Last update12:12:22 PM

Back You are here: Home Property Buying, Selling, Renting A Home by the Sea

A Home by the Sea

The talk of recession and financial meltdown is becoming depressing and in many respects the media is responsible for suppressing the property market; so much gloom and doom makes people hang on to their money just in case they are the next to be affected. In Bulgaria the mood is quite different and money still goes a long way despite drops in exchange rates. If the climate and general negativity is eating away at your spirits, then book a flight to Bulgaria and take a look at some of our coastal properties. When it’s raining in dear old Blighty you will be dining al fresco watching the sea gently lapping at the coast wondering what all of the fuss was about…



Property Prices

Property has dropped by 10 to 20% in price recently as sellers worry that many expat buyers will not be able to afford to buy and expats themselves sell to prop up their finances back home. This means that property in Bulgaria is now exceptionally cheap and many agents and sellers are open to negotiation – something that was unheard of during the building boom. Today you can get a two bedroom apartment in Bulgaria’s top beach resort for as little as 43,000 Euros with sea views and if you check out the resale market you will find that there are even better bargains to be had. Studios and one bedroom pads can start at as little as 29,000 Euros. Such apartments come in beautifully designed complexes with a wide range of facilities like pools, spas, fitness rooms and on-site shops and restaurants. There are plenty of cheap flights available from the likes of Wizz Air, Air BG and Balkan Holidays from the UK to Bourgas Airport – the nearest one to the southern Black Sea coast. Search the internet and get a feel for what is out there, but don’t commit yourself until you do a viewing trip.

A Permanent Home

Of course resorts like Sunny Beach and St Vlas offer some great property but they are best suited to the second home market. Bulgarian resorts are like ghost towns in winter because attention turns to the winter season when the ski resorts open up. If you fancy a new life abroad then you would be better off buying property in a city like Varna or Bourgas, or one of the surrounding villages. City apartments in Varna and Bourgas start at around 54,000 Euros for a one bedroom apartment and apartments in some of the most sought after villages like Rogachevo near Balchik cost as little as 30,000 Euros with the promise of a golf course soon to be constructed. For many making a permanent move, a house with a garden is what most people want. Renovation projects start at around 20,000 Euros for property in villages and by renovation we do not mean derelict! A turnkey villa in the country close to a city will cost anything from 68,000 Euros for a two to three bed villa, but realistically if you can spare 100,000 Euros the choice is amazing.

Financing your New Home

There are plenty of options to finance your home in Bulgaria despite what the media says about restrictions on credit – banks still need your money and are still offering mortgages for those who have 30% to put down. You can also still re-mortgage. If you are gainfully employed then a mortgage is indeed a good option allowing you to finance a little piece of heaven on the Black Sea. If you have been made redundant then, a permanent move is something to consider. You will be able to buy your home outright and live for a lot less than in the UK. In terms of earning a living there are many options – certainly you would probably have as many choices as you currently have in the UK and there is always the option of running you own business. Many expats have rented their UK property out, which either gives them income or pays the mortgage and then have bought outright over in Bulgaria.

Michael and Sue’s Story

Michael and Sue Haines from Shropshire moved to Balchik on the northern coast last year. Michael worked for Woolworths and when that closed he was given some redundancy and was able to start drawing a pension, “Leaving Woolies was a sad event, but because I had taken out a personal pension plan, I was able to draw a small income.” The pension wasn’t really enough to live on comfortably in the UK so the couple decided to try life in Bulgaria, where they owned a small cottage close to the town centre. “We bought our home in Bulgaria four years ago, when we were all a lot better off. It was a bit of a wreck, but over the years we’ve had quite a bit of work done and now it feels just like home,” Sue recalls. “We tried to sell our house in the UK, in fact it’s still on the market, but we had no success and so we rented it out to my daughter’s colleague and it gives us a bit more money to live in here and if we decide we don’t want to carry on in Bulgaria, we always have a place to go back to.” Michael’s advice to anyone living in the UK and feeling the pinch is to give Bulgaria a try, “If nothing else, the weather is a damn site better and the cost of living much lower – a loaf of bread is only 50p and a meal out GBP7.50 and that’s for the two of us – and we like a drink too!” For the moment the Haines’ seem very content with their Bulgarian life and certainly have no desire to go back to gloomy old England!