank Group, it is nothing more nothing less than the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. Their intention and commitment is to reduce poverty, increase shared prosperity, and promote sustainable development. And the Country now on their table is Croatia.

 

19.7 million euros on its way to Croatia

 

An incredible amount of 19.7 million euros to develop, ease and improve the Administration System Project. The advance is clearly on the days of waiting at  Land Registry Offices that decreased by 75% from 46 to 12 days, for mortgages and property transactions, and also on the Cadasters Offices, decreasing by around 33% from 30 to only 8 days.

 

But it has been coming this way since 2016

 

Long ago in November 2016, a system called Joint Information System was implemented, it is easy, completely accesible and modern, so people can register online with their personal details, instead of the going through the painful experience of having to go to a public office. 

 

16.10
2018

Real estate Croatia: sometimes, the unknown is better!

You will find that plenty of the real estate Croatia opportunities are located in the overcrowded cities. And, if you have done some initial research on real estate investment opportunities, you will most definitely have heard of Njuškalo, the main and most known portal in Croatia.

This month, Njuškalo held a conference in Zagreb which the subjects approached were tourism, being the main industry in the country, combined with real estate investing. Together they have created a market with huge potential and definitely worthy of investing in.

During the conference, Robert Pakrovac, from Estre, one of the top banks in Croatia, said “ We’re an open book on which other sectors such as tourism, and ultimately the retirement of people in Croatia, lean on”

 

Real estate Croatia.
Real estate Croatia.

 

It is common to find real estate prices in overcrowded areas higher than in other locations. Due to the simple fact that there is more demand for these real estates. This is because many of these areas are popular destinations for both tourists and first time buyers who are less knowledgeable on Croatia and the real estate market.

However, recently more and more tourist and first time buyers are looking away from these popular areas and are in search for authenticity, privacy and unique experiences. These can be found in the lesser known regions of Croatia.

 

10.10
2018
Krnica, exterior, concept 1, night

Best investments: real estate opportunities in Europe!

One of the best investments one could do is property investing, but it can also be very difficult decision requiring research on the area the property is located and on the property itself, apart from a lot of budgeting or financing for most people. For that reason, It can be really a decision for life if that is the case as if you decide to finance you will have a couple of year of mortgage awaiting for you.

 

How then to make the most of your money and depending on the area even an income?

 

To make an income it is important to decide on a property that is located in a very attractive area or country. This way you guarantee there will be away interest from tourists to stay in your house if you decide to rent it. That is the core of buying an investment property as well as in an areaBuying an investment property has to both ways, for the investor and for the guests.

To make this comparison simpler we selected a few countries and the prices for a house in comparison to Croatia. So, here is a brief list of properties in Europe. There are requirements you can stick to when looking for an investment property abroad, on the list below the requirements were either price or number of rooms.

 

09.10
2018

Light, camera, action! Croatia is the emerging star of Europe

Croatia is the emerging star of Europe, with its beautiful scenic landscapes, natural resources and picturesque tows, it serves as a perfect set for filming and big productions.

Apart from Game of Thrones Croatia, the country has been stage for big productions such as, Star Wars: Episode VIII, Hobin Hood: Origins the upcoming James Bond and Mamma Mia 2 which had its premiere in the Pula Amphitheatre on Saturday, the 21st of July 2018.

Other than Game of Thrones Croatia has also starred some very important names like, Daniel Moder, decided to film his piece “Ibiza” not in Spain but on the island of Pag nearby Zadar, Tom Hanks “Money Games” on the breathtaking island of Hvar and the movie “Venuto al mondo” with Penélope Cruz.

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27.09
2018

Day trip to Opatija from your Candy Brick villa

When arriving to Croatia, you might wonder where to go for a classy and refined experience. Istria has many of those places but one worth the visit is Opatija.

You won’t regret sightseeing this elegant city of Rijeka, 1 hour and a half driving from your Candy Brick luscious investment property, is a must go day trip to take your family or to relax on your own. The great thing about this city is that it can be delightful during the summer but also during the winter in Croatia.

