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Buyer's Guide

This Buyer’s Guide is a shortened version of the full Buyer’s Guide which is available free of charge upon request. If you would like to receive the later please contact us

Why Bulgaria?

Bulgaria is a quiet and largely rural country in South Eastern Europe about the size of England but with a population of about 7 million. For years Bulgaria has been a favoured holiday destination for Eastern Europeans, but only in recent years has it opened its doors to the rest of the world. Its mountains, beaches and old-fashioned rural tranquillity offer a glimpse of Europe which has long since disappeared under the noise of traffic and concrete in Western Europe. At the same time the modern facilities in the biggest cities do not differ much from what the other European capitals have to offer and department stores such as Marks&Spencer's and Mothercare have now started operations.

More information about Stara Planina Properties can be found in the About Us section and you can read some clients' testimonials.

What is Available on the Market?

Property in Bulgaria offers excellent value for money. It also offers a good investment considering the long-term prospects for the country given they have just joined the EU in 2007. An average seaside villa can be purchased for around £60,000, with rural properties being offered for less. Whatever your budget, Bulgaria offers considerably better value for money than most European destinations.

The majority of our clients who are buying property in Bulgaria are looking for investment property. Another large group of clients focus on holiday/second homes often with a view to retirement in later years. We are able to source a variety of properties within different price bands covering rural, coastal, ski and city locations. Whatever you require we will endeavour to locate suitable properties for you to view.

Where to Buy in Bulgaria?

Bulgaria offers a variety settings and lifestyle options. If you wish to learn more about the regions of Bulgaria and find some useful maps please check the region pages on the website.

Are There Any Restrictions for Foreigners?

Since the beginning of 2012 citizens of EU countries can buy land for residential purposes. For citizens of all other countries general restrictions apply as written in the Bulgarian legislation. According to the Constitution of Republic of Bulgaria foreigners and foreign companies can buy buildings but not land. The Treaty of Accession of Bulgaria to the EU allows Bulgaria to keep the ban on EU individuals and companies to buy forests and agricultural land until 2014.

The most common method for foreigners of non-EU countries wishing to own property with land is to register a Bulgarian company which they own and then the company buys the the land. We assist with this company registration. It takes about one week to register a Bulgarian company. The process of registering the company takes place in parallel to us carrying out the legal checks on a property should you choose one.

What are the Long-term Economic Prospects?

Following the changes in 1989 throughout Eastern Europe, Bulgaria has been going through a transition from a state-controlled economy to an open market economy. The 90s were not as successful for Bulgaria as for other countries from the former Soviet block such as Chech Republic and Hungary. The economic stability and major reforms were initiated with the currency board in the summer of 1997. Recently the main economic indicators have stabilised further and the annual growth of the GDP for the last three years exceeded 6%. Bulgaria joined the European Union on 1st January 2007. Both the European Union and Bulgarian Government are investing millions of Euros in upgrading the country's infrastructure - roads, airports and so forth - as well as schemes such as the Beautiful Bulgaria Project targeted at refurbishing the historical architecture and tourist resorts. At the same time new private investment will bring Bulgaria in line with its European neighbours in the near future.

The global credit crunch affects the Bulgarian economy as it depends on its exports and on foreign direct investments in economy's real sector. Naturally real estate sales and prices are also affected. Growing until the autumn of 2008 the following months the market has slowed down and as a result prices started to decrease. The changes in the market might be good for people who are looking to buy for their own use as the supply is good and sellers are likely to accept lower offers.

What Is the Weather Like?

Bulgaria has long been a summer tourist destination, as well as has offered popular winter resorts. There are four seasons with long and warm (and guaranteed) summers starting at the end of May till September, colourful autumns with changing weather which can be warm but sometimes are rainy. For 5 months (May - September) temperatures during the day exceed 25 degrees Celsius and often are above 30 in the peak summer period. The winters start in December and last until February and can be rather severe. The Black Sea coast is less cold in the winter and rarely sees snow. Springs last between March and May and are beautiful with changeable weather. In the winter resorts snow can last until April.

