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Bulgaria Property: Lifestyle Buyers

In the current climate where is the most secure Bulgaria property market for buyers? The days of small investors arriving with their calculators at the ready to work out how much quick money they could make are gone. However, this current financial crisis, brought about by the banks, central banks and governments has had little effect in one particular segment of the property market in Bulgaria - small town and village homes.

Apart from the vultures, as is normal in times of crisis, the main Bulgaria property buyers now are those who are seeking a lifestyle change, which explains the lack of impact on property purchases.

Off plan and buy to let is suffering as owners have to prop up their mortgages at home and experience difficulty obtaining loans. Yet, properties inland are holding their ground and this is where many buyers are looking for a new and better lifestyle.

The rural and village property market has become the most secure in Bulgaria. Lifestyle buyers tend to be those who really want the property and see it as a family home or retirement opportunity. They just want to relax and are looking for a better quality of life combined with a significantly lower cost of living. Not driven by investment and "kerching!", they are usually on a sounder financial footing and take a long term view on their property.

Those seeking a lifestyle change say they are buying property in Bulgaria for several reasons, which include :

- low entry price of property and what can be bought for their money

- low cost of living for a very high standard`

- low crime, particularly amongst youngsters

- no 'nanny state'

- climate, particularly with plenty of sun and long hot summers

- slower, more relaxed pace of life

More and more buyers are falling into this category and they consider the lifestyle offered in Bulgaria, together with leisure activities, more important than investment returns.

How close the property is to day to day facilities also plays a critical part in decision making as they are looking for an easy way of living, with things on their doorstep.

These are also, interestingly, a group of purchasers who are not deterred by the negative stories in the media and are still voting with their feet! Certainly, they are not letting the 'credit crunch' prevent them from owning their new home.

Nonetheless, for lifestyle purchasers, even they need the money to actually buy and thus property prices will remain critical. The countries which will do best will be those with low entry, value for money prices and a low cost of living for a good standard of life. Affordability is the keyword. Bulgaria fits the bill.

Homes in small Bulgarian towns and villages have been dominant amongst lifestyle buyers for several years. These properties are still finding both local and foreign purchasers.

Lifestyle buyers know that there is likely to be no mortgage required (or if so, it will be very small), as many are often high net worth individuals or have good equity in their current home. They are not aiming to rent their property to generate income unlike the buy-to-let brigade. Whilst they may be looking to resell at some time in the future, they are realistic that this will be long term and certainly not at triple or quadruple the price of today.

It is likely that they will become the most dominant purchasers this year.

Properties in Bulgaria are abundant at 40,000 euros for lifestyle purchasers and with another 30,000 euros for full renovation you can simply move in. Alternatively, they can find a fully renovated detached original property for 95,000 euros, ready for living. Actually, at the moment, lifestyle buyers can't believe their luck!

Whilst off plan and new build are taking a nosedive, the Bulgarian village and town property market is stable.


Five Golden Lifestyle Buying Tips

- look where the locals want to buy: they know their own property locations and in times of crisis these properties will always have a market and hold their price
- purchase 'listed' or authentic properties: these homes are a joy to live in and they aren't building any more of them, so they will always command a premium
- buy a property with a good view, surrounded by other properties of similar quality and good neighbours
- better to buy smaller in the best small town or village than larger in the wrong place
- buy a property with easy access to good facilities: homes where you can walk into the village or town for a good selection of day to day provisions, restaurants and doctors are highly sought after


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