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Buying In Bulgaria -Holiday Home or Permanent

Buying a home seems like an easy and exciting task and when you first make a viewing trip to Bulgaria, it's so easy to get carried away by the beautiful scenery and relaxed way of life that often you neglect to consider certain points that are of vital importance when purchasing your first Bulgarian dream pad.

One of the most important points to consider is whether you will use this home as a permanent home or a holiday residence - this will make a great deal of difference in the way you use your home and the things you need to include in it. Here are a few helpful pointers to help you in your decision.



Holiday homes should be situated close to tourist amenities like beaches, golf courses or ski resorts particularly if you intend to rent out your property.

You also need to consider the properties proximity to the airport and the available transport links. Most taxis charge at least 2.20 Euros a kilometer, making an extra bill to your holiday each time you visit your home. Again if you wish to rent out this may put guests off.


If you are buying a permanent home your nearness to the airport is irrelevant as you are likely to have your own means of transport. What is important to permanent owners is their proximity to local amenities like doctors, schools, shops, post offices and banks or cash point machines.

Think about winter; isolated villages may be cut off from nearby towns. Does your considered location have a restaurant or bar? Are you located close to a main road which will provide easy access to a nearby town or city? 10 km in distance may not seem much until that 10 km involves driving on icy roads down a winding hillside - Bulgaria does not grit all of its roads in winter! Another point to take into account is that out of season, resorts have little in the way of entertainment to offer. In season they will be bustling with foreign tourists and are not representative of real Bulgarian life. If you intend to live here full time, you need to be close to the locals!

Size Matters

A holiday home does not need to be a sprawling villa if you intend to visit as and when you have time. If the home is for family use people rarely mind doubling up or sleeping on sofa beds, particularly when each day means a dip in the pool or a run down the slopes.

Apartments make good holiday homes because they include a number of communal facilities, which you are unlikely to find in a private villa; this includes access to gym equipment, Jacuzzis, football and tennis courts and indoor pools.

If, on the other hand, you intend to live here all year round, an apartment may not be the best answer. You will need all of the space you had at home and indeed are likely to crave your own privacy and garden area.

When considering the size of your home remember heating is not that cheap in Bulgaria, and most of the country experiences harsh cold winters and a huge house can prove expensive to heat, alongside inevitable weather damage and repair bills.

If you emigrate with children you will need rooms for them, as they grow up, they will want their own space. If you expect to have regular house guests from home you may wish to include a permanent guest room in your house, possibly with its own en-suite bathroom.

Security Alert

When you return home from your Bulgarian holiday, you want to ensure that you have peace of mind and that your house is not going to become an easy target for burglars.

Many holiday properties are now being built in gates communities, which offer their own 24-hour security guard. Likewise, many apartment blocks in the resorts also offer this security feature.

For a permanent residence, you need to consider all aspects of security as you would back home and consider employing one of the security services, which are popular here like S.O.T. who link your house alarm system to their headquarters and dispatch a three minute response team once it rings. You can also "go native" with the added security of a guard dog, patrolling your premises. This is the local choice of security in the villages, not because crime is rife, but most Bulgarian villagers cannot afford to install elaborate alarm systems.

Keeping up appearances

If you don't live here all the time, who will attend to burst pipes or your other maintenance needs? Additionally, if you aren't considering a permanent move here, do you really want to spend all of your holiday time renovating your property?

It is far more prudent to look for a home which needs no additional work or is part of a complex where there is an annual maintenance fee covering unexpected issues like a leaking roof.

Permanent residents will have the time to repair and refurbish their home, indeed many people find that it gives them a purpose to each day, taking the place of regular work. The key here is not to bite off more than you can chew; in summer you may find it too hot to work and will want to relax in the garden; and in winter too cold. Be realistic about your DIY skills and motivation and if necessary get a good builder in to renovate the place before you move in.


If your home is for holiday use, you may want to include elements of design and furnishings that you would not have chosen back home like funky, bright summer colours.

You also don't need to spend too much on kitting your place out (unless it is for rentals too). Most of your time will be spent enjoying yourself, which will include lots of eating out. Consider the time of year you will be visiting too, as this will help you to determine whether you need a regular heating system or air conditioning.

Permanent residents need to prepare for all conditions. Bulgaria has four distinct and delightful seasons. You will need to choose a cost-effective source of heat for winter and air conditioning for summer.

You also need to select more durable fixtures and fittings and some good kitchen equipment, because once the novelty of living here has worn off, you will have overdosed on eating out and will be ready to return to home cooked meals!