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Bulgaria: purchase of real estate

What do you need to know when buying an apartment in order not to miscalculate the price, check the honesty of sellers, find reliable realtors, and, most importantly, buy an object that you will not have to regret purchasing later? The article contains useful tips collected on the basis of the experience of those who have already become happy owners of Bulgarian real estate.

Tip 1. – Plan

Before buying an apartment in Bulgaria, determine what you expect from the overseas property and write down all the requirements in detail on paper. Draw up a table and enter the appropriate parameter in each column – location, type of residential complex, infrastructure, number of rooms, price. You can select residential properties in accordance with the list made either on your own, or bypassing the parameters to the agencies of your choice, and consider the options they offer.

Tip 2. – Study

To understand the real state of affairs in the Bulgarian real estate market, take enough time to research. Determine the average price level in the region where you are planning to purchase. Try to understand how the market is pricing. Having sufficient information about prices, you can buy a house or apartment with an optimal price-quality ratio.

Tip 3. – Come to Bulgaria

It is also possible to buy real estate in Bulgaria remotely – it is enough to choose suitable housing based on photos or videos of the relevant objects. You can also conclude a sale and purchase agreement without your participation, having previously sent documents to the agency for the apartment, a power of attorney for a representative, and transferring money to a bank account opened in advance.

However, photos and videos, no matter how detailed they are, will not provide complete information about a residential property. Perhaps the apartment in Bulgaria is ideal for your needs, but the infrastructure leaves much to be desired, or the house is located in an unsightly place. Or, on the contrary, the residential complex meets your requirements, but the apartment has serious flaws. All this can be understood only if you come to Bulgaria and look around the area.

Tip 4. – Haggle

The stated cost of housing is not final, so bargain with the seller. Discounts and flexible payment schedules for real estate are possible in Bulgaria. With the developer, you can agree on the maturity date of the full cost of the object and prescribe a payment schedule in the contract. For example, at first, you can pay 30-50% of the cost, then within six months another 30%, and after another six months – the rest.

aerial photography of houses near mountain

Tip 5 – Identify differences, identify pros, cons, and pitfalls

When buying real estate in Bulgaria, consider the following features of the local market:

  • Differences in the method of calculating living space.

Due to differences in calculation methods, the actual living area is 15-20% less than the declared one. This is due to the fact that in Bulgaria the common parts of the building are included in the living space in proportion to the size of the apartments. 

  • Geography of purchase.

When buying an apartment in Bulgaria on the sea, it is necessary to take into account that small resorts “die out” in the off-season, and the infrastructure of residential complexes stops working.

In the Bulgarian cities on the coast – Nessebar, Varna, Burgas – shops, shopping centers, restaurants are open all year round. When choosing between resorts, it is better to focus on Sunny Beach, Saint Vlas, Nessebar, Ravda, Pomorie – these resorts are better suited for living throughout the year.

  • Completion, renovation, and furnishing.

Fully ready to move in, furnished apartments can be found on the secondary market. In most cases, apartments in new buildings in Bulgaria are sold in a draft version according to the Bulgarian State Standard (BGS). However, recently, thanks to competition in the market, more and more developers are offering buyers turnkey apartments with furniture and household appliances.

Also, developers and realtors offer services for the repair and furnishing of apartments. Buying furniture through intermediaries is cheaper since companies conclude contracts with furniture stores and give customers discounts up to 10%.

  • Heating the apartment in the winter season.

Before buying an apartment in Bulgaria, familiarize yourself with the heating system of the residential complex, especially if you plan to come to the apartment in winter. Due to the lack of centralized heating, Bulgarian houses are heated by electric convectors, air conditioners, or fireplaces.

  • Additional costs of the owners.

Residents in resort-type complexes, or so-called apart-hotels, pay an annual fee for the maintenance of the building and the surrounding area. Depending on the area, annual fees can range from 400 to 1000 Euros. For ordinary residential buildings, the service charge is minimal.

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