Somogy Tales: Selling the farm

Most of the articles that follow this one will support the efforts to sell a house in Gadany, a village of just under 400 people, located in the Somogy (pronounced, using English transliteration, “Shomogyi,” with the “yi” being devoiced) county of Hungary. The writer in me likewise hopes that these story entertain, but yes, I am interested in getting this farm sold.

It may not have running water, but it is a sturdily constructed building. Photo by Ben Angel.

So, shall I tell you about the property? It is 0.92 hectares (more exactly 9,231 square meters, or 2.28 acres) of productive farming real estate located in an unsung historical village near the town of Marcali. The property has a sturdily built three-room structure on it, with an attached garage area and detached kitchen. There is also a functional well on the property (the type with a bucket and hand-crank – I would strongly recommend boiling or otherwise purifying before declaring the water potable).

There are three fruit-bearing cherry trees in the yard of the structure, along with at least one fruit-bearing apple tree (not yet in season, but getting there). There are five other trees on the property that haven’t born fruit – I’m guessing that they are apple trees. The birds can vouch that the cherries are plenty good – they raid the top branches just about every waking minute that I’m not out there getting at the lower branches myself. The ants also apparently like the leaves – they build little extraction colonies on the far ends of some branches (particularly on the little cherry tree at the end of the property).

View of the farm as approached from the village center. Photo by Ben Angel

If real estate is about “location, location, location,” then it would make sense for me to describe next the area this property is situated. The Hungarian-language website for the village of Gadany (pronounced “Godanyi,” again, the “yi” being devoiced) says that there is no through traffic that passes on its roads, and therefore the village is quiet. I can vouch for both the quietness and the singular access road – there may be one dirt track that heads off to the north that connects with another dirt track somewhere around Marcali-Bize, but you’d have to have four-wheel drive to find it. All normal traffic enters the village through a paved road from Keleviz, which has its junction onto Highway 68 (or E-661) about 2.7 kilometers east of the town hall (in Hungarian, the “muvelodesi otthon”).

However, this quiet spot is well-situated for hunters. Somogy is reportedly one of the prime spots for recreational hunting in Hungary, and nearly every day it seems there is seen a deer, fox, or other critter scuttling or bounding through the forests, or even on the property itself. The location is relatively safe for families, however, in that it is surrounded by other farms, each with a house of its own that contains year-round a family, so hunting accidents are highly unlikely.

As to supplies, there is a small general store within the village, but if you want a supermarket, there are several in Marcali, about 8-10 kilometers away. The nearest is the Spar on Highway 68, near to where it tees with Szechnyi utca (a main east-west road in town). The biggest is the Tesco Hypermarket on the northern edge of town. Penny Market and CBA also have outlets. The nearest shopping malls are in Keszthely to the northwest, and Kaposvar to the southeast (both around 30 kilometers or so away).

This farm can also be a great location to base family outings from in the western Lake Balaton area. The nearest beach on the lake is at Balatonmariafurdo, a resort community that has a train station, a couple night spots, a marina (so to speak – its small river serves as a harbor for equally small boats), and a ferry terminal. The nearest hot springs resort is much closer, actually in northern Marcali, perhaps a kilometer from the Tesco store. This is not some hothouse with a concrete hot tub in the center, this is a full-fledged resort set a half-kilometer off Highway 71, and is a great place for the ladies and young ones to get away from the fathers while they are playing cards and telling hunting stories over a cooler full of Soproni beers. Along with a much larger one in Marcali, a small cultural center and crafts school apparently also exists nearby in the village of Mestignyo. Although about 200 kilometers distant from Budapest, Somogy county is not as rustic as one would think.

That said, the house is a great place to retreat to at the end of a long day’s hunt, or if a person just needs to get away from the big city. In the warmer months, it can be a place to hold family outings, picnics, or other gatherings. The electrical connection makes it possible to hook up a television and a satellite dish, and watch sports matches or the latest Mexican soap opera in between touring the countryside.

Should you want to convert the place into a primary home, this too is possible. A plastic water reservoir can be set into the house relatively easily, with a small water heater tank or inline LNG-powered water heater could be set up with relative ease, and there is plenty of room on 0.92 hectares to place in a septic field. Telephone and internet connectivity may be a greater expense, but probably not exceedingly so. Cell phones, at any rate, have coverage on the property.

So, now you are saying, “Great, it all sounds great, but how can I see the property?”

The answer, my friends, is to get in your car and drive on down. From Budapest, you would take the M-7 (or E-71) Motorway heading south of Lake Balaton toward Nagykanizsa and the Croatian border, and get off at Exit 170. This puts you on Highway 71, the two-lane E-661 highway that runs past the village of Kethely (not to be confused with the much larger Keszthely) on the way to Marcali. There, the E-661 highway changes local designation to Highway 68, heading toward the border city of Barcs. Follow this southward to around kilometer post 74 in Keleviz, turning off onto the road to Gadany.

The Gadany road first passes through the westward extent of Keleviz before descending into a wood. The road begins to wind a bit as you pass over two bridges and drive by horse and cow fields on the way into the village. About 2.7 kilometers in, you’ll reach the village hall, where you’ll follow the paved road toward the right. Another 200 meters in, you’ll come across the big crossroads for the town. Here, you’ll take a right and follow past the new farming warehouse construction and continue on past the edge of the pavement. Perhaps another 100 meters beyond the edge of the pavement, you’ll see a cross on the left a “crux viator” or memorial cross. At that point, you should see the farm directly ahead of you. Follow until the road starts to veer to the left and pull on up to the little “Elado” sign (black border, red letters).

And should you want to buy, the asking price is at 6.0 million Hungarian Forints, though this is not firmly set. The owner really wants to get the land converted into cash in order to invest in her current ventures in Argentina (for those who really want to take advantage of the US dollar’s high against the Euro, this is an excellent opportunity “to diversify” – diversification being an advisable action, according to a couple editions of “The Offshore Living Letter” from June 2012, an E-mail newsletter produced by “Live and Invest Overseas” by Leif Simon and Kathleen Peddicord).

If you’d like to make an offer on the property, Manuela’s email address is manuelalongo@gmail.com . And of course English-language visitors are always welcome whenever I’m around.

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11 Responses to Somogy Tales: Selling the farm

  1. pd says:

    any pictures of the land? deer, foxes, and…any moose? what for game meat (in add. deer)?
    Swell!

    • benmangel says:

      Will try to post more land photos over the next few days. As to game, pretty sure there aren’t any moose around (the last I’ve seen those were in Alaska). But will try to capture a deer photo or two (foxes are a little more elusive).

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