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Buying Listed Property - Where to Buy




Whilst, as one would expect, prices tend to be a little higher than much country property, these houses reflect remarkable value for money.

Prices start from as little as 30,000 euros for an authentic listed National Revival house which requires renovation. Bear in mind that there may be restrictions on what you can do with this kind of property, however, these can be worth it to own a property with such kudos.

Listed buildings are not museum pieces frozen in time and can be updated with modern kitchens and bathrooms, rewiring and plumbing. However, any works to the exterior must not harm the historic or architectural character of the building.

Many of these buildings have been altered over the years. Some, however, do not lend themselves to alterations. Special care needs to be taken when considering altering or extending as it is important to protect the very reason why the building was considered worthy of listing in the first place. If all the small scale historic buildings are extended with each generation there will be none left.

Stricter controls are often exercised in respect of garages, swimming pools and so on to protect the setting of the building. Before you buy a listed property that does not meet your specific requirements talk to the municipality before buying about whether your proposal is likely to receive support.


Prices Up

An excellent indicator to note is that property prices in Museum Towns are already sustained by the local market of affluent Bulgarian buyers. This bodes well for the future as prices are not being solely affected by foreigners: where there is local demand it is always worth following.

In 2007 property prices in Revival villages went up 45% compared with an average 25% increase across the property board in Bulgaria.

It isn’t by chance that an ever increasing number of tourists from western Europe have been coming to Bulgaria to discover the culture and historical buildings of one of the most ancient places in Europe. Bulgaria has been marketed for a long time as a mass tourism, cheap destination but during that time, through ineffective advertising, tourists had no idea of the culture or heritage available for them to experience. Recently a number of special tours have sprung up offering possibilities to visit the ancient Museum Towns full of the atmosphere of the 18th and 19th Centuries and these are emerging as key attractions for foreign visitors.


Where to buy

Apart from the listed 14 Museum Towns, investment should also be seriously considered in villages which are protected and towns which have a protected listed quarter, such as Kotel and Lovech. The villages which have listed houses offer a step back into the past and are excellent for holiday homes, allowing the owner to maximise return based on the special location.

The towns with a designated historic quarter give not only protection against massive construction alongside them but also have a nearby part of town where all modern facilities are available, giving the best of both worlds.

Museum Towns and protected villages are our tip for the future and we recommend lovers of architecture, style and heritage to take a look at the houses available.

With visitor numbers on the increase for cultural tourism and the average budget available from property buyers looking for architectural interest on the up, it is inevitable that demand will outstrip supply and thus increase prices dramatically - after all, they are a dwindling resource which cannot be replaced.


Pros and Cons:

Owning is a pleasure
No unsuitable construction permitted
Future investment - demand will outstrip supply
History and heritage
Property kudos
Surrounded by other properties of similar style
EU funding is already earmarked for cultural tourism

Owning is a responsibility
Can feel like you really are living in a museum in tourist season
Extensions, alterations and development are rarely permitted
Generally small gardens
Parking can be difficult as many houses do not have direct car access into a driveway
Must be kept in a good state of repair