How Do We Travel to Bulgaria?

The situation with flights to Bulgaria is changing very rapidly and more and more companies fly to Bulgaria every year. Direct scheduled flights are available to Sofia, Varna and Bourgas international airports all year round. WizzAir (a Hungarian low cost company) flies into Sofia and Bourgas from London Luton since 2005. Easy Jet started direct flights from the UK (London Gatwick) to Bulgaria in November 2007.

Direct charter flights to the Black Sea Coast (Varna and Burgas) are generally available from April until early October from many European domestic airports. Please check with your local agent for up to date information about flights. In the winter season there are charter flights available to Sofia and Plovdiv which are near the skiing areas.

Our advice for clients travelling to the coast in the summer is to book a package deal with a major tour operator, i.e. Thompson, First Choice, etc. Their prices offer excellent value for money and include accommodation. This will allow you to combine a holiday with a bit of house hunting. The same goes for those looking at property in the ski resort during the winter. Those visiting Varna should try and book into the resort located just to the north, i.e. St Konstantine&Elena or the larger resort of Golden Sands. Those travelling to the Bourgas region to visit new and off-plan developments should opt for a package deal in Sunny Beach or the satellite resorts.

For those clients not opting to use a package deal in the summer/winter we can suggest to visit our Inspection Trip page.

Visa and Long-term Stay in Bulgaria

EU citizens are now allowed to visit Bulgaria for 3 months without restrictions and for those wishing to settle long-term the process for obtaining residency has been made much simpler since Bulgaria joined the EU on 1st January 2007.

Certificate for long-term residency is granted to citizens of EU-member states, who meet one of the following criteria:

1. Employed or self-employed in the Republic of Bulgaria;

2. Have the necessary funds to cover their living costs and those for the other family members and will not rely on the social security system in Bulgaria, and have a health insurance (this criterion has been used most frequently by our clients who wish to reside. It includes retired people);

3. Study in a registered school or university, including one for vocational training, and meet the requirements of point 2.

Tourism in Bulgaria

As a traditional holiday destination Bulgaria has a variety of attractions to offer visitors including some of the most unspoiled countryside in Europe in contrast to other more familiar European destinations. There are many sources of information on Bulgaria. Among them is "Bulgaria - The Rough Guide - 2005" (J. Bousfield and D. Richardson), "Bulgaria - A Lonely Planet Guide - 2005" and the Blue Guide to Bulgaria. These are just a few. A good source for history buffs is the Concise History of Bulgaria (Professor Edwards, Oxford University). All good book shops should have a selection.

How can Stara Planina Properties Help You Buying Property in Bulgaria?

Stara Planina Properties is a British managed and owned company established in 1998 to service the interests of foreigners wishing to invest in the Bulgarian property market. We are a one-stop-shop for all your needs.
The benefits of using Stara Planina Properties are:
· Our clients get wide choice of properties to consider
· We have long experience in the market being the first British-run company of its kind
· We have extensive knowledge of Bulgaria and provide our clients with information on a wide range of lifestyle issue which has proved of great comfort and use for them
· You will be cared for by fully staffed offices operating in Bulgaria providing on-going support and expert local knowledge
· We apply no hard sales techniques during the sales process
· We cover all aspects of the property purchase process
· We offer complete legal services and carry out all legal checks thoroughly
· Our fees are very competitive and reflect the level of service provided
· We do not charge for viewings
· We can provide you with an engineering survey
· Our partner company Bulgarian Property Management will assist with all aspects of property management, rentals and building works.

For further details concerning our services, fees and our comprehensive Buyer’s Guide please contact us through the our online questionnaire, through e-mail or telephone directly on 00 359 62 601 245 or 00 359 887 203364.

What Next?

Keep checking our pages with Bulgarian properties for sale and rent as they are updated regularly and see if anything interests you. Please note, that the property list is not complete and there are more properties on our books. The best option is for clients to come out and let us show them around. Once you have arranged your travel itinerary let us know and we will fix a meeting in one of our offices. We have fully staffed operations working on the ground to service all your needs.
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