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Buying to Rent

You've decided you want to invest in Bulgaria and that you want to make money from the property in the form of rental income. Of course you also want to get the very best rental rates for your property and over the longest rental time you can during the year. The question now remains, where to buy?

Quest Bulgaria takes a look at how you can get good rentals from your home in Bulgaria and how to find the right location where you'll stand the best chance to get as much interest as possible and get money for the maximum period during the year.

When looking for such a perfect rental property in Bulgaria there are four key elements which may be applied. Firstly, buying a property in a place where there is the opportunity for a double sports season; cities or towns with good cultural appeal; purchasing in a tourist resort; buying in a location with maximum sunny days.

Let's take these one by one. Those areas which have a double season for sports. These can include mountain resorts where there are such activities as horseriding and hiking in the summer, then ski in the winter. Look for an established ski resort which is now investing heavily in generating summer tourism, perhaps with the development of a golf course or some other sustainable activity which will create interest all year round.

Cities with good cultural appeal. Top of our list would be Sofia, Varna, Veliko Turnovo, Plovdiv, Sliven.

Varna is the closest thing you'll get in Bulgaria to a western European style city (see below). Veliko Turnovo has constant appeal with its houses piled up on steep hills overlooking the Yantra River. Plovdiv has a wonderful old quarter which even the capita Sofia cannot compete with. Sliven has the feel of an inland Varna, very western and surrounded by high mountains. Sofia, of course, being the capital city will always attract those who wish to rent property. Varna and Sofia are the most easily accessible, both having an international airport. One and two bed apartments which are well located rent well.

If you don't want something in quite such a large place but still want to offer your visitors a place with good cultural appeal, try one of the Museum Towns with splendid architecure.

Considering existing tourist resorts, well the Black Sea Coast is a clear choice. Do remember here though that location, location, location is ultra important. You'll have the devil of a job renting out an apartment which is 20 minutes walk from the sea with no sea view. Try and buy frontline and the best quality you can.

Sunshine. There's no two ways about it, Bulgaria has four proper seasons. However, the summer starts May and you can still happily sit out in October. Many middle aged and older couples prefer holidaying out of the main tourist season and, particularly, outside school holidays so these tenants can extend your season.

If you really want to make rental income, then location is the most important thing of all when you are looking to buy. Quality is second. When you combine location with quality you have a real basis from which to move forward. Also consider what your tenants will be looking for from a property to rent in Bulgaria. Access, size, swimming pool, how close it is to amenities, etc. You should look at what similar rentals are achieving on the market and this will give you a feel for what return you will get compared with the price you are paying to purchase, to find out if it is worth buying.

Marketing! It is always a surprise to find so many people buying a property as an investment for rental income and then forget all about marketing. This is an essential activity to your rentals success. Investigate having your own web site built and rental agents, advertisements on the internet and in printed media, and so on.

Location, quality and marketing is the mix which will bring you rentals success.