Buying a Property in Bulgaria

 

 

Real estate in Bulgaria has become a strong attraction for expats, partly owing to the relatively low prices of properties by EU standards. The Bulgarian economy is also becoming increasingly stronger as people have more disposable income and higher purchasing power with mortgage loans being offered widely. 

Expats who are looking for miles of golden sands; warm, sunny summer getaways; mouth-watering original food; a plentiful supply of red wine; opportunities to ski; a wide variety of homes at considerably lower prices than the rest of Europe; then they will surely find that Bulgaria has a lot going for it. For those who grew tired of the same old trips to the likes of France or Spain - Bulgaria offers a refreshing change of scenery and culture - and all within less than a three-hour flight from the UK! 

Process of Buying a Property 

The property buying process in Bulgaria is not as complicated as many people believe, there has been great media focus placed on the fact that foreign nationals are not allowed to own a land title in Bulgaria directly. But according to the current constitution, this is all about to change and until it does change there is a very simple, cost-effective and legal work around. For those who are buying older property, it is important to look into the possibility of title disputes which complicates the issue of who owns the land and gets to be paid by the buyer. One can conduct legal searches with the help of a real estate agent or by himself. To prevent this scenario, it is best that one buy a new property. 

A reservation is a must to remove a property from the market. Expats that have selected a unit need to pay a deposit fee of €2,000 and only then will a property will be marked as reserved. After paying the reservation fee, a preliminary agreement between the buyer and the owner will be signed within one month whereas basic conditions will be settled such as the terms of payment and terms of finishing the property. All of the conditions will later be copied in a Notary, a legal document that certifies the ownership of a real estate. Below is a list of the transaction costs when buying a property in Bulgaria: 

  • Transfer Tax – 0.10% to 3% / 2.5% in Sofia
  • Notary Fee – 0.10% to 1.50% of the property value. Notary fees are capped at €3,000 (BGN 6,000)
  • Registration Fee – 0.10% of the purchase price 

In Demand Types of Properties 

Expats are usually eyeing properties such as winter resorts in Bulgaria or those that are located in coastal areas. Sofia, the capital city, also offers a great line of urban properties which are affordable to the most people. A huge majority of foreign assignees are also buying rural properties in Bulgaria with prices beginning at €5,000-€6,000 while rural houses with gardens can cost from €1,000 - €10,000. Some expats buy properties for their own use while others are looking to make an investment. Bulgaria's resale market looks good, and there are no laws barring a foreigner from taking out money from the country. 

Important Reminders for Buyers 

At present, expats can only buy buildings or houses but not land in Bulgaria. The only time foreigners may buy land is when they set up a company, but there is talk that the regulations will change so expats may eventually be able to buy land without having to set up a business. 

When buying an apartment, it is also usual for it to come without land therefore, a buyer does not need to worry about the fact that under the current constitution, foreigners cannot directly hold title to land. If expats decide to buy a villa, chalet or house they will need to register a Bulgarian Limited Company and this will then own the property and the land on which it sits. It costs between €500 and €700 to establish a company and a good estate agent in Bulgaria will offer this service.

 

 

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