Please enable JS

Property for sale in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is traditionally a widely preferred destination for cultural, sea and mountain tourism among the population of both Western Europe and the rest of the world. There are lots of solid reasons behind the ever-growing interest towards this small Eastern European country. Above all, they include the rich, well-preserved natural diversity, the affordable cost of living, and the cultural proximity to the rest of Europe and the Slavic cultural region. Last but not least - Bulgaria is roughly two hours away from every major European capital by air. This combination of favorable circumstances makes the country both reachable and exotic, both predictable and full of extraordinary surprises.

Considering all of the above, it comes as no surprise that recently, a growing number of international settlers decide to go beyond tourism and buy their own property in Bulgaria. From senior citizens who seek a calm place to live happily, to young business entrepreneurs and families who want to enjoy a seasonal home by the seashore - Bulgaria is welcoming an increasing number of distinct long-term visitors. 

In the following paragraphs, you can obtain all the relevant information you’ll need before you decide to buy real estate in Bulgaria. Learn about the country’s most popular destinations, the variety of residences on offer, and the legal aspects of the Bulgarian property market.

We will begin by presenting some of the most charming regions of the country, which nowadays experience an ever-increasing real estate demand.  

Sofia and other major cities

The capital of Bulgaria is inevitably among the leading places of interest for foreign buyers and investors. The recent tendency is that more and more people are choosing to invest their money in properties in Sofia mainly to rent or resale them later. Long-term settlers, on the other hand, need to keep a few essential details in mind before choosing the most desirable living area of the city. They include local infrastructure, parking arrangements, kindergartens, and schools.

If you prefer a big and well-arranged but not necessarily cosmopolitan and overcrowded city, there are a few other destinations in Bulgaria, which could be more than satisfactory. The municipalities of Veliko Tarnovo, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Burgas, and Stara Zagora are “the usual suspects” in the annual “Best city to live in Bulgaria” ranking for the last decade. 

The choice of destination needs to be based on your personal preferences. If historical sights and cultural heritage matter the most you, you will probably feel good in Veliko Tarnovo; if you’re into arts and contemporary vibes - Plovdiv will suit you best; and if you fancy a green, well-established city by the Black Sea coast - Burgas and Varna will match your preference.

The Black Sea coast

Speaking of a sea view, Varna and Burgas are certainly not the only alternatives available. Virtually every beach resort by the Black Sea offers the dream house for sale, which expects its ideal future inhabitants.

The charm of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast lies within its diversity. Along with the shiny, vibrant, and crowdy little towns such as Sunny Beach, Sozopol, and Nesebar, a number of hidden peaceful gems also await for those who would appreciate them. The southern part of the Bulgarian shoreline stands in immediate proximity to the Strandza Mountain. It is, therefore, a great place to simultaneously enjoy the wilderness behind your back, and the seashore at our feet. A considerable part of it is a Natural Reserve, so it is safe to say that this part of the coast is less “polluted” by modern civilization.

Seasonal homes by the coast are currently the most desirable real estate in Bulgaria, and that is why both used and newly built properties are fast to sell. The extensive foreign presence in the area constitutes an international environment, both in terms of culture and property pricing. A recent real estate market study shows that most of the foreign property owners in the area come from Russia, Ukraine, UK, Germany, Poland, Austria, Ireland, Belarus, and others.

Mountain and village homes

Mountain and village homes are not the most prominent, but currently the most rapidly growing part of the real estate market of the country. Two basic kinds of properties present a noteworthy interest for foreign vacationists and settlers - those located near the ski resorts, and those placed somewhere in the heart of the marvelous Bulgarian mountains. 

To begin with, Bulgaria is a distinctive ski tourism destination. If you are a winter sports connoisseur, you probably know that already. Fully-equipped skiing facilities and excellent weather conditions attract visitors from all over Europe to enjoy exercising their favorite sports every year. That’s why locations such as Bansko, Pamporovo, Borovets, or Dobrinishte, realize a huge real-estate market among foreigners. Each of those areas has not only a modern ski lift and kilometers of ski slopes but also a delightful set of wellness opportunities. Buying a property in or around these resorts basically guarantees that you will have a swimming pool, a sauna, hot mineral water, and a Jacuzzi in no more than five minutes of walking. 

Currently, one of the most tempting proposals on the real estate market is the 5-star Pirin Golf & Country Club. The luxurious properties within the resort are equally fascinating for both mountain lovers and business investors. 

If you rather imagine owning your private, solitary shelter in the mountains of Bulgaria, away from the hustle and bustle of the popular tourist destinations, we have a solution for you. Sadly, many Bulgarians have a difficulty with finding satisfactory employment away from the major municipalities of the country. That’s why buying a fully furnished Bulgarian house in some peaceful village is very easy and surprisingly affordable. 

One of the finest places to escape from reality is the magnificent Rhodope Mountain, widely referred to as “the mountain with a soul” - the home of the mythical singer Orpheus. Along with the big guest houses and villas around, there are a number of family homes for sale. Even brief research will give you dozens of options for buying a stable built house of every size, often including a considerable piece of land or a country yard.

The attractive real estate offers, combined with the unbelievable nature and the traditionally well-arranged IT infrastructure in Bulgaria, presuppose the development of the so-called “IT villages.” They are previously depopulated Bulgarian mountain settlements, which come to life by becoming a lively community of foreign IT developers, which use it as their new home and remote office. 

Legal aspects of the Bulgarian real estate market

Once you decide to buy a residence within the borders of Bulgaria, there are several fundamental legal aspects that you need to be informed about.

First of all, check carefully the legal status of the real estate that you are going to buy, i.e.: do your legal due diligence. This is a brief check list:

  • Foreign citizens are allowed to freely buy and sell all types of real estate in Bulgaria. There are no legal restrictions of any character. 
  • The legal framework in Bulgaria is harmonized with the EU legislation, which logically follows the European Union membership of the country. Some minor differences are not unlikely to occur, but the basics will not involve any surprises.
  • You have to thoroughly inspect the property before you proceed with engaging in any arrangements. Start with making sure that there aren’t any encumbrances on the property, such as mortgages or foreclosures.
  • If the real property includes building(s) you have to carefully review the construction documents in order to verify that the legal construction requirements are duly met. 
  • It is also advisable to insist on receiving legal documentation, which proves that the person who sells the property is actually its rightful owner.
  • A good lawyer will provide the client with a comprehensive due diligence request list.

Please consider the following prior to paying the purchase price and executing the purchase agreement:

  • You have to be sure that all material terms and conditions are agreed by the parties in writing. It has to be clear what amount of the purchase price is paid and what are the obligations of the seller.
  • Sign a preliminary agreement if you need more time for conducting a due diligence or if the seller has not gathered all needed papers. Do not involve efforts and do not spend money without having a binding preliminary agreement. 
  • Prepare carefully the execution of the notary deed: request in advance all papers from the seller and coordinate all details with the notary prior to the date of signing. Do not leave anything in the very last minute. The execution of the notary deed is strictly formal procedure and small details may hinder the property transaction.   

Easy as it sounds, real estate buying is a serious endeavor - both in Bulgaria and everywhere else. It is strongly recommended to suit yourself with a knowledgeable and trustworthy lawyer who will protect your best interest during the deal and will protect you from dishonest sellers. 

Danailova, Todorov and Partners law firm has intensive experience in the sales of properties. Our law firm is a regional contributor to Doing Business survey which is published annually by IFC and the World Bank. Danailova, Todorov and Partners provides its clients with comprehensive legal advice and handles the whole life cycle of the transactions of properties.

21 October 2019

Author: DTPLF