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Moving Back From Bulgaria

Some who bought their dream Bulgaria property are now being forced to sell and return home, others are choosing to do so. We were at a 'do' over the weekend, a birthday party of a friend, and bumped into a family who had been living in Bulgaria for a few years but are now going back to the UK. It is striking how many British expats do return, not just from Bulgaria but from every country. Why do these people give up on their dream? It is difficult to say, not everyone is willing to tell the real reason. The most commonly cited reasons are lack of money, missing family, not understanding the language and feeling isolated.

From talking to expats in many countries, it would seem that nearly half of them return home within two years. Who knows whether it is difficulties learning the language, or whether it is missing their family and friends. One thing is for sure, they are more likely to tell you this then let on that they have run out of money. You are not going to always get to the truth of the matter. This is a pity, as their reasons and experiences would be positive assistance to other potential expats, to understand why moving overseas doesn't always work out as you might think.

However, whatever the reason for returning home, expats need to give careful consideration to their finances before embarking on their return journey. You may face all sorts of problems when you are back in the UK as you have not been living there, so may have no credit history or be unable to obtain a mortgage, let alone trying to fit back in after experiencing a different culture for so long.


If you will need to get a mortgage when you return and have been away from the UK for some time, you may find this difficult. You will no longer have any up to date credit history. If possible, try and find a bank which has a good presence in Britain, which will allow information to be sent to the UK counterpart. There are a couple of lenders which have mortgages for expats returning. One such is Norwich and Peterborough.

Lenders nearly always look to see if you are on the electoral roll, so get yourself on this as soon as possible.

Evidence of your income whilst living in Bulgaria will help. Ask your Bulgarian accountant to provide you with full accounts for your Bulgarian company if you were trading here. The UK banks have tightening lending and those who are often hit hardest are the self employed, particularly if you have not been diligent in your book-keeping. You will definitely need to offer to the banks clear evidence of a salary or company income.

Of course, you may have kept a current account in Britain and even some money going into it from time to time. If you have, then so much the better, as it has kept a presence in the UK for you. Lending to expats returning is different with each bank. You might be required to be back at home for a year, some banks will hike the interest rates you have to pay.


Most expats only idly glance at the UK property prices once they have moved and may be surprised how much these have gone up. Even though prices have fallen significantly recently they are unlikely to be at the levels when you left the country. This means tons of research.. and then more research before you even think about buying. You'll need to be comfortable that you are getting best value for your money. Fortunately, right now, prices are flat and falling, so you should be able to find a good deal.

It is worth bearing in mind that there is a lot more to this than just buying property. Schools and local amenities are important to you too. Even if the area was lovely when you left, that does not mean it will be now and it could have gone downhill.

Run any area you are considering by friends if you can, asking them about any downturn. If you don't know someone in the area, then the site is a good source of information about local facilities, schools and crime figures.


When you consider the date for your move, take a look at the tax year in Britain. Arriving back in the middle of a tax year may have implications for pensions and insurances.

Ensure all taxes owed in Bulgaria are paid up to the day you leave the country.


With the current exchange rate of euro to pound, you should find that you are pleasantly surprised when you exchange your euros. In today's market, it is quite possible that you have had to reduce the price of your Bulgarian home. You may still come out with a small profit on the exchange.

Draw up a financial plan, outlining all the costs of getting back and for the following six months, or perhaps a year, to allow yourself time to re-establish your position.


Remember to budget for your move. In all the panic and rush, it is easy to forget how much it will cost you to get back. Start building up this fund in advance, so that you know you will be able to afford it.

In the desire or need to return home, people often tend to be caught up with the task of finding somewhere to live and the rest of the financial issues get left out. With some planning and research, your finances will not be neglected and your return a smoother one.