 

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18.09
2018

Croatia Holidays: summer season is past, wine season started!

Croatia holidays are defined by stunning nature, magnificent weather and superb food

For excellent dishes you need top quality ingredients and products. The fresher the better. And for sure the locally grown products in Croatia meet these requirements.

The really sunny and pleasant weather makes the Istrian soil perfect for agriculture. Many tourists come to the region to taste and discover the richness of Croatia’s gastronomy.

The soil in Croatia is red (terra rossa). This type of soil is typically present in Mediterranean countries due to karstic nature. It has good drainage and neutral Ph. Together with warm and moist temperatures, makes Croatia a perfect country for growing fruits and vegetables.

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27.08
2018

Best villas in Croatia, how are they built?

To build the best villas in Croatia you need to use the best materials available on the market. At Candy Brick, we are very aware of this and in this article we will explain and show you the quality required for the construction of a Candy Brick villa.

Expertise

First, to build the best villas in Croatia you need experts that know how to use the materials given in the right way. The project manager has a really important role, responsible for selecting the right suppliers that will provide high quality materials for the construction.

At Candy Brick, we have Dušan Ivković an organised and committed project manager with 16 year experience in projecting and building houses. Being a local Istrian, he has a wide network and knows who are the best suppliers for each material.

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Second, you need workers that will handle the high quality materials with care, giving them the right treatment and using the correct techniques when installing them.

Zdravko Đokić and his team have built over 300 houses and understand every step is important to achieve an excellent result.

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Know where the materials come from

In the Candy Brick villas, all the materials have been attested, meaning that for every material used on the construction there is clear evidence of its origin. This is important as it is often a Guarantee of the materials durability and performance. You can see if the materials follow this standard by checking the label that should comply with the Construction Products Regulation (CPR).

“The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) lays down harmonised rules for the marketing of construction products in the EU. The Regulation provides a common technical language to assess the performance of construction products. It ensures that reliable information is available to professionals, public authorities, and consumers, so they can compare the performance of products from different manufacturers in different countries.”

European Commission

What materials are necessary to build the best villas in Croatia?

Cement

Cement is essential as it form two important construction materials. If mixed with water, it forms mortar and if mixed with sand, gravel, and water it makes concrete. These combined with the bricks make the fundamentals of your building. Here’s a video of Zdravko Đokić laying the concrete of Candy Brick villa 3 in Matelici.

Concrete

Concrete mixtures do not set below minus seven degrees, and the lower the temperature the longer it takes for the concrete to set. In addition, concrete has to be wetted in order for it to achieve its requirements and conditions to settle and harden properly.

concrete mixer
concrete mixer

 

Bricks

For the structure you will need resistant and solid bricks. Hollow bricks or blocks have greater benefits than solid bricks. The advantages of using these types of bricks are:

 

Thermal Insulation – Hollow bricks  have strong insulation properties reducing the need to use heating and cooling devices.

Strength – They can support heavy wall hangings, such as shelves, furniture, souvenirs. They make it easier to pass the electrical and plumbing fixtures through compared to solid bricks.

Low maintenance – Hollow bricks have low maintenance costs due to little or no efflorescence on their surfaces.

Less cost – As they are larger in size they require less mortar joints filling.  

Steel

Steel reinforces the building structure. Concrete is a composite material that works well in compression, but not in tension. The reinforcing steel bars form a net and a frame for the concrete to be poured in. Together they create reinforced concrete, where the concrete is the matrix while steel bars or wires provide reinforcement.

Insulation

In Candy Brick villas, there are three types of insulation:

Hydro Insulation – This stops the humidity and steam penetrating the surface and letting the humidity and vapour out at the same time, allowing the surfaces to breathe and dry out.

Thermal Insulation – External thermal insulation allows heating and cooling systems to have a better performance and lower energy consumption. If the thermal insulation is external, when cold the indoor heating also heats the bricks on the walls, keeping the warmth indoors for longer.

