Frequently Asked Questions Abut Bulgarian Property

Bulgaria is situated in Eastern Europe. Its about half the size of England and in oblong shape. The River Danube runs along the top of the country, from west to east. This is also the border with Romania. The right hand side of the country is bordered by the beautiful Black sea. To the south are borders with Greece and Turkey. To the west are borders with Macedonia and the former republic of Yugoslavia. The landscape ranges from impressive mountains with established National Parks and Ski resorts, to lat plains, dense forests, meandering rivers and lakes.
bulgaria countryside
What is the currency there?

We use the Bulgarian Lev. The exchange rate is about 2.8 Lev to 1 Pound Sterling. The Bulgarian Lev is pegged to the Euro as Bulgaria entered a currency board in 1997.

Can we use our credit and debit cards when we come?

In the bigger towns, you can use your cards, but still only in the larger shops. All the hotels will accept cards, and all the major petrol stations, but in general most other transactions are carried out in cash.

What about cash points?

They are in all the towns, and will accept the majority of UK cards.

Are there supermarkets in Bulgaria?

Yes, all the large towns have supermarkets, about the same as UK. There are also chains of convenience similar to SPAR stores everywhere. The smaller towns and villages will all have well stocked local shops for all the essentials.

Frequently asked questions

Anything else?

Bulgaria has large DIY warehouse stores here ( similar to B&Q ) , large electrical warehouse stores, selling everything from vacuum cleaner bags to huge, American style refrigerators. Cash and Carry warehouses are also popular here.

Can we use our UK appliances here?

Yes, Bulgaria uses 220 volt power so no problems there. We use continental style 2 pin plugs, so bring an adapter. What about telephones?

Its not worth bringing over a UK stationary phone for your new property as they will not work in Bulgaria. Mobiles will work, either with a Bulgarian SIM card or using your UK card if it is suitable. What is the weather like there?

Unlike the UK, Bulgaria has four distinct seasons, with temperatures ranging from about -10˚C in the winter, to +35˚C in the summer.

Is there much to see and do there?

Absolutely, with the Bulgarian Black sea coast, Bulgarian ski resorts in the mountains, original towns and historical villages, ancient burial sites and ruins, lakes and reservoirs, there should be something for everyone.

Can I bring my golf clubs?

Yes, Bulgaria has some courses, but it still has something of a fledgling golf industry. More and more courses are being developed all the time though.

What about the cost of living there?

Compared with UK prices, this is extremely cheap. A loaf of bread should be about 20 pence, a pint of lager about 55 pence, a packet of cigarettes about 70 pence. A liter of petrol is about 60 pence.

Frequently asked questions

Do we need a visa?

At the moment UK citizens can stay in Bulgaria for 90 days in any 6 months. Any more than that and you need to apply for a type D visa from the Bulgarian embassy in London. For more information you can have a look here:

Can we drive to Bulgaria?

Of course! As long as you have the appropriate documents and insurance for Bulgaria, you shouldnt have a problem. There are a number of tried and tested routes here; you could probably do trip in 3 or 4 days if you were taking it easy.

What about bringing the pets?

Yes, as long as your pet has the correct Pet Passport . For more information you can have a look at our legal advice section.

Buying property in Bulgaria

How shall we start our property search?

Have a look at the properties on our website and when decide which properties you like, send us an email with any questions you might have about the properties to the email address at the bottom of the page with the offer. For viewings you need to arrange a trip to Bulgaria and let us know. We will then set the necessary appointments. You can also ask us any other questions that you have, we are here to help!

So how does your price system work then?

The price we show on each of our advertisements does not show the full price. As a rough guide, you should add 60 % to the price you see on the website. This covers legal fees, notary fees, government taxes etc as well as our commission. You should also add 600 Euros to the price if a company set up is required. This price system does not apply to apartments in Sofia, and new build apartments in the resorts. They will have their own system. If you buy a second property or already have a company set up, you can deduct 600 Euros from the price. There is also an optional after sales package available for 590 Euros.

How do we see the properties that we are interested in?

If you tell us in advance when you will be coming to Bulgaria, we can arrange viewings to fit your schedule (even a tight one!). If you wish to use our transport for viewing. We can also arrange your accommodation and meet you at the airport.

What do we need to bring with us on our first visit?

Obviously you will need your passport , but also some Euros if you want to place a deposit immediately.( You can bring up to 4000 Euros each into Bulgaria without declaring it.) We would suggest you bring some sturdy shoes if you are looking at properties in the country, as some may be less accessible than others.

What deposit?

The deposit is 10 % of the price ( and minimum of 1000 Euros ) and is non refundable. This ensures that the property is removed from the market and the owners will not sell to anyone else.

Can we pay by credit card or travelers cheques?

Travelers cheques are cashed only in the big towns and they charge high commission on them. You can pay us using your credit or debit card for your property. Normal cheques take about 4 weeks to clear and they are not suitable for payments, especially for placing a deposit!

Is that it?

Almost, whilst on your first visit here you should sign papers for the setting up of a Bulgarian limited company. ( This is a legal requirement for all foreigners buying land in Bulgaria.) This procedure is very straight forward and our lawyers can help you with everything.

Do we really have to form a company?

Only if the property comes with land ( garden). The company is the owner of the property and you own the company. This applies to almost all of our properties , except for new build apartments. These you can buy as a physical person, without a company.

What about this new law saying that foreigner buyers do not need to have a company?

This law is not due to come effect until 2014. Until then you ill still have to form a company.

Frequently asked questions

And after that?

You leave a Power of Attorney ( POA ) with us and we can continue the buying process on your behalf, after you have returned to UK. Next time you visit Bulgaria, you will be the new owner of the property. So, you only need once to select a property and leave the rest to us.

Is it possible to buy without coming to Bulgaria?

Yes, this is possible, but as it is not a common practice in Bulgaria it will take longer to arrange and will be an additional cost of 250 Euros. In the meantime, you should place a deposit on the property, or face the risk of losing the property while waiting for the survey results.

Will we get ownership documents for the property?

Yes, you will have title deeds in your name, or if you are buying through a company, your company name.

Can the government take our property away from us?

There is no way the government can take your property from you. As your property is owned by your Bulgaria company, you have the same right as a Bulgarian person.

I see that you also offer plots of land for sale?

Yes, these plot of land are either with or without building consent. If you want to build on the land, you always need to apply for planning permission to build and for a building consent if it does not have one.

What are the best areas to invest in?

This really depends on you and your budget. Obviously, the resorts on the Black sea coast are very popular, further inland are the ski resorts of Bansko, Pamporovo nad Borovets. There is also a multitude of beautiful towns and village across Bulgaria which benefit from an increasing popularity.

Frequently asked questions

What if we want to have renovations carried out on our property?

No problem, we can recommend a complete range of professional tradesmen who will work to the budget that you set them. You just need to tell them your requirements and negotiate the different options with them.

How much is it to put the bathroom and toilet inside the house?

This depends very much on the location and the cost of the property. In general, prices have almost doubled in the last couple of years, they are still increasing, but in a steadier rate.

What if we want to rent out our property?

The market for rented property in Bulgaria has just started to develop. If you want an idea about the rentals you can get you can visit these websites:

How much is council tax?

This varies depending on the location and size of your property. One thing is for sure though, it will hardly be anything compared to the majority of UK council taxes! Normally 0.015 % of the tax valuation.

What about our company tax returns?

Every year you have to submit your annual tax return, the same as in the UK. We have accountants that can do this for you.

Tax in Bulgaria

Capital Gains Tax

If a foreigner sells his property in the first 5 years, te profit he makes will be subject to 10% Capital Gains.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.