We have purchased property in Bulgaria successfully ourselves. There are some key
rules that need to be followed if you are going to buy property. The most critical
one at he moment is, ' do not buy off plan'. But why not you ask? Because many developers
in Bulgaria have overstretched themselves and when the credit crunch came. They ran
out of money to finish there building works because, very few buyers were available,
many will cease trading or go bankrupt in 2010.
We purchased in an off plan development, but we purchased a ski apartment that was
completed and being re-sold. We paid slightly more for it, but avoided the risk that
our apartment would never be finished and the risk that we would loose our money
paid to the developer, when he ceased trading.
Also ensure that the property has an Article 16 habitation certificate before you
buy. Many developers withhold this as a way to extort money from buyers. Also use
an intyernational solicitor not the developers solicitor.
Nearly all solicitors in Bulgaria are honest, but there are some that are not, or
are posing as genuine solicitors. The Bulgarian consulate are collecting feedback
to determine which solicitors are reliable and honest, from people that have purchased
property in Bulgaria. We have the details of solicitors that we have used, we also
had our deeds translated and double checked by an independent recommended solicitor
to prove everything was in order, this cost us £100.
The location of the property is crucial if you plan to rent it out, there are still
many properties including spacious apartments, on or very close to the established
ski slopes. We chose an apartment that is 5 minutes walk from the ski slope. This
is because the apartments overlooking the ski slope in summer, are looking onto a
muddy track, whereas our apartment looks out across the mountain ranges with superb
views in summer, as well as winter!
There are also many low cost rural properties to choose from, location is critical.
You need to research to ensure that the area is expat friendly and establish friendships
with good local Bulgarian people (there are plenty around in the right areas) that
are prepared to look after your property if you are away for extended periods. This
applies to most countries abroad, friends of ours are solicitors and had their property
in Portugal looted while they were away. They have now arranged for a local neighbour
to pop in regularly to keep an eye on things....no further problems. You can get
an idea of the superb value for money in Bulgaria below.