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The Right Time to Buy in Bulgaria

The gloom and doom of media coverage seems to have clouded the issues about the strength and value of the Bulgarian property market. According to recent media reports the picture is one of over development, lack of supply and falling prices. Yet buyers from all over the world are still buying all manner of Bulgarian real estate from beachside apartments to rural cottages. Yes, prices have realigned themselves to more realistic levels making it a buyer’s market and this is all the more reason to take a look at what the country has to offer in terms of good value property and land.

Bursting the Bubble

It’s true the boom period in the Bulgarian real estate sector is over for now, but one thing is sure; with some of the cheapest property in Europe, those times will come around again – it’s just a matter of playing the waiting game. Experts claim that prices, which had become overinflated in the heat of a rising economy, are now down to more realistic levels and the volume of new developments not around when the property bubble started to inflate have meant that buyers have far more choice than they did five years ago. During this time there have been dramatic improvements to the infrastructure and the red tape, which once dogged every aspect of moving to Bulgaria or buying a home here has also improved. If you considered investing in the country a few years ago but didn’t because you felt it was ‘behind the times’ or culturally too different then it’s worth taking another look at Bulgaria.

New Developments

Over the last three years a host of new apartment blocks have sprung up along the coast, in the cities and in the ski resorts. These developments have been built to higher standards and include more luxurious facilities like spas, saunas, indoor and outdoor pools on site restaurants and bars. City apartments in good areas can still be bought for around 30,000 Euros outside of the capital and they provide excellent potential for rental income as more Bulgarians move away from the countryside to seek work in growth cities like Plovdiv and Varna. Additionally, cities like these offer great personal investments for private investors looking for a pied-a-terre close to a beach or ski resort yet not confined by the restraints of resort life. City living means you can take off for the beach or slopes then come home and enjoy the many restaurants, bars and nightclubs at local prices. The resorts also provide investment opportunities for those looking for a way of having frequent yet cheap vacations. With more and cheaper flights available from a wide variety of destinations, a family of four can holiday much more cheaply by staying in their own apartment than booking a package holiday. Families with teenagers will particularly benefit from this when they have to start paying adult prices for their kids.


Rural Retreats

Not everyone wants to be in an area riddled with tourists. Bulgarian village property now represents some of the best value around with a good selection of newly renovated properties for as little as 50,000 Euros. You can choose to be surrounded by spectacular countryside yet close to a main town for entertainment and retail facilities or if you need to get away from the pressures of the rat race, there is plenty of rural property where you can turn the key and let time stand still for a couple of weeks. Again ease and cost of access means that you can have not one, but several holidays a year. Bulgarian villages are also getting a little more sophisticated; there was a time when the dingy village shop was the only facility for miles around however today’s villages usually have several mini markets all at reasonable prices and in many restaurants and bars a springing up with several villages having their own expat bar or restaurant.

Making a Permanent Move

With more and more people becoming disillusioned with life in a dull climate, or one where the taxes are so high and pensions so low that it makes one question the very point of working many people are making a permanent move to Bulgaria. The age profile of émigrés has changed too; once it was only retirees who could afford to move, today families with children of varying age ranges have set up a permanent home here. Bulgarian schools often have several expat children studying in them and they are now well versed in helping children through the initial transition stages. Likewise in Bulgarian towns and villages, each mayor knows that how to include and inform his expat residents about issues relating to their property, the power or water supply and voting in elections. Even the police are accommodating of those expats they know to be ‘locals.’ If you are considering a move to Bulgaria, then now is a good time to invest with low property prices, a low cost of living and better facilities. If you do decide to make the move then think about is how you will earn a living whilst in Bulgaria – the idea of coming over doing up property and selling it on is too risky in today’s climate so you need to have a fixed and well developed plan as to how you intend to earn a living. You should also set aside some time to think about the type of lifestyle you want; resorts close down when the holiday season is over and this could leave you feeling isolated if you buy resort property as a permanent abode. You may feel it would be advantageous to live close to fellow expats and there are many advantages to this not least in that you will have someone to steer you through the initial stages of registering yourself, your can and your property. Likewise you may prefer to live in a wholly Bulgarian community and again there is still plenty of choice here. Whatever you choose, you will find that there really are some great property bargains out there, which in the longer term are sure to go up in value.