General Information About Bulgaria and Local Real Estate Market

Foreign Citizens are Now Allowed to Buy Land in Bulgaria



By Penka Atanasova

Two months after joining the European Union, Bulgaria attracts increasing interest towards local real estates. Its strategic geographic location and the membership in EU and NATO turn it into an attractive destination for property buyers. For sure, you need to have more information before investing your money into a small country with a beautiful nature and extremely low for Europe prices.

The low prices...
One of the main Bulgarian advantages on the global real estate market is that despite its European location, its property prices are not European. At least not yet. They have been continuously growing up in recent years thus rewarding early buyers. You can get a nice apartment in one of the best quarters in the capital - Sofia - for about 1 000 Euro per sq.m. The cost of the agricultural land starts from about 80 Euro per 1 000 sq.m. For the Bulgarian standard of living (middle salary 250 - 300 Euro per month) these prices are not affordable at all, but compared to the sum which a citizen of another European country pays for a real estate it is a lucky bargain. And so far local market should keep the balance between the price which a local buyer could afford to pay and the new-coming possibilities of foreign buyers.

The desired properties...
In the first years of foreign expansion into the local market, investors were mainly interested in buying buildings and apartments. Afterwards they saw the potential in new developments and plots became the most attractive segment for investors on the market. And besides investors, foreigners who just want to invest their money into a desired holiday home prefer flats, studios and houses mainly in mountain and sea resorts.

Old properties for connoisseurs...
Bulgaria is a country rich in history. During its more than 1300 years old existence, it has been an object of many different cultural influences. The old parts of the Bulgarian towns still preserve awesome specimen of architectural styles typical for the 20's, 30's and until present days. And it is not impossible to buy a very old house (for example more than 100 years old) at a quite reasonable price. Foreign connoisseurs are well acquainted with this facts and perfectly know how to profit by them - they come to Bulgaria, buy an old apartment/house which is usually in bad condition and therefore at low price, repair and renovate it, keeping its spirit and boosting up its value. Usually the construction of the old buildings is solid and massive, in this geographic areas there are no termites and fungus which ruin the trimmer joists, so if your old property is well preserved it lasts for centuries.

New properties for holiday-makers...
One of the hits at the local market is the residential complexes. The reason is that foreign buyers are well acquainted with Bulgarian resorts, because they have already visited them as tourists. Bulgaria has been a desired tourist destination attracting visitors from Europe and Russia for more than 50 years. So new developments have been built in most of the ski and sea resorts, combining beautiful nature with modern amenities. And competing for buyers' interest developers offer more and more extras to the properties - limited access to the complexes, swimming pools, transportations, management, furnishing, leisure activities and so on.
One important feature of the new-built apartments is that the offered area of a new apartment - it is a sum of the built area of the apartment plus the adjoining common parts of the apartment. And the price, which is usually offered as Euro per square meter is calculated on the total area (not the built one). So in order to get an idea of how their property would look like, buyers should ask about the built area of the apartment.

Bulgarian houses...
Bulgarian houses have two major advantages - the beautiful and still unspoiled Bulgarian nature and the low cost of living. These are the reasons which make many retired UK, Germany, Russia and Japan citizens buy a rural house here (you can still get a countryside house in a village with private yard for 15 000 - 20 000 Euro) and enjoy living in Bulgaria with their foreign pensions, which are much more than sufficient for local economic conditions. Bulgarian people are hospitable and friendly and quickly make friends of their new coming foreign neighbors. The other interesting fact is that due to the demographic crises here many villages become abandoned and people who live there tend to sell their houses at extremely low prices - so it's not a problem to buy a couple of houses for a foreigner and his family and friends - establishing a community in a Bulgarian village. Buyers should take in mind that most of the houses are for sale with the adjoining land - i.e. the lot is included in the price of the house.

Land and plots...
Land and plots attract the attention of foreign investors. Their price has been continuously increasing in the last years. The new coming obstacle for those investors is the project "Natura 2000" declaring a number of plots in different parts of Bulgaria as preserved nature areas. This is a new project for Bulgaria, triggering a number of debates and discussions and if somebody is about to buy a plot or agricultural land he should be sure that it's not a part of "Natura 2000".

What does a foreigner need to buy a property in Bulgaria...
First of all - the money. And even if he doesn't the local mortgage market is fast developing offering more and more services to foreign customers.
Foreign citizens are now allowed to buy and own land in Bulgaria, so they no longer have to establish a local company in order to buy land, as they used to before.

As a whole at present moment Bulgarian market offers attractive possibilities to both business and residential buyers. And here, as everywhere else in the real estate market world accurate information is the key to successful deals.


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