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Buying Bulgarian Property: Don't Get Caught Out

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me ... twelve golden rules for buying property and real estate in Bulgaria. For those considering buying a property in Bulgaria, follow our guidelines for a hassle free purchase. Quest Bulgaria has put together twelve hot tips based on the most common problems buyers experience.

Get your own independent lawyer, not the one recommended by the agent - and understand the difference between what a notary does and having your own lawyer

- if setting up a Bulgarian company be particularly careful what address you cite as the registered office of the company as all future correspondence will be sent to that address, including anything official coming from the tax, and other, authorities. Is it wise to have this address as that of the estate agent?

- if buying off plan check right at the start before you hand over any money or sign a contract that there is building permission for the development, without planning permission there is not even a project

- get everything translated, not by the agent, nor a bulgarian friend of theirs but by a registered translator who will certify and sign that the translation they are giving you is correct

- don't under-declare the price on the deeds, apart from the legalities of doing this you'll pay dearly later when you come to resell

- get the price of the property net to the vendor and the agent's commission stated in the preliminary contract and in the deeds

- if you are buying with a mortgage ensure a clause is inserted in the preliminary contract so that if you don't get the mortgage you are not committed to buy

- investigate inheritance laws, they are not the same as in the UK

- don't pay cash, send monies via a bank to bank transfer or ask your lawyer to have your money paid into a client holding account, that way all monies can be accounted for and nothing will go adrift

- check re-building rules, agents will tell you that you can build in the existing footprint - but what if that footprint didn't have planning in the first instance?

- be careful who you give Power of Attorney to and what it allows them to do

- on completion make sure you get the deeds and they are not left with the agent, particularly if you have given the agent a Power of Attorney which is not specific

The message is clear, take all the measures you would take in your home country! Keep your wits about you and ask questions.

According to figures from a Quest Bulgaria opinion poll, a huge 82.5% said their experience of buying a property in Bulgaria was "excellent" or "very good" - so do take heart from the fact that the vast majority of Bulgarian property purchases go smoothly!

The Quest Bulgaria take on the popular Christmas carol 'Twelfth Day of Christmas'


"On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me

Twelve months of surfing
Eleven weeks of planning
Ten hours of driving
Nine worthless viewings
Eight stupid offers
Seven this is it!
Six they've accepted


Now the deal's done
Three bed house
Two stray dogs
And a Happy Life in BG"