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Investing in Traditional

Have you ever dreamed of having your own piece of history? If so, consider buying traditional Bulgarian property in a protected area, or a protected quarter of one of Bulgaria's lovely old towns. In these areas you will find wonderful old houses, many of them "listed" buildings with exceptional architecture and the real Bulgarian spirit. These listed houses are often set in some of the most important cultural centres with rich history and marvellous natural surroundings.

You'll be surprised at how little you can pick up a suitable renovation project for. Alternatively, if you want a fully renovated listed or architecturally traditional property, expect to pay for it.

 

They are very rare and are as much in demand by Bulgarians as by the Dutch, Germans and British. If you visit any of the Museum Towns or the old villages with such traditional properties at the weekend, you'll be staggered at the number of Sofia, Varna and Bourgas number plates - all the Bulgarians who are buying these properties as second homes!

Prices for such properties for renovation range from 20,000 to 60,000 euros. Fully renovated properties (to western European standards) range from 90,000 to 250,000 euros

Kotel, situated in south eastern Bulgaria, just over an hour from the Black Sea Coast and Bourgas international airport, is just such a town with beautiful architectural examples from the late Revival period and one of the most important centres of the ancient art of carpet weaving. Its rich history, Renaissance architecture, and marvellous hilly surroundings make this picturesque town a suitable place for national and international tourism.

Often referred to as the “Cradle of the Bulgarian Revival,” the town is well known for its crystal-clear air, deep-water wells, mild winter and cool summer and this along with its historical and cultural heritage attract many property buyers.

It lies within easy commuting distance from the town of Sliven. It has a good local infrastructure, combined with a strong tourist industry, a pillar of the local economy, which ensures a healthy growth of the economy in the future. All facilities are available within the town including shops, school, doctor, dentist, chemist (English and French speaking!), restaurants and bars.

 

The town promotes itself as a year round eco destination, which accentuates its mountain location, nearby balneological spas, rural and hunting tourism. The constant growth in the number of tourists has attracted more and more outside investors who are not only buying residential property here but are adding to the town’s entertainment facilities with the construction of a casino, a hew hotel and a special health clinic aimed wealthy tourists with respiratory diseases.

Investment in properties in Kotel is both financially and culturally rewarding. The real estate market here is relatively unexplored and offers incredible investment opportunities. Whether using property in Kotel as a second home or as a vacation rental, there has never been a better time to buy here.

Most properties offered for sale in Kotel are old houses in need of refurbishment. However, the investment interest in the area is growing and property prices are expected to rise. The thought of taking on a laborious renovation project may frighten some potential investors, but this is an area with honest and skilled craftsmen and builders, who charge reasonable prices for complete top to toe works.

If you prefer a property out of town, then the small villages of Medven, Zheravna and Katounishte all have the same architecture and style.

We love Kotel because…

Jackie and Mark Rowland moved from Plovdiv to Kotel last year. They had experienced enough of city life but didn't want to move to a small village without facilities, knowing this would be too isolated for them. Both insisted on buying in a protected area and wanted a listed building if they could find one. Their criteria:

- architecturally protected area and building: for renovation: manageable walled garden: all facilities within walking distance: edge of town (open space and forests to walk in): views: mains drains

They bought a period home in the architectural preserved old quarter of Kotel, which needed substantial renovation. Situated near the edge of the town, they have the best of all worlds, being able to get to everything they need within a two minute walk, then a two minute walk the other way takes them straight into the hills and forests.

Jackie recalls, “We were lucky enough to find this wonderful home. A listed house of two storeys, the ground floor built of stone and the first floor built of wood. We talked to the Mayor's office and they helped us find a sympathetic builder who had renovated property in this area before. He showed us some of the work he had done previously and we decided he would do a good job.”

"It took three months for the renovation work to be completed, but the effect was stunning, Mark says, and adds, “We kept all of the original features like the wooden floors, original wood panelling and doors where possible, had all the major things redone such as roof, electrics, plumbing, insulation, and so on but we added our own modern possessions and had the house painted in light airy colours to match.”

"We have a Dutch and a German neighbour nearby and the new hotel which is going up is being constructed by British. All our other neighbours are Bulgarians and we get many come for the weekend from Bourgas and Sofia. It feels an affluent town, very tidy and everyone's busy and employed. The Mayor is good and has excellent plans for the town."

The couple absolutely adore living in Kotel because for them it represents 'the real Bulgaria'. They paid 50,000 euros for the property and spent another 40,000 euros in total on all the renovation works, including the installation of a German-made fitted kitchen and a luxury family bathroom.

“We love walking over the fields and in the park. The scenery here is amazing and it still takes our breath away.” Jackie says. “I find it a little like Austria,” Mark continues, “The village is remarkably clean and the hilly landscape is awesome. There are some great restaurants and it’s easy to get to Sliven to do a bigger monthly grocery shop. We also drop down to Bourgas and the coast from time to time and enjoy a bit of sun and beach!"