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Reduced price properties south east Bulgaria

Prices have been hard hit in the UK; and Bulgarian property has similarly reduced in value, making the country a place where you are likely to pick up a bargain as prices have fallen to the lowest levels in several years.

Previously, Bulgarian properties were often overvalued but they have now been reduced to realistic levels. Other cut price homes are being sold as Brits return home.

We take a look at the south eastern area, which has been one of the most popular locations for Britons and other foreigners buying in Bulgaria. Its proximity to Bourgas International Airport and lovely countryside, together with low prices makes it a winner.

However, recently the market has been poor. Not that there is nothing selling, there have been sales but significantly less than in the boom years. This was always a cheap area of Bulgaria and property prices here have fallen on average less than in some others where the prices had risen to high - 'what goes up must come down'. This year has seen an increase in enquiries and viewings, probably with buyers seeking to make sure they purchase before the market improves.

Karen Penny, owner of Bulgaria Real Estate Online in Yambol, says, 'Buyers' budgets have been considerably reduced and many are looking for cheap property to renovate. But, of course, the less you spend on a property themore likely the renovations will up the cost, so it's swings and roundabouts. We have a selection of properties we consider to be real bargains and either the vendor would accept an offer or they have already been reduced in price.

This area is extraordinary versatile, offering buyers anything from remote small farmhouses through to architecturally splendid homes in small towns such as Kotel.'

Karen goes on to make some recommendations to buyers to help find their ideal Bulgarian property. 'With regard to choosing a location, although buyers arrive with a wish list, once here they come to understand the practicalities of living here. Thus, they often change their mind and wish they had bought something different. In advance, it is worth considering what purpose you really want the property for. Often buyers are searching for an isolated property in the mountains, plenty of land and not a neighbour in sight. The practicalities of that for the elderly or people with children is not realistic: often these locations are inaccessible during the winter months. It soon becomes a chore to trundle down an unmade track for the next loaf of bread. Others want to live near the coast but just don't have the budget necessary to buy in that location. Buyers need to have clearly in mind what they want the property for: simply a holiday home, for investment with rental return, in a historic small town with facilities on hand for day to day living.... These questions are vital for the puchaser to find their right dream home.'

Reduced price and value for money properties

Cheap by a lake! Small two storey house in large gardens of 2000 sq.m on edge of quiet village. External staircase. Outbuilding attached to the house. 18 km from Yambol. Right next to a beautiful lake with great views. Shop and cafe nearby. 16990 euros

Fully renovated two storey house with 120 sq.m of living space. Set in manageable gardens by a stone wall. Kitchen, modern bathroom with big bath, plus five other rooms. Roof renovated exterior rendered, wooden windows and doors. Rewired, new boiler. Very good condition and lovely views. Small brook near to the property in woodland, excellent for walks. Near Sliven. 30990 euros

In peaceful surroundings with 2,400 sq.m of gardens. Single storey house: with a separate apartment which is ready to move in. The house is 90 sq.m. The apartment, which is attached, has entrance hall, two rooms and toilet/shower room. Fully furnished. Renovated 2008. Nr Karnobat. Two farm buildings. Septic tank, air conditioning, internet access and satellite television. 49000 euros

Need an income? For those wanting to move to Bulgaria but concerned about making a living, this is a very good opportunity. An exceptionally pretty, quality home, edge of a small town with everything on hand - shops, restaurants, bars, doctors, ambulance, banks, schools all two minutes in one direction, yet open countryside two minutes the other. In an architecturally protected area. Fully renovated 2008, detached with 110 sqm living space on two floors, and south facing courtyard garden. Mains drains, air conditioning, log burner, wireless broadband internet, satellite tv, fully fitted German kitchen, washing machine, tumble drier. Full arlam system. Being sold with a proven and profitable work-from-home business; suitable for full or part time and can be run around your family and other commitments!

All the above are available with Bulgarian Real Estate Online who have a huge selection of properties available in the south east of the country. It is worth noting that all prices on their website are fully inclusive of all fees and charges including aftercare services, so there is no more to pay

Ten point checklist

- international airport within 60 to 75 mins
- large towns within easy reach and some facilities available on foot
- houses in bad condition will cost significant amounts to renovate
- don't underestimate the cost and hassle of renovations in a country where you do not speak the language
- check out all fees with the agent to ensure complete transparency
- look for small towns or big villages with good facilities on hand
- watch out for small villages/hamlets where you may feel isolated
- avoid anything too remote unless you are sure you can cope
- ensure you are clear in your mind what you want the property for before viewings
- can you make a living? make a full plan of your finances and how you'll support yourself in Bulgaria