Noise Insulation – Stirodur is a special kind of plastic and the stirodur slabs have no connection to the walls. This helps avoid the propagation of noise through the walls helping to make the villas silent.

The progress of construction always requires the introduction of new materials and techniques. We are always on the lookout to make sure that all the materials used during the start till the end of the project are reliable, stable and high quality.   This is how we help ensure that Candy Brick villas are the best villas in Croatia.


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21.08
2018

How to build an investment property in Croatia

Planning and building an investment property in Croatia, or any other kind of project, requires good management and processes. At Candy Brick we researched and planned the project meticulously, developed solid processes, and selected very well our team. In this article we are going to present these key elements to you.

Planning and Execution

 

Think of a building, there are foundations and structures underneath the superficial layers of paint. Even if you can’t see them, for example the bricks, they are extremely important during the construction and ensuring the building remains stable.

Within a project team, it works the same way. Even though you might not be able to see or hear some team members, they are still fundamental to the successful project execution. It is therefore important that all team members are competent and synchronised.

The Market

What is the status of the current industry and market? This is an aspect you should definitely consider. You don’t want to make the mistake of starting in an industry that is already over-saturated. And if you do, then make sure you innovate in this industry.

We started our investment research based on the growth of real estate market in Croatia. Here we noticed increasing rents mixed with affordable property prices, and low taxes and costs compared to other countries. Which made the idea of purchasing an existent investment property in Croatia and reselling it, an appealing investment.

Know the Place

Do extensive research of the area your project is based, and adapt your research to the project needs.  If your project is an investment property in Croatia, then location is key for an excellent return on investment.

If the region has abundant natural resources, take advantage of it, innovate and implement it in your project. Croatia’s 300 sunny days a year gave us the opportunity to innovate our villas by putting solar panels on them. This makes them self sufficient and increases the value of your investment property in Croatia.

Local Advice

 

Deni Tomisic, our geodesist at Candy Brick, gave us plenty of local advice that was crucial at the early stage of the project. His expertise and knowledge was able to point out fundamental aspects missing from some sites. Such as, no electricity or water and no possibility for connecting them, no usage permits, chemicals in the ground, low quality materials, and even a pending mortgage on a house.

After more in depth research on the local searching tool, http://www.katastar.hr/, more legal problems were found in relation to the sites. Purchasing terrains with issues can be a nightmare in many ways, making you spend more to fix them. If this step is missed then the whole project can fall apart.

Selection Process

 

The selection starts with defining characteristics that every member of the team must have. It is important all team members share the same fundamental characteristics in order for the group to be synchronised.

When your in a foreign country it can be hard at first to identify your desired characteristics in people. But a local references and advice can help you hugely.

At Candy Brick we choose people who are honest, loyal, driven to make the project go forward, and have a will to evolve.

The Team

 

From the Geodesist, responsible for selecting good and suitable terrain, and taking the right measurements to be used for later stages of the project.

To the architect that has to understand the intention of the client’s project, translating the needs into a drawing. And then has to clearly specify the materials to be used, the precise measurements, and the instructions about their drawing.

To the engineering supervisor, responsible for checking all the stages of the construction, disapproving any step that is not correct, and having the initiative to correct any mistakes.

And the Project manager responsible for controlling the project quality, budget and timing. He does this by checking everyday the construction progress, negotiating with suppliers in order to get better materials for better prices, and working on behalf of the company and not himself.

The choice of a good team of builders is also essential. Many mistakes can be done when constructing if the builders are not experienced and competent. And the fixing of these mistakes can be costly and can slow down the project if the wrong person is chosen. In Croatia there is a scarcity of workers and it can be quite difficult to find honest and qualified workers without the help of local advice.

Importantly, None of this can happen if your not legally allowed to. It is important therefore to have full legal understanding on your team, and a person who is familiar with law, contracts, rules. And not just for one country, but internationally, as laws can change from country to country.

