Skip to main content

Be Aware Of The Pitfalls Buying Property In Bulgaria

AN overseas’ property expert has warned that UK investors can make many mistakes when buying a home in Bulgaria.

David Hollands said: “There can be a few gems to be found, but you have to know what you are doing or have a tried-and-trusted partner with you all the way to the bank.

“It is more difficult to buy now because there are many more rules and the legal administration is better managed.

“The most popular locations to buy that will bring the best returns will be the rural affluent regions, those that compare to middle Italy and mid-France.

“Newly-built cottages and farmhouses with gardens and stunning views start at Ј35,000.”

Here are some tips from David to help avoid problems.

As Bulgarian property is cheaper, what seems a bargain and too good to be true, often is. Just because you can afford it does not mean you have to buy it.

The legal title to land and building rights has to be clearly confirmed by independent lawyers. You may be buying what seems a smart villa but is it being built legally? Most contracts will not state this. Beware.

Commission payments. All included fees and costs are another thing to be aware of. What this normally means is that you are paying over the market price for the property – in a lot of cases well over.

Off-plan property can be tricky as you do not know what the finished quality will be. Be sure never to release any funds unless you have had real proof of the building progress and have also visited the property during building work.

Contracts are often lengthy and of course are written in Bulgarian. Make sure you have a full and authorised translation of the contract and have it independently checked.

Don’t believe all you read on the internet. It is what you don’t see in the lovely picture that will determine the value of a property, not the property itself.

Find an agent that has experience and shows you all the downsides of an investment as well as the upsides.

Do not believe all you hear. Make comparisons of property quality by demanding to visit property that is already finished so you can see what the end result may be.

Do not believe guaranteed rental. This quote is nearly always a false guarantee. All you will receive is a few thousand euro back over the next two years, no real rental at all. You have paid over the market price and you are getting back your own money.

Do get sight of the developer’s holiday rental agreements with tour operators.

Do understand the demands and tourist trends that will increase the value of your holiday home. Think of the future, not what has happened in the past.

Don’t go on a weekend two-day trip to buy the only property the agent has on offer.

Don’t pay any deposit or sign any documents on your initial trip that will tie you into a contract that you haven’t understood.

Don’t accept a promise that the property can have a mortgage on it. Many properties do not qualify for mortgages.

Don’t expect to re-sell your coastal flat within the first year or re-sell before it is finished, thinking you will make a profit.