After the Purchase of your Bulgarian property

There are also a number of practical issues you will need to address, such as changing the water and electricity accounts from the previous owner’s name to your name. Changing the locks and securing the Bulgarian property if you are not going to live there, arranging for direct debits with the bank for the water and the electricity to be paid, insuring the property in Bulgaria and its contents, and so forth.

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Y0u may then want to:

• make a full photographic record of the Bulgarian property; this is useful in the event of insurance claims and for your scrapbook.

• make a will covering your assets in Bulgaria; there are a number of ways of doing this, so discuss them with your lawyer as, depending on your personal circumstances, some will be much better for you than others. If you do not make a will, the bulgarian law will be in power, it states that your direct inheritors are your children and your husband or wife.

• appoint an accountant as your point of contact with the Bulgarian tax office; this person will usually complete and file your company annual tax return. Your lawyer or agent may provide this service or should be able to suggest someone.

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Key Points for Different Types of Bulgarian Property

Bulgarian Property under Construction

There are several problems that can arise in the case of new properties in Bulgaria. The first is the risk that, if the developer goes bust before delivering the property to you, you can lose your money. In some countries there is a system of bank guarantees to guard against this, but this does not generally exist in Bulgaria.

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If the developer is substantial and/or the house is far advanced in construction, the risk is minor but  still exists. If the developer is small and/or the house has not yet been started, the risk is much more substantial. On the other hand, if the construction is more advanced, the selling price would be higher compared with the price in the early stages of the construction. When buying a new property in Bulgaria:

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• Make sure you understand exactly what you are buying. How big is the Bulgarian property? What will it look like? How will it be finished? What appliances are included? What facilities will it enjoy?

• Don’t assume that the title and planning permission will be in order.

• Make sure the contract has all necessary special clauses.

• Will there be any form of guarantee if you are buying off-plan?

• Be clear about the timetable for making payments.

• Check if the payments can be tied to stages of construction and not dates – it will be much better to pay the next installment knowing the construction is going up, and the previous stage has been completed.

• Ensure there is a contract for guaranteed rental income signed as well, if such income is offered.

• Ensure there is also a maintenance contract signed, especially if you are not going to live in the property and will let it or use it as a holiday home.

• If you are buying with a Bulgarian mortgage, let the developer know about it, and include special clauses in the contract.

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When you take delivery of the property, consider having an independent survey to confirm that all is in order and to help draft any Bulgarian property snag list.

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