Postal services in Bulgaria

Post offices exist throughout the country, including most villages in the Bulgarian countryside, with small offices generally closing for lunch. In addition to the usual postal services, the larger offices also offer telephone services, fax transmissions, domestic and international money transfers, payment of utility bills, phone-card sales, newspapers and stationery.

The Media in Bulgaria

Television in Bulgaria

There are currently three terrestrial television channels in Bulgaria, all broadcasting in Bulgarian; to watch English-language programs you will have to install either cable or satellite TV. There are normally several cable providers in any one area but only two national satellite providers iTV partner and BulsatCom. Cable is cheaper to install than satellite, but neither should cost more than 145 leva (£70) for installation. The monthly cost is 11-40 leva (£5-18) depending on which package of channels you choose, with satellite slightly more expensive but having a larger selection of channels. Included in any basic package are CNN, Euronews, Eurosports, Hallmark, MTV, Discovery and Animal Planet. More expensive packages include movie channels such as HBO (in English) and extra sports channels.

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.

Encumbrances on Bulgarian property

In general your lawyer will check the existing notary act of the current owner or seller. He or she will check the history of the Bulgarian property that you are buying and also if there are any encumbrances on it – mortgages, court claims, court injunctions and so on. Since all notary acts are registered with the Registry Agency, it is possible to trace the history of the property and all previous transactions.

Add children to the Notary deed of your Bulgarian Property

You may be considering adding your children as co-owners of your property in Bulgaria at the time of purchase, to save inheritance tax when you die. On your death you would only own, say, one-fifth of the property rather than one half, and only that part will be taxable. This only works sensibly if they are over 18. Of course there are drawbacks.

Buying a Bulgarian Property as a Company

At present time, most people currently buying a property with land in Bulgaria still do so via a company-irrespective of the new rights of EU citizens.

The company is owned by the shareholders (you) and the company owns the property. It is a perfectly legal procedure and costs a bout €300-750 (£200-500) to register the company (including all the state taxes and legal fees).There can be more than one shareholder. You will have to decide on a name for the company, deposit in a bank at least 3,500 leva (€1,800) as initial start-up capital (the bank account is called a capital-raising account), sign many documents and wait about two weeks for the process to be completed. Your lawyer or estate agent would be able to arrange this on your behalf in your absence by using power of attorney.

Taking Out a Bulgarian Mortgage

Until recently, Bulgarian banks would only lend to Bulgarian citizens, but recently these restrictions have been relaxed. Not all Bulgarian banks will lend to foreign citizens, however, so you will have to shop around. Bulgarian Mortgages are not generally available if you are buying land alone. You might decide to use the services of a local mortgage broker, who can assist with the process of applying for and finalizing of the mortgage.