Finally, we working internationally, communication becomes vital. It is crucial to have perfect translators in the team to avoid any error through miscommunication.

Talking about communication, marketing is extremely important for any company and team. Having a really good team and product is essential, but without really good marketing people will never get to hear about them or their achievements.

The sales person also has to understand fully the product and the companies values, and has to be able to transfer those values to the client. It is fundamental having a person who  creates a connection with the client.

The administration is key to keep the internal engines of the company running smoothly, initiative and communication skills are necessary for a good administrator.

The accountant’s role may consist of primarily financial data collection, entry and report generation. The accounting structure of a company is an essential component to business operations. It is therefore essential to have an accountant that is honest and does not misrepresent the firm.

The External Team

Cloud in blue sky

Beyond your core team, there is also the external team to consider and the same selection process should apply for them. These are your partners and collaborators. Let’s compare them to other external factors in a construction project, such as the weather.

You have everything needed to start your construction project, like materials and constructors, but then it rains and you can’t start building. This is external factor interference.

With your partners and collaborators, it is the same and they can equally influence the progress of your project. The only difference is you can actually choose your partners and collaborators. You can’t choose the weather.

A legal partnership is a contractual relationship involving close cooperation between parties having specified and joint rights and responsibilities. Each party has an equal share of the risk as well as the reward.

A collaboration involves cooperation, parties are not necessarily bound by a contract. This is a relationship, but it is usually less formal than a legal partnership. A good collaboration can only exist when several people pool their common interests, assets and professional skills for a joint project. Importantly, organisations don’t collaborate – people collaborate.

It is better to chose partners and collaborators that are aligned with the project and will respect your goals.

For building investment property in Croatia, we chose partners and collaborators that are available, precise and responsive.

Good planning is fundamental to strategise and reach your goal

We hope that the tips given on this article help your planning and researching process, either if you are starting or already have an on going project.


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30.07
2018

Self sufficient investment villa!

Your Candy Brick investment villa is not only a luscious and high quality property but it is also self-sufficient

Considering that Croatia has around 300 sunny days per year, the potential for solar energy generation here is massive. That’s why your Candy Brick villa comes pre-installed with photovoltaics and solar thermal water heating. So your villa will generate enough energy to cover it’s electricity need.

You can classify the types of solar energy in two systems:

  • Photovoltaic (PV) 
  • Solar thermal

PV technologies produce electricity directly from sunlight by converting solar energy into electricity. Many PV cells are linked together to make up a PV solar panel. Instead, solar thermal technologies use the solar energy to produce heat. Electricity is then generated from the heat collected.

Both systems generate direct current (DC) energy and then convert it to usable alternating current (AC) energy with the help of a power inverter. AC energy then flows through the home’s electricity panel, distributing energy accordingly.

What will these system supply electricity to?

Well, apart from providing the electricity to charge your phone, laptop, or maybe even your Rimac Concept One electric car. The solar energy systems on your investment villa will also provide the heating for your water. As a result the underlay of pipes of water placed below the flooring will provide you with spectacular underfloor heating.

These systems will also supply energy to other applications implemented in your investment villa:

  • Heating and cooling for the swimming pool;
  • Air conditioning for the whole property;
  • Hot water for showers and general use;

Photovoltaic panels

Zero electricity bills maximise even more the financial return of your investment villa

The cost of electricity bills coming from old and polluting sources can be quite a burden on the pocket, as well as for the environment. Opting for an innovative and clean way to generate energy is the only way to reduce or even extinguish this cost completely.

So, thanks to these innovative systems producing enough energy for your investment villa to be completely self-sufficient, you will get the best return on your investment.

Can this get any better? Yes, it can!

Any excess electricity your solar systems produce that is not used, can be sold back to the grid to make you an extra income. Consider, in particular, the times when you will not be enjoying your investment villa or it is not rented out to guest. It will be generating you an extra income. This could be between €3-4 a day! In the future, your income could increase up to 10x should the government reintroduce feed-in-tariffs


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