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Overview of Bulgaria

About Bulgaria

Located in the Eastern Part of the Balkan Peninsula in South Eastern Europe, Bulgaria is bordered by the new states of former Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey, the Danube (the border with Romania) and the Black Sea.

  • Population is approximately 7,700,000
  • Area: 110,000 square kilometres / 70,000 square miles
  • Capital: Sofia , Major cities: Plovdiv, Varna and Bourgas
  • Distance: London/Sofia – 1,300 miles; Sofia/Varna – 300 miles, Sofia/Bourgas – 250 miles.
  • Highest Mountain: The Rila Mountain, situated south



The property purchase process in Bulgaria?

Once you have found the property and determined whether it is being sold with or without land, you then negotiate and agree a final price with the owner/developer. Contracts are then drawn up and your solicitor will start the process for the standard checks, searches, title documents, debts on file and terms of contract. Once this is all finalised you then sign the Notary Act (Contract to Purchase) in front of a Bulgarian Notary Public and the Final Legal Contract.


What types of properties are on the market?

Bulgaria has a wide variety of properties available from country homes and mountain chalets to seaside apartments. Not only is buying a property in Bulgaria a great investment as the prices are steadily increasing but the properties are considerably lower in price than those elsewhere in Europe.


What are the property prices?

Prices are really dependant on the particular type of property and location you are looking for. As a guide though, new build properties in some of the coastal areas can start from as little as £20,000.

What is the law on foreigners owning a property?

Under the Bulgarian act on Foreign Ownership, foreigners are not allowed to own land but may own buildings. Foreigners however can take ownership of land by setting up a Bulgarian company to hold the property for them. This is a simple and inexpensive process which is normally undertaken by your lawyer. This is a quirk of Bulgaria which is likely to change over the next few years as Bulgaria gets closer to its EU membership.


What is the Bulgarian legal system like?
The legal system in Bulgaria is very good and generally their professional fees are substantially less than in other parts of Europe.

What are the costs involved in buying a property?
Taxes for each property depend on its price. As a guideline however, the combined state and local taxes will usually equate to around 3.5% of the purchase price. It is worth noting that, whilst there is no obligation on the seller, it is common practice in Bulgaria for these costs to be split
between the seller and purchaser. Based on a property price of £50,000, the following
approximate costs will apply:

  • Legal fees €500
  • Country Tax (Stamp Duty) £1,000
  • Notary Fees, translation fees £250



What about the taxation?
As with any purchase it is important to obtain qualified advice with regard to the legal and taxation issues associated with any proposed property acquisition. we are not qualified to give such advice, however for your convenience we have included on our website links to a selection of tax pecialists. These are provided for information only and Interlink has no input, control nor responsibility for the information contained therein.

Can we open up an overseas bank account?
The opening of a bank account in Bulgaria is a simple process. In normal circumstances your passport will act as proof of identity and is all that is required to open an account. You are often offered the option of opening your account in a choice of currency denominations i.e. Lev, Euro, Dollar or Sterling. Although it is necessary to have a Lev account to facilitate the payment of bills etc it is often useful to combine this with a foreign currency account and/or credit card facility.


What are the management costs of my property?
For apartments within managed developments, charges will vary according to the level of services and facilities provided. As a guideline however, for a two bed apartment in one of the coastal resorts an annual charge of around £350 per annum can be expected. Bulgaria presently has mains gas on the Northern part of the coast which is slowly expanding southwards. The main bill is electric which is similar to the prices paid in the UK. Bulgaria also has a council tax which is very reasonable at approx £100 per annum, depending on the location – rural is cheaper. Water charges are around £5 per month with Cable TV at £5 per month also.


What is the currency?
The national currency of Bulgaria is the Lev which is now pegged to the Euro at a rate of €1 = Lv 1.955. Most transactions nowadays can be done in either Lev or Euros.


What is the cost of living?
The cost of living in Bulgaria is very low; in fact it is statistically one of the lowest in Europe. With a pint of beer rarely costing more than 50 pence and a three course meal including wine coming in at less than £8, you can afford to indulge.

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